Road Trip Day 1 - To Laughlin, NV

Got an early start at about 7 am.

Interstate 5 down the Central Valley of California is a bit boring, and you need to pay attention or you find yourself going way above the speed limit. There are a variety of decent gas stations and rest stops, usually with plenty of travelers around, along I-5. I stopped to stretch in one rest stop and for gas in Kettleman City.

Needed to put a 'Via Point' for Wasco to force my GPS system to route me via Highway 46 to traverse to Highway 99 north of Bakersfield. From 99, the route is Highway 58 to I-40 to US-95 to NV-63 and finally a few miles on the Needles Highway.
I know the route to Laughlin fairly well, but using the GPS:
  • shows me my distance to next turn,
  • displays the estimated time of arrival at final destination,
  • shows an accurate digitally displayed MPH,
  • ensures that I will zone out and miss a turn or off ramp.
Once I started to lose reception with the radio stations in the Bay Area, I realized to my horror, that the correct disks were not in my CD changer. What I did have:
  • Chronicle, a Greatest Hits Album of Creedence Clearwater Revival. I am not sure whose CD this is, but I now know the words to Susie Q and Proud Mary.
  • Ta Ra Rum Pum, The soundtrack album from an Indian movie. I think there are two words I understand on the album Hey and Shona.
  • The Immaculate Collection, A Madonna biggest hits album.
Fortunately, I do have three fairly long audiobooks which I am planning to listen to on the trip. However, I really only like to listen to audiobooks when I know there is a long uninterrupted stretch of road. Had a lunch of whole grain Rotini pasta salad from my ice chest in a very windy Mojave East Park at about 1:30 pm.

Arrived at Harrah's Laughlin Hotel and Casino at about 6:30 pm. Great room with a view of the pool and the Colorado River. Took a shower. Played slot machines for about 15 minutes before dinner. Immediately won $270. My room and buffet dinner were free, courtesy of the Total Rewards Program. Gambled some more until a little after midnight, net winning for the evening was $364. If I did not need to leave early the next day, I would have kept playing.