Travels in the American Southwest


The last three days of my trip were spent in town. Stay #2 at the Golden Nugget had me assigned to the 22nd floor with a view of the west. Seemed appropriate in that stay #1 gave me a great view of the east and the rising sun and now that the trip was drawing to a close, my view was of the sun slipping slowly behind the mountains bringing day to an end. An earlier guest had removed the block which prevents the window from being opened more than an inch or two. I took great pleasure in sliding the window fully open to enjoy the fresh air.

Messed around downtown, leaving my contributions at many of the casinos, just like most other visitors to Las Vegas.

Enjoyed a session at the Golden Nugget's Spa. Steam, sauna and a massage left me renewed. And the best part was that the visit to the Spa was included in the room special offered by the Golden Nugget.

Since I "saved" the cost of Spa, I splurged at Stefano's. This Italian-themed restaurant is five-star! The veal was prepared to perfection and the attentive attention of the staff made the meal a true pleasure. And since I was being "bad", I had the house dessert, tiramisu. I appreciated the server's wink as he presented dessert. "And there are no calories in it," he smiled.

Forgot to mention in an earlier report: Fallon, NV is the home of "Top Gun", the fighter training school. As such, jets criss-cross the area, usually well up in the sky. I've never had a true appreciation for how fast those things move. While camped at Black Rock Desert, an F-14 buzzed the city. About 100 yards above the flat playa, and (according to a former military man I spoke with later) doing just under mach 1. From the moment I first heard it, I jumped up an ran out of a 12' geodesic dome I was in. Scanning the sky, the fighter was simply gone. I knew it was there...My ears were still ringing from the indescribable roar. Louder than a freight train, it sounded like something inhuman was ripping apart the very air molecules that were impeding its path. Mr. Former Military chuckled at my description. "We're lucky he didn't haul back on the stick and punch the afterburners. He would have shot straight up like a rocket. They love doing that!" Later in the week, a squadron(?) of C-130s and C-141s overflew the city in razor-sharp formation, weaving between the mountain peaks and dipping their wings as they flew by. [If any of the above aircraft designations are incorrect, the fault lies with my imperfect memory and not with those who identified them for me.]

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