Utah + Nevada

As we drove towards Utah, the red Arizona rock became paler, and the spots of vegetation seemed greener by comparison. We were driving to Zion National Park to see another canyon.
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The way into the canyon was through a tunnel, and as were driving through it, we caught a glimpse of the canyon below through an opening in the rock, and then emerged high up in the canyon, as the road with hairpin turns snaked below us.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????We drove through and parked the car, getting a shuttle bus up to the start of the Emerald Pools hiking trail. The trail was easy and pleasant as we walked a level path along the river, shaded by foliage, and then up to a waterfall and its pools. It was a nice contrast from the Grand Canyon the day before.  While the Grand Canyon’s scenery was awesome, Zion’s was gorgeous.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????It was very beautiful and quite relaxing but our journey wasn’t over yet. We hit the road again and drove to Nevada. The land there seemed to change again into a rocky, scrubby desert, bleached of colour.  It was strange to see a concrete city rise up out of the desert after all the nature we’d seen.  We arrived in Las Vegas before dark so I was able to see it in its daylight hideousness as we drove around looking for a Chipotle to get burritos for lunch/dinner.
IMG_3407IMG_3359We stayed at the Aria, the newest casino-hotel on the strip and it was pretty swanky – when we entered our room the curtains opened automatically!  Another coworker of K’s was staying at the Flamingo down the road, so we got to see the inside of that, all pink and white.  The corridors were eerie, like out of The Shining.

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The rest of my pictures from the Strip are on my tumblr and I saw the Bellagio fountains, which reminded me of Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Las Vegas was so strange, it really felt like Disneyland for adults, with everything made out of cardboard and lightbulbs.  I enjoyed my visit, just like I enjoyed Tokyo Disneyland, but I don’t see the attraction of going back to these kinds of places.  The novelty would wear thin pretty quick I think.

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The Mob Museum was great, housed in the former post office and courthouse.  It showed the history of the city’s founding and growth, as well as its ties to organised crime all over America.  It presented a lot of information and artefacts in really inventive and entertaining exhibits.  The picture below, I took as we were leaving Las Vegas because I recognised the Cheetah’s sign as the strip club that’s featured in the film Showgirls that I’d seen at the Kanazawa Film Festival in 2012.

IMG_3420IMG_3439IMG_3451IMG_3461IMG_3459The drive back was full of crazy roadside attractions, as well as miles of traffic tailbacks on the highway as people headed back to California on a Sunday afternoon after a weekend of dissipation.

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And that’s the end of my American Adventure!

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