EDIT: I guess it might do wonders to add maps to this post. Any and all readers (LOL) should refer to these maps while they are reading this post. (Day 1 trip from Dallas -> Gallup, NM; Day 2 trip from Gallup, NM -> Las Vegas, NV)

I have several vivid memories from my roadtrip moving from Dallas to Las Vegas back in 1999-2000. It was one of the defining moments of my young life (cliche, I know).

What’s cool though: thanks to Google Street View, I can relive some of those memories. Some of these memories are listed as follows:

–> Trying to stuff down ice cream the day before, when we were packing our items

–> Rocky (limestone?) cuts along I-35 in the hills near Ardmore (another link here), unnerving loud pavement, and really windy roads for someone who was used to straight, non-hilly roads. Also was surprised at how rural the Ardmore area was.

–> Oklahoma City. I was disappointed we couldn’t take I-35 to I-40 straight through downtown when my parents opted to take the I-240 bypass instead. More importantly, I remember trying to find the May 3, 1999 Moore tornado damage path – and seeing this water tower instead.

–> Beautiful crespucular rays in the flat western OK landscape foreboded a cold, snowy night.

–> We encountered difficulty with heavy snow in the Texas Panhandle, which magically and miraculously let up just as we entered New Mexico.

–> A literal row of lights as we descended into Albuquerque. We opted to continue rather than stop, and finally stumbled into Gallup, NM at around 1 AM. Jank. We ate some janky fried rice for dinner (which I devoured) and slept at a motel. I remember a distinct yellow sign, but this is to vague to find on Google Maps.

–> We awoke early the next morning to continue our journey. In the first few hours I remember a Mars-like alien landscape, a truck on fire, and dust devils on sand. Unfortunately these are all difficult to find as the StreetView scenes all seem to be from spring (plus the vagueness of the descriptions).

–> Mt. Elden (in the distance on this view). I literally thought I-40 was going to climb the mountain – stories of ears popping because of differences in air pressure scared me sh*tless.

–> I had always imagine Flagstaff as a relatively large city in the middle of a desert. Imagine my surprise when I saw the I-17-I-40 interchange nestled in a mountainous, foresty area. (This view is EASTBOUND just to the east of the interchange because the westbound view is low-resolution, but you get the picture.)

–> This sign in Kingman, AZ – my mom opted to take the Laughlin bypass instead of the taking U.S. 93 straight to Vegas because the section near Hoover Dam is notoriously dangerous. And this scene – as I reminisced about how we were leaving I-40 for the first time since Oklahoma.

–> The descent into the Las Vegas Valley.

–> Mammatus clouds greeted us at our destination.


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