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Grocery gridlock

You know it’s getting to be the winter “season” when all the checkout lines at Safeway are backed up with carts piled high with groceries. It reminds me of the approach to the Bay Bridge toll booths at 7:30 on a Tuesday morning – a sea of glowing red brake lights. On trips to Truckee over the years I encountered the holiday rush – of the ski-leasers and second-home owners loading their larders with hot chocolate and pancake mix, cases of beer, bottles of wine and whatnot. But now I live here, and all I needed was to pick up a loaf of bread and bologna. Hmmm, and this is just the run up to Thanksgiving. I hear Presidents Day weekend can be like the Bay Bridge backup – both on the streets and slopes. I guess you could call it Truckee’s grocery gridlock. • • •If you’re reading this on Wednesday that means the Turkey Day Weekend rush hasn’t even hit yet. Apparently, most folks heading someplace other than their dining rooms for Thanksgiving don’t get that traditional head start (probably because their bosses won’t let them). According to a survey done by the AAA of Northern California, turns out the busiest auto travel day of the Thanksgiving period is Thursday – not the Wednesday before or Sunday after. So if you’re scarfing down an omelet at the Squeeze In or a cup of joe at Wild Cherries before heading to Grandma’s house, finish reading the paper and then git.• • •OK, now for some turkey trivia. What fleshy, red part of the bird won’t you see on your plate Thursday? It kinda rhymes with gobble (well, not really). And no, the turkey wranglers don’t stuff them in that little sack along with the gizzards, snouts, hooves and hearts.• • •Of the 4.4 million Golden State residents who plan to travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving holiday, approximately 2.2 million come to Truckee (OK, it just seems that way). Actually, half of the travelers don’t even stay overnight at wherever they feasted, AAA says. And those who do stay over average about 2.9 nights – shorter than the 3.5 night average during the rest of the year. So at least there is some good news. • • •Yes, at this point it may sound like I’m whining about the visitors who descend upon – or drive through – our fair town after the snow falls and resorts open. But hey, you can’t help but get a little peeved when you drop into Safeway to buy a sandwich for lunch and a box of dog biscuits for the hound waiting patiently in the truck and then – boom – Bay Area rush hour in Aisle 4. But then those dollars keep Truckee humming. So I guess I just have to plan a little better and stock up the pantry before the hordes hit. The dog would like that supply of Bonz in the cabinet. At the end of the day isn’t that what it’s all about – content canines? • • •And how could a column in the Sierra Sun’s opinion page end without an airport reference (albeit not necessarily our little strip of heaven). The experts at AAA say that some 700,000 people are expected to reach their holiday destinations by air. The go-to spots for the denizens of Nor Cal, says AAA, are Vegas, Sacramento, the lovely southern region of our state, and Orlando (and unofficially, but by the sound of things, Lahontan, Northstar and Incline Village). • • •Wattle, wattle.Jamie Bate is the editor of the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at, yep, editor@sierrasun.com


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