Saturday, January 4, 2014
We made it to Vegas!
Back on the road early. Bizarre hill ridden, rock strewn plains like the moon or some prehistoric landscape. Enormous ranges of grassland interrupted only by narrow dirt road switchbacks for delivering calves or mending fences. Then, seven large mounds of black dirt by the side of the highway and at the top of one an easy chair decked out in white upholstery with pink flowers.
The land flattened and gave way to prickly Joshua trees, the only spots of green in the sea of amber rocks and sand all around us. Further on, smooth featureless mountains with ridges trickling down like folds in a blanket of brownish gray.
Finally we crossed the Spring Mountain range with its light dusting of snow, the features of rock and frozen prairie grass still showing through like there wasn’t quite enough white paint for the artist’s brush. Just inside the Nevada state line the first casino came into view, a stark white outpost in the middle of the desert. The scrolling neon sign said they had ice cream sundaes for $1.25. They must be pretty good to get people to stay there because the place is seriously over half an hour from the strip.
We came over the last rise and saw the strip spread out before us, the Luxor’s smooth black surface and the orderly smattering of light leading to the Stratosphere at the northern terminus of the strip. Our hotel was about a mile off the strip. We got settled in the room and gave the kids some time to bounce their road energy out on the beds. Ava made an entire series of paper toe rings to sell.
I thought it was sweet that the kids wanted to be sure I got to watch the “Regular Show” Thanksgiving special before we went to swim at the heated pool. I’m typically not one for appointment television but I really enjoy watching that show with the kids. All three of them are getting really confident in their swimming and they had a lot of fun at the heated pool that night. There was a hot tub too so when the cold air got to be too much they could warm up. Hot during the day and dry and cool at night. We had finally made it to the desert.