July 22, 2001—Day 17, Las Vegas, Nevada-Los Angeles, California-San Luis Obispo, California

July 22, 2001.

July 22, 2001.

 

There was very little sleep in Las Vegas. Even when Kyle and I we’re asleep we could hear the electrical bings and whizzes of the slot machines. It’s almost as if they created a psychic echo that permeated everyone’s minds within a thirty-mile radius. We left just before the clock turned 6:00 a.m. Kyle was behind the wheel, and since we weren’t on Route 66, I didn’t care how we got to L.A., as long as we got there. Taking Interstate 15, I slept until the stop-and-start of the van in Pasadena traffic woke me up.

Traffic in Los Angeles is worse than you have been told. No one knows how to drive, and since we were there well before the invention of the smart phone, I can say beyond a doubt I will never drive in L.A. Ever. Kyle and I took Magnolia Boulevard and a few other roads to get to Santa Monic Pier, the end of Route 66.

We had failed.

We missed so much of Route 66 that while we were talking to our families on our cell phones, I told my buddy Pete that I would have to take this trip again. Kyle and I spoke to others on the phone for about an hour. I watched people around the pier and took some photos. We got back in the van and agreed that we’d head up to San Francisco.

Kyle wanted to drive Route 101, The Pacific Coast Highway, which offered me a full-blow anxiety attack. All I thought was that we were actually driving on the end of the world, and the van would soon end up at the bottom of the Pacific.

We stopped for the night in San Luis Obispo, California, a quiet community where the waves of the ocean can be heard from almost everywhere, and the air is tanged with the clean taste of the Pacific. We both slept well that night knowing our trip was almost over and we’d soon be on the way home.

Along Route 15, the desert is all around you as a constant reminder to keep going, keep moving. If you don't, you will die out here. July 22, 2001.

Along Interstate 15, the desert is all around you as a constant reminder to keep going, keep moving. If you don’t, you will die out here. July 22, 2001.

 

Young Mexican fishermen cast off the Santa Monica Pier to try to catch today's dinner. July 22, 2001.

Young Mexican fishermen cast off the Santa Monica Pier to try to catch today’s dinner. July 22, 2001.

 

I could only look to the left of the van as we drove along the Pacific Coast Highway. To the right was a cliff edging the end of our continent. July 22, 2001.

I could only look to the left of the van as we drove along the Pacific Coast Highway, at the folded land full of olive trees and vineyards. To the right was a cliff edging the end of our continent. July 22, 2001.

 

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