Steve Peters

Narrative Experience Design

Helping studios, networks, theme parks and agencies develop engaging, immersive experiences.

On a Dark Desert Highway…

Last night, we get one of those calls a parent dreads. At 2am the phone rings, and we're told that our 13-year old daughter, who was on a camping trip with friends, is having a medical emergency and we need to come get her. Seems she's suffering a bladder infection and is "in agony." Problem is, she's three hours away, so we agreed to meet with her friend's parents halfway, at a "fork in the road where there's an Alien Jerky billboard."

So, unexpected road trip for us, as we tear up I-15 to go rescue our daughter. We're hoping she's not really in agony (which did indeed prove to be the case, so don't worry), as we cut off and head up Highway 35 into the night.

It was all pretty surreal, actually. Back-highways in Nevada are desolate, straight, lonely places. The good news is, you can really safely drive between 90 and 100 mph (just watch out for rabbits), but the bad news is, the only thing you can pick up on the radio are stations that are basically All Art Bell All The Time. Picture this, except it's nighttime:

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So, we get there in record time (no traffic, I think I only passed 3 cars going the opposite direction), retrieve our daughter. As we're standing there at the fork in the road, we pause to bask in the cool, 63 degree air (!), and look up at an unparalleled starry sky. Our daughter's feeling better, but still should be at home so we can get her to the doctor asap.

Hop in the car, stop at the only open gas station for 91 miles (!), get some baby donuts (Breakfast of Champions) and Red Bull, and we made it home safely an hour and a half later as the sun was coming up. But yeah, I did watch the skies for UFO's the entire time. :P