Thursday, June 27, 2013

2013 WSOP, Day 29: Zombies, Bodies Sawed in Half, and Other Hallucinations

Vera is here, and I’m very grateful to be getting a bit of a mini-vacation for a couple of days while she is so we can spend time together. I’ll be back on the reporting beat on Friday, and she’ll be departing on Saturday, but in the meanwhile we’re getting to do a few things in and around Vegas together.

As I mentioned I might do yesterday, I took her over to Red Rock Canyon, the National Conservation Area located about a half-hour west of Las Vegas. We drove the 13-mile loop that goes counterclockwise around and through the site, stopping frequently to look at the various red rock formations, stone walls, desert flora (not so much fauna), and other amazing things to look at along the way.

That photo above is of the stumps sticking up out of the sand that dot the landscape throughout the site. Perhaps it is due to having watched too many horror movies as an adolescent, but to me they resemble hands reaching up out of the earth, a prelude to a zombie-led apocalypse.

We snapped a bunch more pics, of course, and I took a few tries at using that panorama function on the iPhone. Here’s one (click to enlarge):

Last summer F-Train and I hiked the Calico Tanks route which took a couple of hours to complete. But Vera and I mostly stayed in the air conditioned vehicle, the triple-digit temps making it less than desirable to be outside of it for very long.

Had a classic rock station on the radio which at times provided a kind of uncanny soundtrack for our journey, especially when “Stairway to Heaven” and “Us and Them” were playing. Could imagine Pink Floyd having set up and playing “Live at Pompeii”-style out in the middle of it, the “black... black... black... black... and blue... blue... blue... blue...” echoing all around us.

Then last night we took in the Penn & Teller show at the Rio, something we’d always sorta kinda intended to do but never had. Was entertaining and unsurprisingly full of “How did they do that?” moments, with their characteristic method of both performing so-called “magic” while denying magic actually exists providing both grins and some food for thought along the way.

They mentioned at one point how the show compiled bits performed over their entire career which by now must span three decades at least, and I realized I had seen at least couple of them before somewhere along the way, including the gory, seemingly botched sawing of a woman in half bit.

I guess between Red Rock Canyon and the show, the day’s theme was to challenge the senses, especially sight, with the uncommon or hard-to-comprehend.

Today the schedule includes seeing some more sights (and sites), including a trip downtown to Fremont Street where Vera has never been. We had thoughts of checking out the Librace Museum -- a site much recommended to us -- though have discovered it closed a while back.

I’m sure we’ll find plenty to see and do, however, including more visions that challenge the idea that seeing is believing.

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