08 5 / 2012
I miss that feeling when the late-afternoon sunlight is flooding the desert and you’ve just flown past a sign warning, “last gas for 100 miles” with a quarter of a tank left, and you’re with your sister and you’re singing along to that band that changed your life in high school, and you know you’ll never catch up to the horizon, try as you might.
That’s the type of moment I live for.
06 1 / 2012
30 8 / 2011
30 8 / 2011
Okay, resuming my road trip story. Links to the first 3 parts (days 1-4, Buffalo to Arches National Park) are at the bottom.
After having an amazing day in Arches, we left early the next morning to drive 12 hours to our campground on June Lake, near Yosemite National Park in CA. We drove for hours through the desert. Utah was fairly interesting, with it’s sandstone cliffs and rock formations. As during our drive to Arches from Denver, there were tons of “vista point” pull-offs, but we managed to resist the temptation to stop, and just enjoyed the views from the car — we didn’t have time to stop if we wanted to set up camp before dark!
The drive through Nevada, which took a veerrry long time, was incredibly boring. While we were driving through Nebraska a few days before, I kept thinking “wow, it’s so flat here. I can see for miles. Hey guys, let’s listen to I Can See For Miles!” I didn’t know what flatness WAS until we got to Nevada. Holy fuck man, the road stretched on, straight as an arrow, for 10-15 mile stretches before it had to curve for some reason.And it was just so desolate. We could drive so far without seeing any sign of life, any towns. We hardly ever had to pass another car. Such a nice change from driving in NY, where I’m constantly having to change lanes on the thruway to pass people and let others by!
I was struck by how empty Nevada is of people. We saw so few cars, so few towns of any size. I kept seeing signs for Tonopah like it was a big deal(‘Tonopah 120 miles,’ ‘Tonopah 50 miles’) and I thought, “hooray, finally a city!” It turned out to be a little Old West mining town with a population much smaller than that of my suburban hometown. That’s Nevada for you.
Probably the best/most hilarious thing that happened on this drive was passing a sign informing us that we were entering the Toiyabe National Forest. I was driving and Ashley was in the passenger seat (Kylie was asleep in the back) and we just looked at each other and burst out laughing. There were no trees as far as the eye could see! There were no plants over the hight of 2 ft! Over the next 10 miles or so, we saw one plant that could reasonably be considered a tree. Apparently one tree constitutes a forest in Nevada?
We were SO excited when we finally reached California. For one thing, we were psyched to leave Nevada behind, but also WE WERE IN CALIFORNIA! We pulled over to take a picture of the “welcome to California” sign, and laughed about it being riddled with bullet holes! Back in the car, we blasted every song we had on our ipods with ‘California’ in the title (California Sun/Ramones, Hotel California/Eagles, Going to California/Led Zeppelin, California/Phantom Planet, Dani California/Red Hot Chili Peppers, California/Rufus Wainwright). It was such a fun drive! The road went over all these little parallel hills and my sister drove fast enough that we had that little “wee!” roller coaster feeling at the top of each of them.
We finally reached our campground around 7:00 and got our tent set up before dark. We ended up having to cook dinner (Velveeta mac n cheese, mmm!) in the dark, but that wasn’t so bad. We had a fairly early night, and the next morning we packed up and continued on to Yosemite!
Part 1 (days 1-2)
Part 2 (day 3)
Part 3 (day 4)