Route 66: Day Eight

Today we go to Las Vegas. I’ve been to Vegas once, with Brian…it has to have been over 10 years ago. Way before the airlines made you strip and be irradiated just to fly. As we left Flagstaff it was raining a bit. We’ve encountered what I like to call “Free Car Washes” along this trip so far, maybe 3 or 4 of them. The rain would come down so hard that I would have to slow to 20-40 mph. White out conditions, really. Except without the snow. It made for a clean windshield, I’ll tell you that!

Along the way we found out that we would pass the Hoover Dam. We decided to stop and take a look see at this incredibly terrifying spectacle. Exiting the car to a breezy 96 degrees, we made our way to the walkway. The walkway is basically a sidewalk that takes you over the water to view the dam. To my right, cars speeding past me at 85 mph. I appreciated the 4 ft. high concrete wall that allowed me to feel the breeze of passing cars, yet not put me in immediate danger. To my left, was a railing, also about 4 ft. high. I did not look at that. I looked at the ground in front of me, as I walked out to the center of the bridge. Once near the center I would look to my left. Quite a spectacular view! I never looked down from the railing, as I found a nice concrete block I could stand behind. To look down at the water…which is about 900 ft. down…would not be a good thing. So, I utilized my Live View mode on my camera, much like at Horseshoe Bend, and was able to capture a pretty good photograph.

As we left the Hoover Dam, I decided to strap the GoPro HERO2 to the roof of the Mustang for a time-lapse video as we drove into Las Vegas. I set up the camera to take an 11 MP wide-angle photo every 2 seconds. I would then stack them all together and make a “movie” from that. This process doesn’t capture sound, but it made for a pretty neat video after driving 2 hours or so. I could add a soundtrack to it in post, but I don’t have time for that on this trip, so you’ll just have to hum whatever song is in your head at this moment. Vegas is a little overwhelming. For me at least. Way too many buildings and signs to look at. People everywhere. Cheesy people. Makes me shudder. All this money being spent on…not much of anything. We got to our hotel, The Orleans, and I gave the valet $10 to let me park my own car. Got a sweet spot in the corner out in front of the hotel. ;)

Our mission in Vegas wasn’t to be all fancy and gambly, we just needed a place to sleep. This hotel did the trick. Nothing crazy fancy, and that’s fine with me. We opted for the buffet dinner. It was…dinner. I was starving, as we didn’t eat since breakfast (again)…so I had a few samples from the many different choices. Nothing was outstanding, but it got the job done. Our plan was to eat, then drive out to Area-51 out near Rachel Nevada. After giving it some thought, we realized that we would be going to take maybe, MAYBE 5 photos. One of the “Don’t move or we’ll shoot you” sign, the Little A’Le’Inn for a snack and museum tour…and the Extraterrestrial Highway sign, aka, interstate 375. Five hours of driving, for all of that? Ummm…no, I don’t think so. So instead, we caught the last show of comedian Steven Wright, who happened to be appearing in our hotel that night. Hilarious!

After the show it was off to bed, planning for our attack on California tomorrow.

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