June 10-14: And so, I was off to Vegas, thanks to hotels.com and Enterprise. Nothing like going 2-3 miles per hour for 6 weeks and then jumping in a rental car for a 5 hour drive!
Also, nothing like going from a 12,000 foot pass to 200 feet below sea level in a 36 hour period! Talk about extremes. You know what was NOT extreme? The heat. After a non-existent winter, California has been making up for it with a cold and snowy spring and early summer. Which meant that as I drove through Death Valley, it was a brisk 107 degrees. Practically parka weather!
Vegas was an assault on the senses after so many weeks in the wilderness. And seriously- why do they crank the air conditioning so high in the hotels and casinos? I had to bring my long John top with my any time I went to an all-you-can-eat-buffet! (I have not dropped weight as quickly nor gotten "hiker hunger" to the degree that I did on the AT, but I could still do some damage at a buffet!)
Still a little tired from my bought of noro virus, I decided to rest up by lounging by the pool. Hiker style. In my underwear. It's Vegas, baby- no body batted an eye. Ditto for my Crocs with socks on the strip. Oh, yes I did. Stacey and Clinton would throw me in fashion jail, but my feet were singing the highest praises!
Day 3 in Vegas, and my friend, Shan arrived Roth her fiancé, Willie. We met at a breakfast buffet and did some catching up. Then they went to do some wedding stuff and I checked out of the Luxor, into Circus Circus, and went to the grocery store to resupply. Britney called on her drive in and we all met for more food and drinks to tide us over until evening.
Britney has also brought my clothes that I had mailed before the hike, do I could stop parading around like a crazy person and also feel cotton against my skin for the first time in 6 weeks. Oh!! So soft!! And then Shan, Brit, Willie, and I went to Blue Man Group.
If you haven't been to BMG, I highly recommend it! It's fun and funny and just an all around good time. If night clubs were like Blue Man Group, I'd go out a lot more. And I'm not sure why attaching toilet paper rolls to leaf blowers and aiming them at the audience is so entertaining, but it is. We left happy and covered in debris.
Afterward, we went to a Brazilian Steak House where the just keep bringing you food if your coaster is green side up. Like this:,
When your hiker appetite has been sated, you turn it over red side up like this:
And they keep filling your drinks, too. So between the show, the drinks, and my inability to stay up past nine, I was all set to go back to Circus Circus and sleep. But somehow we ended up at a piano bar.
Now, I like a piano bar as much as the next person. But I was just too tired to stand unsteadily on a chair and scream out the lyrics to Don't Stop Believing at the top of my lungs. So I sat unsteadily in a chair and watched other people do it.
The next day was the wedding. Shan had booked some pre-wedding primping sessions at the spa. I was faced with a dilemma - should I let anyone touch my feet? Yeah.
I got a super duper foot treatment that made my feet look almost normal again. She even superglued the big heel crack back together again.
And then we changed into wedding clothes for the big event- Vegas style- in a gondola in the Venetian.
I gotta tell you- it's hard changing pace in the midst of a long distance hike, but u can think of no better reason than caching up with old friends and seeing them get married. It's God happiest I have ever seen my friend!
And then, I had to drive back to face the reality that all my hiking buddies were way ahead and I'd know nobody!