Wow gariac! That's exactly what I was looking for!
My daughter has an amazing (actually obsessive) attention span so long as it is something she is interested in. Ever since she was an infant, bombs
could be going off around her and she wouldn't even notice when she becomes fixated on something. It really is like achieving an Altered State of
Reality for her, focusing on one thing with all her attention until she is entirely oblivious and separate from everything around her (as well as her
own body and it's needs). However, if it is something she isn't interested in, no amount of bribery, pleading, coercion, threats, or plying will
make her focus, much like any other child her age.
I'm not sure where her sudden interest in Area 51 came from, but as her main hobbies are High Powered Rocketry and building Amateur Satellites, I'm
sure she must have come across the reference while doing research for one or the other. If I didn't know any better I'd almost think that she wants
to scope out Area 51 as a potential future employer. LOL!
Thank you especially for the warnings about the roads in Death Valley and "the Racetrack". We will be making the trip in a Toyota Solara (luxury
coupe) rather than a SUV, so that kind of info is invaluable to know ahead of time (you probably just saved me being stranded and facing a lot in auto
I was hoping to avoid Vegas though. I haven't been there since childhood and it's one of the two places on this Earth I avoid like the plague (Los
Angeles is the other). My daughter has mentioned wanting to see Luxor, but as she has taught herself Hieroglyphic from all of my Undergrad Textbooks,
and has a strong personal appreciation for Ancient Egypt, I think she would be sorely disappointed when she discovered what is at Luxor isn't Ancient
Egyptian and just Vegas Glam + Hollywood Stage FX. I had been hoping to get her to Egypt long ago to see the real deal, but the last 10 years our
country has alienated the Muslim nations, to the point where I still have to gain fluency in German and Arabic before I can seek a permit to do field
studies in Egypt (I've got the French, Hieroglyphic, Hieratic, Demotic, and Coptic down, but adding fluency to two more languages to that list is
proving to be a significant hurdle even to me).
Scotty's Castle was already on our Alternate List for this leg of our trip, but the Windmill Inn sounds pretty good and was news to me. Thank you.
That definitely sounds like something to check out.
Also thanks for the heads up on mosquitoes. I would have never thought to worry about mosquitoes in the desert (what on earth do they feed on out
there?). Mine and my daughter's body temperature runs 3 degrees hotter than normal due to having hyperactive thyroids, so because of this, we attract
snakes and mosquitoes like nobody's business. We'll definitely be bringing repellent then! (As far as water, I keep 5 gallons of water, 5 gallons of
gas, and a case of motor oil in my trunk at all times...along with 4 jacks, 2 spare tires, 2 changes of belts, and lots of hurricane tape and jb-weld.
It's always better to be safe than sorry...and I've been in situations where I had to rely on having those things more than once.) Thankfully we
don't have to worry about flip-flops. My daughter and I both have an unhealthy fascination with tall combat boots and wear them for every occasion.
(I'm sure having rattlesnakes attracted to your high body heat factors into developing that fascination with tall combat boots some too.)
The eating in Rachel tip sounds like one from previous experience.
As I've discussed this further with my daughter, she was determined that this
was one of the places she wanted to stop in at. I'll be sure to take your sage advice and keep our visit limited to soda and bathroom only.
I'm starting to have reservations about taking this journey in a new car. I thought that reliability would be the biggest concern on a road trip, but
for some of these locations I might be better off using my friend's car that has been to Burning Man 12 times and is held together and runs only due
to the quantity of playa dust that is covering every square inch inside and outside of that car!