Before we left Australia, I downloaded maps for North America onto our GPS. And I crossed my fingers. I figured that I could learn to drive on the right hand side of the road, and Amy was confident that she could get back to driving on that side of the road as well.
Our GPS has a choice of voices – Susan is pushy North American, Brian is reserved English, and Ken is polite Australian. Ken is very patient. When we miss a turn, Ken adjusts his directions. He beeps when we exceed the speed limit. He has a different beep when there's a speed camera. Of course, there was the unfortunate speed limit incident in New Zealand, when the beep was set to police sirens and scared the whatsis out of us all – but other than that Ken keeps us going where we want to go.
Leaving LA we programmed Ken for Las Vegas and crossed our fingers. Amy drove – and did an awesome job of getting us through the LA freeway system in the peak hour traffic.
The road out of LA is all desert. It's harsh, hard country. We pulled off the freeway at Barstow onto the old Route 66 for petrol and food. The town matches the desert – it look like it's a hard life there.
After Barstow the desert stays desert, but somehow assumes a beauty all it's own. The road is long, and straight and Ken tells us that we don't have a turn for well over 100 kms. I'm driving – and concentrating hard. My natural tendency is to drift to the left.
Las Vegas just appears out of no where. All those things that you hear about it being a city stuck bang smack in the middle of the desert are absolutely true. One minute we're driving through the desert and I'm concentrating on staying right – the next we're on freeway with exits and run ons all over the place, and Ken is telling me to take the next left and stay right........