Home sweet Home

Wind blows heavy hunks of snow off the trees dancing outside my window. Pale sky, white ground and the heaping mountainside outside the window embrace me with heart-warming familiarity. The desert trip was good in unexpected ways. Record breaking low temps kept my skin from lapping up the air and sun. We bundled under layers of sleeping bags while the tent bucked like a rodeo bull in one impressive storm after another. We mountain biked in sleet, moonlight and snow. We caught a bit of sun while climbing but found the warm rays elusive; easily nudged aside by insistent bone-chilling, finger-numbing wind.   I caught a cold. Surprisingly the trip highlight happened in the heart of the Vegas strip.
Let’s start at the beginning:

After a sleepless night of preparations, Paul and I set out before dawn in a snowstorm. Somewhere in Idaho we decided to bag our plans for Moab since storms were brewing there and seek the sun in Vegas. Scott and Leslie were game to meet us at Red Rocks, camping sites were plenty, and the forecast promising. 

 

We jumped on our bikes the first respite in a sleet-filled day and biked ‘til after dark under a full moon. Cactus like Suesse characters stood out in the moonlit desert scape. Fun stuff.

The next day’s headwind blew a cold right into my lungs. But we’d already booked a $20.00 room at Hooter’s Casino so the promise of a hot shower and warm bed kept me peddling. The “3 Mile Smile” downhill was a blast and worth it. We were quite a site rolling a cart with coolers and duffel bags through the blinking light casino early that evening. We were bundled up in biking/camping clothes – a stark contrast to the cleavage flashing Hooter girls. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Hooter’s reprieve, we pitched our tents again.  Haunted by insomnia when much needed rest might have settled the cold lurking in my lungs, I almost took a day off for rest but we took off at dawn to tackle “Geronimo” – a fun multipitch five-hundred-and-something-foot climb. Climbing pitch after pitch up a rock face is one of my favorite kind of adventures. I coughed and sputtered my way up in the wind, froze during the four repels, but wouldn’t have missed the memory and adventure of a day on the rock with good friends.

Gifted with a beautiful post-climb sunset, we hugged Scott and Leslie goodby before finding another cheap Vegas Strip hotel room.  I needed a warm dry place to nurture the cold which had taken hold.

We settled into Circus Circus and set up camp.  Paul cooked elk spaghetti in the bathroom while I thawed in the tub. 

We returned to the rock but kept basecamp at Circus Circus.

Zaydee camped in the truck, under the topper, in her cozy bed and soaked in a bit of sun outside the Vegas Strip:

The nasty cold kept me from taking on the planned big adventures but it may have been a blessing-in-disquise since we decided to take advantage of our surroundings, splurge and see a show in Vegas. Thanksgiving Evening we ate warmed up Elk Spaghetti leftovers and fresh salad in our room before driving down the strip to MGM Grand for a  soul slurping, creativity engorging feast at “KA.” Cirque du Soleil can change your life. Serious. Four days after returning from the desert I still feel as if I am being fed intravenously from the experience of “KA.” Beyond words, I cannot think of the experience without goosebumps and an electric charge.  

What a gift!!!