- Albuquerque – John Peterson was a pro at finding fun bars in nearly every city he spend more than an hour. He introduced me to a rock bar in this town that had me going back for more. I fell in love the first time. She was the lead singer of the band. Never did see her gain after that first night, but did consider moving to this town after a couple of good times.
- San Francisco – This was a planned truck driving vacation. My buddy Jim and I took a load to Sacramento, dropped off my truck, and took the week to explore. The day we spent in San Francisco was by far one of the best days I spent in any city in this country.
- Sacramento – The same trip as above, but not quite as much time spent their. We spent an evening in this town and saw just a portion of it. But we had fun, and the night life was a blast.
- Las Vegas – Hated it!
Why did I hate Vegas? I was excited to see Las Vegas the first time I rode into Nevada. It was dark, I was driving, and my trainer was sitting in the passenger seat. We were coming out of the foot hills and the desert was a sea of black. Then, as we crested another low hill, a diamond emerged out of the darkness. It was beautiful to see that city shining brightly against the blackness of the moonless desert. I was a city boy and looked forward to my first exposure to this legendary city.
However, I was not a gambler, and it didn’t take much time in one of the casinos before I discovered I did not like the atmosphere. Few people looked happy, and all I could see was people pumping money they really did not have into these machines. Those that worked there looked miserable.
After that initial contact, I spent my Vegas time at a rock bar off the strip. They brought local acts in from all over the country. On one of my visits, I had the pleasure of rocking out to a Minneapolis band that I partied to in the frozen tundra. The atmosphere was great, and the band played until 4:00 AM.
But over the years, I watched as I drove through that city. I noticed the RV lots along the freeway. Some of them nearly vacant. Of the few RV’s that were there, you could tell some of them used to be the most luxurious RV’s available. But it was also clear that some of them had not moved in a long time. Maybe it was my over active imagination, maybe it was the movie “Lost in America”, but I pictured an affluent family rolling into town for a couple of days of Vegas fun. Someone gets hung up at the craps table and the family is dirt poor, with nothing left but the RV parked in the dusty old RV lot.
Now, that mildly attractive middle aged woman who brought me a Keno card, she lives in that RV. She used to live in a multimillion dollar mansion in Silicon Valley, but because she could not pull her husband away from the craps table one night 3 ½ years ago, she is schlepping drinks to pay her lot rent.
By the way, a loan shark killed her husband two years ago because the score he was hoping for didn’t come through. Meanwhile, out at the Bunny Ranch, her daughter is turning tricks to feed her illegitimate kid.
In my opinion, only three good things ever came out of Vegas, me, my truck, and empty tour buses.