The sea of Nevada
Why in the world do we have so much Nevada? To be fair Nevada is no larger than any other of the states that I will pass through on this trip. But, where as Colorado does have the mind numbingly boring eastern plains, they are soon enough relieved by the stunning sceanery of the mountains. After that the high desert takes over into Utah. Then, cresting over Soilder pass, one drops into the Wasatch valley all lush with streams and fields before the buzzing activity of Salt Lake City consumes everything. Then there are the salt flats. And then Nevada.
At first the grey teeth of rock thrusting up through gums of sage bush and biting the sky are yet another environment to absorb. But like a multi course dinner where every dish is mash potatoes, one soon aches for a change.
When I saw the sign pointing out that Reno was 511 miles away, I started working on a plan.
It occurred to me that there is a hell of a lot of coast south of Panama City that nobody is making much use of. What if couple of fifty miles long strips were brought up to surround a small inland sea. Then Nevada would become an attraction instead of a chore.
I stopped by city hall in Elko to see if I could talk anyone into my idea. No one could find any fault in my plan. If Utah has a Great Salt Lake why couldn't Nevada have an inland sea. There was some concerns that Panama would miss it's coast line till I explained the sea would merely move inward to form a new coast. After a few days of the waves washing against the land no one would be able to tell the difference. Sure someone might think that the walk to the beach was way too short but that could be explained away as the product of poor memory.
As there is endless money available right now for these type of "shovel ready" projects, the city officials of Elko told me that they should have the new sea in place later that afternoon. I jumped back on my car egar to see my idea realized.
I soon entered the jungles of Humbolt county. The roads were poor as of yet as the soil needed time to settle before a real road was laid. I drove slowly on the dirt road listening to sound of holler moneys bellowing at the more adgile and teasing spider monkeys. Here at the beginning of the jungle I saw Jack rabbits with swollen bellies napping in the shade. After spending their whole lives eating sage bush the rabbits had gorged themselves senseless. And speaking of pigging out, wild pigs were grunting about is a state of agitation. Perhaps the moving of the coast line beneithe there feet had been unsettling.
I drove with my head out the window looking up and all about. That is until a snake dropped off a tree on me. My flailing around only sucseeded in sending the snake flying into the car. At this point it was looped around the rearview mirror eyeing me with intent. That was the intent of where, exactly, to bite me. As I was paying very little attention my driving, I bounced off a log by the side of the road. The car heaved to one side and the snake gave me one last glaring looking as it flew passed my face and out the window.
After that excitement I was thinking of taking a break when I saw a small bambo shelter with a palm frond roof. There were hand written signs, in Spanish, hanging from it that I could make no sense of. I pulled over.
I am always surprised at how much communication can go on between two people who speak different languages. I found out that Javier would like to sell me a drink. I sat at his table drinking what I think was a banana mango smoothy. It was a buck. Obviously Javier was in need of some corporate branding like a nice logo and a uniform as then he could have easily charged four dollars for my drink. Toucans flew around looking for any fruit to job off. One actually got it's beak in my drink before I could pull it away.
Javier was surprised at how many Americanas He had seen today. While I was thinking, "Well, what else would you see in the middle of Nevada." it ocurred to me that maybe Javier had been scooped up when the sections of coast line had been removed from Panama. He may have no idea of where he was or what had happened. I decided that I would not be the one to explain his situation to him, especially when our form of communication depended on way too much arm waving.
I had finished my drink and grinned and waved my goodbyes.
Bumping along the road I came at last to the sea of Nevada. There was a fine sand beach with palm trees reaching out over it for the sun. At the water's edge there was hundreds of orange vested highway repair workers. As is well known, it is essential to the balance of the universe that these people are employed at all times. That is why they are seen all summer long dragging around orange cones placing them, seemingly at random, on the roads. Now, a hundred miles of interstate had been disturbed by the new sea. Sticking orange cones in the jungle would be pointless as would be floating them on the sea. Their new job was to ferry the cars across the sea on a large bambo raft. I drove my car up on to the raft. It sloshed back and forth violently.
A legion of orange vested people pushed the raft into the sea. Another legion picked up long bambo poles and started poling me across the water. I sat on the roof of the car. I was surprised to see seagulls had already found this new sea. They whirled overhead squawking. I sat there reflecting that my idea had been a great sucsess. This was way grander than endless miles of Nevada. I soon found out that not everyone had agreed with me. I was chatting one of the gals poling the raft. She informed me that all of Lovelock Nevada had been submerged. Houses flooded, lands lost. They were pissed. She went on about how some knuckle heads had come up with the plan in Elko and had forced it through without consulting anyone. I kept very quite as she told me about a how football rivalery was most likely behind it as Lovelock had always crushed Elko.
At the far side I waved goodbye to my orange vested friends. I crossed the beach and back into the jungle. In a few miles I saw a building going up. The sign on it said The Curved Banana Saloon. Well it was Nevada after all. The jungle ended aburuptly in a pile of mud and dirt. I drove down directly onto the highway. It had been a long time since I had been over fifteen miles per hour. The speed felt exicting. In a few minutes I saw a sign, Reno 24 miles.