December 3, 2008

Nightmare in Sin City

Las Vegas, city of fortune, city of sin. Aside from our weeky zip through the outskirts of Vegas on the interstate, I've never really had any desire to go there and "see the sights." Well, I would make an exception as the National Rodeo World Finals are held there every year and I would like to go to that at least once. I've heard it's quite a show, even for non-rodeo people. But I got of track....
Our route out of Arizona to Billings takes us up US 93 which turns into I-215 which runs through the heart of Vegas and intersects with I-15 where we head north towards Utah and the open desert. Except a few months ago they began a construction project and the entrance ramp for I-15 north is closed. There is a detour, which at my first and only attemp a few months ago, I botched it up and we took a little tour of North Las Vegas which wasn't that bad because it was all industrial and there were truck stops, and even though it was unpleasant because we got mad at each other (as couples are prone to do when they are lost) it was a simple fix and we were on our way.
Then last week, Malcolm was driving when we went through there and of course he perfected the detour with no issues what-so-ever and whizzed on through to open territory.
Well last night, as I remembered about 100 miles away that there was a detour, I felt some apprehension, but thought "Malcolm said it's no big deal. I can handle it." And so when I got to the detour sign "All Trucks NB I-15 detour Eastern Ave" I followed the Walmart truck and the truck in front of him off the interstate and followed the signs. And all was going well, till I got left at a stop light by the other trucks, and thought I was still following signs, but by the point that Malcolm got up and wanted to know why on earth I was making so many turns we were in the ghetto of Las Vegas. I'm talking truck loads of homeless and junkies. I even passed three cops in hot pursuit ON FOOT climbing a fence. It was not a happy place for me to be at 11:00 at night.
At an intersection we switched seats and began the lengthy discussion of "how did this happen??" It was supposedly an easy detour....how did I get down there! And Malcolm began to work his way back to the interstate where I had gotten off to do the detour. Well apparently they had changed the detour since he did it last week because he thought we'd just get on south bound I-15 and take the next exit adn get back on going north, only the south bound entrance ramp was closed also. So he followed that detour sign and the next thing we know, we're cruising our 70 ft, 80,000 lb truck right down the strip! Oh yeah! What a thrill. You know the big tower in all the pictures that looks like the Seattle space needle? Well, yeah, we drove almost all the way to the base of it before the detour took a turn towards the interstate, and we were finally to get back on the big road and out of town.
So its safe to say that, having never had any desire to go to Las Vegas to begin with, I've now had the only tour of Vegas I EVER hope to have. It was not a fun experience, but shortly after it was over, it did become one of those things "you'll laugh about later." Once we were free from the clutches of sin city, it was a little humerous, but only because we had escaped without being hijacked, mugged, or severely chewed out by law enforcement for being in the wrong place.
After that stressful adventure, combined with my increasing allergy issues (I am apparlently allergic to Southern California) I was ready to go to bed and forget it all. So thats what I did, after we fueled the truck and said our "I'm sorries" for the rather heated discussion of "how did this happen."
If you ever go to Vegas and want to take the driving tour....please consider your type of vehicle first. I wouldn't advice anything larger than your average SUV. I do have to say though, if your going to do it in a larger vehicle, Tuesday night around midnight is a great time for it. There's not much going on, few vehicles on the road (by Vegas standards) and not many people around.

1 comment:

Meagan said...

Great story! I can just see y'all cruzin' the strip... in a semi! lol!