|Lake Mead and its dramatically falling water levels.|
But truly, these are all things that I knew I would encounter in a town that proudly claims the title of Sin City, and as such I had no visceral reactions toward any of the nonsense. Disappointment that Las Vegas is perhaps the city that is most indicative of American culture, yes. But also somehow coupled with a sense of apathy.
I did get angry unexpectedly, however, upon trying to visit the Grand Canyon. Perhaps ironic that events outside of Vegas actually got me more worked up than anything Sin City could muster. My aunt and I decided to get out of the city and drive over to Arizona to see the West rim of the Grand Canyon which lies in the Hualapai Indian Reservation. A foolproof plan, we thought. We drove miles and miles and miles through the Mojave desert, surrounded by red rock and Joshua trees, and as we climbed higher into the mountains, by junipers and snow. We drove carefully through 20 miles of unpaved mountainous terrain before reaching a road block.
We were instructed to park and enter the visitor's center. Evidently the tribe owns the land at Grand Canyon West, and they can charge whatever prices they want for people who want to ooh and awe at the magnificent natural land features. They asked a paltry $45 per person to ride a shuttle the remaining few miles over to the rim. And if you want to try out their SkyWalk, a glass bridge that extends out into the canyon so that you can look down into its mouth, well, you've got to fork over another $40. Appalled, we turned around and drove away.
|This is the closest I was able to get to the Grand Canyon.|