There isn’t much to see in Nevada north of Las Vegas. Desert spreads far and wide on the slopes of craggy mountains. It swallows up little towns.
We got a very late start to our driving yesterday, but it was worth it. I got to spend extra time with my family and see an old childhood friend for coffee.
Will drove us out of the urban sprawl and into the nothing. Nevada is one of those huge, empty places that remind you of how spread out the western United States are. People living here sometimes have to drive 80 miles or more just for gasoline.
We passed a number of military installations, including Creech Air Force Base, where the Predator drone program is housed, and a wide valley filled with hundreds of small bunkers near the tiny town of Hawthorne (where gas can run you $4.19 a gallon – it’s like they’re stuck in the year 2008).
We stared in awe of Walker Lake, a vast inland sea nestled in the most barren terrain imaginable. We trucked through the farming towns around Reno, peering into lit windows and smelling cows we couldn’t see. Out of the inky blackness, we glimpsed a meteor shower.
We finally rolled into Susanville around 1 am, having survived a California inspection and successfully bargaining (begging?) for the last room at the local Super 8 motel.
We are now ten hours closer to my new home. It’s all starting to feel real. From here, there is no safe harbor until we reach Tacoma. 787 miles down. 590 miles to go.
Jonny Eberle is a writer on the move from Flagstaff, AZ to Tacoma, WA. Follow the journey here and on Twitter.