Monday, August 27, 2007

Across Nevada: BM-1

Opening the motel room door Sunday morning and stepping into the intense Nevada heat, I couldn't avoid the renewed sense of dread about Burning Man - what the hell are we doing, going out into the desert and exposing our bodies to this heat for a week??? But I kept reminding myself that I had made the choice to check out this new experience, and did my best to maintain a P.M.A. about it all. After a bit of Google map research, I decided it made sense to follow I-80 a little further west past the BM turnoff and spend Sunday night in Reno, where there are some Target and Wal-Mart stores where we could do our last-minute shopping for supplies. You might expect that after all the hills and plains and plains and hills of all the other states we drive through, the long trek through Nevada would be uninteresting; but no, the terrain of Nevada has its own character, with the high desert hills and vast barren expanses of desert. With the non-functional fuel gauge, I'd gotten used to keeping an eye on the odometer; but I learned once again the importance of also remembering that last mileage I wrote down at the last gas fill-up, when we ran out of gas again. Quite fortunately, just a couple of miles outside of Battle Mountain, where we were able to refuel, and stopped for lunch. In Reno, the second largest casino center after Vegas, a couple of motels with no Wi-fi recommended the Days Inn, so we pulled in there for the night, and I caught up on the last web stuff before heading into the void. There were quite a number of other Burning Man vehicles parked at the motel, identifiable by the tents, bikes, and other piled-on equipment, and I felt so unprepared to head into the desert with so little preparation, but kept trusting my ability to make the best of any situation.

1 comment:

Sheldan said...

Crazy trip, guys. High-altitude driving: change oil again, use premium gas always, no off-brand stuff. If local gas does not have 10-15% ethanol, add a pint of isopropal (rubbing) alcohol to each tankful to prevent condensation from messing up fuel burning (esp. if freezing is likely). Change air filter, or take it off unless in dusty/sandy area. If car sputters, pull over and let engine relax. Good luck.