Monday, October 20, 2008

On the Road Again

Wow, have we traveled over the past two days. Yesterday morning we were on the road by 8 am and drove for 10 1/2 hours. We went into California and crossed the mountain pass to Mount Shasta, then headed east across the entire state. It was pretty with lots of pine trees and plenty of forests. We finally hit Reno on the Nevada border and decided to keep going east to Ely on the Utah border because that's about as far east as we needed to go. It went on forever.

The roads were fabulous even though they were only two lanes- one in each direction- but there was so little traffic. Now I know why Nevada was used as a testing place for the U.S. military. It is so completely desolate and barren. The mountains in the background were beautiful and the scenery magnificent but oh so desolate. We hardly saw any other vehicles at all EXCEPT - one of the few trucks to pass us was carrying a load of cement bags on an open flatbed. He was about 200 meters ahead of us when there was a huge bang!!!! as one of his tires exploded and fell apart on the highway. I guess this is one of the reasons why you are advised to keep so many meters away from the vehicle in front of you. We were just able to swerve enough to avoid the debris hitting us. Whew, a real close call, as we were traveling at 140 km at the time. These roads are amazing and so much faster than the interstates!!

The drive to Ely was further than we anticipated as we had to keep going even though it was dark. There was literally no where else to stop! We finally made it to a motel and I completely crashed after having a bite to eat.

This morning we left around 9 am and continued on more remote roads south. It was a relief to see Las Vegas at first, then a stress as we negotiated through the two interstates to get on to the road southeast to Phoenix. Thank you GPS I love you! Gail and I would have killed each other trying to figure out how to make the turns!!

Once we left Las Vegas (yes I told Gail we should have been playing Sheryl Crowe's "Leaving Las Vegas") we were treated to the most amazing views of Lake Mead. It was spectacular! Beautiful blue water with the gorgeous red mountains of Arizona in the background.

We had no idea that the route towards Phoenix took us directly past the Hoover Dam. It was like driving past Niagara Falls in summer. There were hundreds and hundreds of tourists and parked cars taking tours of the dam. We didn't want to take the time to stop but I want to on the way home next spring! From what I saw from the road it looks like a fascinating tour.

Once again, we were on a great secondary road through Arizona this time, although even better as it was four lanes and so easy to pass. Traveling again at 120- 130 km we reached the town of Kingman at about 3pm. I really wanted to carry on to the interstate to Phoenix but my leg started to cramp and Gail is not comfortable driving on the freeways. So here we the middle of the desert....temperature on average today 30C and having an early night. Oh, as we stopped to find a place to stay a wasp flew into the passenger window and onto Gail's back and as she swatted at it, she was stung on the arm. The first one in her entire life, she says. Oh well, at least I was able to pick the stinger out of her arm. She is fine now, just nursing it with a cold beer!

We hope to reach the border town of Nogales tomorrow, but if we have to stop an extra night we will in Tuscon.

Just watching the sun set as I type over the mountains outside the motel window. The sky is completely red and pretty as can be.

No pictures as we did not take time to stop anywhere along the route (other than gas stations- and you all know what they look like!)

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