Vegas and Mt. Charleston

Trip Start Nov 22, 2007
Trip End Dec 01, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Thursday, June 26, 2008

Las Vegas
Aside from getting to warmer weather (and we were rewarded with oppressive temperatures as high as 115 degrees) one of our objectives in Vegas was to find reliable internet service as the deadline for my annual CPE was fast approaching and I was a few credits short. We found it at Holiday Travel RV Park, a campground on the other side of town from the Strip. I quickly set to work, while Bob lounged at the pool and found a new friend, Mike. They hit it off immediately and had a lot of fun together while I toiled away with online accounting, finance and management courses. Once my work was over, however, we all spent time together at the pool playing pool and enjoying each other's company.
Vegas is, well, Vegas. Anyone who has been there knows it's not really like any other place on earth. Tip: don't gamble with any expectations of winning during a recession. All the casino revenues are down substantially, and you can't win against this hungry machine-at least we couldn't! We didn't spend much time at the casinos in any case, and we got a chance to enjoy other things about Vegas. Mike has lived there for 12 years, so he gave us a lot of tips.
We went to a Cirque de Soleil show, KA, which was just marvelous. The Cirque de Soleil phenomenon is a mixture ok dance, acrobatics, beautiful costumes and spectacular engineering. Visually, there is nothing quite like it. We had seen some shows on TV about Cirque de Soleil, and that was amazing, but seeing it in person shouldn't be missed if you have a chance. KA is the first Cirque de Soleil to have a story behind it, rather than being just a visual representation of abstract ideas centered on a theme (such as "O" which is about water). The stage was on a revolving mechanism that turned, rose, fell, and angled to vertical. The acrobatics were incredible and awe-inspiring. We had great seats in front and the show was engrossing-like being transported to another world.
In the "trips," motorcycle riding in Vegas is not much fun. In fact, you are cooler when the bike is idling at the stoplight than you are when riding with the 110-plus dry heat evaporating whatever moisture your body's cells can contain. We did take a ride out of town to a place called Mt. Charleston one day, which provided a reprieve. Once there, the temperatures dropped to the eighties, and the back roads become long and straight before giving way to the Spring Mountains. Great for riding! We ate brunch on the deck at a lodge that sits part way up one of the mountains overlooking the valley below. They had a lot of hummingbird feeders, and dozens of hummingbirds flew back and forth around the deck. After brunch, we hiked up the mountain to a falls-well they call it a falls, but as you will see from the picture, it was more of a trickle. As Bob said, he's seen more water dripping from the air conditioner than the falls provided. Of course we probably were jaded from our trip to Yosemite, where powerful waterfalls appeared around every bend.
After the hike, we rode the back roads over to Lee Canyon, stopping at an overlook where you can see Vegas and the remnants of Area 51 (and 52 and 53) in the distance. This overlook was actually advertised for tourists who wanted to camp out and watch the nuclear testing back in the day when the government was trying to popularize these events as a vacation destination! It was a nice day, and we dreaded driving back down to the oppressive desert temperatures.
We spent July 4th in Vegas, which was really neat. We opted not to got to a particular fireworks show, but instead to go to the top of the parking Garage at nearby Sam's Casino for a 360 degree view of the city. This was a different experience. Instead of seeing a single fireworks display, you can see about 50 displays all over town! I hadn't thought about that and it was a pleasant surprise to find you could watch all the different shows going off at the same time; some staggered for different start times, so the whole event went on for hours!
We left Vegas July 8th, eager to see the canyons of southern Utah, but a bit sad to say goodbye to Mike, who had become a good friend to us in a short time.
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telephonebob on

Only one camera
Hey, Bob.... Only one camera or is it just one photographer? Carrie must be the techno of the group - she's not in too many pictures!!!

'Lots of great places...' he said drooling...

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