Saturday, September 24, 2011

DAY 3 Solo Drive Spartanburg, SC. to Los Angeles, CA.

** I thought I posted this awhile ago, but I only left it as a draft**

All right so this is the last entry in the solo road trip. I might have taken  a couple of extra days to write this, but my brain is still fried from the whole ordeal. 

OK here we go.

DAY 3:  790 Miles - 8/17/2011

OK so it's the 3rd and final day of my drive. I can finally get a good night sleep, in my own bed, in my own town. Not that there is anything wrong with any of the places I've traveled threw, but there is nothing better the going home.

At least my apartment in Toluca Lake, CA, will do for now.

So, like every other day I hit the road, the weather is nice, and not to hot...YET.  Oh a Starbucks,..haha must stop need my Iced Mocha.

Then the thing I need to do is get gas so I cruise along what is Rt. 40 which was part of the old & famous Rt. 66, well at least it is in this part. The crazy part about some desert cities, is that once you exit them, with their traffic, and hustle and bustle you are still in a desert. I did how ever see something cool, a water slide coming out of a building. This is the Radisson Hotel Water Park, damn I should have stayed their instead of the Haunted Hooker Motel 6. But what are you gonna do. Oh not my photo because I didn't think of taking one at the time.

Well over the hill and into the desert I go, and there is a gas station. I fill up and there is nothing around this place except desert, to the north of the gas station. But to the south makes me think him maybe I'll take a break for a few seconds.

There's an Indian Casino across the street, The ROUTE 66 HOTEL CASINO, well I have to use the bathroom anyway, so why not. It was pretty cool and pretty small casino, compared to let's say,..I don't know,..LAS VEGAS. All the machines were pretty much 1, 5, 25, 50 cent games. I must say there were more employees than customers inside. But it must be a hopping place because Melissa Ethridge has a show coming soon, so there you go.

The one game that was cool and it gave me my video game fix, was a game called  Two-Minute Warning. I have never seen this game before ever and is pretty much a Madden style video game were you pick a play to score a touchdown with only 2 minutes to play. As you make completed play that you call, you win money In the long run I broke even, but it was still cool. I think I may have actually been a quarter up, when I left.

Back in the car I grinned at my new found wealth and got the hell out of there before the tax man catches up with me.

Well I drove for hours and hours and entered Arizona and drove more hours then I started to see trees, I must be near Flagstaff. Beautiful town Flagstaff i,s the cool air and, tall pine trees, so I stopped to eat. Now I have never eaten at a Sonic Burgers, everybody raves about it so I stopped. There was only one problem, it had car service and all the outside seats were taken. The last thing I wanted to do was sit in the car and eat after driving what felt like 7 hours, so I went to the old stand by Burger King.

After relaxing for a bit, I filled up the tank and hit the road for the last time.

As I left the high altitude of Flagstaff the heat set in big time. Desert everywhere, and nothing to see for miles, except an abandoned weathers buildings here and there. By the time you hit the California border everything looks like the photo on the left.

And this photo does not do the desolate terrain any justice.

You try to imagine if anyone or anything lives out there. Without a cloud in the sky the unbearable heat and emptiness is mind boggling.

As I continued to drive the road got longer and the sun got hotter, when I found a place to stop I thought that when I got out of the car, I was sure my shadow was going to burst into flames. I bought some ice for the cooler and once more drove on. Now every tells you to not drink sugary liquids when it's hot outside, and this section of desert is the perfect example. Thank god I bought a case of water at he last stop, because you could have just kept and open faucet going into my mouth. That how quickly you dehydrate out here. While the car did have air conditioning, I refused to use it, because if for some god awful reason I break down out here I am fucked. Excuse the language, but unless you driven through here in late August you have no idea what its like.

Imagine being a tiny tiny little creature, trying to cross a teflon coated frying pan that is set on low, that's it. Because if you think about it there are mountains all around you in the distance, so it really is a sick demented gigantic frying pan.

As the sun started to slowly set, I thanked the gods above. You could actually see it setting but there was another problem. The sun was setting in the west,.. duh, and I was driving west. The sun was getting lower and lower, then, I swear to god it stopped, right in my eyes. I didn't really but it sure felt like it. Sunglasses did not help, you can't even see the raod that's how bad it is.

No shade anywhere, except when I lucky enough to drive along side an 18-wheeler, which were far and few between. I guess the truckers and myself are the only ones crazy enough to do this, but at least the truckers are getting paid.

Well I guess this is where the story comes to a close, because before I got down into Los Angeles County the driving continued on like the two paragraphs above. Between Flagstaff to Victorville is a vast empty mess.

I finally got home, took a shower and I realized that I did bring something home with me to remember the past 3 days, Sunburn on my left knee. So I cracked open a beer sat down and put my legs up and took a photo of it to share with the world, so excuse the beer can ring, but it felt really good.

So what have I learned from this experience?

1. Next time bring someone with you so you won't go insane.

2. Do not drive through the desert during the hottest time of the summer.

3. The northern route across America is much prettier to look at.

One other quick note, it sucks that gas prices have risen so much over the past 10 years, driving across the country is a wonderful thing that everyone needs to experience. Years ago maybe 15 or so, I drove cross country and if my memory serves my right it cost about $180 round trip and for a plane around $360, and for this time it cost about $600 to drive, but for a plane $420.

So it's unfortunate that it's cheaper to see this beautiful country from 10,000 feet, then to see it from where you should, on your "own" two feet.

Good night, and enjoy the veal

(9/24/2011 My left knee, at this moment has a nice tan)