Days 72-73 – Sin City

Las Vegas probably seems like an odd stopping point for two hikers who have visited six national parks in 10 days, but we’re ready for a little downtime. More specifically I’m ready for a massage and the car is ready for a good washing and vacuuming.

Both Walt and I have stayed on the Strip many times, so we’ve opted for Red Rocks Canyon Resort on the outskirts of town. There’s a casino, of course, but there’s also a huge pool complex – I never did count them all – as well as a spa.

We spend our first “zero day” in a long time, just relaxing at the very nice hotel. In the evening we head to the Rio downtown for a dinner at the 50th floor VooDoo Restaurant, where we watch people zipline from one Rio building to another. Then we head to the Penn & Teller show downstairs. We really enjoyed the show (much more than another Vegas magic show we saw the last time we were here).

On our second day, we decide to head off to the Mt. Charleston area for a short day hike or two. We could have hiked at Red Rocks but it’s about 20 degrees cooler here. Plus, our waitress last night told us that Red Rocks is filled with snakes this time of year. No thanks. Haven’t seen a snake yet on this trip and I’m OK with maintaining that status.

The Mt. Charleston area is in a canyon with aspen trees. It looks more like Colorado than the desert we just left. We decide first to tackle a 1.4-mile hike up 1,000 feet to Cathedral Rock. We make it up in good time and enjoy the view. As we’re heading back, we hear thunder and look up to see that the clouds have closed in a bit.

As we get into the car, it starts to sprinkle and we decide not to do the second hike we’d planned.

By the time we get back to the hotel, the weather has cleared so we head to the pool for the afternoon.

Dinner’s at the hotel. The food is OK but the waitress suggests we try the “chef’s creation” for dessert. I can’t remember what she called it but it was a dark chocolate/nutella concoction that was so smooth and silky… it was as cool as pudding but much thicker. It had the consistency of hot fudge sauce that hadn’t been heated. It was indescribably delicious and a great way to end our Vegas stay.

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