To Las Vegas and Beyond!

The day has finally come for us to leave California. We have been ‘free-loading’  at Marlene’s parents’ house since we sold and moved away from our last home. Almost 40 days later, we have tied up all loose ends and prepared one last BBQ before heading out.

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As usual, we prefer to drive at night time, especially in the Los Angeles area. We are able to get many more miles in before there is a need to stop. Since all of the roads we are taking are familiar to us, it is much easier this way. It took us all day to pack up everything we have had scattered around the house into the Airstream and the van. Once the kids were in their pajamas and car seats, we bid farewell to California and headed out.

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We have driven through a lot of roads in this country and I would have to say that the roads in Southern California have to be the worst. There are pot holes, bumps and erosion on practically every freeway until you get a good ways out onto I-15. Once you get away from the populated areas, the roads completely smooth out for the entire way to Las Vegas.

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On our last cross country trip, we drove exactly 10,559.5 miles as according to our GPS. Just before we left the house, I reset the trip meter once again. I am guessing this trip is going to be a good deal longer but we shall see.

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We made it about 200 miles out and pulled into a dirt lot in Baker, CA for the night in between some big rigs. Some people are uneasy about boondocking with truckers but we actually kind of like it. They pretty much keep to themselves and give us some safety in numbers as opposed to being in a Walmart parking lot by ourselves.

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Bright and early the next day, we ate a quick breakfast and continued the final 80 miles towards Sin City. The weather has definitely gotten warmer and the van is feeling the heat, especially on some of the longer hill climbs.

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With Luka on this trip, we had to do some reconfiguration of the seats. Instead of putting someone all the way in the third row, we installed another captains chair in the middle of the existing 4 seats.

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This worked out quite well during this first drive. When he got a little fussy, we were able to calm him down a bit without having to pull to the side of the road.

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As we left California for the last time this year, we pulled off into the border casino town of Primm, Nevada for a short break and to fill up on diesel. Before you look at this next photo, don’t be alarmed as it looks much worse than it was.

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The desert heat always gets one of our kids. The low humidity often sets off bloody noses as the dry, hot air rushes into the air-conditioned interior. When we open the sliding door, we saw that Mila had gotten blood all over herself. Don’t call the CPS, she did not pass out from a heroin overdose. She has just fallen asleep while picking a winner with her finger.

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When we got into Las Vegas, our plan was to stay at a casino/hotel to take advantage of their cheap mid-week rates and to get some good food and warm weather swimming in at the pool. Being that the weather is in the triple digits almost everyday, we couldn’t just leave our cat Yoda in the Airstream. We had to find a cat kennel to board her for the week. We decided to board her at the local PetSmart for $18 a night. That is more than half the price of our nightly hotel rate for 5 humans. Ouch, I guess pets don’t gamble enough for them to subsidize their rates.

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Here is how the girls started the week. In 5 days, they will be black.

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Luka is still too young to enjoy the water but it sure looks like he is already having a good time sitting pool-side.

Hotel aquarium.

We met up with our old friends who also drove out from Southern California. It’s going to be a nice relaxing week before we head out Friday afternoon for the mountains of Utah.

Mila and Cole holding hands.

Time to hit up the buffet.

over and out,
dan