[This first part actually happened at the end of Arizon]
There’s not a whole lot to say about Nevada. We spent less than 24 hours there. Las Vegas was a reasonable stopping point between the Grand Canyon and San Diego and Aaron had an old friend from high school, Joe, to meet with there, so we went for the night.
Before we could get there, though, we had to pass through a rather large storm. A lady I spoke to at an ATV store claimed that she’d been living in Vegas for 40 years and it was definitely the biggest one she’d seen in at least 32.
Aaron and I joke about how where Aaron goes, abnormal weather follows. When he visited me in South Korea, they got more snow in the night he arrived than they’d had in the previous 100 years. We went snowboarding the next day.
The sky was split pretty crisply with clear and stormy black. The moment we entered we could feel the dampness in the air. We drove for a few miles before we could really start feeling the wind trying to push us over and the rain came pouring down. After another couple miles, we saw cars pulled over to the side and we were driving steadily through a couple inches of water at some points. At the very worst point, we slowed down a bit, but we never stopped.
The worst thing about the storm wasn’t how the water soaked into my boots or how the rain obscured vision to a point of blindness at some points. The worst thing was definitely how the huge raindrops came down like overly maleable bullets, making me feel like an unfortunate Rambo villian. I remember screaming at the sky like Lt. Dan and thanking God when the rain finally let up. You know the feeling you get when a limb falls asleep and you try to get the blood back in there? It’s kind of like that, but more painful and I didn’t have the reassurance that it would be over as quickly.
The end of the storm came as a curtain. We passed under thick, dark clouds that seemed to be a solid, tangeable roof only about 50 feet above us. When we passed under the clouds, the sky opened up and the sun was waiting for us.
Finally things weren’t so bad. We were finally leaving Arizona. To herald the leaving of that cold and desolate state, there was a rainbow and the road signs started mentioning the Hoover Dam.
We both have always wanted to see the Dam. We didn’t necessarily have to have the Dam tour, but it’s referenced enough in movies and we expected something big. Turns out, the Hoover Dam is big. We drove around it, had our fill, and rode on to Las Vegas.
Aaron and I have heard a lot of things about Vegas, but we’d never been there. Of everything we heard, we only had two things in mind on arrival: eating as much as we could at ridiculously cheap buffet and cruising the strip at night on our muddy enduros. Joe was happy to facilitate these and we ended the night well fed and happy.
All said and done, there was only one major flaw to our time in Nevada. While we were out eating our fill at a buffet, my phone sat back at the house trying to eat its fill of rice (or whatever it is that electronics do with the rice to make them work again after they’re water damaged). Aaron, trying to do me a favor, picked up the coveralls and tossed them in the laundry. An act that is normally appreciated thus destroyed my phone. It wasn’t a very smart phone, however, and because I was leaving the country soon and couldn’t use it anyways, I shrugged the loss off and we headed towards California late the next morning after picking up a few extra parts at a Suzuki dealership.