Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hoover Dam and my night in Vegas

Day 14
      I woke up early due to the numbing sensation of the cold, I was bundled up like an Eskimo and had to unravel myself like that of a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon. Locating my keys was always a challenge in the morning, once accomplished my first coherent move was getting a good current of heat circuiting, unwilling to open the back door and risk the fresh blast of air, I repositioned myself and plunged forward into the drivers seat. These routines always felt like I was crawling into the cockpit of my own ship.  I was soon entering the desert plains of Nevada. The dullness of the scenery soon stymied any excitement that was still lingering after the idyllic night at the Grand Canyon.

I was in route to the Hoover Dam. Once I arrived and found parking I felt lethargic and wished for a piping hot double shot Americano to rejuvenate the senses. There was a road  accompanied by a walkway spanning the summit of the dam. Due to the lay of the land the wind  funneled down between canyons with great velocity.  The sheer extent of the drop below I found to be quite alarming, that combined  with being swayed by the force of the sweeping gale was enough to clear my senses without the needed asset of caffeine. There were danger signs spray-painted across the concrete ledge to warn the naive 'Steep slope' and then a little further down "Keep off wall" this was an obscure one, if your considering leaping, would this label actually stop you?  Maybe it alerted people who were in the mood to flirt with disaster and go 'whoop' right over. I got a few pics on top of the dam. One person that I regretted handing my camera to because of the language barrier; I found her aiming the camera elsewhere, and had to tell her to aim for my smiling face I then recollect her actually pointing it backwards while saying "okay smile" She must have been talking to herself. Another comical event anyway. It astounded me the  true volume of water mass the dam was holding back, I pictured for the second, the amazing amount of devastation that could occur, were the dam to break loose, it was a terrorizing thought to entertain.

       After Hoover Dam I got back in the car and re-routed, orientating myself in the direction of Las Vegas. At first, I wasn't sure whither to hit up Vegas, since being by myself would take some of the luster off the visit, but I figured I'd at least drive through. It was nightfall before I breached the outskirts of the city that never sleeps, upon entering and passing Safeway's and Subway's I finally after some hindrance  reached the strip with all the hubbub. Upon entering the strip I felt very much out of place, like a lost and weary pilgrim who just stumbled across Satan's playground instead of the holy land. I parked and with no clear game plan, grabbed a water bottle and stumbled out into the night. 

          The first attraction was a fountain that shot jets of water into the night in rhythm with  a symphony, it was located in the heart of a pool of water outlying the Bellagio Hotel. I stood there perched over the rail transfixed for probably a half hour. The lights over the water combined with the harmonious background music was spellbinding. I eventually moved on to the Bellagio hotel and Ceasers palace both were decorated with ornate architecture. After being witness to such posh, I returned outside and wandered further up the strip. I tried my hand at Gambling at some cheap slot machines, the first time I won 4 bucks and was hit with a case of 'gamblers bane': not quitting white your ahead. After losing 25 bucks I left feeling ripped off.

        Soon after, I decided to attempt frequenting a local strip joint but was stopped at the door on my first attempt and informed there was a 4 drink minimum, being a lightweight already I decided this was not a good move on my part. I was in Vegas alone without a DD, with plans to leave that night and had no desire to have my ass in a sling. Many people screamed by shouting "wheww yeah Vegas baby!" in very close proximity. I didnt share the same level of enthusiasm due to my utter lostness and lack of company. I feel like the whole point of Vegas is to make you feel trapped, like you can never get out of Vegas. At least it seemed to be designed that way After walking around for awhile I started seeing the same stores and bars and by the time I saw Ceasers palace from all 4 different angles I was beginning to feel uneasy. 3 hours later I finally located the fountain and soon after my car.

Aside from the architecture and aesthetic appeal.Vegas struck me as a black sink hole that sucks your money and time away and leaves you unfulfilled. It could have been the fact I was merely sightseeing however I'd rather be traversing Europe and exploring the rich history of the Santa Maria del Fiore in Florance or snorkling in the Caribbean than Gambling in Vegas, in fact I can hardly think of a bigger waste of money or time. One time I once came across a group of middle and high school girls with no supervision just walking around and it hit me how incredibly naive it was for that lack of foresight. After that, I was repulsed by the street vending prostitution.With these thoughts being mulled over in my head on the way out, I eventually found an old town with a gas station, located a parking spot folded the seat back and unsuccessfully attempted to crash. I couldn't sleep, my mind was racing.

      I had an epiphany of sorts that night. In my perception: Life and nature are similar concepts because nature is the study of how life acts and interacts within our circle of existence. When we take the time to examine the beauty of the world around us, we are able to see parallels within our own lives. It becomes a shrinking experience and we begin to think outside ourselves. All of nature moves in a spiral as do our personal lives. Not everyone responds to beauty in the same way; many are aware of it but don't allow it to light up the sentiment with reverent peace of mind. Material possessions don't please the way the natural elements can. My curiosity about the earth transcends my curiosity for other things. Desiring to find natural beauty inherently lies within the core desires of our being. uninhibited, unequivocal untouched by the corrosion of the mind. and only subject to the whims and harmonies of the free floating elements of the species. I see delicate beauty as soul stirring graffiti. After The Grand Canyon my eyes were opened to the depth of the of the natural world and self actualization was fully attained.

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