The day following Race Day, six of the crew left for Denver very early to fly home, while the rest of us were able to attend the awards ceremony for the race in the morning. Following the ceremony, we all said goodbye to the guys who flew in, for their adventure was over, but we still had a few days on the trek back to California. Initially our first night was going to be back in Grand Junction, CO, however since Las Vegas was on the schedule for the next day, I changed the itinerary so we had more time in Vegas. I switched our KOA reservations a week prior for us to end up in Richfield, Utah for the night, which was a solid 9 hour drive.
Due to the ceremony and us having to clean up and pack the vehicles, we didn’t get on the road until after 2 pm, it was sure to be a late night. We were driving efficiently and covered ground with good timing, much less stops than we had on the way to Pike’s Peak, since we were a bit shorter on time. We crossed into Utah at around dusk on I-70 and the road became an endless straight line with a turn every now and then. I let Sascha drive for a while to switch it up a bit, and I ended up even taking a little nap.
I woke up to Sascha telling me we were on gasoline reserves and what we should do, I knew we had a problem, considering we’re in the middle of a Utah desert. We cut our speed from 80 to about 50, and the RV went on ahead of us not sure why we were going so slow and kept going. We finally came to an exit, where the town off the highway was 15 miles out, when the next town on I-70 was over 25 miles. We were already on reserve for a while, so we had to take the nearest one available. We went down a dark two lane road which looked like was leading us to simply more desert, with Sasha putting it into neutral on down slopes to save every drop of fuel we had. We finally rolled into the small town of Emery with not much more than a church and the gas station. We parked by the pumps, but there was a problem, there was only one option for gasoline, when we needed diesel.
Our hearts sank with multiple scenarios running through our head. Sascha thought we would have to sleep in the sprinter with hopes of having a friendly trucker letting us siphon some diesel out of his truck the next morning. Being out of gas in the middle of the desert is an uneasy feeling. Luckily a man filling up let us know that a diesel pump was around the back! What a relief!
It was now pretty late, and we arrived into our KOA in Richfield around 1 am. The long drive was over, and we luckily only had 4 hours left to drive to Vegas scheduled for the next day. We were looking forward to making our fortune in Vegas tomorrow!
We had some discussions about whether to stay at a hotel or the RV camp in Vegas, but in the end we stuck with the local KOA. It didn’t really matter because we were only at the park to sleep that night anyway. We made it there at around 1 pm, and it was a blistering 110 degrees, we parked the RV, got in the sprinter and drove around to check out the city of Vegas. The Germans insisted going to the Outlets to grab some last minute clothing for back home, at least the AC kept us cool in there. We took a shuttle to the strip later that evening, and it was sure a marvelous sight for all of us.
After dinner we wandered a bit more through the casinos and finally ended up at a country style bar in Treasure Island.
We stayed there until about 2 am. Following that we ran into about a dozen Germans at a roulette table, one of them actually lives 10 minutes from Sacha in Munich, small world isn’t it? Once they left we took over the roulette table until about 4.30. I personally lost about 20 bucks at the end of the night, but my comped dozen jack and cokes made up for it. We ended up watching the sunrise from the strip, walking down the full strip until about 6.30 a.m. when I called an Uber to take us to the RV.
It was a successful night in Vegas, and it served as a closing to our trip, because the next day we had to be back in Watsonville, California. We didn’t sleep in too long the next morning, but still took our time to leave, even though we had another 8 hour drive ahead of us. We finally hit the road headed West. With only one stop for gas and a Subway sandwich, we made it back home to Cali around 9 p.m, completely worn out. This had been one huge adventure and tomorrow it would be back to selling BMW motorcycle parts & accessories through our Wunderlich America online shop! It’s great to go travelling, but it sure always is nice to be back home!