Hi everyone! This is Bryan taking the helm for my first post. I have to say that my first two weeks of “not working” were much more grueling than the good ole regular work weeks. As Jaimi mentioned previously, this is not complaining, simply stating that it has been a TON of hard work getting everything in order for this amazing adventure.
On to the journey! With Smartie finally road ready we set off Monday evening at about 8:30pm. The plan was to hit some BLM land up the 14 or 395 after a few hours of driving. We were both nervous to say the least. Starting out on the 5 freeway seemed like one of the worst and bumpiest stretches of road we could drive on. With only a little more than 5 miles under our belt I wanted to check everything after a first stretch of bumps. We pulled off into a hotel area and checked on bikes, ladder, and Smartie with nothing to report. Problems arose when I tried to turn around in a cul-de-sac and I found out just how wide a turn we’d need. It was definitely a couple feet more than I had. This meant that I’d have to back up, which also meant that we had to disconnect Smartie. Oh Boy! Just what we wanted to do this early into our adventure. After a bit of stress and figuring things out we pushed through and got back on the road. Luckily the rest of the evening was a bit more smooth sailing.
Once we hit the 14 freeway the roads were better and traffic was light. It was near midnight by the time we were close to the 395. We just barely passed up the opportunity to stay at Walmart for our first evening when we came across an off highway vehicle area, Dove Springs, just north of Red Rock. We turned onto the dirt road and drove maybe a mile out into desert nowhere. There was no one around, we found a flat spot off the road, and it was time to call it a day. To our astonishment our two cats came out from under the couch, where they had been for the whole ride, and started drinking water and eating! This had been one of the biggest question marks and an element outside our control. We were so happy to see them acting normal and not terrified. A little more cheerful now, we were able to stop a moment and take in the beautiful night sky. It was a beautiful night in the desert. The moon had already gone down and we were greeted with multiple shooting stars. The perfect ending to the kick off of our adventure.