Joshua Treed

Our plan for the Saturday was to first go to Grand Canyon, and then continue on to Las Vegas. But after consulting the GPS, it claimed that we wouldn’t be at Grand Canyon until some time after 6 pm. That wasn’t a very appealing prospect since we wanted to get to Vegas before it got too late. So we decided to postpone Grand Canyon until after the Vegas visit.

The road to Las Vegas is almost entirely a long boring highway, so we consulted the map of scenic byways we got at Point Lobos and found a scenic route through the Mojave National Preserve which we decided to aim for. On the road we found it rather odd that there were so many cars with boat trailers since we basically were in the middle of a desert! Not only that, we also passed a couple of boat repair shops! It remains a mystery…

After a good while we turned to the scenic route through the Mojave desert. It was a fun road with a lot dips in it (check the video!). Parts of the road also had ‘Flooded’ signs, but we never actually ran in to any water so it must’ve all dried up since the deluge the day before. We stopped a few times to check out the wilderness but didn’t find that much of interest. The were truckloads of Joshua Trees by the road though.

We finally arrived in Vegas in the late afternoon and checked in to the Luxor where we had booked rooms (hotel rooms in the bigger casinos at the Strip aren’t that expensive actually since they make the real money from your gambling anyway). The Luxor has a really nice atrium since the inside of the pyramid is hollow and the hotel rooms are along all the walls (since all the walls are at an angle the elevators are called inclinators by the way). We were at the 13th floor, which is about halfway up, so we had a nice view. One thing that surprised me a bit was that the hotel was a bit worn, I’d expected it to be in a bit better shape, but I got the impression that they were just about to renovate it.

After installing ourselves and getting Internet connectivity (they actually had a wired network, that is so 20th century) we went out to walk the Strip by night. It was certainly something to see all those casinos, one more more ridiculous that the other (but the worst, by far, is the Excalibur that looks like the Disney castle). We walked as far as to the Bellagio which is the casino that has the big water show that you’ve probably seen on TV a few times. The Strip is really long, but when you walk it your perspective gets distorted because everything is so big. There was also a lot more people out walking than I’d thought there’d be, slowing the walking down a bit.

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