Thursday, February 11, 2010

Road trip, end of day 1

I got off to a rocky start today. The rental car reservation I made turned out to be at a rental car agency that didn't want me to drive the car outside California. Hey, maybe that's why the 10-day rental fee was so cheap! So I made my way to the main rental car terminal of San Francisco airport, courtesy of the first agency's courtesy clerk. He kept up an entertaining New York-ish patter about how his van didn't have the right kind of license to drop off and pick up passengers at the airport, he was only supposed to take people to and from the on-airport rental car center, but he didn't want anyone to miss their flight and maybe we could give him $5 each since he could lose his job if he got ticketed for doing it. We all gave him $5, he didn't get a ticket, everyone was presumably happy. Except I had to pay three times as much for a real unlimited-mileage rental car.

Slowed by this event, I didn't get out of the city until 11:00 a.m. But I still made it all the way across California and Nevada today. Taking Interstate 80 all the way, over the Sierras and through the high desert of Nevada. The strange thing about Nevada is that the borders look just terrible. Anybody who has seen only Reno-Sparks probably thinks Nevada really looks terrible. But the high desert is beautiful.

Then when I arrived in Wendover, the impression it gives at night is of a casino at the bottom of a strip mine. There are these bare rock cliffs -- that's all you can see. I hope it looks a little better tomorrow, but so far it's giving Reno a run for its money.

Most fortunately, the road was dry, and once you get into Nevada, practically no traffic and a 75 mph speed limit. So I made up some time.

I will now go blow $20 in a casino. That's my limit for Nevada.

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