It takes us forever to pack up our stuff today. Elliot left us his BOB trailer to try out to see if we want to travel with one. The idea being it would be more streamlined than panniers. We spend a couple of hours packing and repacking, reconfiguring how we’re carrying everything between the two of us. We don’t leave the hotel until after noon.
Holy cow, it is BLAZING HOT out here! The air is so hot it feels like it’s burning my skin. We get out of the city but only make it 13 miles and we’re hiding under the only thing providing shade: the Las Vegas Motor Speedway sign. Scott dozes off a couple of times while lying on the ground.
We’re slogging along, headed toward the Valley of Fire State Park, 52 miles from our starting point. We should feel rested but we’re utterly exhausted. Maybe it’s the heat.
Scott gets a flat. So much for the new tires. Pieces of wire from blown out steel belted radial tires are causing the majority of our flats. Even a tiny, half inch, sliver of wire can work its way through the tire and puncture the tube. Flats are SO frustrating – Arg!
There’s a gas station at mile 23. We cool off with a giant fountain drink. Sitting in the booth, drinking a Mountain Dew, watching the sun slowly inch it’s way across the sky, we remember there is no rush. We don’t have to make it to Valley of Fire tonight. There’s nothing between this gas station and the park, just desert, which will make for perfect stealth camping. We fill the water bladder and all our bottles and head off into the desert.
We ride on leisurely. With sunset approaching we pull off the road, out of sight, and make camp. The temperature cools considerably with the sun out of the sky. It’s a beautiful night. With Willie Nelson playing on the MP3 player, I cook dinner by the light of the full moon. Bellies full, we crawl into the tent and watch an episode of Game of Thrones. We sleep without the rainfly on the tent so the gentle breeze can blow through. There’s no concern for privacy out here. Right before we fall asleep I notice we can still see the glow of Las Vegas’ lights over the mountains we passed through today.