Monday, February 22, 2010

Leaving Las Vegas, Raising Arizona

1996 - 2295 (12391 - 12690)

Like this title? Two Nicolas Cage movies...

As has become my custom throughout Ted's Excellent Adventure, I did pursue several of my objectives during my stay in Las Vegas: see oddities, try a local beer, reconnect with friends. Seeing "wildlife" is self evident there.

While I found the famous Strip overwhelming, I did enjoy downtown Las Vegas. Here I am with a duplicate of the more famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, this one with "Downtown" added.

Just a block away from the sign is the famous Little White Chapel, where you have the option of getting married in a drive thru, no need to even get out of the car. And you also have the option of having Elvis do the ceremony.

Earlier I passed the Chapel of the Bells, next to the Fun City Motel, and on the same block as a florist, a nail salon, a massage parlor, and a tattoo parlor. And there is an IHOP across the street. What else do you need? I cannot understand why my neice Kate is insisting on getting married at the Cathedral in Houston this summer...

I made sure I visited the World's Largest Gold Nugget. It's named "Hand of Faith," it's the size of a baby, and it weighs almost 62 pounds. It is in the Golden Nugget Casino. They have a ban on photography, though I noticed other nugget admirers surreptitiously sneaking cell phone cameras out of handbags. As I have a blocky Kodak 3600, I pulled this photo off the web.

I know there are Berlin Wall chunks in museums and memorials across America, but I think this one is the most fun. It's in the men's room of the Main Street Station Casino. You don't actually pee on the Wall; you pee into one of the urinals attached to it. Above the Wall are historic photos and Berlin Wall specs. The trick was getting a photo when there wasn't anyone doing their business. I am guessing that would be frowned upon...

The Main Street Casino was also the home of the Triple 7 (777) Brewery, and they offered some fine brews. I had their sampler, with highlights being the Richards Black Hop and Shane's Irish Stout.

I had the pleasure of reconnecting with my friend Doug Waggoner and his family in Las Vegas. Doug and I were counselors at Camp Covered Bridge outside of Louisville sometime back in the Jurassic Age.

Doug represents Resolution PI, a management consulting firm that helps organizations improve performance by utilizing the Predictive Index. It was a brave move a few years ago when he made the decision to depend on his own abilities and bring his family to Las Vegas. And here they are: his wife Rebecca and the two children that live at home (Annie and Sarah are in college). Nate, 19, is an aspiring folk singer (this link takes you to some of his stuff), and Leah, 15, is homeschooled and hates math. I enjoyed a witty reparte with them both, and some of my corny remarks got the requisite eye roll I always relish.

My route today took me out of the bright lights of Sin City, back over Hoover Dam and then south on blue highways through the Arizona desert. It's a land littered with rocks and boulders, very different from the relative wasteland of New Mexico and northern Arizona. One of my favorite oddities was the Snoopy Rock, near Wikieup, Arizona.

Snoopy Rock must make this a very Snoopy-conscious region; on the outskirts of Wikieup, different Snoopy characters are seated on top of a corroded missle jockey-style, with Woodstock riding the nose cone. Doctor Strangelove, Peanuts style?

I arrived in Peoria, Arizona, the spring training home of my Seattle Mariners. Tomorrow, Tuesday, is the first day with all the players in camp so I am looking forward to seeing some of my favorites up close and personal.


  1. Hi Doug!!! I'm jealous that Ted got to see you and spend time with your family. xox

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