The Great Quest West is a series recounting the two-week road trip my brother and I took this August through eight of the most western states.
August 12, 2015
I woke up to the loud voices of the British tour group camping next to us. We pack our things and leave before the bees begin to sting. We hike Yosemite Falls, which was quite a depressing site to see during the summertime. To make up for the lack of waterfall we ventured a second trail to Vernal Falls. When we finally made it to the top we embraced the cool mist and watched as teenagers jumped off the rocks into the rainbow water below. We got a head start on our trek to Zion and planned for a campsite in a small town in Southern Nevada, about six or seven hours away. Toward sundown we arrive to find a tiny western town with a patch of gravel behind the police station. Without a second thought we booked it to Las Vegas. Along the way we discovered that Nevada was actually good for one thing – the darkness and lack of city lights for miles, resulting in a clear sky illuminated solely by constellations. With the windows rolled down and the hot desert air streaming in, we listened to Kanye’s Graduation, like we used to during my first year of high school. I would never admit it to Jordan, but those were some of my favorite memories of freshman year. Riding the passenger seat to the senior parking lot every morning. Getting to see all his cool senior friends before the first bell rang. When I think back to that first year, I always think of that album, ironically enough. We sped down the empty highway and pointed out the constellations while moths smashed our windshield. We attempted to sleep on the roof of Wynn’s parking structure only to realize sleeping through berating bases from the nightclub below was near impossible. After almost an hour of profusely sweating in the suana-like heat, we start the car for downtown Las Vegas to a random casino’s parking lot. Using our dirty towels in attempt to block out the fluorescent lamp poles we tossed and turned and sweat for almost four hours until giving up at five in the morning and drove in to Zion, exhausted.