Nevada High Desert Run (Part 3)

Breaking out onto the road, I powered onwards to my next checkpoint: Tonopah, NV. I remember traveling in the opposite direction, two years ago, after sixteen hours straight on the road. My heart was palpitating, so mentally clocked out from the fatigue that I couldn't remember that I was starving and that I had bought food less than twenty minutes ago for that exact problem. That was the must brutal, punishing hours I've ever faced on the road, but I like to think I'm wiser for it.

It was...different to look at it with a clearer mind, when I'm able to focus on more than one thing at a time, and have all the time in the world to finish this journey because I didn't place arbirary carrots in front of myself to spurr me past the fatigue. It's still standard fare Nevada desert for miles upon miles unbroken in either direction, don't get me wrong, but this time I was able to appreciate the desert beauty. There's something comforting about being in a car that's at a comfy 76 degrees when you know it's 104 outside. I like to think it's the safety and comfort of being in a vehicle while it dutifuly whisks you along the way, in an environment where if left to your own devices you stand a very real chance of dehydration, heatstroke--and death--in a matter of hours.

I continued trying to understand the highlights and sensations this car gives. There’s a rich, subdued tenor to it, and it tries it’s best to make you feel that everything is effortless. Coupled with a cabin so isolated from the road you’d swear you’re in a sensory deprivation chamber, you’ll find yourself in the centennial club just quick enough to stab the brakes.

In the braking department it does quite well, particularly frustrating a highwayman just outside Goldfield, NV when the limit jumps from 70 to 45—then 25 and car managed to dip into family-friendly digits. I always wondered why Highway Patrol always rock mirrored aviator specs, and now I know one reason—it hides the impotent rage filled in their eyes as a close-call awkwardly rolls past them.

By the time I approached Tonopah, NV, I was running out of steam, so I took a quick power nap on the one ice chain/snow tire installation shoulder that didn’t have a sign inviting any passing highwaymen to legally volunteer my wallet towards supporting the County police force.

I rolled into a gas station, where the car had it’s second fill, after which I started looking for my own. I was absolutely guttered and crestfallen to see that the McDonald’s I so fondly used as my checkpoint in Tonopah was no longer in operation.

Typical; I leave for just two years and look what happens.

After wrestling the obdurate tyranny of Mercedes’ COMAND sat nav to set my route, I started driving around looking for a place to eat. It seems all the usual drive thru are shut down in this area, so I rolled into some local place called Cisco's Restaurant for a quick bite. Something told me I probably should think twice about eating here, but the folks that run the place were nice enough. There was only this kid in a Volvo T5 in front of me, so service was pretty quick.

Had to park in the dirt. For some reason this concerned me more than usual.

Both driver and machine energized, it was time to hit the road again.