Las Vegas: arrival and Spring Mountains

We had a direct flight from Boston to Las Vegas that arrived quite late at night. We went to pick up our rental car, only to discover a long line. It took us about an hour to get to the rental car desk. Finally, we got through the line and went out to the garage to pick up our car. It turned out, amusingly, to have a Massachusetts license plate.

We had a reservation at one of the big strip hotels since we found a good offer online. It was a pretty easy drive from the airport, which was good since we were very tired by then. We got some dinner and settled in for the night.

The view from our hotel room.  Las Vegas sits in a flat basin between two mountain ranges.  You can get a sense of the landscape in this view.

The view from our hotel room. Las Vegas sits in a flat basin between two mountain ranges. You can get a sense of the landscape in this view.

The next day we headed out for our first day of exploring. We traveled northwest of the city to the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. It was a warm day, around 80 down in Las Vegas, but up at elevation of the Spring Mountains it was a pleasant 60. We had a nice day of driving the loop road through the park, stopping here and there for a little stroll. There was still snow up in the mountains, but after our long winter it was wonderful to be able to wander around in short sleeves.

Our trip to the Spring Mountains and back.

Our trip to the Spring Mountains and back.

The city quite abruptly turns to desert.  This is the view from a major highway just a few minutes past the outermost suburb.

The city quite abruptly turns to desert. This is the view from a major highway just a few minutes past the outermost suburb.

There's some settlement up in the mountains.  The air is clear and cool.  On the day we visited, the sunshine was gorgeous.

There’s some settlement up in the mountains. The air is clear and cool. On the day we visited, the sunshine was gorgeous.

The landscape in the mountains is very different from the desert in the basin.  The alpine valleys are filled with pine trees and other evergreens.

The landscape in the mountains is very different from the desert in the basin. The alpine valleys are filled with pine trees and other evergreens.

Some of the trees had beautiful twisty bark.

Some of the trees had beautiful twisty bark.

We got back to the hotel in the late afternoon.  We had an early dinner at one of the hotel restaurants, then collapsed in our room.

 

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One Response to “Las Vegas: arrival and Spring Mountains”

  1. Lii Says:

    What strike me the most are the vastness of the skies and the muted colours of the desert. Exotic, somehow.

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