Bright Lights, Big City
What an antidote for all of that sumptuous natural landscape. Las Vegas can appear tacky but there is no denying the allure of the spectacle, particularly at night. Despite a late afternoon arrival and a final dinner for the group not finishing until almost 10 pm, we still decided to 'hit the strip' to end our tour. Friday night in barmy temperatures led to all sorts of sights; we feasted until the early hours allowing us to take in this city in all its gaudy brashness.
I'm writing this sitting at home, having endured almost 16 hours of travel. I have had a fantastic time, made all the better by the company of a wonderful group of people. We shared all of these locations and experiences of the last two weeks and I am sure we will all be suffering withdrawal symptoms in the next few days.
I must mention two people.
Sariah Hathaway was our tour guide and driver. She took us on a trip of more than 2750 miles, driving all but 124 of those miles, much of the time being serenaded by various snores as we caught up with sleep from the hectic timetable. She also produced culinary delights at lunchtime and on one memorable breakfast occasion at the Island in the Sky Visitor Centre at Canyonlands National Park. She also was more than happy to show us the delights of the many towns and cities we visited. Her energy is remarkable and her good humour was a constant support when we were beginning to lag.
John Gravett is known to many here. As our photographic lead he was a constant source of support and ideas. All ears were attuned to his voice; if he called you went running as the viewpoint would always reveal a worthy image opportunity. His choices of music might not have been to everyones taste, but he helped to make the long hours in the mini bus pass quickly. More than anything else his passion for photography is manifest and all who took the time to listen, learnt from him.