Sunday, April 3, 2011

Home From Vegas II

A week ago today, Pate and I toured a different side of Las Vegas; namely the surrounding desert to the west of the city, better known as the Mojave. I've always wondered where the Mojave Desert was. Did you know that this desert is home to the species yucca bevifolia, otherwise called the Joshua tree? These spiky dudes were everywhere, punctuating the open vistas and 'big sky' views. Apparently 19th century Mormon settlers named these hardy desert survivors after biblical Joshua because their uplifted spines recalled the vision of Joshua with his hands uplifted in prayer.

We visited Red Rock Canyon which is barely thirty minutes from the glitter and lights of the Vegas strip and oh, so out there in rugged and breathtaking nature. We took an easy hike to a waterfall after walking through the visitor's center where we learned all about Mohave flora and fauna. We both remarked on how little we learned about snakes of the Mojave. I don't think they wanted to scare visitors into avoiding the hikes. We knew they were out there and kept our eyes and ears open.  No encounters of  the slithering kind. I don't think snakes like people very much.

Red Rock Canyon was spectacular and in some ways reminded me of the red rock of Aruba. These pictures don't do justice to the variegated rock faces with golden hues interspersed with burnt orange.

After the desert experience, we headed back to the Oasis (RV park) to get ready for our night on the town. Contrast the open air and natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon with the Las Vegas Strip. The green is unnaturally green, cultivated and showy. The music and throngs of people, the whirling barrels of zillions of slot machines and the captivating Cirque du Soleil Mystere performance finished off the day.

Except for the last hours of the day spent around a kitchen table at the Oasis sipping on these....

Till later.


  1. Looks like a fabulous trip! Love to see your smile.

  2. The Mojave desert is spectacular. Lake Meade is literally out-of-this-world. Reminds me of a Martian landscape (if Mars were a fertile planet). I wonder what temperatures you had this time of year. When I got married in Las Vegas last year and we went to see Hoover Dam I felt I was literally in a baking oven! (Tina)

  3. Sounds like a great trip. I've been to Vegas once and didn't like the tawdry, fake appearance of the Strip in the stark light of day. I also discovered I'm not much of a gambler. I didn't get outside the city at all, unfortunately. Cirque du Soleil is my all time favourite! I haven't seen that performance, but I'm sure it was fabulous.

    I didn't know you were born in Aruba. *smile* Great place. It begs the question though...why on earth did you ever leave?


  4. Isn't Red Rock amazing? The striations in the rocks - just fascinating.

    That cocktail looks tasty!

  5. It looks like you had a great trip! Good food and drink, good company, and lots to see make for the perfect vacation.

    If I ever had an RV, it would be an Airstream. I love the look and have an old-fashioned idea that it would be a romantic way to travel.


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