Gary Gardner (grgardner) wrote,
Gary Gardner

"I'm empty and I'm aching and I don't know why....."

Well the two days of meetings with the HOG gang are done.  It was great hanging with the attendees and making some cool new friends.  But now that it's over, it's very quiet, and as always after a few days of camaraderie and companionship, a bit of a let down.  The rest of my Seattle friends are leaving tomorrow, but I'm staying an extra day.  On Sunday I'm going to go do laundry and pack, ship a few things home, and leave around 5am on Monday morning.  I've been staying at the Red Rock Casino and Spa which is in far NW Las Vegas off the strip.  It does have a great view of the strip though, particularly at night and sunset as you can see, and its a very nice hotel.

I've been thinking a lot about routes I can take to get home and I've yet to settle on one.  It's eerily similar to what I've got going on with my life too.   I have no timetable to stick to, and can pretty much wander as much as I want to over the week.  Right now I'm leaning towards heading south over Boulder Dam and into Arizona, and then into Kingman, picking up old Route 66 to Seligman, and then heading north to the Grand Canyon, and then east into Monument Valley and up into Utah.  I think I'll aim for Page or Kanab, Utah for Monday night.  And then again I might change my mind completely before then.

After spending three days with friends, to be alone tonite is really quite different.  And as I pour over my road atlas trying to map out a route home, I can't help but think of one of my favorite Paul Simon tunes from his days with Simon and Garfunkel. 

Let us be lovers, we'll marry our fortunes together
I've got some real estate here in my bag.
So we bought a pack of cigarettes, and Mrs. Wagner Pies
And walked off to look for America.
Kathy I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
Michigan seems like a dream to me now.
It took me four days to hitch hike from Saginaw,
And I've come to look for America.
Kathy I'm lost I said though I knew she was sleeping
I'm empty and aching and I don't know why.
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike,
They've all come to look for America.

America -- Paul Simon

I have to admit though that you can certainly find a version of America here in Las Vegas.  The Strip is crowded and full of tacky tourists, and hucksters hawking stripper bars.  Everything costs way to much, and the cacophony of the slot machines (which are really just computer monitors these days, as they don't even take coins), rings constantly.  People smoke like mad.  It's not really a version of America I want to spend time in.

I'm looking forward again to the open road and the solitude, and especially Route 66.  This section between Kingman and Seligman is what inspired the scenery and background in the Disney Pixar flick "Cars" -- the only animation flick to make my cry, hell one of the only movies to make me get teary.    However the Paul Simon tune is sort of doing the trick now.


  • Latest Magazine Column

    For over ten years I've been writing a monthly column in Quick Throttle Magazine -- a regional biker publication. The confluence of the changes…

  • May/June QuickThrottle Column

    With the pandemic shutdown, the loss of revenue, and everyone staying at home, the publisher decided not to put out a May issue and put out a…

  • April QuickThrottle Column

    This whole pandemic thing, in addition to being very trying, has delayed a few things, including the publication of my column. I just got the April…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.