Pass the Salt

Good morning! If you are reading this then you made it to Tuesday! Hubby and I took a road trip to the the great state of Nevada. I looked up the state motto because I thought the state slogan was The Silver State, I was sort of right. It has a few state mottos, All for Country but Battle Born was was officially adopted as the state motto or slogan in 1937. Funny, but the only slogan that reminds me of Nevada is the What Happens In Vegas…Stays In Vegas as it has been in use since 2003. The new slogan is What Happens Here, Happens Only Here was just recently made official. The first thing that pops up when searching for the new slogan is from so many people freaking out about the grammar. Well, with the introduction of text messaging, shortened messages where vowels were removed or using acronyms became the norm it is no wonder that grammar rules have been cast aside. I am embarrassed that I had to look up NSFW – Not Suited For Work. I thought I knew most of them like FWB or DT- well I am not going to finish that one. Sometimes, I feel like a crotchety old woman that balks at the younger generation when I get miffed at getting a text message that says WYD? So, to all of you grammar cops I feel ya’ really, but know that I am a huge grammar offender. Anyhow, excuse my curious and scattered brain. I love looking up stuff and then it leads to finding other stuff like this white stuff on the side of the road as we drove through the Bristol Dry Lake just past Amboy on our way to Las Vegas. We didn’t stop but I shot some video and took a few shots while we were driving through. The route we took to Las Vegas is what some people from Southern California refer to as the back route. The back route from the Palm Springs area started for us on the 10 Freeway going West till we exited to Highway 62 heading into Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree. If you blink while driving toward 29 Palms, you may miss the turn onto to Adobe Road. This road leads to Amboy a few miles up the road.

We were behind that RV for miles…

I get excited by the desert landscape. There are hills and rock formations along this scenic route. At the Bristol Dry Lake good ol’ table salt is mined here. That’s right, I have heard parents back in the day threaten to send their incorrigible kids to work at a salt mine if their behavior did not improve, my Dad included.

I tried to catch this the last time we drove through the Bristol Dry Lake Bed.

We pulled into Aboy around 11 AM. Amboy, California is a popular spot to take photos. When we stopped to use the facilities there were already a few people out with their camera gear. Helpful hint, always carry a spare roll of TP when using the restroom that is located behind the horse’s ass. Just sayin’.

After that stop we continued till Highway 62 intersects National Trails Highway and then turned right. You drive till Kelbaker Rd then north to Kelso Cima Road. If you ever travel this road, be sure to stop there as that is the only rest stop for miles, unless, you are into using a bush or something for relief, on the side of the road. We took special interest in this place as it is the namesake of the band Ghosts of Kelso.

Kelso was a named after John Kelso, a warehouseman, when he put his name in a hat with two other men in 1905. He won as his name was drawn and became the name of this stop. The train depot itself was closed as a functioning depot in 1985 and now houses the museum and gift store. It is definitely worth checking out, at least once. I loved that they kept the cafe counter and the old fixtures. I have visions of doing a shoot here. I did however, take plenty of photos of the signs and such as I want to use them on the Ghosts of Kelso website. After we left this rest stop, we got back onto Kelso Cima Road for about a half hour. This lovely section of the Mojave Desert has spotty cell coverage. If you are using GPS it may go off-line. I know that we made a few turns and then Interstate 15 can be seen in the distance. From there Las Vegas is only a few hours away.

The rest of the way, I mainly shot video, so I did not get photos when we crossed the State Line and such or of any of the border casinos. At that point we had been in the car for 3 hours and it was getting hard to stay still and keep my back and legs from having spasms. Yeah, car rides have definitely not improved but the discomfort was so worth it.

We arrived in Las Vegas and at our motel around 2 PM. I am very frugal and hate to waste money on fancy hotels, although if we would have gotten a deal like the Motel 6 that we stayed at, I gladly would have stayed at one of them. This Motel 6, that by the time the Raiders new stadium officially opens, will probably be booked solid as the Stadium is around a half-mile away and with the cost of parking being what it is, just staying there could save on many things. Also, it’s super close to In-n-Out. Like I said, win-win! Already planning for that future as hubby is a RAIDER fan.

We rested before meeting up with my sister at Ceasar’s Palace. She had gifted us two tickets to see Van Morrison. Funny, but she kept apologizing because the seats were in the upper bowl but the tickets were perfect! We had a clear view of the stage. My camera, sadly, did not make it into the show. This was the first time that I have been denied! Usually I dismantle my camera and put the lens in a make up bag. One time I wrapped the body in a souvenir bag to get it into another concert. I had a stoner moment…ugh!

So, although it was a quick trip we totally used every moment as best as we could. While waiting for my sister, we walked around the outside of Ceasars Palace so I could see the lights. The landscape sure has changed in the last 40 years, I know this well as my parents brought us here for family vacation starting back in the late 70’s.

I laughed when Hubby and I were waiting near the event center at the signs that reminded everyone that the show would start promptly at 8 PM. I am sure there were people in attendance that had never seen this maestro before and figured an 8 PM show meant the artist would show up late, not Van. For him 8 PM showtime means exactly that, not 7:59 PM or 8:16 PM. I had to wait for hubby as he took my camera to the bell desk till after the concert. I tried to talk my way into keeping it with me but no luck. We were in our seats by 8:15 PM and he had already played a few songs and was just finishing It Was Once My Life. As soon as I heard the next few chords, I squealed as it was Saint Dominic’s Preview but in a slightly different cadence and that led into Baby Please Don’t Go. I think this is where tears started welling up in my eyes. I could see my sister at the edge of the stage taking photos with her phone and silently wished that I was down there. It took a few minutes but the lovely work of the Van Morrison led band was mesmerizing. I knew he would not speak more than a few words, if at all. I knew that any moment, he could get up and walk off stage and not return. He didn’t and I swear I saw his lips purse in a smile many times through out the set. I wanted to sing out loud during Cleaning Windows

What’s my line?
I’m happy cleaning windows
Take my time
I’ll see you when my love grows
Baby don’t let it slide
I’m a working man in my prime
Cleanin’ windows
(number thirty-six)

You see, sometime back in the mid 90’s I found him because of the song Brown Eyed Girl. To be honest, not my favorite of his. However, that song haunts me every time I am out seeing a cover band. I have heard it reggae style, country-fied, jazzed up – you name it. Van, hardly ever includes that hit when playing. Not for this show! It was also re-imagined in only a way Van could do. It was beautiful and lively. I wish I could have recorded the collective ooohs and aahs and clapping as the song began. The concert lasted approximately one hour and 30 minutes. Van, at the end of Party’s Over, turned to his right and walked off the stage. I thought, oh, there he goes. Then he came back and did his encore which consisted of Moondance, Brown Eyed Girl and the very last song was Them’s hit Gloria. Hubby noticed that they did not seem to have a set list, per se. Van was calling off song’s and the bass player would have to hurriedly decide to use either the stand up bass or the Fender. Truly, it was the best gift my sister could give me. Van Morrison is 74 year old and I knew this may be the last chance I get to see him. I would like to see him in Ireland where he often plays in small venues. After the concert, I got to visit with my sister and my niece and nephew along with their spouses. We headed back to the motel around 11 PM as I was tore-up from the floor up. No, not drunk, at that point every pain signal in my spine was calling out for intervention – sleep. We left our room around 8 am so we could do quick sight-seeing before heading home. I still have to download the rest of those pics and will post more about this adventure tomorrow-ish. Having chronic pain issues, I no longer worry about the speed it takes to write a post. This was started on Sunday evening…

To you dear reader thank you for visiting! May you have many little adventures. Hugs to you that are needing one.

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