Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Grand Canyon

Yesterday Jack and I visited the Grand Canyon. Onto a bus at the hotel, onto a prop plane at a small airport in Las Vegas, a 50-minute flight over desert, Lake Mead, and the Hoover Dam, and another bus to the South Rim.

The Canyon is impressive. Moreover, after two days in Las Vegas it is a complete contrast: austere where LV is glitzy, quiet where LV is frenetic, timeless where the entire Strip seems like some sort of gaudy and unreal mirage. The Canyon is not lifeless, but neither is it warm and inviting. Humans seem a bit irrelevant there.

Nonetheless, here is a human, Jack, against a view from Mather Point:Back in Las Vegas we visited a different hotel for dinner, New York New York, which turned out to be even gaudier than the MGM Grand, with "streets" of "typical" New York restaurants, shops, and bars. A quick walk around and we fled, although I was rather taken with the enormous sculpture of the Statue of Liberty done entirely in jelly beans:Below is the exterior of the hotel, shaped like sky scrapers. Much of Las Vegas is molded to look like something else.Here is the Strip at night. The picture really does not do justice to the glitz.Today we fly home to Seattle. It's definitely time. Still, I am glad to have seen this piece of America. Once.

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