Truckee coming into better focus for myopic editor
For much of my life, Truckee has existed on the edge of my world.
I grew up in the northern Sacramento Valley. We drove through Truckee to visit relatives in the midwest. Occasional summer day trips took us to the Truckee or American rivers.
I lived most of my adult life in South Lake Tahoe and became pretty familiar with the stretch of Truckee on Highway 89 from Tahoe City to the west-bound Interstate 80 on ramp. I could see the ACE Mountain Hardware and Factory Outlets, but never stopped. I was on my way somewhere else.
I also knew Truckee occupied a unique place in American history. Of course, I learned about the tragic Donner Party in elementary school and I knew that the stretch of the transcontinental railroad through Truckee was laid in some of the most difficult terrain of the entire project.
I also knew Truckee’s climate was pretty extreme, even compared to Lake Tahoe. Winter temperatures are often the lowest in the continental United States. However, summers can get hotter than Tahoe. As a gardener, I knew Truckee suffered from the same short, unpredictable growing season that I endured at Lake Tahoe.
Last year I moved closer to Truckee, to Reno/Sparks, but my view remained blurred. In fact, I saw less of Truckee as I whizzed by on the interstate, slowing only for the bug station.
A couple weeks ago, my Truckee education began in earnest. The Sierra Sun needed an interim editor. Her regional bosses with Tahoe-Carson Area Newspapers felt I could be spared for a few weeks from my regular job at the Sun’s big-sister paper, the Nevada Appeal in Carson City.
With the exception of commuting in the recent spring snow storm, I’ve loved every minute of my time here.
I now know many of the segments I’ve seen from my minimal exposure are actually connected by Donner Pass Road. I’ve had lunch, in the historic district — twice — and bought a map at the Visitors Center housed in the old train station.
I’ve discovered that for a small town, Truckee has an exceptional selection of espresso and bagel companies as well as Mexican food.
I now know that ACE Hardware is a lot more than a hardware store, retaining some of that small-town flavor and friendliness with just about everything a resident or traveler might need that can’t be found across the street at Safeway.
And, Monday evening I enjoyed the local’s drive through Glenshire bypassing the interstate pile-up.
I know better than to think I’ve seen Truckee up close and personal. It’s just a glimpse, but it’s a view of Truckee I’m delighted to finally experience.
Sally J. Taylor is interim editor of the Sierra Sun, and a reporter/editor for the Nevada Appeal