All the things you read about Casino gambling are true. I lost track of time. One minute I was checking in to my room in a casino hotel the next it was the following morning.
In between times I took in a comedy show. "Ladeez and genlemen, please welcome from England Mr Joel Sanders" - all this way to watch a British comic? Main event was "cowboy comedian" Kip Attaway who did jokes and bawdy songs and had props like hats and sang with helium. This was more like it! I enjoyed him, as did the mainly silver haired audience who didn't bat an eyelid as he sang songs such as "How Can I Tell You I Love You When You're Sitting On My Face? "Paris Hilton Is A Million Dollar Ho!".
After that it was time for gambling ... oddly enough wandering through the casinos and seeing people grimly staring at slot machines, or watching the turn of a card without any semblance of enjoyment on their faces put me right off. That, and my inherent meanness and lack of understanding of games of chance. So I decided to wander round and watch instead.
Nothing gets in the way of the gambling. All the bar tops have machines let into them so you can't have a drink without there being the opportunity to lose a few dollars.
Police are everywhere, as you would expect when there are people staggering around with large amounts of cash on them. In one bar a man was sitting handcuffed on the floor as security waited for the cops to turn up. Seemingly oblivious, the punters played the slots around him. In another casino a soul band were doing some excellent covers to an audience of about 12 people. - a seemingly thankless task, but, like true professionals, they gave it their all. A few more beers and it is was 3am and I was eating again ..... damn!
Later that morning I got my car back from valet parking (odd feeling paying someone $3 to drive away in your vehicle) and headed for Yosemite.
I took the scenic route round the southern end of Lake Tahoe. The sun was scorching, but it got cooler the higher I climbed into the mountains. The views just get more spectacular and the smell of the pine forest has now been joined by that of sagebrush. Just over the summit, Lake Mono came into view which was jaw dropping. Headed down into the basin and am now holed up in a little motel which smells of cinnamon and coffee as it has a coffee shop attached in the small town of Lee Vining.
Tomorrow I am going to tackle Yosemite. I can see the snow capped mountains from my room as I type.