Monday, July 13, 2009

Driving to the Red Rock Overlook: Still Beautiful at 50 m.p.h.

Whenever my brain becomes overloaded, I like to take a drive up to the Red Rock Overlook. After leaving behind the 215 and the outer reaches of Summerlin, a person can almost feel like she’s left the city behind.

One of the things I miss the most about Old Vegas is the wide-open desert. In those days, it was easy to find lonely roads far from civilization and 45 m.p.h speed limits. My dad used to cruise at 100 m.p.h to Mesquite, where one of his best bartending buddies worked at a little hole-in-the-wall. (Dad also used to let me play the pinball machines inside and hang out on the sidewalk in front of the bar, which I remember had a planter full of ice plants. Today, he’d probably be arrested for child neglect.)

Obviously, things have changed a lot around here. Las Vegas residents who long for the open road must drive a little further… and a little slower. On the way to the overlook, I noticed a Metro officer with a motorist pulled over. On the way back from the overlook, he had another driver. I took note of the speed limit sign and was surprised to see it had been lowered to 50 m.p.h. And you know what? It’s still a beautiful place, even if I can’t hammer the accelerator and get that Old Vegas/open road feeling.

Motorists: Be alert on Route 159, the two-lane highway that connects Vegas to Pahrump via Red Rock Canyon, unless you would like to meet that nice officer face-to-face.
Photo information: My pictures of Red Rock Canyon, taken from the Red Rock Overlook.

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