Day Twenty Three – Monday September 12, 2016

The above are views from our room on the 35th Floor of the Rio hotel, that we woke up to this morning. It was a mixed bag day, with us running here there and everywhere to take care of some things. First it was the AAA for some additional maps. Then a Citibank branch so we could take some cash out, as all our other withdrawals have been via cash machines on the weekend. Next a stop at an Albertsons, to renew our supply of happy juice, and a stop at a Wells Fargo ATM to withdraw some trip money. Once that was all done, the day was ours again!

Today we did one of our favorite things to do in Las Vegas, and something we have done virtually every time we’ve been here. We drove the 13 mile scenic loop in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. I think that about 16 or 17 years ago, on our first drive around Red Rock Canyon, was when we fell in love with this area. As I told you yesterday, we owned a house out here at one time, and I think it was a visit to Red Rock Canyon that made us think that we’d like to retire here, and the original reason we bought the house was to get into the Vegas real estate market. Times have changed, as have our thoughts on retirement, but not our love of Red Rock Canyon. Honestly, in all the incredible places we’ve been in the last 3 weeks, almost every time we have compared some aspect of it to Red Rock. There is something mystical about it to us, and real beauty that we think compares to the best the National Parks have to offer.

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Unfortunately, today was spoiled by the increasing familiar selfish folks that we have encountered in our travels. My absolute favorite place in Red Rock Canyon, happens about the 4th or 5th mile into the drive. At that point, you are about halfway back into the canyon, a little elevated, and the quiet and peace I feel in this spot, overlooking the canyon is just magical. But today, some bozo was sitting there in his car, with his motor running, so his air conditioning could be blowing at him, while he jabbered away on his cell phone! As the guy used to yell at Adam Sandler in the movie Happy Gilmore, “JACKASS!!!”

Maybe it’s us, but we see wanton selfishness everywhere lately. Everybody’s got to have their picture taken by the sign that says Old Faithful, or Yellowstone Park, or you are looking at some of the most beautiful things in nature, and have to dodge tourists with selfie sticks. Honestly, I think that the selfie is to blame for a lot of this attitude, as people seem to have a need to interject themselves in everything so they can take a picture of themselves. From ball parks, to National Parks, to the top of Pikes Peak, it is EVERYWHERE!!

Okay, enough ranting for now! So after Red Rock Canyon, we went over to the Red Rock Casino for lunch and then played for a bit, winning nothing! Then it was time to head over to CVS to pick up prescriptions. Once we got them, we ventured to Green Valley Ranch for our last visit there this trip.

As Susie and I were coming up to the room tonight, we both agreed that it will be good to get back on the road again, and our routine. Although we always love visiting Las Vegas, this trip was weird for us in several ways. First, this is a place that we know very well, and it was odd, in the middle of visiting new places and having new experiences, to be in such familiar surroundings. I said it was almost like we parked the car, and flew home for 3 days! Then it is just so different from what we have been doing and seeing for the last 3 weeks. Third, Susie won’t let me wear my denim shorts, which have been almost like a second skin to me! But the good news is she says I can ditch the golf shirt and khaki shorts, and get back to my t-shirt and denim shorts tomorrow! Yes, it’s been fun, but it will be good to get back to our familiar routine tomorrow!

Speaking about tomorrow, our plans are to head southwest in the morning, leaving Nevada and heading into a little corner of California. Needles is our way point and our purpose is to pick up old Route 66 for a little bit, as we travel east, out of California, into Arizona (and Mountain time again), on our way to the Grand Canyon. A night tomorrow along route 66 in Arizona, and then two nights in the Grand Canyon!

See you there!

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