Awakening in a Walmart parking lot is not always the best of things, waking up in the wilderness is so much better on the mind, but sometimes a different place has to be where we lay our head. Actually, as I wrote before, when you’re asleep your eyes are closed and you have no idea where you are, so it is alright.
I know, I know, I was going to get this out to you every Sunday, two days late, whoops. I will try and plan better. I had wanted to wait until we saw Vladik’s show, which we saw last night.
There are so many impressive things to see in this area of the world (the four corners) that it will be difficult to get to all, I expect we will return (again and again.)
I’ve been writing this blog for you for more than a year; it is a joy to have you on this trip with us. In recounting these events by writing about them makes my brain happy. Also, I hope these words I script are inspiring you to do better in your life. That’s my mine aim with this text, to inspire and entertain.
Monday, October 3, 2016—In driving toward the east we are moving into Monument Valley, still in Utah. What we are seeing as “monuments” are huge buttes that just stick up out of the desert floor, so debonair they are.
There are so many impressive things to see in this area of the world that it will be difficult to get to all, I expect we will return.
Here is a video of Monument Valley, these lands are rather unique, enjoy >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKN70tgSfLk
These areas we are going through now are tribal lands; they stuck these native people out in the barren/desert land many years ago, so sad to me. Now the government is trying to put a stupid gas pipeline through more of their land, what is with these American’s, don’t they see the harm they are doing? It just makes me so angry that these people were desecrated by the American government now and in the years past.
And, now these rich people, the elite of the world, are doing the same thing to the people in the Middle East.
THIS MUST STOP!!
I just want to go to The Dakotas and help them get their land back, in any way I can.
I wrote before about how I do not like using the word, Indian. You see, when Christopher Columbus first came over to America (he was not the first, by the way), he thought he had sailed the back way from Europe and gotten to India, so he named these native people, “Indian”, and the name stuck, a bad thing, to me.
I call these wonderful people “tribal” or “native” or best by their chosen name for their group, such as, “Apache.”
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Next, we took a 17-mile drive on a dirt road through Monument Valley, a tourist destination; yes, many people here. For a twenty dollar fee, you can drive through and see this astonishing land features up close; some of the tremendous natural structures created by erosion.
I think that many people who go through there do not know it is Navajo tribe who run things.
The welcome sign for Monument Valley has a statue of a man, women, and child in front of the sign. These people on the statue seem to be of the European look, what an insult to the people who were first here. The statue should be of Navajo peoples. Also, the white man (I guess I am one of, how embarrassing) named this area, “Monument Valley.” I am sure Navajo people have a special name for the area—this fabulous place should be called by that Navajo name!
In Arizona now and I heard of some canyon, that, I am told, is quite grand, so, we had to take a look. This same day we were at Monument Valley we drove into the southern rim of The Grand Canyon.
The sites we saw were hard to believe. So wide, so deep, this canyon is a treasure (I guess that is why it is a national park.)
Last night the temperature got down to about -1.6c (29f), with plenty of blankets we lived through the night happily in the van. I parked right next to the Grand Canyon Lodge; open all night, which, once again, had free wifi available. So, because I wake early (3am today), I was able to go right into the lodge, get on the computer, and let Tina sleep.
Once again, we heard many accents from people who were not from this country. And, so many people here, surprising, this being a Monday afternoon/evening with a strong and cold wind blowing. I can’t imagine the amount of people here on a sunny summer weekend.
As we drove along the south rim road we had peeks to our right to the amazing canyon below. At various points, there were lookout points where you could drive into and walk out for a better view. Hope you like the photos I took.
And, here is a video of the south rim of The Grand Canyon for you to get pleasure from >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh_5Pnv39cY
This one, taken from a helicopter >>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT3hQlY4oek
We took one of the buses that run about every 15 minutes out to see the canyon views. Cars are not allowed to take this drive, only buses, which is a good thing. There were nine lookout points where you could get off the bus to see and then get back on a later bus. This, being a Tuesday and early, the crowds were small, but on our way out we saw a big line of cars waiting to get in.
Vegas here we come!
Oct 5–We are at Costco in Las Vegas buying tires, a big expense for us right now, but we have to. I am finding, once again, so many people are not friendly, at all. In walking around, I am not discovering anyone who makes eye contact or smiles. I’ve written about this in the past.
I try and make eye contact and have a friendly smile for everyone I see; I am not finding others doing that, at all, currently. It is so easy to be friendly and it makes such a better world for all of us–why are so many people unfriendly? (I hope you are not one of the unfriendlies.)
If fact, take dogs for example. Most every dog will, at least, go up and sniff another dog’s butt and also wag their tail. I am not saying to sniff my butt, but (how about that wording–butt, but) at least acknowledge the other person in a gracious way.
Vegas has grown much. Like most all big cities, it has all the same business establishments and traffic and such. So, of course, this being a city, we will be out of here and back to the wilderness as soon as we can.
Las Vegas is so very different now. I first started coming to this town in the 1970’s to see top jugglers. Back then this was mainly just a casino town with some restaurants and hotels mixed in. Now it is “everything”, with some casinos mixed in. In driving down Las Vegas Blvd (The Strip), and to see McDonalds and CVS and other places was so different,
The reason we had come to Las Vegas at this point is because Tina saw an advertisement that the movie “Young Frankenstein” was being re-released and was showing here, so we had to. We saw the movie yesterday, a joy to see once again. You may know, Gene Wilder died recently, a sad thing, but that is why the re-release. Have you seen the flick?
Death is a creepy thing to think about. We all know we are going to die some day, but seldom think or talk about it. I am prepared; the thought does not irk me. I try to have a good life and help as many people along the way as I can.
And, as you might know, I think that when you die, you are just gone forever—no heaven—heaven is a good hope for some.
The huge movie theater multiplex is part of a casino, so strange. Tina and I each gambled a dollar each; the casino is $2 ahead because of us (we also bought two good margaritas for only a dollar each, so we are ahead, really.) Have you have to remember, some people lose $200,000 in a single night, we will never be part of that group.
What is so strange is to watch the gamblers faces—they lose, no expression change, they win, no change. Not one person on the gambling floor seemed to be having fun—this was very bizarre to me.
Oct 6—Spent the morning working on the van and cleaning. One thing I do constantly make small improvements how I can to the van, my life, and mine and Tina’s life together. Today I worked on the window covers, now no light will go into or out of the van when these are on the windows. You can always find simple ways to improve things.
You see, all the little things add up and will make your life enhanced. Of course, it is much easier to run things as they have always been and not make any changes, but, try doing one or two small improvements, daily, they will add up to make your life enhanced.
Sure, it will take some effort, but the payoff will be a better life.
Then we went to the 6pm gathering of local jugglers for the weekly get together. Some great juggling tonight was seen. Someone I have known for some time, who is an excellent juggler and was there is Doug Sayers. Take a look at Doug>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUi3zn2FBVI
Oct 7—On awakening, we were parked at the place where we juggled last night, a quiet and calm night of sleep. Then today we went to The Circus Circus Casino to see what jugglers might be performing. We saw on the list, Raul Cubillos, who I do not know, but we will be seeing him later and you will hear more.
We did return to the stage later and enjoyed Raul’s juggling act. He is from Argentina and has a very fast style, good to see. He had not heard of my book, Juggling with Finesse, so I gave him a copy.
Here is Raul >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL2z7-E6ajI
I do get pleasure from writing these posts for you. My writing seems to be improving; you will have to let me know. I’ve found that the key to good writing is in editing. I go over the material many times with an analytical eye and make improvements, often.
And, for writing, you just have to start, once you do things come to mind. That can be quite hard, finding the initial terminology and will to start.
Oct 8–Someone I have not seen for years took Tina and me to a superb lunch today. John McPeak is 70 years old, but looks and acts in his 30’s, and still performing; great to see him and his wife, Bern. Take a look:
Being itchy to get back to the wilderness, Tina and I drove 15 miles out of Vegas to http://www.redrockcanyonlv.org/redrockcanyon/camping-at-red-rock-canyon/. Turned out to have no trees and, being out in the desert, was barren and hot. We read many good reviews, did not see the pleasure here.
As I wrote, Vegas is growing, much.
On the way out to Red Rock Canyon, we passed many many condos in a housing complex. What was outlandish was there looked to be only 3 or 4 feet between each. I know that the more they can pack em in the more money they make, so they made sure things were tight.
For sleep tonight, back to a Walmart we stayed at in the past. Wifi here, so I will be able to get this email out to you tomorrow, Sunday, my new deadline for getting these words to you.
Sunday, October 9, 2016—Woke very early today, 2:30am, and could not get back to sleep. So, into Walmart, I went to plug in and use to put together words for you.
Today we got together with Vladik Miagkostoupov, his wife Anna, and two young daughters. I first met Vladik’s dad many years ago, also a great juggler. With his dad’s training, Vladik has become the incredible juggler he is today. Here is Vladik:
Tonight we went to see Jeff Civillico at The Flamingo Hotel. Jeff took my juggling/performance workshop many years ago, a great guy. We witnessed a superb juggling/comedy show for about an hour and a half.
Here is Jeff >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXV_HZW5SYM
Last night we went to Vladik at Planet Hollywood. What a fantastic show we saw.
As usual, we do not know where we are going next or when, but we will get there and I will let you know. Right now, though, in Las Vegas, in a nice park typing offline, beautiful weather, cannot ask for much better.
Hope you will be able to help us out each month with a contribution to help keep us going.