Wednesday, July 28th - Day 25 - "Vivaaaaaa Las Vegas!"
Las Vegas Travel Blog› entry 17 of 40 › view all entries
Okay, speed typing here, just got invited out on the town here in Flagstaff AZ!! Yup, Get your kicks on Route 66! Although I didnt take that route.
Ended up leaving Merced late in the afternoon due to the answering of facebook messages, blogging, sorting pics, sending couchsurf requests, etcetera etcetera, which was fine because I like keeping people in the know about what's going on. HOWEVER, leaving at 5pm on a leg that was about 3 hours long meant pushing it if you include getting fuel and taking pics along the way.
So I went out into Yosemite National Park... Banff is hands down, one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen... The pristine quality of it all is... magnificent. But Yosemite.. Oh my gawd, it is unapologetically incredible! So massive! So vast!!! Unrelenting beauty!! It's as if at some point, the US tourism department looked across the conference table at eachother and said "well gentlemen, let's just build a bunch of roads all over this massive mountain scape so everyone can see how great it is!" Because it was, unending.. The rock faces that went on and ON and ON, and the sunset landing on them, amazing... The gorgeous waterworks following the roads, the roads that climbed up into forever and then descended back down to the floor... I stopped so many times to get pics that soon the sun was setting and I still had to get out!!
So here I am racing at 100 mph through a national park while others are trying to enjoy the serenity of it all! lol... and i get out of the park and I'm railing down the interstate trying to get to my reserved camping spot by 9pm!
Of course, being as I LOVE camping, and meeting all the cool peeps that generally habitat such places, that I picked up a six pack as well my food, and cargo-netted it to my passenger seat. Of course, much to my dismay, rpm's of 8000 in 6th gear are not conducive to the healthy condition of a beer can.. and at one point I heard a wierd 'pop' sound, but not feeling anything in my bike, I kept zipping along... only to arrive at the campground to find my ass soaked in beer from the overpressurized can exploding!
As well, it turned out my picturesque campground was really just some guys couple acres near his trailer where he could fit 5 motorhomes and 3 tents... so there weren't a lot of PARTY PEOPLE milling about. But, the rain and thunderstorms that had plagued them the night before were absent and the sky was clear and the air was warm, so I hunkered down in my sleeping bag and gortex shell to make the best of it.
Unfortunately the 20 degree Celsius whether at 9:30pm (68 F) was a bit colder at 2 am when I woke up shivering... 7.5 degrees Celsius!! (45 F)! I had no choice but to just pack up and get on the road! I just couldn't get comfortable again. The RV Park owner who I was sposed to pay in the morning probably thought I was skipping out, lol!
And sure enough 5 minutes down the road my ambient temperature gage on my bike is reading 20 again and I can feel warm air rushing down my collar into my jacket... Ah well.. It all worked out perfectly... I ended up reaching Death Valley (which is aptly named) as the sun began to rise. It was beautiful... AND it was nice and cool, Yes, 33 degrees (91 F), rather than the usual 46 (114 F) - and no, I'm not getting really good at converting in my head, I'm using an iPhone app haha
Pulled into one of my all-time fave cities, Vegas at 9:30 and lo' n behold, they had ONE single solitary room that I had reserved ready for occupying! So I didn't have to wait til 3pm check in! That meant several hours of nap time so I'd be ready for the night!
Had pasta at Nove Italiano at the top of the Palms where I've been before, and saw Zumanity (Cirque de Soleil). It was a fairly decent show. I'd honestly thought it was about zoo animals because of the ad I'd seen where the people were in what I thought was a fishbowl... it turned out to be two naked girls swimming and gyrating all over eachother. Normally I wouldn't complain but being as it WAS a performance, it felt fake. None of these actresses REALLY wanted to entertain ME, they just wanted to perform and get paid. Left me feeling cheap and cheated, like a night full of lapdances in a strip club.
unfortunately I didn't get out of Vegas until 2:30 this afternoon. I had to mail the old clothes that by day 25 are starting to fall apart to make room for the great stuff I bought for cheap at the Outlet shops! As well I also needed to mail home the 'camping gear' as I've decided.. no more camping, or weak attempts at it! THEN I had to find an "In-N-Out" burger joint. I had told people in California I would check it out before leaving the state, but I missed the chances so had to make up for it! DELICIOUS BURGERS!!! "Quality you can taste" is right!! Fries sucked, but who cares, the burger.. wow..
Anyway, the GPS kept screwing up and sending me everywhich way! I think the satellite reception was wonky because it would screw up distances to turns. Even told me to go by the exit to the SECOND in-n-out I attempted to get to which meant a 3 mile detour... Garmin... Fuck you.
So because although I checked out of my hotel well rested (well.. moderately lol) at 12:30, I didn't leave vegas til 3pm. So my roundabout way to the Grand canyon and then to Flagstaff would have meant a ridiculous arrival time here so I just did not want to do that.
On the way I ran out of gas. Fortunately though when a bike is parked on the side of the road and a guy in leathers carrying a helmet is hitchhiking, it's pretty evident that he's not some drifter looking to stab you and take your wallet. So I had a trucker pick me up within 10 minutes. I was grateful. I offered to get him his favorite beverage from the gas station as he's actually taken his truck and whole load up the exit ramp and into the small gas station so I wouldn't have to walk. He said he'd been there before; "nowhere".. in the middle of New Mexico with a broken radiator hose, when some one stopped, and then drove 60 miles to get him 5 gallons of water for his radiator.. So because I could not reciprocate my gratitude to him, I had to 'pay it forward'. A young cook who wasn't even intending to go back the way I came agreed to take me the 7 miles back (yeah I know.. 7 miles to the next gas station and I ran out.. sheez). I noticed the baby foot prints tattooed to his arms and after conversation learned he had two young baby girls. So on leaving the car, I turned and said my thanks and he expected nothing but I told him I wanted to show my gratitude because I couldn't with the first good Samaritan. So I told him all I had was money but that I wanted him to get something nice for his daughters, and slipped him a bill rolled up so that he wouldn't know the amount until later.
It's okay though, the great people I'm with now have suggested 89A through Sedona which is apparently gorgeous. They graciously offered to drive me there in the morning, but I had to refuse. I will see it eventually in my lifetime. Hoover Dam which I passed over was pretty remarkable. Although, having a major highway share a major tourist attraction (covered in crosswalks) might not be the best idea. Hence the bridge construction I guess.
My hosts have also treated me Oak Creek Brewing Co, Nut Brown Ale... this goes down smoother than any beer ever. You out there who thought Rickard's Red was smooth.. it ain't nothing.. Delish.
Okay, it's 11:06 and I still haven't uploaded pics, answered emails, and I'm tired... I'm gonna have to skip 80's night tonight in Flagstaff.. it woulda been so much fun though!
Take care, ride safe