“are these those guys?” i heard a timid, yet confident voice say as i lay in a sleeping bag on nice hotel carpet, somewhere between sleep and awake. My friend from Lynchburg, Keina, had gotten us into their very nice hotel and her male school-mates let us crash in their room. She had previously explained us to them in a way that made us sound much more like rugged, admirable, respectable, adventurers than broke, pseudo-bums, which was really nice because they were all their for a business school event and were all very well dressed… we waited until they were all done rushing around, getting ready to get up and get ready. Keina came in on her way out and gave us a couple of free breakfast tickets, which allowed us to stuff our faces along side much more… wealthy, tourists.
After driving around looking for the newest incarnation of the Zephyr skateshop, and never finding it, we headed East back towards Vegas. We flew past Downtown LA, and saw the Hollywood sign.
e stopped at “the world’s largest thermometer,” which I remember from weekend drives when i was much younger.
The plan was originally to get back to Vegas, put my Jeep in storage and head on to Denver all in the same day, but by the time we got to Vegas, all the storage places were closed so we had to get a hotel room there, which wasn’t too bad.
I took a drive out to find some food and ended up parked in front of my old house. I hadn’t set foot inside for 12 years, had only seen it once since then… and there it was.
Eventually i headed back, watched half of a movie and went to sleep, knowing tomorrow would be a long day…
our hidden car/campsite. Even in a “0 degree” sleeping bag, it was still too cold to sleep very well, and then as soon as it started getting light out, our quiet little end of the road pull-off erupted with revving dirt bikes and ATVs.
There was no one near us when we went to sleep. woke up to pickups as far as the eye could see.
We drove the rest of the way through the park, through a couple small, cool mountain towns, and then down into San Bernadino. This is definitely one of my favorite drives of all time as far a scenery, and the fact that LA lay ahead of us only added to the excitement.
After about two hours of driving we got to Huntington Beach, and, as giddy as school girls, skated to the beach on little penny boards.
later that evening we met up with a long-time friend that also just happened to be in LA that weekend. We explored Venice Beach- saw a seal from the pier, drove around Santa Monica (a place i definitely never thought i’d end up) and checked out Pacific Park.
We were out and on the road before the guy we were leasing from came to get the key. it was a sunny, perfect day. we took one last (very long) drive down the strip then took off down I 15 towards Los Angeles. i’ve probably made the drive two dozen times, when my family lived in Vegas, but have very little memory of it.
i think to appreciate the vastness, the openness, and the appeal of the desert you have to experience it. how conquistadors, natives, pioneers, and gold-seekers crossed these stretches of desert on horses and on foot is beyond me.
I really enjoyed the drive and the scenery. We made a food stop at Barstow Station, which was tourist-tacky and overpriced.. the town itself seems kind of interesting though. coming through and down the mountains on I15 into San Bernadino was an incredible drive, and a big change from sandy desert and black mountains. It too, is something to experience we drove around the Silverwood Lake SRA, until we found a good place to camp. After weeks in Las Vegas, being in freezing mountains with occasional snow was a shock…