Are you coming from the Bay Area on your way to Lake Tahoe or the Sierra Nevada Mountains? Leave the evening before and spend the night in Colfax. Next morning you will have only a short distance to go to get to your destination.
Colfax is located on Interstate 80, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. Colfax is also close to Grass Valley and Nevada City.
Better yet, my house is within easy walking distance from the Amtrak rail road station.