#2. Nothing Works in Wyoming
I guess I'm not sure why I found this surprising, but holy shit, if you're traveling through Wyoming, you might as well be traveling in a Third World country. And by that, of course, I mean you won't have cellphone reception. At all. These days, that's all it takes to make Americans feel like they're stranded on a desert island. Just cut off their smartphone access.
Because I'm nothing if not a supremely dedicated employee, I decided I would work throughout the entire trip across the country, as opposed to taking paid time off. At the end of the day, I do this because I love it, not because of the money. Also, Cracked doesn't give me paid time off. But the uniforms are free!
I'm not thrilled with the "progressive" office layout, though.
Unfortunately for my work-from-the-road plans, though, most of western Wyoming is land that time forgot. Granted, it's unspeakably beautiful, striking a blow against my statements about national monuments from that article that made Ian Fortey cry. Mountains are a lot damn cooler when you're driving through them. But I refuse to rescind my previous comments about national monuments out of pure stubbornness and nothing more. And besides, pretty is meaningless if I can't check my email. Then I just spend the entire time frustrated that celebs are dying and memes are being created without me knowing about any of it.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy myself in Wyoming. For one thing, drinks at the hotel (who am I kidding, motel) bar were like 38 cents each, and they had Rocky Mountain oysters on the menu. I didn't eat any, as that wasn't an adventure I felt comfortable embarking upon. But at least I can say I know where to find them in case someone ever asks. That's the kind of question you want to have an answer to, if only to discourage people from asking you any further questions.
Also, the room had Wi-Fi access, so I was able to compensate for the lack of technological advancement in most of the state by staying up until 4 a.m. working in my room before getting back on the road at 8 a.m. If not for the constant reminders about the dangers of drowsy driving that littered the highway between Cheyenne and my next stop, I surely would have fallen asleep at the wheel.
Sorry for not taking a picture of my own, I was too sleepy to grab a camera and drive at the same time.
It added a nice element of danger and excitement to what was an otherwise uneventful drive through the kind of terrain where most slasher films take place.
#1. Northern Nevada Is Creepy as Hell
If Wyoming is the land that time forgot, northern Nevada is the land that Satan realized everyone else forgot and took over for his own. Upon crossing the state line, everything seems to turn red and unsettling. It takes about four feet before you see your first casino, and the stench of misguided souls blowing their kid's lunch money on slot machines hits you like, well, like the wind that's creepily roaring at all times, unimpeded by anything resembling landscape. Otherwise perfect road conditions become an adventure in white-knuckle driving when you're struggling to keep a top heavy vehicle from just blowing off the road like whatever scene in Twister you care to use for reference here. I've never seen the movie.
No matter how sunny it may be, you're never quite sure if you're going to be able to keep your vehicle under control. But you are certain that if you fail, the accident will occur somewhere near this sign.
Those signs are everywhere. Combined with cellphone reception that's every bit as sketchy as what you find in Wyoming, those signs make the prospect of blowing a tire or running out of gas downright terrifying. It didn't help that before departing I did some lighthearted Googling about the city in Nevada where we'd be stopping and stumbled across this headline:
Oh man, let's hope there is! How awesome would that column be? "5 Things I Learned About Horror Movies by Getting Attacked by a Serial Killer in Nevada." That's the kind of journalism that wins awards, even if the work is only discovered because I scrawled it in my own blood on the walls of the trunk in which I spent my final days.
Things didn't improve much when I touched down at the motel in Nevada that would be my last stop before pulling into San Francisco. For one thing, picking Elko as a stopping point is apparently an idea that nearly every big haul trucker on the road also has. So, while it was comforting to know that I was off the road and outside that mysterious serial killer's wheelhouse, the feeling didn't survive my realization that truck drivers make great serial killers and even they need to stop and rest somewhere. Oh, and my room had a camera in it.
OK, fine, there was a sticker on that contraption that clearly stated it had something to do with the heating and cooling or the lights or some shit, and there's probably been one of those in every motel room I've ever stayed in. But you know what? That's exactly the kind of label I'd affix to my nationwide network of motel room torture porn surveillance cameras, too. So it did little to ease my concerns.
Thankfully, I made it out of Nevada the next morning without once having to escape from the cabin of some methed-up trucker's rolling murder studio and was in California mere hours later.
Now, someone point me to all that medical marijuana I've been hearing so much about. My nerves are shot!
For more from Adam, check out 7 Hilariously Failed Attempts at Politically Correct Toys and What Is a McRib Anyway? (Flowchart).