Thursday, January 22, 2015

THE VEGAS HIKE

I will be the first to admit that Vegas, at least on the strip, is not in the least sustainable.  I won't go into all the ways it fails, I am sure most of you, especially those who are on a sustainable journey, know all its failures.  So why you ask would people like us, who strive to live as sustainably as we can, take a hike in Vegas? The answer is simple.  Sometimes we just like to kick up our heals.  I offer no excuses.  It is just something we enjoy doing every two to three years for a couple of days.  Do we feel guilty about it?  The answer is no.  Vegas is a fun and exciting town which just happens to go against everything I believe in.  So am I contradicting myself here...yeah probably.  We go , we enjoy ourselves and then we come back to our lives as we know and live it.
Let me just tell you that unless you take a cab or a limo everywhere, which we neither have the money for or the inclination to do, the Vegas strip is very much a hike.  We were clocking 7 to 12 miles a day.  Not all on the strip, but more about that later.  We were up and down stairs because half the time the escalators weren't working to reach the over passes over the streets.  All this hiking amongst the flowing water fountains, the throngs of people, and the street hawkers.

 
 Inside the casinos there are the lights, the music, and the fantastic decorations.
Then there is the total silence of your hotel room and you let your breath out.  Well about this point you are wondering what the heck?  Right?  Well part of it is, yes, the excitement, the stepping outside your own true box but it is also the wonderful shows, the gospel brunch at the House of Blues on Sunday.  Where both the food and the music make even a hardcore nonbeliever, a believer of a higher power.  If only for a few hours.  It even moved me to get up and clap my hands, dance, and yes I think there may have been a few thank the Lord in there from me too, or maybe it was the guy next to me, but I was feeling it!  The Cirque de Soleil shows, that are better than any drug, taking you completely away for a while.  The fantastic music and the free light shows and then there is just sitting with your drink in a good spot people watching.  Just as you think you have had enough of all that fun, and I do mean enough, you go out into the desert.
We chose to hike Red Rock Canyon.
If the gospel brunch did not completely turn my eyes to a higher power, the desert and Red Rock Canyon certainly did.  The peace that washed over me looking at all the beauty, I have never known before.  An instant feeling of being one with the earth but at the same time knowing it was far more powerful than me.  Knowing that the Paiute Indians lived out in what appears to be nothing but rocks and cacti was very humbling.  Knowing that back in Vegas, people were wishing for big money, fancy clothes and cars. They want and want more syndrome that seems to invade our very beings.  Out in the desert you are humbled to think that the ones that once lived here treasured a cactus for its life giving properties.  Who knew what vegetation was for what purpose.  A land so seemingly barren of life, so full of life. 
 
The extremes of both worlds side by side.  We clocked 39 miles and I was ready to go home.  Back to the world that is me, except for those few days every two or three years.

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