Now that it was time for Nevada, I decided to stay with my grandparents who have retired to southern Utah. It was a no-brainer for me as I didn’t have a solid connection in Nevada, but even more, it was a great opportunity to see my grandparents. They live in St. George and I’ve had many amazing memories of food, golfing, cards, stories, and fun.
I thought Las Vegas would likely be where I would find most of my meetings and that meant around 1.5 hours of a drive. Naturally, I wanted to minimize that drive, but it wasn’t too bad considering all the driving I had been doing.
It was wonderful to see my grandparents, but this wouldn’t be a normal trip because instead of spending time with them, I would have to be out and about. Either way, it was still enjoyable, and I ate a ton of good food.
I started off the first morning by popping by a gym in Mesquite. Mesquite is located close to the Arizona border about halfway between St. George and Las Vegas. I wanted to see about getting in a meeting outside of Vegas. As it turns out, the owner was just leaving as I arrived, but they said they could meet Saturday morning. I was happy with that as I already had another gym meeting scheduled which relieved some stress.
It was then time to head towards Vegas for my scheduled gym meeting. Before I get into those details, I should do a small recap about the need for an additional task. The additional task was the need for me to get my new car smogged in California that weekend.
Since people have tuned into the blog at different time points, a small recap. I had a Volkswagen TDI for a few years prior to the trip. It made it to Wisconsin, where I heard it would need $10,000 worth of repairs to fix it. Due to the lying and cheating of VW and how much emissions their diesel cars made, they had been ordered to pay settlements to TDI owners. I opted for that option instead. I then got a new car so that I would know I could make the rest of the trip. (a lot more details in the Wisconsin blog).
Since I bought the car in Wisconsin but wanted to register it in California where I would live upon completion of my journey, I would need to get it smog checked. I had been working with some people on this and that was the only option. It now meant I was 3 hours away from a smog place, that I could get it covered and get the car registered properly.
I had crafted a plan to go Saturday morning, which would put me back in Nevada for the afternoon to try and find brewery owners to meet.
Getting back to the Friday, I headed towards my first scheduled meeting and was quite early because I had allotted time in case my first pop in led to a meeting. I was exiting the freeway and decided to turn right, away from the gym. I figured I’d drive around and explore, maybe grab a coffee or something. I would figure it out.
I was waiting to turn right on the top of the exit ramp and then SMACK! A car had rear-ended me! I was annoyed but took a breath to regain focus. I saw the panic on the girl’s face in my rear-view mirror. I drove and motioned to her we would turn off into an empty parking lot. I watched to make sure she followed, and she did without issue.
I parked the car and thought maybe it wasn’t that bad. If it left minimal marking, we could perhaps just call it fine. I get out and see a big ol dent in my new car. A side note that is amusing is a month after getting my TDI 8 years prior, I foolishly backed into a light in a parking lot, leaving a 2-inch slice in my bumper. Here I am with another VW and yet another bumper issue so soon!
The girl was rattled so I tried to be calm to help her calm down as well. I made sure she was fine, and she said she would call her dad. I said ok, I’m calling the police to report it. When the officer came, she was a bit stern with me, but I chalked it up as just being professional and guarded. It also added some minor hassle that my printed insurance card was for my old car with my old address. I had to show her on my app and she wanted to take a physical card with her for the report.
It took a considerable amount of time, but all was fine. The girl admitted her fault, and all was fine. My car could still drive as the bumper was just a bit loose. After the gym meeting, I got some duct tape and added reinforcements. Towards the end of the experience, the officer saw the writing on my window regarding how many states I had been to and she inquired. I told her my story and she became curious and engaged! Quite a different tone. She gave me support and told me it was inspiring.
I then zoomed a couple of minutes to CrossFit Modulus and ended up being about 4 minutes late. I apologized and explained I was in an accident. The owner asked if I was ok and said it wasn’t a big deal. I appreciated the understanding. He then offered to get me a coffee next door which was kind. We returned to the gym and I heard how they are data-driven, utilizing a software system that provides individualized weight recommendations for each person to complete their workout. It was a neat experience that seemed like the future.
With many strength training programs, you perform sets and reps at a certain percentage of your 1 Rep Max. You know your max, then look at a chart to find the correct percent and do that weight. Due to numerous factors, it may be too easy or too hard for you. Such as if you had a poor max attempt before, your max wouldn’t be a true representation of your strength. Or maybe you have been sick since then and lost some strength. Well here, a program would adjust to make sure you were doing the correct weight. This, in turn, should help reduce injury and increase performance.
It was a remarkable experience in thinking for me and I was great for the exposure and time to gain a better understanding.
The rest of the day involved getting my car ok for the drive back to Utah and I also needed to get an estimate on fixing the bumper. I decided I’d get an estimate in Utah. I didn’t really want to wait and hold up any of the process. Another hassle was not wanting to drag on the journey any longer than it needed to be. Since my time in Oklahoma, I could sense I was near the end. It is like the final weeks of school or final sets of a workout. I like to gain heightened focus and crush it to finish strong. The plan was to get an estimate, complete the journey, then return to my grandparent’s and get the car fixed.
Saturday started off early with me heading to my final gym meeting at Tough Country CrossFit and I heard how warm-up time gets the body ready for a workout and the emotions prepared to have fun.
It was now time for a two-hour drive to Baker, California, home of the world’s tallest thermometer and a key stop to or from the Vegas and California trip. I got the car smogged and then headed back. I didn’t have good luck finding any breweries that were willing to meet. A couple showed up on google maps but weren’t there in person. One only shipped beer apparently and didn’t have signage. It was a bit perplexing to have such poor luck.
I then came across a brewery and heard the owner was at an Oktoberfest event to pour beer and there would be other breweries too. I know a lot of owners take to such community events to showcase their beer, meet people and get the exposure. I decided I needed to go.
It was in a parking lot of a shopping mall with about 15 tents set up and some tables for sitting. There was an entry fee of $20 but you got a plastic glass and a couple tasting tokens and you could buy more. It was annoying to have to buy for an uncertainty of access, but I made the call.
Walking in was a little intimidating as many people were in Oktoberfest apparel and with family or friends. There was also some beer carrying race happening at that moment too, adding a bit to the chaos. I chatted up some booths, trying to put on my social face. Sometimes I’m good at it and other times I don’t feel like talking to people. I had to work on being social at this time. I met some nice people and after a beer, it was more enjoyable as I gained more comfort despite not having any friends with me.
I went to one tent and he said the owner may be back in a while but didn’t know. I talked to him for a bit and he seemed uncertain of the whole thing. I think the biggest reason is that it is atypical to experience my journey, especially at some event like this. Some people may try to take advantage or trick for free beer.
Another worker at a different tent wasn’t an owner but he told me at another tent where there was one. This text was Lovelady Brewing who had a peanut butter porter on tap. It was the best peanut butter porter I’ve ever had, and I wish I had some now. I shared my journey and was able to ask my questions to an owner there and heard how four brothers came together to make a dream come true. I still needed a video and I asked if they cared if I got a video of the brewery after the event which was fine.
I only needed one more and the other owner hadn’t returned. The person I had been talking to did see me ask questions and since they were close I think heard some of them. He revealed he was a part owner too and could answer the questions. The brewery was Bad Beat Brewing and I heard that quality beer can be affordable too. He called the tasting room manager to give a heads up I’d be popping by to shoot the video.
Arriving at Bad Beat, the atmosphere was quite friendly. They said sure on the video but asked if I could check with patrons. I went around and quickly asked and people were fine with it. A group asked some more questions about the journey and said how cool it was I did it and we chatted for a bit. It felt like a friendly pub to me.
I then went to Lovelady and met another brother. I did my video and he asked if I wanted a beer and I told him I already had some at the event and he said I could try one at the brewery. I appreciated the kindness and hospitality and went with that amazing porter! I still talk about it.
It was now time for me to head back to my grandparents. I was happy with completing the meetings yet had guilt as it was near 8pm, and I had a drive ahead and Utah was an hour ahead. This meant I’d be arriving quite late at my grandparents. I felt bad keeping them waiting and arriving so late, but they are the epitome of loving grandparents. Only caring that I was safe and happy to see me.
The next morning my grandma cooked up a pack of bacon for me to use for my breakfast. I ended up crafting two amazing egg, cheese, and bacon sandwiches along with a separate bacon and cheese sandwich for the road. One pack of bacon in one day. Not the best for health sake but I had to eat up while I could! Plus, it was yummy!