Friday, November 29, 2013

What color do you see on Black Friday?

Article and photos by: Rick Beach
How are you spending your day?  Please forward your photos and short notes on how you are spending Black Friday.  Email to mailto:info@toponautic.com
Millions trek out to malls and shopping centers across the country on Black Friday.  In search of that special price reduced item.  This special breed of shopper is willing to venture out into the darkness of night.   Shuffle through endless waiting lines.  Brave the rush of backed up people to get at the deals.  Deals that have been kept secret, released at the last minute, whipping these shoppers into this Black Friday frenzy.
My spouse is one of these Black Friday Frenzy Freaks.  For the life of me I just don’t get it.  Personally I would rather pay regular price than to venture into this wilderness complete with its own wild animals, and life threatening situations.  I am sure she will return with stories of her adventures.  Close calls, near misses, and the thrill of victory! 

My preference on this day is to drive a short distance to Red Rock Canyon.  On the way I get to observe the packed parking lots of some of the shopping centers.  I glance over and think to myself, “I am glad it is not me”.  With a chuckle and a slow shake of the head, I proceed on.

Red Rock Park is just west of Las Vegas, Nevada.  This is a very popular destination for hikers and those wanting to enjoy nature year round.  Vaulting sandstone cliffs, ledges, and crevices offer up many “world class” technical climbing routes.  During the winter, the cooler months here, this area becomes a mecca for climbers seeking a place away from their frozen home locations.  They find the daytime temperatures during our winter months are warm enough for perfect climbing conditions.

If you aren’t drawn to climbing that doesn’t mean you are on the short end of the rope and have to go shopping.  You can even drive the loop through the park in the comfort of your car.  Hop out here and there and snap off photos. 
Many ride the loop using peddle power.  Cycling is very popular.  It offers some spectacular views and riding terrain.  Some ride from town, then circle the loop before heading back downhill to Las Vegas.  The Starbucks at W. Charleston and Town Center is evidence to this popular exercise.  After the loop ride there is normally a large gathering of cyclists with their expensive wheels and, colorful bike apparel.  This Starbucks offers a large outdoor seating area.  Cyclist friends and companions end their ride here, relaxing and laughing…..a far cry from what must be going on in those shopping malls.


I am a hiker/backpacker at heart. Red Rock offers endless paths and trails to explore.  I have lived in the area nearly 15 years and would not be able to say I know all the places.  Years ago I used to see wild mustang horses, and wild burros.  They used to roam free and be fairly plentiful.  Word has it the horses were all captured and relocated.  The reason given was there was not enough vegetation and water in the area.  I find the water issue hard to believe since there are flowing springs found all over the place.  They continue to flow even through this long drought we’ve had.  Many burros have been relocated too.  But some of the burros remain.  It is a real treat to encounter them in the wild.  

 So I am seeing Red on this Black Friday.  I get to enjoy the peace and quiet, except for that distant baying of a burro or two.  I’m standing on a rise in the trail overlooking the dessert valley and viewing the distant red peaks of sandstone off to the west.  Those peaks jutting up several thousand feet are bathed in the warming light of sunrise.  I am surrounded by a faint aroma of sage drifting in the air.  Black Friday doesn’t seem to fit the day I am experiencing.




No comments:

Post a Comment