Short ride from Primm to Vegas, but not so easy psychologically. Long, straight roads with no one in sight, average speed makes for a lot of time to think and mull. And then Vegas, another strange city.
A long night of sleep helped me get back on the road. Back in the I15 for exactly 20kms/13mi to Jean, then a backside road to Vegas. After the great ride to Baker, I was thinking maybe I could skip one day and go to Vegas directly – but experience proved otherwise. So there was only 60kms/38mis left, a three hours ride.
But long and straight roads seem to take a toll on the mind : there is no clear objective, you don’t feel like moving forward, and there isn’t much around. Probably Kansas will prove even more difficult.
For one long hour I was left alone in my thoughts, wondering what the hell I was doing here ? And the answer came back as a terrifying blank page, or perhaps a dark abyss that would be looking back at me. I think this is why we crave company, or the instant gratification machine that is internet, where you can evade the void. You don’t have to think about your life, its meaning and what you should do or should have done. When I come back with no answer for my presence in the middle of nowhere, I am left with the only option : to keep on going, which may also be a meaning for life, for want of a better one.
This is also why I like to see hilltops or turns in the road : they appear as small steps forward. Up to now I can’t get around the rest of the trip, it’s way too big. I haven’t really done a quarter of it yet, and this one part is easy materially. I see Pueblo, after the Rockies, already as a great achievement. But that’s at least one month from now.
Fortunately the road twists and turns again, and I begin to see the outskirts of Las Vegas. But then the desert is back, and then another part of the city, and again. This is really a strange place. Whole blocks (1 square mile each), or parts of blocks, are left empty. It’s like they don’t care about distance here either, but they don’t have enough people to populate it. All that’s left are shopping centers, a couple of miles apart, like in a bad Sim City layout.
When I arrived, I had a few errands to run, notably finding another spare tube. I didn’t want to search for one hour for a sports shop like I did in LA, so I went directly to the nearest Sports Chalet. Distance : 10kms/6mis ! And of course, no straight street from here to there. But I indeed found everything I wanted, and had the chance to finally experience a Walmart ! Not as classy as Ralph’s or Target, but certainly bigger. I also awarded myself the Nevada flag 🙂
I’m not sure I’ll go out tonight, as I’ll stay in central LV tomorrow as well. Then I will be back on the road to avoid the return of crushing heat.