America 2017: Day Thirteen (2 November)

Bright light city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire
Got a whole lot of money that’s ready to burn,
So get those stakes up higher
There’s a thousand pretty women waitin’ out there
And they’re all livin’, devil may care
And I’m just the devil with love to spare
Viva Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas

– Elvis Presley

Thursday 2 November 2017

Henderson, Nevada

Lucky Day Thirteen sees finds us bedding down in Henderson, Nevada, in Clark County, southeast of Las Vegas. Our second AirBNB rental of the trip is on the aptly-named Skytop Drive, and it affords us a nice view of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, which is about sixteen miles or half an hours’ drive away.

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Our route out of California into Nevada took us east from Bakersfield down California Highway 58 to Barstow, California, where, after a lunch stop at historic Barstow Station, we joined Interstate 15 for the last two hours of the journey, through the impressively vast Mojave Desert. Traffic was pretty light, and we arrived in Henderson just after 3pm. Because we are in a house rather than a hotel, we needed to get food supplies for the weekend, so we headed down to the local Walmart.

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Basically, as Nathan put it, “if it isn’t in Walmart, then you don’t need it!”. Think of a cross between a large Woolworths and something like Target or Big W. Throw both of those together, add in a few fast food shops, a chemist and other speciality outlets in a building the size of Bunnings – or an aircraft carrier, as dad described it – and that’s Walmart. It’s literally one of the craziest shopping experiences you can have in America, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear of people getting lost in there!

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My best purchase of the day was an extended cut DVD of my favourite movie ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ starring Daniel Day-Lewis. It’s set around the French and Indian wars, and contains some of the most epic cinematography and music, not to mention muskets-and-tomahawks action ever recorded. If you haven’t seen the film, go and watch it. I can’t wait to see the extra few minutes of footage. Best of all? It only cost me $5!

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Looking towards the Vegas Strip from our house.

Our AirBNB rental is very nice. We’re in a quiet neighbourhood, the kind where there are basketball hoops out front of many garages, and the house is easily big enough for what we’re after. Three separate bedrooms, two bathrooms (one, an ensuite) and a large living area that’s separate to the kitchen and dining room. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, there’s an elevated deck out front with a view over the city.

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Desert sunset, Henderson, NV-style.

Everything is comfortable, and it’s nice to be in a large house rather than crammed into a small hotel down on the Las Vegas strip. I feel like we got away with a steal, considering the very reasonable price we paid per night here.

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Photo taken from our elevated deck.

The array of available cable channels has to be seen to be believed – more than two hundred options – and the wonderful ability to watch shows ‘on demand’ means that I’ve been able to catch up on Chicago PD and Law & Order: SVU episodes that I’ve missed to start the season. It’s a pretty nice arrangement.

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Off to the Valley of Fire State Park tomorrow in the day, and to the Las Vegas Strip tomorrow evening.


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