After months of planning, we finally began our much anticipated and long-planned great American West road trip, starting this morning from Las Vegas to the second stop on our trip, Chino Hills in California. The landscape in Nevada was as arid and dramatic as I remembered, the difference this time coming from what I hoped is a more mature state of mind and appreciation for the occasion. In the past I pretty much entirely relied on family to get around anywhere whenever I visited, which is a memory I’ve always wanted to exchange with a more developed reality. While I may not actually be behind the wheel during this trip, I now have a realized sense of independence compared to the last time I passed these same roads so many years ago that makes me smile inside. With one less chip off my shoulders the open Nevada roads are looking free and attractive more than ever.