Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 111: Pacific Coast Highway to Las Vegas

I awoke in the morning to a beautiful damn view (prior post). The country is so wonderful. As an added bonus, the rains finally subsided. Unfortunately, I would soon find out, it was a little too late. About 30 minutes down the sidewinding Highway 1, I ran into the scene above.

That's right. California's solution to heavy rains on the PCH is to simply shut down the f*cking highway. This is bad news for someone already on a pretty tight schedule. I have two days to get to Las Vegas. I have two days to get to Las Vegas and the g'damn highway south is shut down. I had no choice but to turn around and go back; I looked at a map. About 10 miles past where I slept last night, I could turn on another route to go east to head south...

Unfortunately, that road was closed due to flooding as well. Which meant I had to drive all the way back up to Fort Bragg - 90 switchbacking minutes north - in order to head east and then south. Suffice to say the day did not begin well.

After about nine hours of driving, I arrived in Tulare, south of Fresno; about 5 hours west of Las Vegas. Happy with the cushion I'd given myself and feeling down with things again, I booked a hotel for $38, absolutely inhaled a dinner at Denny's (I hadn't eaten all damn day) and passed out. The following day was going to stink: I had to find a hotel in Las Vegas, pack everything in my "dresser" suitcase for a week in 70 then 40 degree weather in Pennsylvania and then 80s (hopefully still) weather in Florida and then figure out how to get my car to the hotel I booked to park it at for two weeks before getting to the airport by 7am for a 5 hour Christmas Eve flight. My mom texted me when I was about an hour outside of Tulare and asked if I was excited: Ask me again tomorrow, I said exhausted and weary of all the work in front of me to get back to Pennsylvania. The only saving grace is that I had finally drivin out of rain and got to enjoy a  gorgeous drive -by sunset. 

I woke up and headed to Vegas. About an hour outside of the city, I reconsidered where I had booked my car while looking for a hotel for the night. (Since I was too tired to pack my back last night, I had to get a hotel in order to unpack everything so that I could repack the dresser, which required a room.) It was then that I discovered the option of booking a hotel for the night, which then allows you to keep you car parked in their lot for up to 30 days. Mid-drive, I canceled my original parking and rebooked a room at the Best Western outside of the strip, which gave me a room and parking for $115 ($10 cheaper than the original shithole I had booked before, which had me nervous about break-ins). I arrived to another beautiful sunset. And finally a day with zero rain!

I checked into my hotel and did my laundry and packed and unpacked and repacked for about six hours. The hotel room looked like a disaster area. Around 3am, I finally go to sleep. Three hours later, I was up and on my way to the airport, heading home on Christmas Eve...

looking at facebook, seeing everyone with their families on christmas eve
and i'm like...

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