We drove about 3 1/2 hours from Los Angeles, California, and made our way to the Colorado River. Shawn told us we would be driving through the desert and things were going to get pretty darn hot for the next couple of days. Either I was very naive, or just un-travelled, but I thought the desert had cacti?! Well the Nevada desert doesn't. It does however have Joshua Trees, and lot's of them. I also thought the desert was flat. Turn's out there's pretty decent foot hills too. This trip was already an education.
As we were driving along through this new kind of desert made up of different shades of browns, things all of a sudden got green. When I say all of a sudden, I literally mean, here's a bit of desert and BANG, here's a field right next to it. I learnt in Geography at school that civilisation develops around water sources, but it's only seeing that contrast, that I understood how important major River's are for the surrounding areas.
As we drove through Laughlin, we seemed to meet a lot of half-completed and 99% empty apartment buildings. Evidently, they wanted to expand, but were waiting for the influx. We eventually pulled up onto a stretch of Casino hotels, all lined up next to each other, like a miniature Las Vegas strip.
We all checked in at the Aquarius Casino Resort for our first night on Trek America. I'm not sure what I was expecting on this Budget Lodging Trip, but this hotel was a happy surprise. Boasting a casino, a couple of restaurants, and a few small shops in the lobby, this hotel definitely made us all thankful we had paid an extra couple of £100 to stay in hotels rather than camp. We were paired up with another trekker for rooming and I was paired with Jacqui. Possibly the most talkative people in our group we clicked from the moment we started chatting, so much so we lost track of time and forgot about our group meeting ... oops.
After running round the corridors trying to find our group meeting, and actually listening to the activities on offer for this evening and the plan of action for tomorrow, we all decided to get some much needed r & r. And by R & R I mean cocktails by the pool. Starting off as we meant to carry on, we sat by the pool in the desert heat while the sun set behind the foothills, all helped with a couple of frozen Strawberry Daiquiris.
Rather than have dinner in little groups, we chose to eat although and ended up in an Australian-themed steak house called The Outback. After an 1 hour 45 minute wait for food, we were all exhausted and decided to have a quite night (the only of the entire trip), in preparation for going on Route 66 and visiting the Grand Canyon the next day.
See you next Trek America Thursday for Route 66!