“But our trip was different. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country-but only for those with true grit. And we were chock full of that.”
~Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
You want to feel like a high roller? Ride your loaded bike down the Las Vegas strip, through the casino at the Riv and walk up to the desk, covered in grease and grime from changing a couple of flats on the side of the I-15. Ask for a room and see what kind of reaction you get.
In Vegas, you can put on your best suit and gel your hair and go to the ATM and take out loads of money and chest bump your buddies at the craps table and you will be one of a million. What people really appreciate in Vegas are the weirdoes. The guy in bare feet doing the Mexican Hat Dance in front of the Bellagio. The man and woman fisticuffing over a Whopper inside of the Largest Gift Shop in America. The dude loudly arguing with himself all the way down the strip. For one night, I was one of them. Riding a bike that weighed 100 pounds into town, sporting spandex and a thick coat of desert dust and bike grease. Even the weirdoes looked at me and said, Man, that guy’s an idiot.
Once I had made it to the end of Utah, I realized that I had yet to map out the end of the tour. After spending too much time in the cold over the past few weeks, I decided to finish in Southern California rather than San Francisco. So I rode interstate from St. George, UT down to Vegas. I could have continued South and had a quick finish to this adventure, but that’s not how I wanted it to end. I headed West, up and over the difficult climb of the Mountain Springs Pass and into Pahrump, NV. Tomorrow, I will be headed into Death Valley for two days. On day 2, I will have one of the toughest climb of the trip in Towne Pass. From 0 to 5,000 in elevation. Unforgiving grades. It’s time for one last big challenge. 500 miles and 6 days left. Here we go.