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Woke up early today, shortly after dawn. It was freezing again - too cold to sleep. All the better, I wanted to pack up and get on the road early in case of Exodus traffic. Packing up went pretty smoothly, and we were driving by 8am. The playa was already pretty barren, but there were enough people still leaving that it took an hour to get through the traffic and off the playa. Still, that's better than I feared it would be.
We got to Fernley before noon - beyond the limit of the Burning Man traffic line. At a gas station, I hit a truck while pulling out of the parking spot and broke its tail light. Luckily, the guy in the truck was very forgiving and let me off without a hassle. There's a little dent in the back of the car, though. But it didn't throw our trip off schedule, at least.
The driving wasn't too bad, though I was quite exhausted. We traveled the Extraterrestrial Highway and reached the Little A'Le'Inn in Rachel, Nevada before sunset. It's so barren and quiet out here in the middle of nowhere - it's enchanting.
The Little A'Le'Inn is a nice little all-purpose stop - bar, motel, restaurant, souvenir shop - no gas, though. A charming band of locals and visitors come in and out of the shop. There was a drummer there, a rustic type, who got Doug to whip out his guitar and play a little bit. We had dinner in the shop, though the only items available were burgers and the Labor Day special - pulled pork and beans. They had ice cold Pepsi, though. Can't wait to shower in the morning. Got a long drive tomorrow, so I better get some rest. Too bad I can't enjoy the VHS archive they have for the guests here (located in "The Evidence Room") a little more. Just enough time for a classic X-Files double-shot - appropriately alien-themed!
P.S. Holy crap, there's not a single radio station out here...