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Yup, we sure got ourselves a convoy, Rubber Duck. From L.V. to L.A. - via deserts, canyons, beaches... And towns where we just thanked the Lord for a reliable truck. A few photos from a bit of a road trip.

     

The big boy's playground of Las Vegas. High on buildings, bingo, bling and booze. But with Donny & Marie still alive and warbling and looking much as they did in 1975 down at the Flamingo, proof that money can't buy taste.

   
 

A couple of day's amongst the neon and sky rise and the lovely Lynne was plied with enough booze to say "Go on then - in the absence of any better offers" to my bended (buckled) knee request. 
Obviously feeling lucky or something.

So off we went with our mate Elvis from behind the counter at the 7-11 (who seemed to have lost a few pounds since he slipped off the loo in mid-burger circa 1977), and next thing you know, just like chucking 50 bucks at the roulette in Caesar's, it's Game Over!

 
 


"Ooh... like... Where do I sign then?"

"Viva Las Vegas" out of the way, it was out of the chapel and straight into a busload of German tourists maybe checking out where Elvis has last been sighted, or more likely, where Jon Bon Jovi last tied the knot. After looking like lemons for their videos and pictures (so bloody embarrassing), it was back up to the bright lights of the Strip for a few more aperitifs.

Lynne decided to take the edge off marrying a knobhead with a couple of vodkas. Just a couple... that's all... And thus we became the only newlyweds in Vegas to have an early night. Well, Lynne did anyway.

 
 


"Zis is s ze place vere ze great Baron Von Jovi vos married vis his vife, ze beautiful Baroness Von Jovi".

Romance. "Darling, look into the deep pools of my eyes..." 
"Yeah, but which one love?"

"Are we in Paris? Which way's our hotel? It's down here near the beach isn't it? Oooh..."

Like I say, "Game Over".

Most hotels were like Narnia on a bucket of blue Smarties, so little wonder room service were quoting 3/4 hour for a cup of tea.

       A quick drop in at the Hoover Dam on the way out of town. Tick.

   


T
he circus was in town then.

Having no interest in circuses, or fairs for that matter, we headed east towards Arizona, while the storm clouds and rainbows jostled for space on the horizon.

"It's Johnny..." 

A night in a Williams Motel ("Why we just got cutest little ol' shower curtains this side o' Bullhead City, sweet honey pie")... and then knocking down to the Grand Canyon before first light - and the arrival of the first of the 4000 buses that day.

 
     

Just some views from the Grand Canyon®.

 
 

As Lynneth sat and contemplated on recent events in Vegas, a sudden urge to chuck herself over the edge swept over her. 

Luckily, with the help of Buzz and Martha from Baltimore, we pulled her back from the rim.

 
 

Up and away from the Grand Canyon®, we had a bit of a roll up Route 66® through the weirdest of towns called Seligman where the effigies at the roadside suggested our Lynneth had already been there before. I asked the bloke at the shop if he'd do a part exchange, but he wouldn't have it.

 
   
 
 

Having suffered with Pahrump Nuggets myself occasionally, I felt particular empathy with the poor people living a few miles from the park boundary.

 

Up through the beautiful Red Rock Canyon for a dawn wander about, and then onwards and upwards to the wonderful wilderness of Death Valley. 

 

 

     

The spectacular moonscapes of the Death Valley salt flats and dunes. And only 105 degrees today, so lucky it wasn't at it's hottest time of year.

Lynne's Vegas flashbacks continued, and her attempts at getting out of it all grew more and more determined. So I stamped on her fingers.

   
 
   


"Twinned With The Moon - No Atmosphere".

Death Valley is supposed to be desperate. That's why they call it Death Valley. 
But the groves of Joshua Trees gave way to the even more desperate area around the town of Trona in the Searles Valley- and I'm sure it really shouldn't have been quite that desperate. Boarded up derelict houses, rusted 1960's trucks, bearded rotund men in wife-beater vests, and bearded rotund women in leggings they had no right to be squeezing their 3ft wide muckspreaders into. Situated on the very fence of the China Lake Naval Weapons testing station, it's like the wind changed direction the day they tested the Deadly Ugly Ray. Luckily the car never stalled and we still had half a tank of gas.

Unlikely...?

 

Then a stopover in Ridgecrest - which was a bit like a classy Trona (though it scares me to think that there could be such a thing as an unclassy Trona)- and the next juddering halt was to be the west coast of CA. 

So we traversed the mountains and a corner of the Sequoia National Park to join up with the pensioners and seagulls in Santa Barbara on the edge of the Pacific. Nice town, but ultimately "not much going on".


Limbering up for the beach volleyball in SAGA Barbara.

In fact, even the pigeons couldn't be arsed and spent their days comatose on the beach with the purple wrinsers. Time to leave.

 

Down the coast through Malibu (Brad & Ange, sorry about that- maybe next time eh?) to finish the trip with a couple of days with the Lunatics On-A Pogo Sticks down at Venice Beach in LA. Hippies and tramps, spongers and beggars, fatties and freaks, junkies and jugglers, models and munters; they're all down there and providing probably the best people-watching on sweet mother earth (outside of Skegness). It was just as I remembered it from a couple of years back.

"Wait for me!!!" Britney shot past in a panic thinking she'd missed the shoot.

 

A hippy putting in the hours for that big promotion.

   

As they say in LA: "So I was like hanging with, like, Paris like yesterday, and she's like so like supercool, and she was like telling me that the weather was like toadally like awesommmme". And it was too.

So that's like about it really. A nice time was had by all.


One small flap for a seagull, one giant flap for seagull-kind.

 

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