Blog: Escape To Vegas, Part One
(originally written 8/23/17)
Nine years ago, my buddy Arnell married a woman named Racquel. I like Racquel very much; in fact, from my perspective her only "flaw" is working for people who insist upon relocating her all across the country—and by extension, Arnell and their kids. (Although seven years ago, the Junios' travels benefitted me greatly when I took a sudden voyage to D.C. near where they were living at the time. But I'm not here to talk about the past.)
After stops in Virginia, Kentucky and Southern California, my friends landed in Las Vegas a couple of years ago. This past April, after a universally miserable beginning to 2017, the moons aligned and I finally had my s--- straight enough to embark on a visit to their Vegas compound. Josie would accompany me, and we'd stay at the Junio home.
After that: nothing to report. I mean that literally—the second half of the trip's California portion consisted of the most barren, desolate roads I'd ever been on. You half-expected to spot a coyote chasing a road runner. People think beaches and Hollywood and the Golden Gate Bridge when they think California. But don't forget about that desert—it's expansive.
As the state line drew closer and closer, our excitement level rose—Vegas was near! However, my excitement grew to mild panic once mile after mile after mile passed with absolutely no fuel stations in sight.
Damn my stupid personality, I screamed in my head. I didn't fuel up at the last station out of pure spite; Vegas was going to be a two-fillup trip and THAT WAS THAT, I'd told myself. Except "THAT" was going to fall short and I was going to be roadside with my thumb out if an Exxon or Shell didn't materialize.
Finally, about 10 miles from the border with about 10 miles of fuel in our tank, stood a blessid Chevron...rejoice. The Russian men in the lengthy restroom line might have been grumpy, but I felt nothing but glee.
But how would we get there?
Having never driven further south (in one shot) than San Luis Obispo, it was decided we'd travel by car. But having not flown in forever—the aforementioned 2010 voyage to D.C.—it was decided we'd travel by plane. (Splitting up the travel this way would eventually cause hassle...more on that later.)
Not long after landing on Highway 5 south of Los Banos, I saw a wrecked car on a hill running alongside the interstate. There are no obvious traditional routes to reach this hill. It was too high to drive up...at least without a ramp. At the bottom stood a young man with a laundry basket talking to the CHP. What I wouldn't give to have the whole story behind that.