6/13/07 From Kingman we turned north on AZ-93 and a few miles from where we would cross into Nevada over the Hoover Dam we were stopped by Arizona state troopers and Rocinante suffered the humiliation of having every one of his body cavities searched for explosives intended to blow up the great engineering triumph of the 1930s. This search by uniformed authority figures initiated some dramatic defensive posturing from Diesel and I then had to take him out into the desert while Linda enabled the vehicle search.
Soon we were back on our path with only minor injuries to our dignity. We reached Las Vegas at a decent hour of the early afternoon but became jammed in a near gridlock of inching traffic as we got within a few hundred yards of our KOA campground just behind the Circus Circus Casino on the Las Vegas Boulevard casino strip. The temperature was in the hundreds and we were essentially parked in a vast parking lot so we had to wait until well into the evening before we ventured out on the asphalt to the Circus Circus on our delicate, finely sandaled feet.
People who have never been to Las Vegas will never be able to understand what a sensory assault this place is. We camp in a parking lot, we open glass doors into perfectly conditioned air and marbled tile. Diagonal and horizontal escalators carry us into a wonderland of eating and buying opportunities, past an amusement park for stripping us of any juvenile encumbrances, and then deliver us into the dark heart of monetary darkness where neon glows, strobes flash, and multiple sound sources hypnotically blend together in a rising crescendo of auditory excitement. People of incredible neuronal complexity sit on stools in front of these entrancing machines and entertain the idea of having some sort of life changing return on the pennies, nickels, quarters, or dollars that they are shoving into the little slots of these machines. After a long, claustrophobic meander through these unhallowed halls we finally found an escape from the front of Circus Circus and made our way to the fabled Las Vegas Boulevard that runs past its front. We spotted a stop for "The Deuce" shuttle that runs up and down the strip and decided that in the morning we would buy a 24 hour pass and use the shuttle to explore the other casinos that had replaced Circus Circus as heir to the crown of toppermost of the poppermost on the strip.
6/14/07 First there was laundry to be done and next we lopped around the swimming pool until it seemed cool enough to venture out to review the "Strip." We had heard some rave reviews about the buffet at the Bellagio so that ended up being our first stop on The Deuce. We stopped for a snapshot of the choreographed fountains in front of the Bellagio and of the Eiffel Tower and Montgolfier balloon at the Paris Casino just across the boulevard. After a sampling of superb sushi, some appendages of Alaskan King Crab, a bit of calamari, some globe stopping veal osso buco, various offerings of mussels, shrimp, and Chilean sea bassfollowed by several preparations of salmon, venison, and prime rib it was time to move on to the magnificent offerings of the desert bar. It was the best near death experience that I have had so far. Our only hope of survival was to try and walk off the food so we paid cursory visits to the Paris Casino, Caesars Palace, New York New York, Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay before catching The Deuce southwards back to the Circus Circus stop
6/15/07 I got up shortly after 4:00 AM in the hope of riding The Deuce with my video camera to try and capture the dynamism and neon dance that had escaped the still camera. Even at this ungodly hour the Circus Circus casino was packed with worshippers of mammon. I waited in vain for The Deuce and then walked the strip past The Mirage and the Trump Towers construction site up to the Mandalay Bay then rode the tram back to Excalibur before crossing over to get a closer look at the MGM Grand and the Harley Davidson. Then I finally chased down The Deuce and got a good seat behind the windshield of the upper deck for capturing my video Vegas.
Images of Greece 1989