Go West! (Part VIII: Arizona & Nevada)

You’re really not in Arizona very long when you’re driving from Colorado to Vegas. You spend most of your time in Utah. So I don’t have a lot of Arizona pics.

Welcome to Arizona!
Parts look a lot like Utah.
With mountains & stuff.
But even the mountains are kind of like desert.
It's prettier than Nevada because it's greener.
See what I mean? It's kinda green.
And the day was still pretty misty.
It honestly didn't look like I expected it to.
I don't know exactly what I expected ... but this was not it.
Hmm, maybe I have more Arizona photos than I previously thought.
I guess I do! πŸ™‚
That's a dry riverbed, there are a lot of them. Jay remembers when there used to be a river.
All through Utah & Arizona there are hwy signs warning of deer, elk, big horned sheep, etc. I saw lots, but couldn't photo them because I never saw them unless Jay pointed them out to me, they blend right into the landscape, totally camoflauged.
At this point I was singing, "Six days on the road & I'm gonna make it home tonight!" πŸ™‚
I guess this was Thursday morning.
You do not see a lot of civilization when you're travelling these routes.
Still in Arizona, guess I really did have more pics than I thought.
One thing I noticed about this state was that a lot of the runaway truck ramps and rest areas hadn't been upkept & were left to ruin.
That's a good shot of how green Arizona desert is.
Still Arizona ...
This one could be Utah ...
But this is definitely Arizona. There were quite a few of these make-shift little villages in the desert that just pop up with pipeline workers.
And now we're really getting into the desert.
But see, it's green Arizona desert.
Welcome to Nevada!
You're immediately in the land of casinos.
It's nothing but desert and these little casino towns.
Jay couldn't believe how much new casinos, hotels, restaurants, etc. had been built since he'd last driven through.
And there are a lot of mountains in Nevada too.
Desert & mountains.
Coming into Las Vegas.
Passing by the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for all you Nascar fans.
Jay decided to take the scenic route so we could go into the speedway.
For the Nascar fans.
For the Junior fans.
Richard Petty Terrace.
That's the other track where the little guys race, I guess the Busch race.

And that’s enough pics for this post. We got into Vegas in the early afternoon and Jay drove me through North Las Vegas to get to the folks house on the other side of town. He grew up in North Las Vegas. I did not take any photos because I seriously did not want to attract any more attention to us than our Georgia license plate. I just wanted to get the hell out of there as fast as possible. Every time we had to stop for a red light I was terrified we were going to get carjacked or shot in a robbery or just a random drive-by. The graffiti was everywhere. The streets were filthy. There were hookers and crackheads and homeless people and Mexican gang members all over the streets. I don’t usually get scared driving through bad neighborhoods, but man, I’ve never been in one this bad before!

He showed me all the trailer parks he had lived in with his mom. Some were condemned now, some really needed to be but were still functioning. He showed me all the divey diners he had first worked in when he quit school to help his mom make rent. He says it wasn’t this bad when he lived there, though he’s told me stories about gang fights he’s been in that were pretty freaking brutal for the 80’s, so I dunno. I was in fear of my life every second we were in that neighborhood. And that’s no lie. I went into the projects with Jay in Atlanta so he could do maintenance work and I wasn’t this scared, even though I was the only white woman in a 50 block radius. North Las Vegas is the worst place I’ve ever been in my life, no exaggeration.

(…to be continued … The Strip & Stuff next)

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