Coming to Las Vegas

We spent yesterday morning in Flagstaff, then, after much discussion, decided to cancel our reservation at the Mather campsite in Grand Canyon and head straight to Vegas. The weather forecast called for round the clock thunderstorms with big winds, and it looks clear toward the end of the week. So we reversed our itinerary; we’ll go to Grand Canyon after Vegas. This turned out to be a good decision; we drove through storms all afternoon on the drive through the mountains.
The drive. First, some fun 66 Kitch in Seligmen, Arizona. Then, the Black Mountains. My geography was a bit off; I thought this drive through the Mojave would be flat, so I was blown away by this huge mountain range. Magnificent. The steel gray thunderheads reach down to the mountains and reflect back the coppery brown color of the high desert. This mix creates a stunningly beautiful landscape; my jaw dropped at every turn. At one point we stopped at a scenic overlook to photograph, and as I was stepping out of the car realized that Springsteen was singing about lighting on the iPod. I don’t like to ignore a weird coincidence, so we made some quick exposures then ducked back into the safety of the car.
Las Vegas is total culture shock. I had been mentally prepared for a couple of days of downtime in the wilderness and quietude of the grand canyon, and we have been dropped into the center of the universe. We explored the strip last night, and then headed back to the motel. We’ll be here until tomorrow, so it should be an interesting 24 hours.
Oh, and a little bit of home: we can see New York, New York from the motel.

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