Nevada High Desert Run (Part 4)

Under the militant gaze of a marauding Californian condor, I broke into US 6/95 at high noon for new territory, escorted by twisting dust devils that threatened to outflank me from either side of the road.

Free Condor Flying Over a Blue Sky  Stock Photo

Out in the distance, the desert sun blazed through naked sky and made the road a shimmering blur, heat waves boiling up and spilling across the surface. I remembered the condor and wondered how on earth any species can go about it's business in this heat without being dehydrated to extinction by the despot up in the sky.

Not a single part of me believed I was anywhere near California, a state known for it's beautiful weather and breathtaking beaches, and yet as the Merc stormed down the searing asphalt, the truth became self evident.

First, I broke into a turn at the US-6/US-95 junction, taking care to snap a photo because I like to take photos of interstate junctions. I'll chalk this up to the same flight of lunacy that drove me to create the Church of Latter Day Motorists.

Then came the greener and thicker shrubbery lining the road.

Then juvenile pines meekly dotting the surrounding hillsides.

I made it into the Benton Agricultural Checkpoint an hour and a half later, which was staffed by some chick in her mid twenties: sort-of-cute freckle-faced with short brown hair, blue eyes and just a shade under 5"7, with an undeniably curvy feminine figure that generously filled out the rather drab grey and brown uniform--maybe she once had an athletic build.

She dodged the lens when I whipped out my smartphone--understandable thing to do, since I probably looked like some down-on-his-luck pimp--but I was trying to take a shot of the agricultural checkpoint. While she waited for me to take the pictures, her face twisted into a look that said "tourist/weirdo", and once I was done she glanced right past me to examine the contents of the vehicle.

With utmost counternace she asked me where I came from and where I was going.

I recited rapid-fire verbatim: " I love driving and this might be my last drive in a long time so I rented this car from Hertz in Vegas yesterday night drove from there to Beatty this morning stopped for lunch in Tonopah then drove from there heading towards Bishop then afterwards Bakersfield then up the I-15 back to Vegas. I'm not carrying anything except drinks and my laptop for writing content for a blog I created--"

"That's fine," she said, raising her arms in complete surrender/frustration to my excess words. "You can go."

I shot her what I thought was a winning smile, but it fell flat; she ruthlessly ignored, then walked back into her station to while the day away on her iPhone.

I kept smiling as I drove past the checkpoint, but at this stage it was more at the coincidence than at her. It seems Nevada and California have a thing for hiring girls around the 20-28 age range and shuttling them off to staff some forsaken outpost--be it an agricultural checkpoint or guiding traffic through the most random construction zone in the history of all under heaven.

Not that I'm complaining--I'd deal with whomever the states deems fit for the job--and if that employee is a sort-of-cute girl around my age range rather than a stone-faced bloke then all the better. As the Merc ate up the miles, I considered what to say to strike up a proper conversation the next time.

Before I knew it, I was at my next checkpoint: Bishop, CA