Las Vegas, November 2001

I've called this page "Las Vegas", even though all the pictures here are of Lake Mead, because Las Vegas has such an enormous power over the average visitor. I left Las Vegas wanting to go back and experience it some more. It's a place like none other, with it's own rules and sense of space. Having been to Atlantic City and Foxwoods, I thought I had experienced the "casino", but what I'd experienced in those places bore little resemblance to the decadence and the scale of Las Vegas.

Of course, since I'd been to Los Angeles, I thought I'd experienced the desert as well. Once again, I was proven wrong. The landscape around Las Vegas is uniquely beautiful, with a dryness and clarity that I've not seen in other places. I'm looking forward to going back and exploring more of the southwest, particularly the Grand Canyon. That had originally been our intention with this trip, but we decided to postpone that exploration for another time.

The reason we were in Las Vegas in the first place was to witness the wedding of Brandon and Keren Koretz. Brandon is a long-time friend of Jennifer's, and we wouldn't have missed this wedding for anything. It was not your typical Las Vegas wedding -- the rehearsal dinner was at Treasure Island, and the wedding itself was at the Four Seasons. Perhaps, though, it really was in the spirit of Las Vegas. It was huge, elaborate, and beautiful, and unlike any wedding I'd been to before.

Since we did have a free day, and a Mustang convertible, we took advantage of them to go visit Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. After September 11th, tours into the depths of the dam were cancelled, but you can still walk across it and go into the visitor's center. It was a stunning experience.

Lake Mead Lake Mead Lake Mead Lake Mead Lake Mead

Here, of course, is proof that we were actually there.

Lake Mead Lake Mead Lake Mead

As we approached the lake, we stopped at the Lake Mead visitor's center, which had a beautiful garden of desert plants. Jennifer sat outside and soaked up the dry heat while I went in to buy some maps and a book on the southwest.

Cactus at Lake Mead Lake Mead Cactus at Lake Mead Palms at Lake Mead
Hoover Dam Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam Hoover Dam Hoover Dam

© 1999-2002 Matthew S. Burfeind
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Last revised Sunday, May 12, 2002