September 20, 2016

Toilet and trash can analogies (Las Vegas, NV)

After spending a few days driving around its back roads and state highways, I've concluded that Nevada is one of our most beautiful US states. 

It's incredible. Some of the places I visited looked like the surface of Mars or some other austere planet. By day, a billion identical rocks, all doing the same thing they've been doing since before humanity existed*; at night, glimpses of reflected deer eyes and thousands of hares, some bent on suicide by car. 

The firmament, seen from the mountains—I visited tiny Austin (pop. 192), snaking around hairpin turns in the middle of the night—is lousy with stars. I could see the Milky Way. I didn't stay long because I was worried the size of the whole thing (made apparent all at once) would overwhelm me. 

But Las Vegas is a toilet. My hotel has a sharps receptacle in the men's room for diabetic paraphernalia. Coming to Nevada to visit this place is like visiting Yellowstone so you can see the trash cans. 

* What event, I wonder, would qualify as the most interesting thing to have happened in those rocks' presence? They've been there for a long, long time. Outrageous comets passing overhead? Dinosaur battles? A visit from meandering Cthulu?

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