My alarm goes off at 3:30 a.m. to give me enough for a quick shower, a shot of caffeine and a ride via Uber to National Airport for my 6 a.m. flight to Las Vegas via Atlanta. I get to the airport and guess what? The TSA lanes aren’t even open. I could have slept another 30 minutes.
Empty-handed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Eventually, I get on the plane and land in Sin City, where I manage to bypass all the slot machines as I make my way to baggage claim and the shuttle bus to the rental car hub. Now comes my favorite part: I LOVE driving through the desert, and I now get to drive from Vegas to Tucson, taking in some absolutely spectacular scenery.
Here are a few of the shots I made with my phone, including a roadside place where you can shoot guns and have a burger,
Combo dining. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
a Route 66 sign in Kingman, Ariz.,
Get your kicks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
and a flask from the souvenir shelf at a gas station.
Drink up! (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Part of my plan for the day was to find a beautiful scene to shoot at sunset with my real cameras. And had it not been for a few self-imposed detours and a couple traffic jams (how is there traffic in the desert?) I would have made it through Phoenix with plenty of time to find that perfect spot, maybe with some cacti.
But as I clear the Phoenix area, the sun is setting way too fast, and there isn’t a single cactus to be seen. Thank you Arizona, for 75 mph speed limits. Just as the sun was about to go behind the mountains, I found a small clump of pitiful cacti. Here’s what it looked like.
The sun sets in the West. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
This journey started almost 22 hours ago, and now it’s time to sleep.