We slept fairly well at the Nipton Hotel, despite the train going by several times during the night. The next morning all was silent and sunny, and we again careened up the road, both suffering from Roof-Rack Syndrome, an anxiety disorder that afflicts many disorganized travelers and generally consists of a fixed delusion that your worldly belongings will be strewn across the highway, resulting in jail time for the driver.
Soon we were distracted by the anticipation of driving through Las Vegas, my first experience in this surreal desert metropolis. Route 15 took us right through it, and I could see Cesar’s Palace, the Luxor pyramid, Mandalay Bay Hotel, the faux Empire State Building, and all that other stuff that I wasn’t very curious about. Actually Las Vegas was smaller than I pictured, and Jonathan told me that it was cleaner and easier to drive in than Los Angeles. Indeed, we encountered no traffic there.
Off we went through the barren wastes of eastern Nevada, on our way to St. George, Utah, where we were to rendevouz with a new contact I’d made through my nutrition study program. The road was drab until we crossed the Arizona line and suddenly found ourselves in a spectacular place called Virgin River Gorge, a rocky, wildly scenic chunk of highway that served as an omen of what was to come.
St. George was not far beyond that. With my mastery of networking reaching its zenith, I had also arranged for us to have an informational interview at a wellness center there. We met for half an hour with three of the practitioners, who kindly answered our questions about working in the helping professions locally. A bit dazed and bedraggled from the road, I’m not sure what kind of impression we made, but our hosts were kind and it was interesting to hear about their work.
After a hefty lunch at the Golden Corral, we were off the edge of town to meet up with Penny, a classmate of mine from the Integrative Nutrition program. She took us to the lovely Snow Canyon State Park, where we walked up and down rocky slopes, gazing up the orange rocks that encroached upon the trail. We saw a few lizards, a couple of quail, and two rabbits. Penny was friendly and helpful and had already invited us to stay over at her home.
Arriving there, we met her gregarious husband Jeff. The house is gorgeous and overlooks Red Mountain, which we admired through the living room window.
They fed us a healthy meal of chicken and kale, and gave us a plethora of information about the Utah sights we needed to see. We felt very welcome by them and hope we will see these kindhearted people again. We were a bit exhausted and I wasn’t feeling my best, so retired to our room and got ready to hit the hay.
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