Strange and Unexpected
Backpack on the Road
Volume Three: Las Vegas



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"…given a bit of slack, I’ll wander all over the place when telling a story..."

That's from the introduction to Strange and Unexpected: Backpack on the Road -- and this time, Bob and Terry are joined by Ellen and Richard.

It's not just two trips to Las Vegas found in these pages. The group of four also heads out to the Hoover Dam, drives Route 66, and ends up watching a sunset at the Grand Canyon.

But let's face it... as great and fun and worthy as those adventures are, the majority of material is placed in the heart of Las Vegas.


I had the chance to interview a great performer for my web site -- Art Vargas. And as a lead to the piece, I made an attempt at connecting to his efforts and classic Las Vegas, and to bring the interview’s reader to a classic atmosphere.

Here’s the opening passage…

Vegas Cool.

Just two words, and yet I would imagine everyone immediately created some sort of imagery in their mind. A haze hangs in the air of a dimly lit lounge. Round tables spread throughout the room, with candles at the center of each one. Two or four people are seated together at every table, drinks in front of them. And the attention of the 500 or so in the room is directed at a stage.

Vegas Cool.

A band is playing… crisp, tight, and perfectly tuned. In front of that band stands a man, impeccably dressed in formal attire. And whether you hear jazz, blues, swing or the golden standards filling the air, the joint is rocking.

Yeah. That… is Vegas Cool.

It’s a state of mind. An image that transcends time. A powerful connection between people and a laid back emotion.

Every person that visits Vegas is going to find something completely different. If for no other reason… free alcohol and losing money creates an amazing kaleidoscope of chaos and emotions. Believe me though… there are countless other reasons.

Just about anything you are looking for… short of taking a boat out on the ocean… you can find here. (Including beaches, water and sandcasltes.) Some of the greatest shopping, biggest names in the culinary world, and greatest performers and productions in entertainment -- all can be found in Las Vegas.

There are dreams of riches… fantasies of scantily clad women… realities of drive-thru wedding chapels.

Welcome to Las Vegas."

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail