Wednesday, September 2, 2015
We enjoyed another tasty breakfast and lively conversation at the Whispering Creek B & B this morning. It’s nice to visit other places, and even nicer when you’ve made new friends.
After breakfast, we loaded the car with our stuff, said goodbye to J & J and our gracious hostess Cheryl, and drove into town. We stopped at a Sedona travel center and picked up some maps for future reference. While there, I spoke to an employee who pointed out several maps and brochures. His badge displayed his name and also “Philadelphia, PA.” I asked if Philly was his hometown. Yes, it is. I told him that I attended a White Sox & Athletics game in Connie Mack stadium many years ago. He told me that he grew up just a few blocks from the stadium, and that its name before Connie Mack was Shibe Park. I mentioned that we live in Fort Wayne, IN. He smiled and said that as a child and teenager he used to listen to WOWO, and is still amazed that he was able to hear a radio station as far away as Fort Wayne. I told him that WOWO was known far and wide because of the power of its transmitter. Growing up in South Bend, however, Barb and I usually listened to WLS. After our interesting visit with the man from Philly, we drove to Basha’s grocery store, where we picked up some travel snacks and went to the Starbucks counter.
I struck up a conversation with a woman in the Starbucks queue after the store manager came out to tell us that another employee would be there soon to expedite the service. She told us about a few other coffee shops in the area that have really good organic coffee. Somehow, the conversation shifted to cycling. She said that she loves to ride the trails. She said that she crashed the other day, going headfirst over the handlebars. She showed us wounds on her arm to prove. To make sure we understood the full scope of her accident, she hiked up her dress and showed us another gash and a bruise on her upper thigh. I love the friendliness and openness of Sedona residents!
All good things must come to an end, and our visit to Sedona ended this morning.
“OK, so where to now?”
“Back to I 40?”
“We don’t want to see what we’ve already seen.”
“Then west it is!”
“How about Vegas?”
“Well, why not?”
Mileage before leaving Sedona: 52,109. Time of departure: 9:48 a.m.
We decided to avoid the hairpin turns and hair-raising experiences along Highway 89A north of Sedona, and instead took Highway 179 (also known as the Red Rock Scenic Byway) south to I 17, then north on I 17. The sights along 179 are amazing, especially in the morning and late afternoon. The formations actually change as the day progresses and the sunlight highlights different features.
Upon reaching I 40, we headed west. There was a lot of interesting terrain along the way through Arizona. We saw the aftermath of what appeared to be a horrendous accident on I 40 eastbound. What was left of a semi was blazing away, with firemen on site trying to douse the flames. Cars and trucks were stopped for several miles. Many people had exited their vehicles and were meeting and talking to people they had never met. There’s many an opportunity for making new friends, even during catastrophes.
We stopped once before reaching Las Vegas, at a truck stop seemingly in the middle of nowhere. We fueled the Subaru at a pump where a Subaru identical to ours was parked on the opposite side. “Nice car,” I said to the woman pumping gas into it. “Yes, I guess so!” she replied. She lives in Phoenix. Her car is a 2012 model, just like ours. She loves the car and always uses her cruise control. After refueling, we sat in the parking lot and ate the remains from supper last night, then got back on I 40. We hit the Nevada state line at 3:03 p.m., mileage 52,387.
We arrived at The Linq hotel in Las Vegas at about 5 p.m. The mileage is on the car’s odometer, which at this moment parked in a very large garage in which I once managed to get lost, so I’m not going out to look for the car in order to report the mileage. Take my word for it, it displays all the miles we’ve traveled.
We unloaded the car after much discussion about what to take in and what to leave in the car, and found our way to the registration desk. We paid up and found the elevator. The door opened and we stepped in. The door closed and I hit the button for the 8th floor. We waited for a minute, thinking the elevator was on the way up. I thought the ride was rather slow and smooth, and looked up at the screen displaying the floor. It showed “L,” which was where we started. Barb and I looked at each other and started searching for the panic button. The door opened suddenly and two young women stepped in. We told them the elevator wasn’t working. They asked if we had scanned our room door card on the sensor near the floor buttons. “Of course not,” I said. In a few seconds and some embarrassed chuckles we were headed up.
Our room smells fine, looks pretty clean, and seems almost new. There are two beds. Cell signal sucks. The wifi works ok, but with the resort package you only get two connections for free. So Barb’s cell phone is connected and my laptop is. My cell phone is almost useless, since the ATT signal here is nonexistent. It’s almost as if the hotel jams the signal.
After unloading the stuff in the room, we headed out on the street. It was still daylight when we started our excursion, so the really weird and outrageous stuff hadn’t started yet. But it wasn’t long before the sun went down and oh, boy, the sights we saw you wouldn’t believe unless you’ve visited here. We almost wore ourselves out dodging the cartoon and movie characters, detouring around oriental groups gathered for mass selfies, and jumping over slumbering street people. It was almost as good as a metabolic session at Longevity Fitness.
It wasn’t long before we worked up appetites, and we found a place called the Yard House. Barb ordered a seared tuna salad. I had a BBQ chicken salad. Both were delicious. I couldn’t help but take pictures of them which I’ll cherish for a great long while, especially when I’m trying to figure out what the hell we spent our money on during this trip. After gorging ourselves, we returned to the street life and meandered about aimlessly until it was time to return to the room. We have to rise early in the morning to meet a tour bus for an excursion to the Hoover Dam.
We’re in bed but most of Las Vegas is just getting fired up. And we didn’t put one coin in a slot machine today.