5th Jul 2012
Truckee - we're in love!
Just a few miles away from Tahoe, is the little town of Truckee. (Ever since I first saw the town name, I haven’t been able to get the Rickie Lee Jones song out of my mind.)
Truckee is a real historic town dating from the mid-1800’s. The story goes that it was named after a Paiute Indian chief whose name was Tru-ki-zo. Supposedly when the first Europeans came across the Sierra Nevada and encountered his tribe, the friendly chief rode toward them yelling "Tro-kay", which is Paiute for "Everything is all right". The unaware travellers assumed he was yelling his name and subsequently named the settlement in his honour.
I seem to recall that there’s a similar story about Bow Locks in East London…
Anyway, back to our day in Truckee. Its historical association with the railroad continues as the main line from San Francisco to Chicago passes right through downtown. During the few hours we spent there we saw three enormously long goods trains slowly grind their way through and one passenger train stop at the Amtrak station opposite the shops. Believe it or not, this really doesn’t spoil the town. The barber said that the tracks are owned by the freight company, Union Pacific, who ensure that goods services have priority, meaning that the Amtrak passenger trains run to schedules about as good as those in England…
We were fortunate that our visit coincided with Truckee Thursday, an event which occurs most weeks. At 2:30pm, the fine local law-enforcement officers begin moving all vehicles from the main road through the centre of the town to allow a little street fair to be set up. By 5pm there are stalls selling barbequed food, photos by local artists, bric-a-brac and loads of other junk that no tourist needs. We gave it our fullest attention and left with a pot of Indian-style aubergine dip - sold to us by a man who obviously knew his spices.
During our research into Truckee, we discovered that there was going to be an Air Show at the local airfield two days later. Needless to say, we had to be there…