Saturday, October 26, 2013

Driving to Las Vegas

The drive to Vegas reminds me of the last day of school when you were a kid.

Let me explain.

As a kid, the last day of school was actually fun. You got to give back your textbooks, clean out your locker, goof off with your friends, sometimes goof off with your teachers, and really just hang out for a few hours before it was time for summer FRICKIN vacation! If you were given the option of not going on the last day you would obviously take it but you didn’t dread the last day of school.

The ride to Vegas is actually a fun four-hour car ride.  You pick up friends, pillage your bank account of wayyy more money than is responsible, stock up on alcohol, crank up the SiriusXM and really just hang out with friends for a few hours before it is time for Las FUCKING Vegas!

So come along I-15 and enjoy some highlights from the road with 360 Vegas Oasis:

1) Victorville / Barstow

The only reason I know these towns exist is because they are on the way to Las Vegas. They are the type of places that leave you asking “who would ever live here?” You then look up that Victorville’s most famous resident is T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Or is it Barstow??? Even the internet lumps them together!

2) Yermo, CA 

One exit, two great establishments offering trips to the past: 

Yermo, CA: Calico Ghost Town to the West, Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner to the East.

Calico Ghost Town is an authentic Old West Ghost Town that was built in 1881 and kept up as a tourist attraction. I am always struck how small places were built in the past (this goes for Peggy Sue’s as well, by the way) and Calico’s town bar is about the size of my living room (I have a small living room). By the way, Calico is still digging up gold, charging $8 a head to enter and overcharging for food at the town’s three restaurants. 

Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner is an authentic 50s diner with menu items such as a ‘Buddy Holly Bacon Cheeseburger’ and a ‘John Denver Omelet’. The food is reasonably priced and damn good.

3) Baker, CA

Everyone knows (or at least can see) the giant thermometer.

But this strip of road has a variety of tasty restaurants – the Mad Greek a particular favorite – as well as Alien Beef Jerky.

Get the Colon Cleaner Hot Jerky. It will be useful for that Saturday morning hangover.

4) That hill before the Nevada State Line

You know what I am talking about. After Baker you climb and climb and climb and climb and climb this mountain in the Mojave Desert then you come down the other side and see this view.

And what is that city in the distance….

5) Primm, NV

Primm, NV, Formerly known as “State Line, NV”.

Wooo-hooo!!! Vegas baby, right? Wait, what? There is gambling, there is a roller coaster, there is a concert venue but this isn’t Vegas. Although you will be very tempted to stop in Primm, NV, just don’t. Vegas is only 40 miles away.

6) Seeing Vegas in the distance

If it is nighttime you see the Luxor’s light shooting to the sky. If it is daytime you see the Vegas strip just waiting for you to check-in, relax and get ready to gamble, drink, party and eat.

Obviously, you would skip driving to Vegas if you could. But for a four-hour drive it is pretty great.

Just don’t think about the ride back on Sunday.


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