Monday, August 8, 2011
Road Trip to Vegas
A place that we will probably never ever go to again, and a trip that has cured any wanderlust I might have for quite a while.
We got an earlier start than we thought we would because Keith's boss let him leave after he had finished up his first project of the day, so we were on the road before lunch time and not wanting to stop at a sit down restaurant for lunch, went to the travel stop in Tehachapi and got McDonalds to eat in the car.
So, to get to Vegas from Bakersfield, first you go through some mountains.
And then you go through about a million miles of desert.
And then another million miles of desert.
And then if you are really lucky you get into some traffic going about 10mph down the road because somewhere up ahead there must be an accident.
We were in the 10mph traffic for about an hour and then did come across the accident scene, where a truck and a car had crashed into each other and gone off the road, forcing all the traffic to slow down so that they could gawk at the accident.
There are three rest stops on the way to Vegas and we stopped at each one. The towns out in the desert are few and far between so when you see a rest stop, stop even if you don't think you really need to go because it will be a long time before you find another one.
After the million miles of flat desert and passing through a few small towns with the typical desert houses with lots of junk in the yards, towns like Hinkley, which was made famous in the movie Erin Brockovich, the town that can't drink the water unless they want to get cancer, you come to some more mountains.
And more higher desert with Joshua trees.
And then you are finally at the state line where there is a factory outlet and two casinos. And then you come to the 'town' of Jean, where there is a prison and a casino. There used to be two casinos in Jean but apparently one of them went out of business and was torn down.
We stopped here to get some gas and use the casino restrooms. There was a huge empty parking lot, a huge parking lot in anticipation of the many many gamblers that the casino was hoping to lure, but gamblers just go on another few miles to Vegas, and I'm thinking that this poor casino won't be around much longer either. We parked right by the front door and then fought through the crowds to get inside.
There were more employees than customers and only two people at the bar. We looked around a little, saw a few people at the slot machines, and put $1.00 in a nickle slot, played for a few minutes and was bored to tears so as soon as I won my $1.00 back, cashed out my huge winnings. I don't get the lure of slot machines, but I guess with nickle slots you can sit there all day and get free cocktails and only spend a few dollars.
After that excitment, on down the road to Vegas. They are re-doing the main freeway through town and if it's ever finished will be really pretty for a freeway, with murals on the overpasses and some metal sculptures and landscaping. Hopefully people will get to see it before it is covered up with graffiti.
So, after about 6 hours on the road, in to Vegas.
Part two tomorrow. Betcha can't wait!