The Great Cross Country Caper, Day 4: Las Vegas

Major change of plans today: after double-checking drive times to Yosemite and thence to Las Vegas, we realized that even if we hurtled past El Capitan at 80+ mph, we still would not pull into Sin City until the wee hours of the morning.  Blergh.

So we are regretfully bagging Yosemite until our next trip out here.


The driving. The driving. Sweet Cthulhu, the driving.

It’s a good thing that the 9.5 hour drive is through ungodly beautiful terrain.  Otherwise, I would have pulled a Reggie Perrin and walked into the Mojave River, never to be seen again.  If the river had actually had any water in it. Which it didn’t.

<photos later>


Las Vegas is not where the pretty people come, not even those who are paid to be pretty.  Of course, we’re staying on the “old” end of Vegas, at the Four Queens.  Completely adequate, although it’s nearing midnight and our room is directly over one of the two stages of the Freemont Experience, occupied by quite capable rock musicians who are covering some other musician I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to know.

Anyway, for starters, the man who checked us in has a nephew who is the theatre teacher at East Coweta High School.  Damn.  Just damn.

Free meal at one of the restaurants in the casino, but of course we opted instead for the nice restaurant.  Very good food, and not as expensive as meals we’ve had in Newnan.

Here’s the first problem for me:  if you want me to toss money into your system, don’t you want to make at least the part where I say, “OK, I’ll give you money,” easy for me to understand how to do?  They do not.

I couldn’t figure out at any of the slot machines how to do that.  I finally found one that allowed me to insert an actual dollar bill, and then I just pushed buttons until it told me I couldn’t do that any more.

This is not a formula to addict Dale Lyles, just so you know.


A couple of Christmases ago I “gave” my lovely first wife a trip to Las Vegas, which because of scheduling issues I was never able to deliver on.  This was completely a gift of love and adoration, because I have never had a desire to see this place. I feared in fact that I would find it tawdry to the point of revolting.

I do.

I am as able to enjoy a place ironically as much as the next callous sophisticate, but Vegas kind of pegs the meter on that measure.

Perhaps it’s the effects of driving through the desert without an unnamed horse for 10 hours.  Perhaps today, it will all look delightfully trashy and not as if America’s sad and pitiful had tried to dazzle themselves with freakishness.

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