Friday, November 27, 2009

Basin and Range

For all you non-geologists out there, that means that crossing Nevada is a whole lot of boring flat stretches, maybe 20-30 miles wide, broken up by some pretty steep hills. On the whole, that is less boring than just the flat (here's looking at you kansas), but possibly more annoying.


And here's the reason why. Not only did the mountains severely impact my ability to learn about the horrors of Obamacare ("git your guvment paws off my medicare." confusing, I know. That's why I wanted to listen), but I guess that Thursday also happened to be the trip to the last big rodeo in the sky for all the cows in Eastern Nevada.

I figured this out, based on three clues and my excellent skills of deduction:

(1) There was a mysterious wet, brown streak down the right hand side of my lane, even though I was driving through a desert.

(2) When we went through the mountains, the massive trucks slowed to maybe 20 mph, much slower than would have been necessary for most cargo.

(3) When I eventually had the chance to pass the trucks, I saw cows inside. Over and over again.

The third clue really gives it away, I know. But it also explains the mystery of the first two. You see, at the crest of each pass, these trucks would start leaking what I will delicately describe as a runny, foul smelling and mud-like substance. Except, in the immortal words of Paul Barish "that doesn't smell like mud." The dripping would continue for miles and miles.

And here's the clincher. Not only did the narrow desert lanes leave no choice but to drive in the mud streak for hundreds of miles. Not to mention these yahoo truckers did like 90 in the flats (which the Jimmy really can't abide) and 30 in the hills. With the added bonus that my only company was very intermittent sermons on the radio, a dead iPod and a murderous drifter with a lazy eye who kept telling me I had "purty skin." As if all that weren't enough, there was a big storm coming into Tahoe that night, so I had to push straight to the Bay. 600-something miles.

(Made it, though)

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