Monday, April 4, 2011

The Valley of Fire

Something Wonderful To Do Near Sin City

OK so let me get this over with. Pardon me whilst I clear my throat. Here goes.

I am the only guy on planet earth that doesn't "get" Las Vegas.

The Vegas Philosophy - "Come here, get stupid."
Roadboy's Philosophy - "Blow a paycheck at a casino that uses supercomputers to assure a minimum 3% take! Are you crazy?"

Think of it. How much must people really be losing when just 3%, skimmed off the top, pays for all of those mega casino's?

With my strict $5 limit, I am officially a casino's worst nightmare.

I don't buy any of that "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" stuff. Not when every other billboard is for an attorney to aid you with your DUI.

What I do "get" are the amazing Cirque shows, airplane contrails trailing across an azure blue desert sky, buffets, big swimming pools, tours of Hoover Dam, mesmerizing lights at night, and neon clad drive-through wedding chapels.

There are even guided tours of the boneyard where all of the old neon signs from dead casino's go! I know. I tried to reserve a tour, only to find out that tours are always sold out two weeks in advance.

Truly, and my loved ones will vouch for this, if you give me a folding chair I'd sit happily for an entire evening in front of the Bellagio watching its fountain whilst singing "Luck Be A Lady Tonight" (or whatever tune the water happens to be dancing to.)

And no place on earth matches Las Vegas for Olympic Class people watching. Where else do you see guys wearing a sport coat over straight leg Lee's secured by a big moon hubcap arm in arm with a bimbette with platinum hair made seemingly of fiberglass?

Then every morning a fresh dawn brings the saddest time of the day in Vegas; broad daylight. 

What to do?

I'll tell you what to do. If you are visiting in spring or fall, point that rented red mustang convertible east! Drive an easy 35 miles to Nevada's first state park; the Valley of Fire. Go there on the freeway, exit out the other end returning via the freshly paved Northshore Road (NV 167) in the Lake Mead Recreation Area.

Oh how I wished I had another day to spend and my road bike. Another time for sure.

My Kind of Road
Smooth, Lonely, 2-Lane Bliss

The Valley of Fire was founded in 1935 and was almost lost in during hard times in the 1950's.

Kids Exploring the Rocks

The park is simply a treasure. It has starred in many films. It is filled with petroglyphs, intense soft coral colored sand, and amazing piles of red rocks. It is home to lots of antelope ground squirrels, zippy lizards, roadrunners, and an occasional sidewinder.

The Red Rocks Dwarf Our Chariot

What A Pallette

Geology Sculpted By The Wind

Anasazi "Texting"

More Petroglyphs

My Beloved Contrails Slicing The Sky

A day in The Valley of Fire left me completely renewed.

Ready to go back and stare down Sin City.

Oh, and it is true, Liberace's Museum is indeed now closed.

Roadboy's Travels © 2011

No comments: