Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ridgecrest to Los Vegas

We got up not too early and headed out northeast on Highway 178 towards Death Valley. There were just a couple of little towns along the road (Trona being the main town) boy did Trona look desolate, out in the middle of nowhere.

Death Valley is really quite beautiful, it was hot and dry - about 98 degrees F. We first stopped at the summit (4956 ft. in elevation) and took a few pictures. There is a washroom at the summit and the honey bees have invaded the men's urinal! Looking for any water they could find I guess. We stopped at Stovepipe Wells for a bit - there is a couple of shops there and a little resort and RV Park. Not a tree for a thousand miles. It is hard to imagine camping in an RV in the middle of Death Valley.

The lowest point in Death Valley is 263 feet below sea level. We went to the visitors centre around Furnace Creek and then drove back toward where we had been to see the Pupp fish that swim around in a very tiny little bit of hot desert water ( husband is a biologist - need I say more) There were thousands of Pupp fish and Thousands of Black flies - the biggest Black flies I have ever seen in my life. And I have seen big Black flies - I lived in Winnipeg Manitoba once!

Onward to Los Vegas - our planned stop for the night. We had lunch at Desert Valley Junction under the shade of an old building in the centre of town. Interesting places these desert towns.

We got to Los Vegas around the usual 4 p.m. time. Didn't seem to matter what time we left somewhere or how far we were driving we always seemed to get in sometime in the late afternoon. We drove around Los Vegas for awhile. I had never been there before. Quite the site all the Hotels that you see from the TV etc. Caesars Palace, Circus Circus, MGM Grand etc. Both Donald and Ivana Trump are building hotels there. We didn't want to stay at a big hotel as we had lots of bags and a cooler etc to haul up and down elevators so we decided to stay at the Howard Johnson. What a dump!!!!! The lobby was nice - our room was terrible - I got to experience my first cockroach laying on it's back in the bathroom. (I should have taken a picture) Fortunately that was the only one and we were too tired to find something else so we stayed the night.

We took the bus (which took forever) to the main area of Hotels etc. While we were sitting on the bus in front of Caesars Palace we saw all these crowds of people standing around - and right then some guy on a motorcycle did a jump and flip on his motorbike over the fountain at Caesars Palace. We saw the landing only from the bus.

We had Dinner at Bellagio's. Nice meal. Walked around Los Vegas a bit - it really does look wonderful at night with all the lights everywhere. Bellagio has these fountains and lights that go off to music. Some hotel had fire and fountains. Everything is HUGE!! We went into Caesars Palace and put some money $1.00 into a slot machine - with the assistance of someone who works there. Neither one of us has ever gambled but I really felt I should try since we were in Vegas after all. But all the codes on the slot machines and what they mean after they spin -- anyway in the end I won $3.00. So I took my money and we ran! Taking the bus back to the hotel - it was more crowded and slower at 11 PM than it was at 6PM. As we were waiting in line for the bus another tourist was looking for change for a $5.00 bill to get on the bus - but no one had the change - so I gave her $2.00 - my entire profit of winnings. And that was Los Vegas - it was a long and tiring day.

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