A Desert Rat looks back

Some of you don’t know this, but I grew up in one of the Western deserts. There are several, and they vary depending upon how many you want to count. I’ve been in them all. There is the Black Rock Desert, the Mohave Desert, the Sonora Desert, etc.

I grew up in the Great Basin, which is also a desert. It’s just at high elevation, and gets a severe winter along with a severe summer. No water means it’s still a desert.

Deserts always have an oasis of some kind or another. This helps keep things interesting.

The Mohave Desert is home to Joshua trees, and salt pans, ridges devoid of forest, and yet still holding wildlife. I remember chasing Desert Bighorns in Southern Nevada adjacent to the nuclear test site. There was the morning when I heard the huge tarantula before I saw him, and the afternoon when I found a ridge covered with ancient ammonites. After millions of years, they were still mostly mother of pearl.

Today, Old What’s Her Face and I flew to Las Vegas. We have tickets to the Pink concert tomorrow night. Our first stop was Los Angeles. We were flying on my daughter’s flight benefit, and that means standby. We never made several planes out of LA, but we’re here finally.

The desert is a wonderful, but serious place. Flying into Vegas, looked about like I would imagine flying over Mordor would look. You have to experience the desert close-up to enjoy it.

To tell you the truth, I’d rather be there with the coyotes and the tarantulas. Vegas has never been my kind of town. It always feels like someone is trying to get in to your wallet here. It’s also changed dramatically, and not for the better.

There was a time when rooms were cheap and so were meals. This was by design, because they wanted you to stay inside the casino. As a Nevada native, casinos hold no appeal, so it was a bargain.

Not so today. It appears that MGM owns most of the Strip here. This means the prices have gone up. Don’t like casino resort A? Try casino resort B, which is also under the same ownership, so they don’t care. There is no need to deliver any kind of service, because where else are you going to go.

This is the first hotel I’ve ever been in where there is no coffee maker. It’s likely they would rather have me go down stairs and spend ten bucks on Starbucks, which they also own.

I remember when a Vegas Buffet was about eight bucks. Today, you can ‘t have a burger and fries for less than forty.

It’s kind of sad. We would have done more here, but under the circumstances, we’re likely to attend our concert, and go home. I actually have a couple of granola bars in my suitcase, and you can live on that crap.

***

In other news, I had a cool dream the other night. It was a vision of a character from behind. It took place in a kind of sandstone desert environments. This person was wearing a poncho, but it wasn’t woven. It was made of repurposed canvas and rough cut. I don’t know if it was a man, woman, or child. The character lugged a bag of foraged produce. Wild vegetables of some kind.

The character came to the wing of a crashed spaceship. It might have been abandoned like an old airplane boneyard. There were steps crudely carved into the wing, and the character climbed them. The character looked back, and there were discarded spaceships everywhere. they had a lot of variation, so it could have been an ancient battlefield, or just a long term boneyard.

Inside the ship, the entire thing had been gutted and rebuilt. The streets were level, even though the ship was not. The streets were lined with houses, apartments, and marketplaces. There was a small town inside. Presumably, the other ships were like this too. Maybe each ship was like a subdivision or something.

The character handed over the bag to a nameless and faceless character, who looked inside, grunted, and handed over a fistful of coins. The main character grabbed and empty canvas sack for the next day, and walked deeper into the “city.”

That’s all I got. This is one of those times when I’d like a little more, but that’s all the Muse delivered.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend. We may be here on the cheap, but we’re going to a Pink concert tomorrow.

25 Comments

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25 responses to “A Desert Rat looks back

  1. My wallet cried just reading about those expenses. Sucks that the place has turned into a city that you leave practically broke due to needing food. The lack of a coffee maker is simply barbaric.

    That sounds like an inspirational dream. Makes me think of humans leaving Earth and having to use the ships as housing once they find a place to land.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Craig, enjoyed hearing about your visits to the desert, finding ammonites, chasing bighorn sheep, salt pans. Sorry to hear about Vegas, and what it has become. And the dream was a delight to hear about, looking forward to where it will surface again. Keep those waves rolling. And have fun at Pink. A live Pink concert must be extraordinary. I still remember her act at the Grammys when she sang with perfect pitch, clarity, and passion as she weaved through the air on a rope. Life in the 21st century….

    Like

  3. Your dream sounds like the beginning of a terrific story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: A Desert Rat looks back — Entertaining Stories – SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS COVENANT HOUSE

  5. That’s pretty cool, all right!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The older I get, the more I think landscapes live in most people. You can never go home again, but it’s like you’re also not happy too far from what you came up in. Just my opinion. You talk about it like I do about home. I don’t even like the desert, but I prefer tarantulas and coyotes to Vegas. My father lived in Vegas the last 30 years of his life and I’d sooner take 30 years off my own life than live in Vegas.
    That dream’s pretty groovy. Sleeping in strange places usually gives me the nifty dreams too. Change in landscape… (What can I say, I’m a firm believer! lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wouldn’t mind seeing Vegas one time just for the glitz of the casinos, but it’s not near the top of my bucket list. I’m not a fan of casinos or the partying nightlife. I’d rather have quiet—and the desert. I’ve seen portions of it in Reno, Virginia City, and Arizona.

    Wherever there are tourists, there is someone jacking ups prices to make a buck. Still, it’s nice to have fun 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That dream sounds like an amazing story waiting to happen!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Vegas has never been high on my list of places to see – but have to admit, I also thought the rooms and food were on the less expensive side to lure in the tourists and gamblers. Had no idea everything had gotten so expensive.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. What an awesome dream! I hope it makes it into a story!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I would love to hear a story coming form that dream. I hope the concert was great.

    Liked by 1 person

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