The first few miles out of Flagstaff are most pleasant as the altitude means that there are trees. Start descending, though and it's back to desert. A tedious run on I-40 (once I'd found it; the signposters of Flagstaff need to pull their fingers out in this regard) to Kingman. A tedious run up US-93 to the Hoover Dam.
A word or two about the Hoover Dam. It was built in the 1930s by a Bad Man, at the behest of President Roosevelt - the pinko one, not the one who hunted bears - and generates a metric fuckton of electricity and holds back a lot of water. This has enable Las Vegas to transform itself from a small, sleazy oasis in the Nevada desert into a big sleazy oasis in the Nevada desert.
|A The Hoover Dam, in 2004|
Anyway, just downstream of the dam They have built a new bridge, yclept the Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. Mr O'Callaghan was a former Governor of Nevada, and need not concern us further. Mr Tillman was a professional "footballer" in the NFL until shortly after 9/11, when he forsook a multi-million dollar contract and joined the US Army. In 2004 he was killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan, a fact which the US military took great pains to cover up. So in other words, you have a bridge named for a victim of the Wa on Terror slap next door to what is apparently a prime terrorist target. Who says the Americans don't do irony, eh?
Back to the trip. A downright horrible crossing of Las Vegas. A tedious run up NV-160 to Pahrump, which sounds like a vulgar noise and probably explains why cast members of CSI are "working a case in Pahrump" when the actor is on holibobs or something. A slightly less tedious run down to DETH Valley Junction and thence into DETH Valley itself. Back in the old days the entrances to DETH Valley were manned by jolly types with big hats, but ruthless spending cuts have seen them replaced by a Machine. I approach the Machine, press the right buttons and feed it twenty dollars, in return for which it gave me fuck-all. I let the German lads next in the queue have a go; it declined to accept the existence of their credit card. So we buggered off, them without paying and me having paid but being unable to prove it.
|In DETH Valley. A bit of a contrast to yesterday.|
|An abandoned knocking shop, yesterday|
- Turns left, and
- Changes its name to CA-168, and
- Goes mental
Curious thing seen on the road: the coppers letting loads of Real Villains past their checkpoint in order to stop and search Me. Bastards.