NOTE: The events of this trip are already passed, but I'm posting them in the same sequence...)
If anything, the trip from Reno to Las Vegas was longer than the previous day. I take it back about all Great Basin Roads looking the same; this leg was all desert, real true desert. Started seeing what I assume was Joshua Trees about halfway there, and they looked like a crowd of zombies coming down the hill.
Before we left Fernly, I found a little mini-casino inside a grocery store, so with the bemused help of a clerk, I activated one of the slot machines ("where's the one's with the arms?" Linda asks. "Those haven't be around for a long time.") Played a random game that I actually kept winning quarters on, so got maybe 15 plays out of my dollar. The other slot, a poker machine, I lost 4 straight. Was in a Subway in a small town on the way out, and talking to an old guy, and he said, "As long as you're spending money in Nevada..." "I did!" I said without irony. "I blew 2.00!"
All along the roads there are large deciduous trees of a type I couldn't identify. We asked an old guy in a Subway, and he identified them as cottonwoods. I just don't believe we have a whole lot of those in Central Oregon. All kinds of small towns that I had never heard of. At first, I keep seeing these population signs that seemed to be saying there were 4000 people or so, but I couldn't see it. I assumed the rest of the town was over the hill, or something.
Then I finally realized that all the city signs in Nevada give the the elevation, not the population, so that became a joke the rest of the day. "Hey, look! This town has 4000 people, too!"
We are glad we took such big chunks out of our trip in the first two days. It will give us more time to linger in the national parks, Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon. But it turns out there were plenty of things to see along the way if we'd wanted to. The Modoc National Lava Beds, for instance. We came within just a few miles of Death Valley. (The temperature in the first part of the day was low sixties, but was 96 degrees at 6:00 at night be time time we dropped a few thousand feet.)
We got to Las Vegas around 7:00, on our way to Boulder City and decided we couldn't pass through without looking at some of the bigger casinos.
So we drove through the old part, with the Nugget and Binions, and slowly made our way toward Wynn's and the others -- we didn't see them all, but enough to get the overwhelming flavor.
Where does one start? It's pretty overwhelming. So dozens of young ladies wearing next to nothing on the street, and I finally figured that there was some kind of pirate 'booty' contest going on or something. Either that, or styles have gone a lot farther than I was aware of.
About halfway through, I threw pride out and just start out and out gawking. Richness and utter down and out poverty, all colors and shapes of people, it's hard for an introvert to even make sense of.
So, it's getting dark and we turn around to get back on the highway. And we're stuck for over an hour, creeping along, and by now it's nearly 9:00 on a Saturday night in early summer in Las Vegas. Great planning.
Still, I'm glad we did it.
6 hours ago