Friday, March 4, 2011

Life in Sin City

It's been a long time since I've posted and I feel like I've a lot to say. As of now we are just hanging on the outskirts of Vegas trying to keep our dollars out of the casinos and our hands pulling on sandstone.

We left Hueco Tanks about two weeks ago and since then we've been to New Mexico, Tempe Arizona, and Joshua Tree all in about 1 week before getting to Vegas last Saturday Night. I know Tom mentioned all this in his last post but one thing I want to talk about is the incredible people we've met along the way. Every single one of those small stops was because of someone we've met along the way telling us we have to go there. And I think this type of travelling has really defined this trip as a whole and I hope that it continues to do so.

So to continue from Toms last post, that afternoon due to the weather we decided to skip out on our last day in J-Tree (also convincing Jeff and Jess to come along) and make our way to wild and wacky Las Vegas and stayed with two other J-Treers we met named Al and Thuy (yes mom, i know that Thuy is vietnamese). We partied and gambled it up on Saturday night and then hit the rocks the next morning. Red Rocks is absolutely incredible, it is some of the softest rock and I feel like I could climb for days without my fingers hating me too much. It is also absolutely beautiful there. The sandstone where we climb is this deep red with black streaks on it and behind us while we climb is this absolutely amazing backdrop of these massive peaks. It is also a dog friendly park so Juno is loving it here.

For a few nights Tom and I slept in a Barnes and Noble parking lot and climbed just the two of us. On late Tuesday night we were joined by Siebe Vanhee, the Belgian Sensation, another one of the awesome people we've met along the way. We all climbed together Wednesday and then went into Vegas to meet up with our friends Matt and Wes came to visit us in Vegas for a few nights.

It was very odd spending those two nights on the Vegas strip after spending about 2 months straight of living in the bus. One thing that I've thought about a lot while travelling has been the wastefulness of day to day life and learning about the amenities I really like and take for granted and the others that I can very easily live without. But this city is just the epitome of gluttony and waste and it definitely disgusted me even more than it used to. Without getting too econ nerdy and too preachy on all of y'all something that I thought about a lot was why there is such a demand for a place like Vegas. While I'm in places like this I get a very strong feeling that every aspect of the culture stresses inadequacy in the clothes you where and the money you spend. And Vegas loves this. It's what keeps people buying the 300 dollar sunglasses and those incredibly lame ed hardy shirts. I understand that there is a market for this and no one is being forced to consume like this but it seems to me that there is something systematically wrong when an entire market is based off taking advantage of everyone's insecurities and using this to create demand. Anyways... I gambled and I got drunk and I half loved it just like everyone else. Also, in the most disgusting way this city is so fucking cool and beautiful. The New York, New York hotel/casino is one of the most commercially creative pieces of architecture I've seen. They've made one building look like about a dozen different buildings along a skyline.

So after a few long nights and one very hung over day the guys left this morning and its back to climbing. Thomas hurt his heel pretty badly on Wednesday so it was just Siebe and I today and we took it sort of easy with a very late start. I am looking forward to a few more weeks here with minimal gambling and as much climbing as possible. I can't wait to get super comfortable falling on ropes and really pushing myself and getting some sport climbing endurance that I've never had to learn bouldering.


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