Las Vegas Please!
Waking up at a gas station in your car is quite a reality checker. I couldn’t help but to ponder what turn we didn’t make that cost us so many hours. This portion of the trip was only meant to take 22 hours, and yet we drove for 16 yesterday and still had an additional 11 to go. Six hours just to get to the Grand Canyon. So we drove.
By day four of Mary sucking at her teeth every two minutes, it began to drive me mad. It was truly getting under my skin. What killed me worse was I had no clue how to get her to stop. She claimed she had something in her teeth. Well, Mary, we have stopped over twenty times so far on this trip why haven’t you picked up something to get it out!? That was just one indication that the time in the car was beginning to take its toll.
After following a snow capped mountain for miles we finally began to wrap around the base of it. There were several more behind it. Traveling up and over smaller gullies and hills we were greeted with signs of “Maribou crossing”, as my tired mind called them.
“Oh I hope we see Maribou!” I say. Then Mary without thinking too much on it either states.
“Yeah, it would really be cool to see a Maribou.” Yeah we kept that up for about an hour before we realized how dumb we sounded! We were in the middle of luscious hills with fantastic views. Passing signs stating we were at elevation: 7000. At points the sky beyond almost looked like an ocean as the clouds came lower in our line of sight, we were so high. Without making a fuss my car continued on it’s path.
A gas station coming into view lent a perfect opportunity to listen to the three voice mails that magically appeared on my phone and check out the number that had called about five times already. It was Visa. They were going to terminate process on my card if I could not verify that I was making these transactions which had now accrued over a few grand. Thank goodness I was able to get that sorted out or we would have had some serious issues!
Approaching the Grand Canyon I couldn’t help but to feel a bit uneducated. I had always assumed that it was pure desert on both sides of this marvelous display. My eyes have now proven this to be false. What an amazing place it was though. You literally can not fathom how amazing this place is without actually seeing it with your own eyes. The distance to the bottom, the distance to the other side, the slope, and the lack of rails along the trail. But then again, if you know me that spelled GOOD TIME!
Freaking Mary out as much as I could I went careening out on snow covered rocks. I wanted to try getting to the furthest outcropping with the soil being so moist and my shoes so very slick. I could have played all day. I watched enviously as a group of three guys made a gigantic leap out onto an outcropping I would have nearly deemed impossible to be on. Then as they came back, they decided to climb the side of a small cliff to get back up. Well from where we stood if they fell the slightest bit, it would have been good bye! The ledge they used to hoist themselves up was only two feet wide, beneath that a fifteen foot fall to the next little slope. That little slope was nearly 80 degrees! With about fifteen feet to roll down then a fifty foot cliff. Once they fell off that cliff they would hit a small rock, bouncing off the side then flying a good hundred feet to the next slope which was maybe 65 degrees. There could be hope to catch yourself here before you continue the fall of about a mile to the bottom of the Canyon. So Jealous! What a thrill!
We walked along some of the path before Mary finally stated she was over it! Over it! Do you realize how amazing this is? I made her stick around for about ten more minutes before we began the walk back to the car. I just couldn’t stop looking out over the freaking canyon! It was huge!
On the way back to the car we were treated to a nice little show by a local fat squirrel. This guy was fat! He was trying to get into a travelers back pack. A small crowd of seven including us and a photographer watched as he successfully manipulated a zipper to get to the inside of the bag. The lady clearly didn’t want him in there as she picked it up. Our fat little friend simple jumped off the bench and waddled towards the lady, gently pawing at her pants. Not sure whether this scared her slightly (think evil alvin and the chipmunks) or if she realized the true entertainment value this squirrel had now that fifteen people were watching him go. A good fifteen minutes of this went on before he finally ran off to attack some other innocent bystander.
Back on the road we managed to take a few cheap pictures of airplanes we figured our dad would enjoy seeing, made an illegal and highly dangerous u-turn on the highway (I didn’t notice there was a fifteen foot drop two feet from where my skidding tires finally stopped), and confused Laughlin, Nevada with Vegas (Easy I had never been there!). Two hours after Laughlin we finally made it to Las Vegas. Here was another one. Breathtaking. The span of lights goes on forever. I don’t believe I have ever seen more lights! Bigger than New York City and way more miraculous. Mary and I just let our mouths gape at the amazing site that lay ahead of us. We couldn’t even see the Luxor hotel that we were to be staying at even though they boast to have the brightest spot light in America.
Standing in line for twenty minutes we finally checked into our room, which we got in the tower not the casino, aw shux. Very nice room, and prompt service when the television wasn’t working. Though we were tired and I really didn’t have much money to play with anymore I decided a $40 allowance each would do well. We started with a drink while I played a stupid game to warm up. I have never gambled! I watched the ex play all the time and therefore felt I had a pretty good idea of Blackjack. Not confident enough to hit up the live tables I settled myself into a $5 minimum Blackjack computer table with a very nice lady sipping her Long Island. It only took two minutes before I was in the game! Woah baby! Making that money like it was nobody’s business. Mary didn’t even know how to take me sitting there and gambling a hundred dollars at a time!
Then some guy came over hovering over my shoulder asking questions blah blah blah. Next thing I know Mary’s gone and he is too. Slowly starting to freak out I start looking all around for her she finally comes over stupid smile on her face and cigarette hanging. “I’m so drunk Bubby!”
O lord. Trying to teach her how to play with her last ten dollars and forty cents wasn’t a great idea. Before I know it this guy is back and telling Mary how devoted he is as a father, and how his wife cheated on him. Mary’s consoling him. Now I only have $120 left! I was focusing on what idiocy the guy was having to say to my sister, knowing she was drunk, rather than playing the game. I cashed out under $100 and called their conversation quits.
Back in the room Mary thought she was still good to go all night. After just a few minutes she was PASSED out! I almost tip toed back downstairs to play the game well again, but knew I’d be worried she wake up and not be able to find me, and then goodness knows what would happen. We needed our sleep. We had the Hoover dam tomorrow and then our final destination immediately after that. Though I was so excited to be sitting at the Luxor hotel, I couldn’t have been happier to only be one day away from my beautiful and coveted San Diego.