We’ve been planning this Thanksgiving trip to Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas for a long time, but it goes anything but smoothly. We thought Las Vegas wouldn’t be a big Thanksgiving Day destination, but I-15 is crammed with crazy traffic. I try to stop at the climbing store to pick up a guidebook, but of course it’s closed for the holiday. We’re supposed to meet our friends at Moderate Mecca, but we don’t know where it is. We don’t know which group site they’re in either. We start around the 13-mile, one-way park loop where we ask some climbers about Moderate Mecca, and discover it’s not in the loop, it’s in Calico Basin. Then I drive off without figuring out where in Calico Basin it, while Ann thinks I know. And so on. We do eventually get to the crag, but of course we forget the rack. By this time we’re getting snitty with each other, in front of our new friends no less. But I run back for the rack and we climb a nice 5.6+ trad route, and that clears the air. The place is beautiful and we have nothing to do but enjoy it for four days.
After dark we follow Mary to the Bonnie Springs resort, past the mini railroad ride and the goose pond to the fire-heated lodge, where we stuff ourselves with a traditional turkey dinner and meet some of the other climbers who have come for the weekend.