The road in Amargosa Valley cuts the desert in a straight line. Misty mountains wriggle in the far distance and the yellowish valley, sprinkled with scarce plants, outspreads to the infinity. Rare buildings mainly look abandoned and if it wasn’t for occasional cars going in the opposite direction, it would seem as if I were the only human being on the planet.
I stop often off the road, wanting to soak this beautiful solitude into my mind forever. After some time, I can see the ‘Longstreet Inn and Casino’ where we are staying for the next 2 nights. I signal, turn right and stop the car by the road in front of a plain sign, ‘Welcome to Nevada – The Silver State’. Nevada is ahead of me, California behind. I pull the break, reach out for my camera and notice one police car stopping on my right and the other on my left-hand side. It seems I am surrounded and it looks scary, but what can I do now?
I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong, but you never know what the rules are in a foreign country. I could have only driven too slowly whilst enjoying the views and that would be a funny breach when it comes to me. Ask my mum, who always complains that I drive too fast and ‘do something dangerous’. I don’t, but that’s how she feels in her anxiety.
‘Well,’ I think to myself, ‘we are where we are. Let’s see what an encounter with the American Police looks like in real life. Hopefully, it’s not as creepy as on TV,’ but I am ready for anything. The policeman on my right-hand side opens the window and I do the same.
‘Hi! Are you OK?’ he asks with a pleasant tone.
‘Yes, I am. I stopped to take a photo of the ‘Welcome to Nevada’ sign,’ I reply with the merriest smile I could pull out at that moment.
‘Where are you from,’ he continues?
‘I’m from far, far away Croatia,’ I answer and feel as if I spoke with a passer-by, not the authority of a severe reputation.
‘That’s just a few miles down the road,’ he jokes and I laugh agreeing, ‘right here around the corner!’
‘Do you want a photo of the sign with a police car?’ he asks.
‘Sure, I do,’ I accept the kind offer.
He drives towards the sign, the other police car leaves, I take a photo, show thumb up, thank him and we wave goodbye.
While the 2 cars drive away to the haze I look at the desert around me once again and say to myself, ‘This is why I don’t like traveling on a tour. Everything is scheduled there. You can’t get into this kind of situation.’ On the other hand, I had such an interesting afternoon and next time I’ll tell you about the Opera House in the desert that I was returning from.