23
Nov
15

West Coast Chronicles: Road To Las Vegas

The second week of my vacation on the West Coast started with a four-hour road trip from Riverside, California to Las Vegas, Nevada.  Four hours is not really that long, but it’s long enough for some realizations.

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Somewhere in the middle of I-15 N

Four hours in Metro Manila during rush hour could take you just 30-40 kilometers (48-64 miles), depending on where you’re from.  From Riverside, California, it’s enough to take you all the way to Las Vegas, Nevada, some 238 miles (383 kilometers) away by road.  Driving isn’t really the fastest way to get there but it sure is much more practical than flying.  Besides, we don’t really have to drive ourselves 238 miles to get there—we can always take a bus!

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We could also take the trains I think

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Here’s our bus

Personally, I think taking a bus on a long trip by land is more comfortable than in a car or an SUV.  Sure, it may not be the fastest option and you have to share spaces with strangers and there may even be mandatory stops along the way whether you like it or not, but you have quite some legroom and you don’t have to drive!  And if you’re taking a double-decker like what we had via Megabus, you have a totally different vantage point not possible with lower vehicles.

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How the top level looks like; we took seats A1 and A2 (reserved special seats)

What’s nice about our bus is that it has its own restroom so you’re safe when nature calls, and it has a sky roof so you can see the clouds and whatever is above you.  Being seated on the first row gives you a “driver seat” view but on a higher and less obstructed level.  Sure, you have the disadvantage as well of being exposed directly to the sun, but that’s a minor inconvenience to the view you’re getting.  It’s the next best thing to being outside but you have access to modern technologies like air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and power outlets.

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Leaving Riverside

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That’s a bridge for the trains

At first, everything is quite exciting as you gradually move away from the city to the wide open spaces of California.  But after a while, it does get to you.  Don’t get me wrong, the sights were just spectacular!

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Look at that rock mountain!

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A pretty busy picture showing the mountains and the tracks and roads crossing them

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Our first and only stop at Barstow, California, still some 161 mi (259 km) away from Las Vegas, Nevada

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More roads…

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More mountains…

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Powerlines

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Imagine getting stuck in the middle of this…

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Still some more mountains…

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Still no sign of civilization…

After seeing an endless “sea” of land for hours you just realize how vast the world really is.  We were travelling a tiny sliver of land of continental USA, yet I feel so little and overwhelmed at how big this land is.  We were moving at the maximum speed limit, yet we still seem to stand still.

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Something different to break the monotony

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Does it go up to heaven? 😀

Seeing practically nothing for miles at a time except for vehicles on the road, you could just imagine how much bigger the world was when people only travelled by foot or on horses.  I could just imagine the early settlers of this land, seeing everything for the first time.  What they saw years ago is just about the same as what I was seeing, except for the roads and the rails.

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The mountains on the back reminded me of Mordor

And after being saturated by nature’s beauty for hours, finally something appeared in the horizon…

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Are we there yet?

Unfortunately, that is still not Las Vegas, but we’re getting close.

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Are we there yet?

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Finally, I can see The Strip!

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Exiting the interstate…

After four hours, we finally arrived at the RTC South Strip Transfer Terminal, the Megabus stop in Las Vegas, Nevada.  From here, we took another city bus to take us to our hotel.

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First glimpse of The Strip…

This formally starts my three-day stay at Sin City! 😉

* * *

West Coast Chronicles:


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