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Safe Embrace

September 19, 2013

Nevada – Saturday, September 7

(I’ve been camping in Utah for 3 days, which is why there’s a delay in posts!)

After a long day in the van yesterday, Tula and I were ready for some walking this morning. Carson City is the capital of Nevada, and I really like the city. Despite the fact that it’s a major Nevada city, there’s still a small-town feel to it, and it’s a fun town to walk in. We started by walking around the Capitol area, and it’s a nice capitol building with a silver dome and pretty landscaping. Then I started off on the 2 1/2 mile Kit Carson historical walk in town (Carson City was named after Kit Carson). There’s a wide blue stripe on the sidewalk all through the historical parts of town and out into the neighborhoods, and it was fun to walk along that and see all the interesting buildings and historical homes. It passed by the elegant governor’s mansion too. Lots of people were out strolling – there was some kind of wine/shopping event and people who bought a ticket could go to a variety of places for a glass of wine and munchies and then stroll on to the next place. I popped my head into the second oldest church in town, which had its original stained glass windows from the 1800s and that was one of the wine stops. Even though I didn’t have a ticket, they offered me food, but since I’d had a late breakfast, the only thing I had was a piece of cold watermelon which hit the spot after a couple miles of walking! As I was finishing up my walk in town, the church bells pealed the hour, which I’d heard every 15 minutes, and then all of a sudden they started playing the child’s nursery song “There was a farmer had a dog, and Bingo was his name-o. B-I-N-G-O etc” – not what one expects to hear from church bells!

Carson City isn’t far from Lake Tahoe, a place of great beauty for everyone, and also great sadness for our family. My youngest brother’s life ended in Lake Tahoe, and this is the third time I’ve returned since his death. I was hoping to stumble upon a donation opportunity that was fitting for the day, and surprisingly, I found one that kind of summed it up. It was a shelter called Safe Embrace, and because I like to think of the waters of Lake Tahoe being a “safe embrace” for my brother at the end of his life, it seemed like it was meant to be. And their logo features doves soaring into the clouds. Safe Embrace has been open for almost 20 years – their services are available for men and women although their actual shelter is for women only, and their kids. The shelter is somewhere near Reno, although the physical address is not available for safety purposes, so I will simply mail in a donation to their P.O. box.

I drove over the mountains to Lake Tahoe, and drove down to Zephyr Cove, but there weren’t really any good walking places there. So I drove north along the lake and stopped where I saw a trail along the steep, rocky shore. I think I found one of the few paths that dogs were allowed on, and Tula and I walked a couple miles, enjoying the views from the bluffs – the lake was a beautiful blue/green color in places. I continued on to Incline Village where I found the Lakeshore bike trail, and that was another pretty place to walk some more miles – past beautiful wooden homes with pretty landscaping; some of which overlooked the lake. There were a few people out biking, but mostly it was shady, quiet and peaceful. The whole Lake Tahoe afternoon seemed peaceful, and doesn’t seem to haunt me so much. The sun was setting as I started the drive back, and I found a place to watch through the trees and enjoyed the colors of the evening. I knew I would have to face Lake Tahoe on my journey, and there’s more peace each time. It was a good day.

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