Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back Home

I had completely forgotten how tiring truck travel can be, I'm beat. I decided to ride with MyLarry to Vegas; we headed down Sunday and came back Monday. We did nothing exciting, and I still feel like I've been on a three day bender.

The ride down was nothing remarkable, although the fire damage from the Milford Flat fires is still very evident. It was dark by the time we crested the hill overlooking Vegas, the city lights sure a purty in that black desert night setting. SME is the steel company sending down the beams and whatnot to the construction sites, they have a section of Frank Sinatra Drive (BLVD?) blocked off right behind The Excalibur. The view out our windshield was of the Luxor and the Mandalay Bay, very pretty. It didn't hurt that the big billboard in front of us was of the Thunder from Down Under men. Sigh. Half naked men, can't go wrong there!

We wandered around the Excalibur and ate at the buffet. It isn't cheap but with all the new food allergies, it is easy. Larry won me a wizard hat, tall and pointy, the way I like 'em. Left it in the truck, ah well. we talked about going across the way to New York New York to Coyote Ugly, but didn't really feel up to it. We went back to the truck and canoodled. Just as well, we were up at dawn to get the steel unloaded.

BTW, truck beds are singles, singles which are surrounded on three sides by padded truck walls. Cozy, very cozy. And I had forgotten the joys of baby wipe showers and camp toilets, because I was NOT going to hike a parking lot and a half and through a casino just to piddle. Larry had yesterday's coffee in the thermos and heated it in his plug-in mug. Yum, leftover joe and generic toaster pastries for brekkies. I forgot to take my meds, probably why I'm so stiff today.

So, in the morning the steelworkers came over with a forklift to move the sundry items Larry had hauled, ladders and cable and propane carts. The steel had to be taken into the pit. That's quite the maneuver. We had to drive onto I-15 and then exit, in morning traffic yet, and then drive onto the Strip. Now trucks aren't allowed on the Strip, but since that's the only way into the construction zone, there's permits and exceptions. So I got to see the Bellagio and the Monte Carlo on the fresh morning sun from eight feet up. Too bad I only had my point and shoot camera, and there's mirrors and such in the way on the passenger window, or I'd have had lovely pictures. And Vegas drivers are incredibly rude and aggressive, I mean, you KNOW your lane is ending, why try to force your way in beside the Big Honkin' Truck? I mean, we have far more lug-nuts, figure it the freak out!

As we pulled up to the construction, the flaggers came out and stopped traffic. There's a ramp down into the pit, it is very narrow. There's heavy equipment and cranes and forklifts and rebar and steel and pipes and more all around. The towers and buildings are soaring up above you, menacingly incomplete. A traffic guide walks in front of the truck until you are down in the pit. There were monster cranes on each side lifting beams into the towers; men were hanging and sitting up there guiding the beams into place hundreds of feet in the air. Even though I was in a semi, and a heavy haul semi at that, I felt tiny and vulnerable. One slip and squish! I couldn't get out to use the portos, I had no hard hat and that's the rules. I thought they would use a crane to lift the load, but no, there was a forklift for that. I always thought of forklifts as cure little things, nu-uh. Some of them are huge beasts, apparently.

There is not enough room to turn a semi around in the pit; Larry had to unhook from the trailer and turn the tractor around. They lifted the flatbed trailer up with the forklift, we had to drive past it. All those wheels in the air right at my eye level! YIKES! Then mylarry stopped, they put down the trailer and he coupled it up. Wowza. I'd never been down in the middle of a real construction job site as big as this one, massive scarcely begins to describe it.

The ride back up was almost uneventful, a big duststorm closed I-15; the fires have left the ground bare; any wind whips up dust like mad. and we detoured on a two-lane highway through Kanosh and Meadow. We detoured on a two-lane highway through Kanosh and Meadow; old Utah towns with the stone and brick homes. The highway is actually Main Street, all the sheriffs and fire volunteers were parked to see that the traffic behaved itself. The shoulders are as wide as a traffic lane, I could see why jerks might try to use them for passing on the right.

later we stopped to get a drink and take a break, I spotted some deer up on the lower foothills. Normally I never see them, but these were out in the late afternoon sun. Larry was counting them, but he was counting one herd and I was counting another. deer season is over and they're coming down before it gets cold up in the mountains. Dozens of them grazing near the cow pastures. We hit Happy Valley in time for the evening rush hour, it was full dark by the time we made it to West Vally. We got into Boo and headed home again, home again. I was so tired I fell into bed; this morning I'm stiff and out of sorts. My schedule is all messed up!


archersangel said...

i always wanted to go to vegas. maybe gamble a little, or just to say that i've been there

MaggieMayDay said...

Hey, show up in Utah and we'll make it happen! Oh wait, still on the wrong side of the ditch, aren't I?