After the Mojave National Preserve, I’d planned to head for Hoover dam, bypassing Vegas. I don’t much like gambling, and all of the movies about hilarious antics in Vegas that I have seen involve a group of people. It’s never just one guy who parks his van in a parking garage and goes out for a wild night. A friend who follows myreal-time location more closely than most noticed that I was close to Vegas and asked if I were going. When I told him no, he said that if I were that close to Vegas I really had to go. I needed a picture by the Vegas sign. What sign? I wondered. I figured that there probably was one, though, and it probably was famous, and it probably was irresponsible not to get a picture there. Vegas wasn’t far out of the way, and there was probably nowhere to stay near Hoover Dam anyway. With the help of my friend’s directions, sent via text message, I found the sign. It must be famous because there is a parking lot there and there was a constant steam of people taking photos. I got a picture of this bride. I couldn’t tell if the suspendered guy standing away from her was her groom or some kind of handler. I got a picture of me at the sign too, but you’ve seen me by now. It’s in the overflow pictures, if you need proof.
With the picture out of the way, I decided to find a place to park, find some lunch, and hang in Vegas for the night. My friend directed me to the MGM Grand where I parked on an upper level of the parking garage. If you look at the background of this picture, you can see Hooters.
I took a few pictures at night. Look, oh-so-artsy.
After dinner I tried to find a friendly-seeming bar, but apparently everyone in Vegas saw the same movies that I had and consequently were ensconced in their entourages. Unless . . . unless I was a big winner at one of the gaming tables. I went to an ATM and got five hundred dollars, then found another and got another five hundred. After forty minutes at a blackjack table, I was up by five grand, and people were taking notice. A striking redhead with lovely green eyes had come over, taken a place at my side and was asking questions about life in the van. It was pretty clear that I would be comped a room.
Not really. After dinner, I went back to Walden, and went to sleep.