Zion National Park, UT-Las Vegas, NV (Day 8)

August 24th

Miles 2410-2574

Well it’s not a road trip across the U.S. without a stop in Las Vegas! We spent the beginning of the day before heading out seeing more of the park. There’s a free shuttle that takes you to the major stops in the park, so we rode that to a few of the quick hikes with great views.

Then it was back on the road, and it was HOT. Driving a motorcycle in the desert is not easy, and doing at 4 in the afternoon is even hotter. So with the temperature over 100 degrees (about 38 Celsius), we left the park. Keeping my hot weather tips in mind i put on my leather jacket to cover up any exposed skin (the air rushing by actually makes you hotter if it is above your body temperature) and soaked a bandanna in cold water and wrapped it around my neck.

It was a little slow going, I was in desperate need of a break after only 60 miles (when I’m usually good for 120, at least in the beginning of the day). We stopped at a McDonald’s where there was A/C and I could drink some water and rest. My eyes were kind of sore as well as we were going west for a bit and so the sun was right in my eyes again. After that first stop, it was only about 80 miles more into Vegas so I figured one more stop in about 60 miles to fill back up then head to the strip. Unfortunately, there really wasn’t anything before Vegas, which is I guess what happens when you’re in the middle of the desert so… I ended up running out of gas. We were on the highway, it was getting busier as we got closer to the city, and it was already dark out. All of a sudden I heard my engine kind of coughing a bit. Then I noticed that sometimes when I rolled on the gas, it wouldn’t really respond and just make that coughing sound. So I figured I must be out of gas. I crossed my fingers that I had enough to pass my friends, whose car I was following, so I could signal to them that I was pulling over. Luckily I did and there was an off ramp just ahead. I pulled off, went into neutral, and the tank was completely dry. I updated my friends, switched to my half gallon reserve tank and we found a gas station.

After that, it was smooth sailing. We drove to our hotel, Circus Circus, which was right at the end of the strip and for only 40 bucks since it was the end of the season. The rest of the night was spent finding a cheap place to eat and walking about a mile down the strip and back. We watched the fountain show at the Bellagio and played a few penny slots along the way back to our hotel (I was down about 20 bucks on the night). Overall, a good night in Vegas, and tomorrow is the last leg of my trip to San Diego and the West Coast!

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