Exhausted and overwhelmed with the spectacular, we took a day off. We had a list of chores, the mundane stuff that cannot be avoided. Do the laundry, pay the bills, clean the van, get the oil changed. After our day off from travelling, we were still “canyoned out”. We opened the map to see where we were. Sometimes, it is hard to visualize where we are on the continent and where each state is situated when looking at just one state map at a time. We cross the state line and pick up another free map for the state we are in. We bought a “Western United States” map so we could get an overall picture of our location. We have travelled so far south! Are we just over one hundred miles from Las Vegas? The decision was easy. Hoping on the Interstate, we were Las Vegas bound.
The drive through the canyons found us sadly unimpressed to start. The brown colour, the small size. We had seen better. After a short while, it got better. Much better. Steep cliffs on either side delighted us once again.
Then it happened. In an instant we were in the desert. Flat, with cactus. I am smiling. I love to see the diversity of God’s creation. The temperature rose dramatically. We are no longer bundled in sweaters and coats. We have found summer!
We saw a sign directing us to a hotel and casino which costs $39.95. With little else to guide us, we checked it out and here we are at the Cannery in North Vegas, no internet but the price is right and the place is great.
First things first. I headed, not to the casino, but to the pool. I love swimming. I love floating and relaxing. The cool feel of the water. Isn’t it amazing that our bodies can actually float on water? We cannot pick water up in our hands, we can walk through it, yet we can relax and float on the water.
I confess, we could not resist the lure of the slots The casino is loud. The clanging, ringing and jingling, the music and loud chatter had our heads reeling. We left after just a very short while. It was time to see the real Las Vegas… the Strip.
We felt like we were at a huge county fair including a roller coaster. The sidewalks crowded with people. The streets filled with cars and taxi cabs. Everywhere we looked we saw lights flashing and demanding attention. It was fun. My favorite sign… McDonald’s.
We wandered up and down the streets. We found ourselves in a few wonderful galleries. The first: a glassblower. Not ordinary. Huge pieces of art. Wonderful designs and colour. The piece in the window sold for $640,000!! WHAT?
The next gallery I enjoyed was a photographer by the name of Rodney Lough Jr. I wanted to take pictures of his wonderful masterpieces but resisted. Each photo included a wonderful description of what the picture meant to him. He talked of his love of God and the diversity of creation. A man after my own heart. I felt connected to his words as I gazed at each picture. I could feel his thoughts. I lingered at each picture, taking it all in. I am inspired to sit and really enjoy the moments as I explore this wonderful continent.
While I enjoyed the lights and the busyness, the shopping and free entertainment, there is still a sad overtone to what is really available on the strip. The offers of sex and the lure of gambling is all too clear. As we wandered through the crowded casinos like MGM Grand, we didn’t gamble, we watched and wondered. How much money is lost in a night? In an hour? There is no evidence that there is a recession here or is there? The chance to win it big will solve all the problems?
With sore feet, it was time to head back to the Cannery and call it one crazy night.