Mormon Pilgrims named these trees after the hands of Joshua reaching skyward. I guess this once was speaking on behalf of the sierras. Peace to you too, Brosef. (or should that be Broshua?)
Listen to: "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (Sgt Pepper) Beatles.
Death Valley was always one of the destinations I was looking forward to most. And I thought I was prepared. Water, check. Beef jerky, fruit, pb'n'j, Check. Chinese, non-UV protective Aviators, Check. Sunblock... woops! I pushed play on the above mentioned track and began the decent. The plan was to be in Las Vegas by noon, but I hadn't planned how much there was to see or on stopping so often for photos (notice there's a lot of them). Plus I got lost in Furnace Creek, which was odd because there was nothing there.
I began the ascent out once I realized that I was dizzy from the heat and almost out of gas. That was at 11:30 and it was well over 50 degrees in the valley. Luckily it cooled off to a less-preposterous 43 degrees when I got to Death Valley junction up on the plateau. It was a ghost town - there was no gas. If there's one thing you don't want to do in a desert it's be careless with your fluids. I left death valley junction with no water, unsure if i had enough
The little speck there in the middle of the sky is the moon. You can see what I was going for but it's tough to pull it off with a point and shoot.
gas to get to Shoshone and fearing death. Or worse: salvation by one of those trucks with a gun rack and a toothless driver i´d seen around. In the end I made it but as I coasted up to the pump, my engine had just begun to putter out. I guess it was around then that the heat really started to get to me because the rest of the trip was a bit of a blur.
I remember not liking Parumph. There's good reason why the town´s name sounds like an exclamation of disappointment. And that's when I realized that my oil level was dangerously low. So I put in 200 ml. Still too low. 200 more. still too low! 100 more brought it up to the full line. It takes 2.5 total! The slow leak was not so slow anymore.
Disheartened and distraught by this discovery and sure that I'd fried my transmission (jury´s still out on that), i decided to nix my initial plan to head straight into a poker room upon arriving in Vegas. the AC might have done me some good but I was in no state for poker. Instead I headed straight across town to
jump in lake mead. By straight across I mean sort of around. And drowning in traffic and exhaust fumes. By jump in lake mead I mean shower (for the first time in weeks) because you cant get to the freaking lake unless you're putting a boat in or swimming where drunk people are. Of course, the showers were closed...
I´m sure that I already had heat exhaustion at that point, but the setting sun helped me rally enough to mount a second attack on Sin City, by night. Ridign through the desert at Dusk to get back I unzipped my jacket to let the sweat that had been pooling under it´s water-proof liner dry. Once I got into town and waited at my first stop light, cooking on top of the idling motor for what seemed 10 minutes, it was all over.
So it was no surprise that the guy next to me at the blackjack table leaned as far away from me as possible. I stunk. I hand´nt showered since San Francisco. I only put down 20 bucks on a 5$ table so one way or another it was going to be quick. Maybe he should have leaned
The wookie of the arboreal world.
a little closer. Somewhere between the desert-grime and the stink (was there such a place) I seemed to be packing a bit of luck. I won consistently enough to piss off the tough guy sitting on the other side and walked away with 45. Cashed out, passed the bar, the concierge and all the freaking kids - who brings their children to the casino - and was back in the heat. I just about turned right back around but had it in mind to buy a cigar, a couple beers and head back to the campsite to celebrate responsibly. About an hour and a beer later I was passed out on my picknick table. I couldn´t find a cigar.
Tot: 1.412s; Tpl: 0.108s; cc: 13; qc: 51; dbt: 0.0299s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb