ryan.sandridge.org

Arizona & Nevada

After my adventure in White Sands, I drove to Las Cruces to spend the night. Thursday morning I woke up, caught up on email, discovered that all my pictures from White Sands were taken at 1600 ISO, and had tons of noise. I was too discouraged to even spend the time to upload those pictures, so instead I set out on my day.

Dad was interested in knowing what Las Cruces was about, as he is considering it as a place to retire. I did some driving around the city. It seemed nice enough, although he may need to learn Spanish to live there. I needed to get on the road if I was going to arrive in Apache Junction at a reasonable hour, but I still needed to eat. I've never eaten at a Sonic, so decided it was as good as anytime to try it. I really can't say I was impressed. It tasted like greasy fast food, which is what it is of course. Maybe the whole drive-in aspect of it would be more fun with company, but sitting in a car by yourself eating a greasy cheeseburger wasn't much fun at all.

I didn't really have time to see anything along the way to Apache Junction. I did stop along the road on US 70 about 10 miles east of the Arizona border. There was nothing there, but I enjoyed the complete isolation. I timed how long it took for another car to drive by, and it took almost 10 minutes before a car came along. I could scream as loud as I could, and there was no echo of any kind, as the mountains were so far away, and there was nothing for the sound to bounce off of. I can't be certain, but I think I could see down the road at least 15 miles, probably much further.

After my break on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, I proceeded west on US 70, going 75 mph (which I thought was the speed limit). Just a couple miles before entering Arizona, I got pulled over by a local sheriff for the first (and hopefully last) time on this trip for speeding. He was very friendly, and he was very interested in my road trip. He let me off with a warning, which is a first for me. It really shoots holes in my theory that only women get away with a warning for speeding; AND my theory that cops never miss an opportunity to ticket a car with out of state tags.

I arrived in Apache Junction to visit my cousin Cheryl and her husband Jesse. They prepared a very tasty meal, and we ate outside. I am fortunate to be seeing Arizona at this time of the year. The weather is perfect. It isn't too hot, and the nights are a little chilly, but not too cold. I could fall in love with living out here, but the thought of how hot the summers are keeps me from thinking too seriously about it.

Friday we dropped my car off for scheduled service, and set out for Las Vegas. Cheryl has a friend who lives there, and we were going to visit with him and go to the Vegoose Festival. We ate dinner at Battista's Hole in the Wall, which was very good, and you get unlimited free house wine! We then met up with Cheryl's friends Keith and Drexel at House of Blues in the Mandalay Bay Casino to see Keller Williams. I think all of us were a little disappointed with Keller's show. There is no doubt he has a lot of talent, but instead of performing with a band, he was on stage with a bunch of guitars, and he'd play something on one, loop it, then add to it with another. Kind of neat at first, but it got old, and many of his songs dragged on longer than I think they should have. We stayed at the Aruba Hotel & Spa, which was OK, but I'd probably not stay there again.

Saturday we had a failed attempt at a champagne brunch, ended up eating mexican, then headed to the festival. We missed the beginning, as always seems to be the case with these festivals. We arrived during Medeski Martin & Wood with Maceo Parker. I then headed over to see The Raconteurs, whose show I arrived in the middle of at the Virgin Festival. I had to split my time next between Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and The Keller Williams Incident (which was much better than seeing Keller's solo show the night before). Then there was a little Black Crowes, a little of The Killers, and finally Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. I could bore you with details on all these performances, but I'm not going to. I wasn't really disappointed with any of these performances, and some were really good. I'd say my favorite was The Raconteurs.

This was the 2nd year for Vegoose, a two day music festival, and I thought it was lots of fun, and I hope to come again next year. We only attended Saturday, and if I do come again, I'll have to pace myself better, and sit a lot more if I'm to make both days. In addition to all the music, there were lots of arts and crafts and food tents. I bought a shirt from Intertwinded Designs. And what a great weekend to visit Vegas, with all the freaks out for Halloween. Who's coming with me next year?

Monday Cheryl and I picked up my car, and had a fantastic meal at Sautee, and went for a walk at sunset. Zippy came along on the walk and chased rabbits. The hike wasn't trivial, or I'm really getting old. We were hurrying so that I could get some photographs of the sunset, and I kept having to pause to catch my breath! Later in the evening, Jesse introduced me to the movie Bubba Ho-tep, which was very bizarre but funny. I'm going to have to watch it again though when I'm not so tired.

Tuesday I had big plans of getting an early start and getting to Joshua Tree National Park in time to camp. But, I had a lot more stuff to do before I was ready to go than I expected. I also went on one more walk with the Cheryl and the dogs. When I finally did leave, I headed straight for a free wireless hotspot, so I could research the candidates on my absentee ballot. I ended up at Into The Bean, which had decent coffee, but the wireless was slower than dial-up. So I packed it up and went to a Schlotzsky's for some lunch and to see if their Internet was faster. It wasn't. I ended up wasting about 3 hours on this, and it became evident that I wasn't going to make it to Joshua Tree in time. I ended up booking a room at the 29 Palms Inn, which I'll tell you all about next time...

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Bubba Ho-tep
You know Brian Irwin and you had not been introduced to that film? What is the world coming to? I thought he made everyone he knew watch it at least once :) Adam, November 02, 2006 08:04

Those are the facts indeed.
Those are the facts indeed. I do know Brian Irwin. I don't recall ever hearing him mention the film. Perhaps I should feel insulted. Ryan, November 07, 2006 10:12