So I am finally out of Los Angeles. Right now I am in a Lutheran retreat center called Spirit in the Desert, in Carefree, AZ. It's a nice retreat center, it has a pool and the room is huge, very comfy.
So far we have been to see the sequoias, and we have been to Las Vegas. We drove to the sequoias in a Prius, which was fine but I am not used to driving that far. I will probably not be doing much of the driving on this trip. The sequoias were amazing. They are big of course, but what I found most fascinating was the fire scars that they all possessed. I didn't know that fire was so necessary in order for sequoias to grow and thrive. Fires clear out other trees so baby sequoias can get enough sunlight, and the ash is good for seedling growth. Even the smoke from a forest fire helps spread sequoia seeds. They are phoenix trees. I am amazed by the interconnectedness of things. And human beings, thinking we are doing the right thing for the forest, struggle to keep the fires from burning. Fire suppression really inhibited sequoia growth. After all, allowing forest fires to burn seems counter intuitive.
We are not all that different from sequoias, ya know. Danger and pain, we try to protect ourselves from them, but they are the very things that allow us to grow.
Anyway, we finally left L.A. for good on Wednesday, and we headed for Vegas. We originally were booked for two nights at a Days Inn, but when my mom saw just how pathetic and off the main strip it was, she cancelled our second night and moved us to The Luxor. The Luxor was pretty cool. The elevators go up and down on a diagonal which is really the oddest feeling in an elevator. In the evening we walked down the strip and were able to see the Bellagio fountain. My mother was so impressed that we stood there and watched three consecutive water displays.
We left late the next day with the intention of going to the Grand Canyon but we decided to skip it and head straight to the retreat house. We also decided to skip Tombstone. The long hours of driving is already getting to us.
Tomorrow we leave really early to go over to Roswell. I am excited, it looks like it will be a lot of silly fun. We will be there for two nights.