A pretty grand Canyon
So the Grand Canyon is named quite appropriately – unremittingly staggering vistas on such a stupendously large scale that you’d be forgiven for becoming blasé after a while. The sunset over Yaki Point didn’t disappoint either, and it seemed fitting to sleep in a reassuringly run-down motel situated on a busy road with an unclouded sky clustered with stars – and clusters of moths, which challenged the phobic tendencies of yours truly. But fear not – I was guarded by a string a Native American cedar beads round my neck. (Moths are apparently fierce opponents of ethnic handicrafts.)
After a night punctuated by slamming doors, whooshing trucks and strange howls we set off along Route 66 – or at least where it used to be – stopping in Kingman for some pulled pork and gasoline, a local speciality according to the guidebook but gratifyingly served separately. Just enough time to swing by the Hoover Dam to witness that concrete can occasionally be beautiful, before heading back to Vegas one more time. This second visit was a more typical SinCity itinerary, taking in a burlesque show (more Flashdance with tits than 40s retro but still surprisingly more tasteful than I expected, up until being showered in silly string from an enormous foam phallus. And lamentably only one tassel) and hitting the casinos, inasmuch as sticking to the cheap tables can be regarded as “hitting”. Still, actually finished 50 bucks up so there you go – Vegas: continuing to defy expectations.
I returned to my ridiculously cheap (owing to an unexpected upgrade) and palatial suite replete with guest bathroom, vestibule, jacuzzi bath, and a phone in the toilet (that’s right – an ACTUAL phone) and wallowed on the floor showering myself with my winnings (thoughtfully counted out in single dollar denominations to make it go further). Come the morning, I rid myself of the night’s booze and gambling excesses with a purgative trip to the gym and the hotel’s somewhat excessive four pools.
And so we head for the airport, having seen the craziness, vulgarity and opulence of Vegas; the scale and grandeur of the Grand Canyon, the sprawling heritage of Route 66, the splendour and variety of ZionNational Park and the feat that is Hoover Dam. Next stop – Los Angeles, where I intend to imbue every sentence with a lilting, showtime inflection. And jazz hands.
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