Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Vegas Luck

Cooling Off in Lake Mead

A weekend in Vegas usually means only one thing... little sleep, caliente temps, and too much green spent. Well this weekend didn't really change that, although not for the usual reasons. We headed out on Friday during the 4:30 pm rush hour for the long haul out of town. Vegas is about 300 miles and usually takes about 5 to 6 hours without much traffic. We were driving my friend Sarah's jeep so that we could bring our mt bikes along for our planned Sunday excursion. I am not gonna lie, the jeep is questionable. Direct quote from an email from Sarah before the trip, "I don't mind taking the Jeep, I just want to make the disclaimer that I don't have a spare tire and I do need new tires (I meant to go in this week, but too much going on). But if something happens, it's just another adventure, right?" Hmm, maybe this was tempting fate with a little too much foreshadowing.

Well, about 150 miles into the trip, we realized that we were hearing a loud clicking near the front driver side wheel on every rotation. Hmm this is disturbing, lets see if we can see see anything wrong. Well in the dark, it was easier just to assume it was nothing to worry about since we could see nothing flapping or clicking. Up through the dark dark mountains and over the Hoover Dam we went until we finally rolled into the Lake Mead campground at 11pm. There was 6 of us who were going to camp out and that night, we had a little lakeside guitar & beer session which was all very cool & bohemian. After crashing out at around 2am, we planned on sleeping in and relaxing the next morning.

Sweat, sweat holy heat. I have camped many many times in and around hot places and never has heat bothered me as much as Friday night. I keep my home's thermostat on 85 in the day and 83 in the night during the night to save on electricity. I am very much an adapted desert rat. So to say that I couldn't sleep due to heat meant it was very very hot. I guess Vegas desert is different that Phoenix which will definitely cool down in the wee hours of the morning. I finally got up at 6am to see my one friend Angel sprawled out with very little clothing on the cement picnic table while another friend Alicia was sleeping in the car (not sure how that was cooler). I believe the low was 88 that night and the high in the day was 107 deg F. For once I was happy to get back to Phoenix to "cool off".

Well due to the heat, after jumping in the Lake at 6:30 am to cool off, we decided to pack up and head into Vegas. So we decided to check the car out now that it was light...holy hell, why is the whole axle loose? Well it turns out we had just driven 150 miles through mountains with a completely broken axle that shook with every tire rotation. I felt lucky that the entire tire hadn't just fallen off and we hadn't spun off a cliff into the Hoover Dam. We limped the car to the nearest town Boulder City which is a scary little town out of some 80s twilight zone. The only open mechanic was a trailer with no name where a guy offered to fix the car for around $5.00. Seriously, it was the cheapest mechanic I have ever heard of which just solidified the sketchiness of it all. Him and his 80 year old friend spent the whole three hours hitting on us (they offered to take us to Mexico) before we escaped when our teammates who were already in Vegas came and picked us up.

The rugby tournament kicked off at 5:30 pm on Saturday and was fun although very hot. There were 12 women's teams there from chillier places and most had a lot of trouble adjusting to the heat. We won our first three games by a combined score of 107 - 0. We then went to the semi finals and got destroyed by the eventual winners who out-sized and out-experienced us by a large margin. We finally finished our last game at 1:30 am Sunday morning and only got back to the hotel at around 4:00 am exhausted but happy.

The mountain biking excursion never happened on Sunday due to our bikes being stuck in the jeep in boulder city :( but at least the car was fixed in time for us to head home. We made it home safely even though we almost ran out of gas in the desert. We drove 5 miles after the gas mileage tank gauge said 0 miles of gas remaining. Guess it's inaccurate, good to know. I was all ready to pull my bike out and ride into town to get more gas if we ran out.

Overall, its always an experience with my friends and Tom (who was also in Vegas for a bachelor party) had some pretty crazy times himself. Life is all about the journey.

Third Place Desert Banshees @ 2007 Las Vegas Midnight Sevens


Sarah said...

Haha, I forgot to mention the disclaimer that I didn't have any spare axles on me at the time. Always an adventure, though, and always a good laugh afterwards, and "you find out who your friends are." :)

suda said...

WOW! Did you forget how we actually found the mechanic by following a dirty man on his bicycle up the hill to a mechanic shop....that was closed... but next to it was a trailer with a guy who claimed to be a mechanic. Geezo, what a long morning. I would have rather gone to Mexico with the older gentleman than to stay in the twilight zone for another day! eeks