November 4, 2007

The Long Trek Back Home.

We arrived in Reno safely after a very long and uneventful two days in the car. We decided to take the southern route home, which took us through the beautiful terrain of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and the abandoned deserts of Nevada. We started each driving day really early in the morning, so I was able to see all the passing landscapes in daylight.

The huge flat topped mesas of Arizona and New Mexico completely fascinated me. They looked like massive ship hulls jutting out of the rocks- a long way from water and half burried in a mountainside. The farther West we got, the more worn down and rounded they became, until they melted away all together.

We crossed the Hoover Dam.

Before we could work our way onto the structure, they had to stop us and search our vehicle and trailer for any explosives. They are currently working on a ginormous bypass project that will take traffic off of the dam forever- apparently it isn't the safest thing to be driving on anymore. I was a little freaked out as we snaked our way over the concrete thread- Lake Mead to my right and a sheer drop-off on my left. I kept thinking that if I somehow managed to fall off of the dam it would take A WHOLE WEEK before I hit the ground below. That would definitely be the longest week of my life.

I was also completely fascinated by the Nevada desert. I grew up in Nevada, and I remember family vacations that would require us to drive through the nothingness until we'd suddenly come upon a little ghost town here and there- the battered remains of a gold rush gone bust.

As I stared out the window at these dilapidated towns, I found myself wanting to know everything about them... their history and the people who lived there. I was perhaps even more interested to know about the people who CURRENTLY live in these towns. How? Why? What does a day in the life look like for some of these people who live out in the middle of nowhere in these scattered trailers or sagging houses that are pieced together with plywood and metal? Even more intriguing: the fact that most of these houses have huge cable satelite dishes attatched to them. I pictured these people who live in the middle of nowhere sitting down on a Thursday evening to catch the latest episode of 'The Office', and the image just didn't compute in my head. I honestly cannot imagine what that kind of a life would be like.

These pictures are of a town called Goldfield. I rolled down my window and rested the camera on the car door and snapped pictures without even looking as we passed through the main street. The town looked tired- like all the structures could give out at any moment from sheer exhaustion.

We are so glad to be home. I will post pictures from Halloween soon, as well as a complete list of the amazing mix CD's I made for the trip based on all your wonderful music suggestions. You guys are AMAZING.


blackbird said...

Great photos!

Danae said...

What a trip! I was missing your blog. Did you notice how I check it all the time? :)

Hunny Bee May said...

Gorgeous pics. That's pretty good for just sticking a camera out the window and not looking. You're a Jill of All Trades, my dear, aren't you. Have a wonderful time home!

ElizabethSheryl said...

I grew up in Las Vegas, and Imoved to southern Oregon 2 years ago so the 12 hour drive goes right through Nevada, passing through Goldfield and the tiny towns..mixed in with the sheer nothingness. I love the subtle changes from desert to forest. The last 2 times we have made the trip to/from Las Vegas we have gone through California on the main highway because our car isn't as reliable as it used to be, and even though at almost any moment we could exit and get to a bathroom or resteraunt, I miss going through Nevada for the same reasons you described. Seeing these tiny, tired towns and seeing people at gas stations or the hand-written BEEF JERKY signs and thinking "How do they survive? What job do they have?"

Hope you have fun in Reno.

Misguided Mommy said...

gold field and another little town scared the crap out of me last time rob and i went through it. we had to stop and nurse brandon (a year ago) and i was like yeah forget it i want to leave i'm freaking out man!!!

Tara Jones said...

cool shots!
i think about the same things when i pass through "nothing" towns. like, where do these people work? we're in the middle of freakin' NOWHERE?!

piper of love said...

Great pics EmJo! Glad you made it :)