Day five, part one:Leaving for Las Vegas. It was July 30 and 109 degrees outside. Walkingdown the street was like trudging through the breeze of a giant hairdryer.We watched the world poker tour and the white tigers at the Mirage and thenvisited the auto collection at the Imperial Palace. You couldn't walk fiftyfeet without someone handing you a card offering "Strippers in your room."
Day six, part one:This was the best driving day we would have. Take I-15 south from Vegas toexit 33, Route 160 to Pahrump, which happens to be where the legal hookerswork. This road must be the straightest, smoothest four-lane road on theplanet. Readers familiar with the GT3 might know that the top two gears arerev-limited at 8000 rpm for a rather impressive top speed. We cruised up toPahrump at 7000 rpm in sixth gear. You do the math. However, some of thebest was yet to come. Turn left at Pahrump on 178 east to Shoshone and thennorth on 127 to Death Valley. You will enjoy the twenty-seven miles oftwisty two-lane to Death Valley. But wait, there's more! You have toreturn on the same road to Shoshone and then continue to follow 127 south toBaker at I-15. This piece of two-lane is all 100-mph plus for over fiftymiles. We passed three vehicles on the way to Baker. The outsidetemperature and our speed both exceeded 100 for this entire section. Wemade L.A. by 3 pm.
Day seven, part one:It was good to spend a day out of the car, swap passengers, and know that Iwas only one-third complete with a little over 4400 miles on the odometer.At this point, we had killed approximately 300,000 insects, most of which Ivacuumed out of the GT3's radiators.
Day one, part two:My new passenger, Mary Jo, and I were on the road at 5:30 am to avoid L.A.traffic, which we did, but just barely. Our goal was one of my tworeservations for the entire trip: the Wawona Lodge at Yosemite NationalPark. Around Sequoia National Park the roads are slow, bumpy, twisty, butoverall the GT3 is really not a bad ride. We arrived at Yosemite ten hoursafter the early start and had time for a hike before dinner.
Day two, part two:It was 37 degrees on August 3. The early part of the day was spent inYosemite. Once through the park, the drive continued to our evening stop atLake Tahoe. We entered Tahoe on the south side and stayed on the northshore, which gave us a great afternoon drive around the bluest lake in theStates. Time to enjoy another dinner with a view. Tomorrow we'd be off toSalt Lake City.
Day three, part two:A long drive, rather simple, and not very scenic, unless you call crossingNevada scenic. There was very little traffic. I was doing my best to keepthe speed in check, but, geeze, it was so flat and empty. We drove over aslight crest near Winnemucca, Nevada, and there he was: the Nevada HighwayPatrol. The officer couldn't have been nicer and said if it were up to him,he would just give me a warning, but since "that thar plane" clocked me, hehad to issue me some paper. He wrote me up for just 10 mph over, and wewere on our way, $177.50 less. Later while driving down Salt Lake City'smain street, we crossed a dip in the road and promptly removed the frontspoiler from the car. Another 600-mile day in the GT3.
Day four, part two:This may have been the easiest day of the entire trip, north on Route 89 toJackson Hole, only 200 or so miles. Even driving a great car like the GT3requires a little break. I checked the car, and I was pleased to note that Ihad logged over 5500 trouble-free miles at an average of 26.1 mpg. These new"old" cars are rather efficient.
Day five, part two:We had an even shorter drive today up to Yellowstone, followed by an eveningat Old Faithful Lodge. At this point of the drive, we had seen what musthave been hundreds of thousands of bikers touring the west while en route toSturgis, South Dakota.