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Get your kicks, on route 66…

11/09/2009

Leaving Burning Man was a nasty blow by itself. No matter how dirty, dusty, sleepy, hungry people are, no one wants to leave all that they created and experienced, and I was no exception. But starting the road trip again, and this time with L. as a co-pilot, made it that little bit easier. 🙂

As soon as we left the playa, we made a bit of a detour to visit the some geisers nearby, called the Fly Geysers, and their hot spring. I had read that it is located on private land and the caretaker is fed up with burners visiting it after the festival, so he’s pretty snappy about it. Indeed, I went over to speak to him and he did not exactly have a welcoming attitude. Somehow though, I managed to persuade him to let us through for half an hour. He even advised us to have a dip at the hot spring just behind the geyser! Obviously, we did not waste any time. 🙂

The geyser was apparently formed accidentally when a water well drill hit a geothermal source.

That drill caused this geyser, while putting the already existing one to a dormant state. As for its colours…. I don’t know what’s the reason behind that, but they are extremely impressive.

After the quick stop at the geyser, our first stop was Reno. A proper shower was definitely in order after 10 days covered with dust, sweat and whatever other crap does not come off by wiping it off with your arm.


Found this message on my car the following morning

So, lots of soap and water and a good night’s sleep was practically a 90% of our experience in the casino-filled city. (I think the other 10% was the humongous burger I had for lunch the next day.

We got back on the road and headed towards Tahoe and its lake. Lovely little quiet place, where again we did not miss out on the opportunity to get in the water. (It seems after Burning Man any opportunity for water is not to be taken lightly). Crazy thing about the lake was that we were waking and walking in the water and we had barely gotten our waists wet.

Couldn’t believe how shallow it was. I was literally walking next to parked speedboats! 🙂

At that point we were torn between going to San Fransisco or going to Las Vegas (it’s a hard life, isn’t it?). Although we were not ecstatic about Vegas, we ruled out the possibility of San Fran because L. had a flight booked for 3 days later from Flagstaff, Arizona, so we had no choice but to head towards that direction. On the way there, around 2am, we decided to stop on the side of the road and sleep a bit. We were in the middle of nowhere, in the desert, a landscape that made it very surreal seeing a van pulled up with all its curtains lowered.

Something that the local law enforcement probably considered weird enough to come and knock on the door and wake us up in the morning. All the police officer wanted was to make sure that we were ok, but since we had slept with the side door open, it was a bit alarming for me to wake up and see someone’s head in front of the open door.

Being in Vegas was a huge shock to the system.


Yes, this is not Paris. It’s Vegas!

I do not deny the fact that it was interesting to be there again 13 years after the first time I had visited it and to actually see different kinds of people.

Other than that though, it was far from what we needed at that point (or any point). We went from one extreme to the other. Black Rock City is a place run by love, creativity and giving. Las Vegas is run by sex and money.

Being surrounded by so much commercialism, quantity rather than quality, arrogant, unfriendly people, vendors, casino addicts who spend hours in front of a slot machine or roulette table, losing their fortunes…

We couldn’t take it for much longer so after about 3 hours, we hit the road again.

We reached Flagstaff and that was the end of L.’s participation in my trip. She took her flight back to Austin and I continued again solo.

Flagstaff is a key stop on the legendary route 66.

Other than this city being a constant explosion of live music, it’s full of route 66 landmarks. I even paid a visit to the Museum club, one of the oldest and most well-known dance clubs in the US.

When talking about a dance club though, we are not referring to a night club. This is all about line dancing, country music, big leather boots and cowboy hats. The night I went there wasn’t that much dancing going on, but the cowboys had certainly walked in after tying their horses round the back.

And then, I even got the chance to see the route 66 annual car show, with all sort of imaginative creations and car-pimping.

During my 2-3 days in Flagstaff I got to meet an Ozzie kid who was planning to hitchhike to the Grand Canyon. So, here I am with N. my new travel partner, getting ready to head towards the canyon. 🙂

M.

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3 Responses

  1. Dee_Licious says:

    I can only imagine the ickiness of Vegas directly after Burning Man. Talk about different ends of the spectrum.

    The Fly Geyser is beautiful. I suspect the colors come from various minerals and algae in the water. 🙂

    I love that photo of Charlie out all alone in the vast desert and that photo of L. "walking on water" is nearly biblical. :o)

  2. tiko says:

    Yeah, I always end up in Reno after BM. The colors and patterns and everything in my face is way too much, but it's a convenient place to grab a nice hotel room and shower afterwards.

    If it fits in your travel plans I recommend Crater Lake. Pictures can't do it justice. It's huge and blew me away, even after the beauty of the black rock desert. http://www.nps.gov/crla/index.htm

  3. Lillian says:

    Beautiful… I'm green with envy 😉
    Filakia skasmeno 😉

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