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.
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....