Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 1 Bay Area to Elko, Nevada

First day on the road, no more theoretical map and internet planning, this is the real world baby! Invigorated by the start of my adventure I clocked in 500 miles and cruised into Elko, Nevada fresh as a daisy. I could have easily driven another 2 hours but decided to pace myself. I am armed with lots of music and audio books, a few thoughts making this a modern cross across America. It is a big wide country and it changes at every turn (I probably won’t say that about Iowa and Nebraska) but this first leg was visually beautiful.
Left the Bay Area at 6:30 am and arrived in Elko, Nevada at 3:30 Moving at a leisurly pace, the Prius zipping at 42 mpg through Sacramento, the Tahoe National wilderness area, Reno, lunch at a casino in Sparks Nevada, the desert and into Elko for the night. Heavy rainfall at times dark skies made for a some drama but nothing too bad. The light was beautiful with deeply foreboding dark skies making the video I shot from the car dramatic. A surreal feeling came over me. Was I doing this? A once in a lifetime journey. How amazing humans are, in a vehicle moving at 70mph over the land. Truly supernatural creatures we are. Sometimes. A coyote crossed my path as it loped across I-80. A small truck flipped into a total wreck maybe half hour before I drove by. The cops surveying the scene. Must’ve lost control in the heavy downpour. Going too fast.

Arrived at my motel that I had my internet reservation in. Trouble with the internet is it isn’t real. I arrived at the Rodeway Inn and had a bad feeling immediately. I thought of Bob Dylans song,’Trust Yourself’ as the motel looked a little raspy and on a main drag. I cancelled that reservation and found a much nicer safer place for less money. Elko has lots of hotel and motel space. There are Casinos and fast food places galore. Later as I cruised the town after dinner I whizzed by the cancelled motel where I noticed the parking lot was FILLED with heavy choppers. phew. One needs street sense and clarity when “On The Road.”

Heard about the Basque food here so I walked into a basque restaurant for dinner. All i had was the side dishes (6 of them-salad, potatoes, soup, beans, string beans) and it was quite sufficient for cheap. It’s family style and I had ‘dinner’ with an interesting couple. one lives in Elko and is going to Tikrit, Iraq next week. He works for KBR and was quick to point out the new casino in town. He also suggested I try out the cat houses while I was here.Prostitution is legal here. . To each his own, not for me.. Highlight of the day- the Nevada desert,the light.
Tomorrow, its on to wyoming, hopefully Saratoga Hot Springs. 469 miles.