Driving down Interstate 80 to Reno from Truckee, you descend about 1,500 feet from 5,900 above sea level to 4,400. Nothing too dramatic. But you travel through the Truckee River gorge from the west side of the SIerra Nevada range to the east side, and this is dramatic. In just 30 or so miles you go from Tahoe National Forest, with lots of pine trees, to the Nevada desert. Here is a shot taken through the windshield to show the transition from forest to desert.
There’s something very impressive about following this river with the mountains surrounding you and the vista becoming more and more open as you near the desert plains.