I’m not exactly sure what the “most thrilling wonderful places” the Hiles would have missed that night were that could top their Royal Gorge experience. After leaving Reno they passed through Sacramento in the early hours of Sunday morning. Now, the space along the UP tracks between Reno and Sacramento is nice. There is also a lot of history to be recalled, so much so that the California State Railroad Museum regularly provides docents on the trains to tell the colorful story of the construction of the railroad through the Sierras, and Old Town Sacramento is also a great place to visit, although one has to remember it wasn’t as “Old” in 1919 as it is now.
But I wasn’t quite prepared for what happened next.
As I sit here at my desk in Martinez, California, Port Costa is exactly 7.4 miles away, and that’s having to go out on to Highway 4, take the McEwen Road exit, and then double back down to the water’s edge; it was much shorter before a landslide caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 closed Carquinez Scenic Drive, the connector road known to locals, for obvious reasons if you’ve ever been there, as Snake Road.
Seeing how close the Hiles came to my home, albeit more than a century ago, was quite a jarring experience and it allowed me to journey back in time and to feel as if I were truly a part of the Westward Bound journey. Little did I know, it was about to happen again …