My allergies have been kicking my ass this past week, plus I’m going to have a bit more free time next week, so I decided to do another easy post in my 50 states challenge.
This week I will feature the large, mostly empty, triangular state where people go to gamble – Nevada. Les and I have visited Nevada a few times and driven across it more times that it seems like we should have.
When Les and I were dating we lived in Price and we often visited the Wasatch Front, on the drive back there was a distance sign on I-15 right before our exit that listed Las Vegas 333 miles. Every time we drove past this sign, Les would ask, “Should I get off here or just keep driving, it’s only 333 miles to Vegas, we could get married tonight.” We never did skip our exit and get married in Vegas (although he did joke about it once and pass the exit, but we turned around in the booming metropolis of Benjamin, Utah and went home), but we did visit Las Vegas once during that time. We did it as a birthday present for Les so we were there on St. Patrick’s Day.
On that first trip I took the photo of Las Vegas that I chose for this state. I took it on film from the Stratosphere and scanned it into the computer. Also on that trip we visited the other tourist attraction that Nevada Has to offer, the Hoover Dam.
Nevada has one thing to offer that isn’t a tourist trap – mile after mile, hour after hour of endless desert composed of sandy dirt, a few grasses, and the occasional sage bush or maximum security prison. I once took an accidental panoramic photo out the window of a moving car while driving across this fascinating landscape that I feel encompasses what it is like to drive across Nevada.
Other than gambling, Nevada also offers quick marriages. I don’t have any photos of Elvis impersonators, but my dad did get married in Reno’s first Drive-thru wedding chapel in 2007. Strangely I’ve only been to one other wedding in Nevada, and even though it was in Las Vegas, it fulfilled a Utah stereotype not a Nevada one ( the wedding was in a Mormon temple with a reception in a Mormon church gym covered in crepe paper decorations). Aside from Les getting naked in the parking lot of a Mormon temple instead of inside like he had before, it was unremarkable, luckily it took place only 2 days before Les’s birthday, so we got to spend another St. Patrick’s Day in Las Vegas, but this time I was old enough to drink and gamble legally (not that I did the first time because I constantly get carded at 27 much less when I was 19).
We haven’t’ been back to visit since, but we did drive across Nevada just last fall for yet another wedding and while we were driving back I stopped and took a few shots of open road. I’m not sure how representative it is of the state, but it definitely shows the emptiness of anywhere that isn’t Las Vegas or Reno, and it’s one of my best open road photos, so I’m including it in this post.