Las Vegas and Sedona
24.05.2008 - 27.05.2008 32 °C
After less than 4 hrs sleep I was up and preparing for the next leg. On to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon Tour. We finished up at Londi's after midnight and flight was at 6 AM in a little 12 seater plane from PA to Seattle. Should be some good photos, just after sunrise. One set behind the pilot I did get a bit concerned when he got a map out !! it was only a 30 minute flight after all. A wait at Seattle-Tacoma airport for the Vegas flight means a chance to update the Blog entries.
The bit about Las Vegas coming into existence, due to a set of circumstances was interesting. The construction of the Hoover Dam provided lots of employment for out of state people, relatively high wages meant spare money in a place where there wasn't much to do. So the state of Nevada legalised gambling, after the Mob got involved it took off !
Las Vegas - well bright lights everywhere, apart from the hotel rooms where they don't want people inside reading books ... not many casual seats anywhere but in front of pokies ... all aimed at gambling and sure it's nice for a look but I'm grumpy my travel agent talked me into an extra night there I could have had another night in Washington State. Looking around the strip and travelling the monrail was a novelty for a couple of hours. Still I managed to get some laundry done and got a big second suitcase which should even out the suitcase weights at airports and prevent airline staff grumbling.
I did have one odd experience when I decided to walk to this shopping centre a few miles from the strip, on a pretty unattractive arterial road a scruffy dust covered guy came wandering towards me and asked how to get to New Orleans .. I bit back the desire to give hima smart answer in case he pulled out a knife ... and just said .. sorry mate I'm from New Zealand !
The pre birefing for the Trailblazers tour was nice, there is an Aussie couple from Rockhampton (actually she was born in NZ) .. salt of the earth types .. they were over Las Vegas the moment they landed and Kelvin enjoys a beer, so we will get on well. There were a few drinks or all the guests, an interesting mix, and many more Americans than I expected. The guests all left but there was plenty of beer left so I stayed and helped the guides drink it. Learnt a bit about the tour business from the guides too a very interesting evening.
On the road finally and glad to be rid of Las Vegas. The first night will be sent in Sedona via the Mojave Desert. One interesting piece of information is that there is believe it or not a coastguard post .. apparently in the 60's the Government was concerned that California may fall off the face of the earth, they established a LORAN transmitter (an alternative to radar I believe) base in the desert and it is still there today !!
The whole tour had a lot of long hours on the bus with some interesting and not so interesting scenery (mojave desert doesn't change much) so there was time for reading .. and also a lot of contemplation ... really realised how spoilt I was with my two friends Londi and Heather in POrt Angeles , just being able to sit down and talk about anything ... people on this tour are not so forthcoming, with plenty of spare time thoughts wandered all over the place ... anyway back to this tour ... Lunch was at Seligman on Route 66 .. lots of memorabilia and I think our only short time on Route 66. A stop at the historic Monument known as Montezuma's castle built by indians, a small village up in the cliffs
Overnighted in Sedona .. lovely scenery, an oasis.