With a heat wave in progress, I thought to travel into the mountains for some relief. I needed to test my car again, after a miserable three hours spent in town trying to restart my vehicle in the late afternoon heat. This problem must quickly be resolved!

I was able to drive it about later, without a quit or stall, in town. The local mechanics couldn't try to fix the problem. I was advised to take it to another mechanic. Well, here goes!

Passing plenty of road work along Interstate 80, I motored straight to the Reno, NV, Patagonia Outlet where I had a day pack to be picked up after repair. I shopped about, and hiked the nearby trail up the hill. I then found my car would die soon after starting. I went back into the store, asking about job opportunities, using the employee water and ice, after asking, and shopped some more. Believing it might be a flooded carburetor, I chose to wait, then try to restart it again. No dice. I took a stroll along the Truckee River Trail. The thistle and another plant were in bloom. The river was running well, with kids fishing.

Then, it was getting later in the afternoon. My attempts to get the car going again failed miserably. I called it by 2 p.m., and phoned for a tow. Taking it to the biggest shop, I had to leave it with them, and began my quick search for a new car. Disappointed, I took Citifare (1.25) back to downtown, asked the information person there, and was forwarded to the Greyhound depot on West Second. Luckily, a bus was soon due to depart. I was off by 4:25 p.m., and greatly enjoyed the air-conditioning, and my leaving the driving to them!

Now westbound on I-80, we passed by the still smouldering Martis Fire. I saw a helicopter ferrying water, and was saddened by the now burnt forests. I had enjoyed the fairly pristine slopes of this part of the Truckee River Canyon on my many drives to Reno, and now it will be years before they are again, more green and natural.

I was reminded of a time when chauffeuring a local chapter activities participant to a long drive and peak climb south on U.S. 395, when the car ahead of us tossed out a burning cigarette. I asked my passenger, "Do you want to report this guy?"

Him being also a credible, high State official, he snickered, "I'm not on the job." A few months later, the canyon burned. The cause was a lighted cigarette. So goes paid work versus true volunteers. This person is now a ranking officer of the local, self-declared "conservationist" chapter.

Our bus made stops along the way. I thought if I could save carbon dioxide emissions by using mass transit more. There is generally no reasonable public transit to the trailheads, especially not to obscure start points for peak climbing. The ride was much better than in my subcompact, but it does take time. I know of no hiking club that will pick you up from a transit hub, other than myself. You are responsible for your own transportation, and how you get to the meeting place or trailhead is your problem. Again, I am almost the only one I know that will come to your front door and ferry you and your equipment to the hiking, climbing, or skiing.

My ride home took some four hours. The drive is normally two. But now, with my car out-of whack, I may have to get used to other forms of travel.

I shot some 42 digital photos. Almost no snow is left seen from the Interstate. A few large patches lie on the east side of the Sierra Crest near Tinker Knob and Anderson Peak. The Northern Sierra is ready for hiking!