Yet again…

I’m just not sure where to even start. Once again we’re in the same place we’ve been all too many times, another shooting that takes massive amounts of innocent lives. I’m numb again, and have nothing much to say that others aren’t already saying. So instead, I’m going to talk about the Vegas that I have come to know over the past few years.

I’ve been to Vegas quite a few times to visit with my wife’s family. One of the things that I love about Vegas isn’t the lights of decadence of The Strip, but the desolate landscape that surrounds it. We have nothing like the desert here in the midwest, and getting to experience this on a regular basis is an amazing privilege. The lack of trees, and large rock outcroppings, everything exposed, create a landscape that seems dead, but feels alive. As you wander around the desert you see that life finds a way, from small flowering plants, to animals, insects and birds.

This is a favorite panorama of mine from out in the desert where you can see the Strip off in the distance. It’s small, and tens of miles away, and is dwarfed by the enormity of the area that surrounds it.

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I also love Red Rock Canyon. The vibrancy of the colors are amazing and you can see for miles around. One of my favorite runs ever was getting lost in the canyon.

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When you’re wandering around you can find strange life that you’ve never seen before. This tree in Red Rock is twisted and gnarled from the weather in the area.

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There’s also the traditional beauty of cactus. These plants that flower in the late winter show that even with limited water, gorgeous colors can bloom.

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I pray for healing from the tragedy of these past few days. I hope that at some point life will go back to normal there, even though I know it will never be the same. I’m looking forward to getting back there again next year and seeing my desert again. But for now, may peace come back to this amazing land.