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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Into the Desert

US TRAVELS: THE WEST
DAY 13: SAN DIEGO, CA TO SALT LAKE CITY, UT


I woke up early to get cleaned up and the rest of my things packed into the car. I decided to take a quick stroll along the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, the second longest pier on the West Coast that extends 1,971 feet into the ocean.

Credit: Melissa Lehuta
Credit: Melissa Lehuta

This pier was built in 1966 and even though it may be a popular tourist attraction it serves a dual-purpose for locals as well to be able to fish without a license and not have to worry about their lines getting caught up on the plant life and rocks near shore.


Credit: Melissa Lehuta
Credit: Melissa Lehuta

As I walked along the pier, I noticed the sides lined with fishermen, many pulling their catches in and cleaning them on the spot. There is a cafe about half-way down the pier but didn't look all that exciting. I couldn't check it out anyway since technically dogs aren't allowed on the pier (which I hadn't noticed until already half-way down the pier) and did my best to quickly check out the pier before getting reprimanded.
Credit: Melissa Lehuta
Credit: Melissa Lehuta





I drove through the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego on my way out which seemed very cute but I had a long way to travel and it was getting late in the day. I took my journey toward Las Vegas, Nevada via Highway 15 where the temperatures soared to over 100 degrees. The highway was elusive with its "stops" along the way and where you think you might be able to fill up your tank or get some water. Whole towns were abandoned. I even spotted an amusement park that had been deserted, rides covered in graffeti and cacti growing in between them.

Credit: Melissa Lehuta
Credit: Melissa Lehuta

This is a dangerous combination when your A/C is cranked up and gas stations are few and far between. I managed to keep my tank full and continued to wet Sebastian down with water so he didn't overheat. We made it to Las Vegas and drove around a bit. It was a bit of a dirty town as expected. Every billboard was filled with gentleman clubs, strip clubs, hooters or topless bar advertisements with your occasional beef jerky advertisement (random...). Apparently Vegas loves their naked women and beef jerky.

When I got downtown I was surprised to see families and all sorts of people enjoying the many different casinos and restaurants and decided that it may be a place I'd like to check out myself at some point (but maybe with some company instead of by myself).

One of my dreams has always been to go to the Grand Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, Lake Mead, Bryce Canyon National Park and Cathedral Gorge but with the temperatures where they are at the moment and having Sebastian with me, it doesn't seem like a plausible activity right now. I'll have to make a trip of it some other time. 

I continued on to Salt Lake City, Utah through high winds, thunder and lightning storms and occasional rain and made it about 2 hours away from the city. Being too tired to drive, I crashed outside of a gas station and slept in the car. The temperature had dropped from 97 degrees (this is after the sun had gone down) in Nevada to the mid-60's in Utah and it was a much needed break from the heat.

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