Las Vegas Blvd. at Tropicana Ave.
Yes, I will feed the slots in Vegas. But, I am too cheap to call myself an avid gambler. Luckily, I got shed of the gambling bug on my second WESPAC cruise back in 1971. About halfway thru the cruise, I started loaning money to other gamblers instead of shooting craps and playing poker. That was much more lucrative.
So, why Las Vegas? I was born and raised in a small town in Western Oklahoma and still prefer the open country. But,the only things, still, that there is to do in small-town America are fish, hunt, play baseball, football, or basketball, andget drunk. After that, life is boring in a small town. The lights of the city are a natural calling card for anyone who is bored of the life they live. So, once I entered the over-the-road trucking industry in 1974 it was no wonder that I was impressed with every city that I traveled through, especially Las Vegas. I was captivated on my first visit to this city by the lights coming on at sundown. The people, casinos, shops, and just the street scene, well, I guess I fell in love with the city on my first walk down The Strip. I guess I left my heart in Las Vegas on my first visit.
I spent several days and nights in Las Vegas over the years, but it was 22 years later that I made my first attempt to live there. It was during the aftermath of my second divorce that I moved to Las Vegas. I had spent 8 months attending a vo-tech school learning to run a printer. I found a job my first full day in Las Vegas, but that job only lasted less than two months. I got nervous when I could not find another job in a short time and headed back to Oklahoma, and I was back on the road driving truck again. It was 16 years later when I retired from my trucking career before I made my second attempt to live in Las Vegas. Since then I have actually lived in the Las Vegas Valley a total of three times in the past 12 years. Each time that I returned to Oklahoma was due to a family situation. Once the problem was solved at home I was soon on my way back to the Las Vegas Valley. I have now been in Oklahoma since November 2019.
It was in May of 2021 that I made my last move to live in Las Vegas. About a week after I arrived I went for a drive and wound up stopping and climbing a small mountain up City View Trail. (You can read an article I wrote about my climb of City View Trail here.) And, this was the beginning of my photographic project and my desire to live in my van to travel and photograph as many national, state, regional, and community parks as I possibly could. It was also another beginning of my learning about myself.