05.18.2013 - 05.18.2013
Our last day. We pack up without ceremony and take off, heading back to Las Vegas to catch our flight. Nestled in the wide, empty flatlands that follows beside us as we drive the long highway, we notice a sign advertising museums and tourist info. Intrigued and in need of a refuel we decide to make a pit stop to fill up on gas, food and, with luck, enjoy some complimentary wifi. We pull into what I can only describe as the back drop for the movie, The Hills Have Eyes, in which a suburban American family is being stalked by a group of psychotic people who live in the desert. It feels like the eeriest town I’ve ever encountered, and Tom and I break the tension by joking about the ‘humpin’ log’ that we assume these places are full of. The signs to the "museums & info" led to, quite literally, nowhere. We follow them to an empty parking lot and decide to give up our search for civilization.
It is for this reason that we find ourselves beginning to feel desperate as, a few hours later, our gas tank carries us further into the barren wasteland. We decide to take an exit off the highway, following a barely legible gas symbol down a tiny, windy road. In any other situation, I would have found the canyon we were driving into scenic but, in this case, it was all I could do to keep down the panic bubbling up inside of me. Then, as if on cue, the road takes a sharp curve to the right and a gorgeous blue oasis opens up like a panorama to us. It appears that luck was on our side after all, we had stumbled across Lake Mead. We park and step out; there are dozens of happy, sun-soaked people milling around, completely ignorant of our near brush with death. T and I catch each other's eyes, giggling with relief, and decide to make the most of our unplanned stop. We walk to the end of the dock with a bag of bread ends to share with the ducks flapping playfully on the water. After taking a few moments to appreciate this spectacular blue mountain lake, we hop in our car, turn on a Radiolab episode and begin a deep and serious conversation about life, the universe, and everything; which keeps our minds busy for the last few hours of the drive.
Eight days of constant companionship and we are left craving more time with each other. The prospect of going back to spending just our evenings and weekends together is disquieting, making the last moments of this traveling experience bittersweet. This little journey was a test of our ability to travel well together and we’re happy to find out that we make a good team. After a quick jaunt through a casino or two; we make haste to the airport to board the redeye flight to the east coast. On the plane ride back, I am happy to mark the last day of this trip as the first day in my countdown to our move out of NYC and into our new life together.