Instead of flying out of Oakland, California, I had decided to drive. Ok, you’re probably asking why?
Here’s why. I’m not a big fan of airplanes. To be honest, I pretty much despise them. Maybe it’s a control thing - or it’s the thought of dropping 40,000 feet.
Anyway, I drove.
And drove some more.
A total of eight hours on the road. To those who aren’t familiar with the particulars of the drive, here it is.
Interstate 5 (or State Highway 5, better yet dullway five) is one long road with nothing to see. Ok, there are numerous trucks present. But, all they do is clog up the motorway.
The posted speed limit is 70 miles per hour. If you drive 70, you’ll likely to be pushed off the freeway.
The average pace is closer to 90. I won’t get into my rate of speed, except to say that 100 feels like 70.
After passing through Bakersfield, California the route to Las Vegas leads to Highway 58. Did you hear the drum roll?
Highway 58 is pretty creepy. The thoroughfare cuts through the Sierra Nevada. Ominous mountains surround the road for miles. Some are dark and foreboding.
Others are happier looking. The dark ones cast a huge shadow - extending out to the road.
The Mojave Desert looks like something out of a Science Fiction film. I counted 10 dilapidated homes.
Some of the houses were boarded up - with some subtle signs of life.
Others weren’t so lucky. A motel sign, beaten up but still beckoning, wobbles in the wind.
The economy had apparently hit this area hard.
I pulled off the highway (nature was calling) and after finishing my business, took in my surroundings.
Near me was another abandoned building. I could see something that might have been a tree. A piece of sheet, connected to the old home, flapped in the wind. The roadway sounds echoed like an old-time boom box.
Yep, a science fiction film.
It comes as a relief when the neon lights of Las Vegas appear. The contrast of what lies behind me is impossible to ignore.
There is no wealth but life.
John J. Raspanti responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to John at: firstname.lastname@example.org