Geez, whatever happened to common sense and courtesy

Last Thursday, I talked Elaine into taking a ride with me to Silver Lake, Calif. to check it out as a candidate for a future fishing and camping trip for my regular fishing partners and I.

Silver Lake is about 58 miles south of Carson City, via U.S. 395, Nev. S.R. 88 and Calif. S.R. 88, and contains a nice population of rainbow, brown and Mackinaw trout.

Our group has been looking for a fishing location, fairly close to Carson City, that would offer trout fishing and not cost an arm and a leg for gasoline to get there. Silver Lake seemed to fit that bill.

However, Elaine and I found out that a lot of people have forgotten or failed to learn some good old common sense and courtesy.

It all began on S. Carson St., where two SUV's were weaving in and out of the crowded traffic lanes, cutting in on us and other vehicles, and apparently with turn indicators that did not work. I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting one of them, while the driver was busy talking on a cell phone.

Then later, as we drove past the roundabout at the Douglas County Swim Center, we ended up in a long line of vehicles following some guy in an old beat-up pickup with a flat-bed trailer, traveling at a mind-boggling speed of 31 MPH, all the way to Kimmerling Lane. He was being followed by a companion black-colored car that restricted the rest of us from passing the two of them. We must have looked like a slow moving parade.

Once we got past that hurdle, our next eye-opener was the motorcycle that roared passed us and a long string of other vehicles, like we were all parked. Wow, he flew past us like he was in the Baja 500 instead of on S.R. 88.

We also had an SUV pass us and a couple of other cars in a double yellow line zone, apparently, because we were not going fast enough to suit her.

Once we arrived at Silver Lake, we were dazzled at the number of people there on a Thursday morning. I had thought that we would have it all to ourselves. Boy oh boy, was I ever wrong.

In just a couple of hours, we saw 15 fishing boats, three speed boats (going full blast), a water skier and about 20-30 Kayakers. That was in addition to all kinds of day hikers, picnickers, waders, swimmers, and kids yelling, throwing rocks or playing in the water, plus dogs barking or swimming, and a few shore fishermen.

One poor guy was quietly fishing from shore, when he was surrounded by a group of adults, kids and dogs. They began playing loud music, wading, swimming, throwing rocks, chasing one another, throwing sticks for their dogs, etc.

Finally, that poor soul reeled in his line and walked away, slowly shaking his head, as if to say, so much for the peace and solitude of fishing in the high country on a weekday.

We saw a couple of fishermen, standing on an open rocky point, who had to quit casting their lures, because a boat trolled past them at an extremely close distance, without regard to their trying to fish.

Then, a group of women in Kayaks, crossed in front of those same fishermen, at an even closer distance, while talking and laughing, and either completely oblivious or indifferent to their presence.

You would have thought the fishermen were completely invisible to all those dummies. They quit fishing and walked away, also shaking their heads.

That was just before we followed a man and his wife, with a little "Yapper" dog, on the hiking trail back to the parking area. That miserable mutt stopped, left a "Calling Card" right in the middle of the trail, and the two owners continued walking, like it was no big deal to mess things up for other hikers behind them.

Then, coming back home, we got stuck in a long line of traffic, coming down from Kit Carson Pass and continuing quite a distance past Red Lake, behind two bicycles, riding, side by side, right down the middle of the travel lane, as if they owned the highway.

Apparently, the tiny rear view mirrors they had on their helmets did not show them the traffic, stacked up behind them. Even when they had the chance to pull over at several pull-outs to, they continued to peddle along, as if it was only the two of them in the entire world.

The best part of that episode was when one of the vehicles, in front of us, loudly honked and the driver gave the bikers the "You're No. 1" salute, as he finally managed to pass those road hogs. Obviously, those two had left their courtesy back home, somewhere.

Then, back in Carson City, we almost "T-Boned" some woman who ran the stop sign on a side street on Division Street. I can only assume that we were not as important as her, and she was in a hurry to get to her destination. Thank God for good brakes.

We finally arrived back home, safe and sound, but completely frazzled, and let out a sigh of relief.

Obviously, we have scratched Silver Lake off our list as a fun place to go during the summer.

Geez, whatever happened to common sense and courtesy?

Then, the lack of common sense and courtesy continued on Friday as we were driving on U.S. 395 to our cabin near Davis Lake, Calif.

I was driving in Washoe Valley in the slow lane at the posted speed limit of 70 MPH.

A woman in a white-colored car, roared up behind us, closely tailed-gated me, while busy talking on a cell phone, and then finally decided that I was driving too slow. She swerved into the fast lane and disappeared in the blink of an eye, while still talking.

However there is a God in Heaven, because about 15 minutes later on the freeway in Reno, there she was parked, looking very sad, with a State Highway Patrol car with flashing red lights parked behind her car, as the trooper was busy writing a ticket. I honked as we drove past at the posted speed.

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you about the best part of that miserable Thursday.

If he grins and says, "It was the peace and quiet of Don's backyard," he could have been there at our 5 p.m. cocktail hour.

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal

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