Stats to Date:
Total Miles:1457
Total States:4
Total Oceans Touched:0
Car Problems:0
Total Times Lost:2
Day: 3 Location: Las Vegas, NV
The man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
-- Henry David Thoreau

I woke up at 4am this morning and drove through the snow covered mountains of Northern Arizona in the dark so I could get the most out of the day... first stop was Flagstaff, Arizona, a small ski resort town and hub for the world famous Route 66. I arrived around 7am, bought some coffee and walked around the historic downtown district. I think today I realized my favorite part of this trip was meeting the locals, telling them what I was doing and hearing all about their town. People love to talk about all the "must-sees" of their home... Every town has its own personality: El Paso was dirty, Tombstone was straight out of the twilight zone (everyone dressed, talked and acted like they were living in the 1880's... or at least how I picture people acting), Phoenix was amazingly modern and Flagstaff felt like a playground for people who like double mocha frapaccinos with their biscotti. But the drive through the area was really amazing -- lush forests at elevations of over 8,000 feet, wide open plains on the plateau and snow covered mountains. During the drive, I learned that on icy mountain roads a posted speed limit of 55 does not mean 75 is okay... but for the sake of those who love me, I will end that story right there. As I continued down highway 180 I finally reached the Grand Canyon national park! Wow. I honestly have never seen anything as awe-inspiring and beautiful. I felt humble and small standing inches from the edge of cliffs dropping over one mile in places. When I was enjoying the amazing view, I realized that my expectations for this trip were much too low from the start and are going to continue to be exceeded. I expected this to be fun with a lot of good time to think... but now I know I will learn more about myself during this trip than I honestly ever expected.

While I was thinking about all this, I passed a man in a sticker-covered motorbike on the side of the road. He looked like a road-bum -- so I figured we had something in common and I immediately pulled over, got out and introduced myself. He shook my hand and said his name was Jacque from the Netherlands. "Awesome, are you traveling around the country?" I asked. It was about then that I noticed hundreds of city names written all over his bike. Budapest, London, Sydney, Santiago... "The world," he said "I'm traveling around the world... been on the road for four years" and he pointed to his bike. I immediately felt like a snot-nosed little leaguer next to the Great Bambino. I sheepishly explained I was traveling around the country in my truck (I have a truck... this guy was on a bike! in the winter!) and he smiled and said, "Wow... awesome." I took his picture and asked him if he was doing it to raise money for charity. "No, that's just a bunch of crap... people use charity as an excuse to do it for themselves... I've only met one person who really cared about the charity they were "supporting." I do this for myself, thats all. At least I'm honest." I like this guy... a little pessimistic, but honest. I kinda feel the same way in my gut... I'm really doing this for myself. I want to meet people along the way, grow spiritually and see America... this trip really is for me. All the leftover money is going to charity, after I've paid my bills.

I then left to head out to Hoover Dam and then Las Vegas... Hoover Dam was cool... but it was dark so I couldn't see anything and the pictures didn't turn out. Vegas... now that was something else. How do I describe a place like this? In a space of about 2 square miles there is the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Roman, Greek and Egyptian (yes, including a pyramid) Architecture, giant monuments to Siegfried and Roy, Hotel/Casinos that cover several city blocks (one that looked like the New York skyline), millions of slot machines, clubs and 15 people on every street corner passing out flyers for prostitutes. Even the Denny's looks like a bordello. I guess the best word to describe this city is 'overwhelming.' I walked the strip and tried to accomplish the various objectives I had set for myself:

1) Lose Ten Dollars in Blackjack: that was quick.
2) See every famous casino: done.
3) Wear a tuxedo all night: I didn't fool anyone into thinking I was rich... maybe it was the smell
4) Go Bungee jumping: Tomorrow is the day

I had a blast walking the strip... but after a while I started to feel a little dirty (mostly because I haven't showered since I left) -- so, I went to bed.
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