Friday, May 4, 2018

Havasupai Day 2

On Saturday, we began our hike at 6 a.m. in the village. There aren't very many buildings in town. There is a school, one restaurant, one instant clinic, one goods store, and one community building.

What there are two of is churches. There is a Christian church by the lodge and an LDS chapel on the 'outskirts' of town. I was presently surprised to see one there.

We hiked mostly in the shade across what seemed to be an old, dried out river bed. With few exceptions, the path was well marked and flat for the first 7 miles.

The last mile was a steep climb in the sun, followed by a series of switchbacks with intermittent shade. We climbed 2,000 feet on the last part of the hike. It took us 3 hrs and 4 minutes to reach the top.

Once we got to the car, rehydrated and reenergized, we decided to drive to split up the 9.5-hour drive home by stopping in Las Vegas.

On the way, we stopped at the Hoover Dam overlook. Fifteen years ago, when we were there last, we just drove across the bridge to the visitor center. 9/11 changed all that. Now we have to go through a police checkpoint and can no longer drive over it. There is a new bridge that was built to cross the Colorado River and a pedestrian walkway on it, for tourists to admire the bridge from a safe distance away.

Today is Cinco de Mayo, and Las Vegas was celebrating in style. The banners advertising performers highlighted names such as Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Pitbull. Mexican Restaurants were extra decorated and the streets had some fun Mexican music and displays.

In the evening, we attended the very popular tribute show Michael Jackson One by Cirque du Soleil. It was a visual feast. There were amazing visual effects and incredibly talented acrobats and dancers.

I am not a Michael Jackson expert, but I recognized the greatest majority of the songs played. I was hoping they would play my favorite MJ song, Man in the Mirror, and they did! It was the very last song.

They had a single-leg amputee dancer, who could do some amazing things with his crutches. There were aerial performers, slack line, and trampoline gymnasts, incredibly talented dancers, and all kinds of light, holograms and other optical effects I had not seen before.

Afterward, we walked to the Bellagio Hotel to see their flower garden. I can't believe how many new hotels have been built on the Las Vegas Strip since we last stayed there.

The Bellagio remains one of my favorite places because it does not remind me of a casino. It is so bright, colorful and airy.