Location: Las Vegas, NV
Miles traveled: 3400
Cost of gas: $1.87 / gal
Weather: raining! in Nevada???
Tunes: Bush – Razorblade Suitcase
After traveling to Lake Havasu and waking up in the hot, sweltery desert we traveled north (east) along Route 66 onto this really exciting windy mountain portion of the road. Onto the Hoover Dam. The greeting was friendly enough – leave the knife in the car, go through the x-ray/metal detector, $20 admission, and the grumpiest guy in Nevada giving the tour. His star quotes: “Don’t bother going over the the Arizona side.” “We don’t sell power here [to California].” “That’s another myth you heard on PBS” (about both the concrete not being cured, and men buried alive in the dam).
After the “parexcellance” powerpoint presentation, we were hearded like cattle into a stuffy elevator down to the generator room. Our bithcy schoolteacher guide reminded us not to piss off the guys with the guns, food was not allowed, and not to chew gum, even though she, herself, was clacking away loudly. Her star quotes: “Does anyone want to volunteer to see what happens if you act up in front of the armed guards?” “I can chew gum because I’m not going to put it on the walls or ceiling, because I’m the one who has to clean it up.” The ten-minute movie was provided to us on a 19-inch telecorder.
This obviously helped to sour the dam experience. It is an awesome technological feat. One that is not to be missed on a drive out west. For security and traffic reasons they are building an even bigger bridge across the canyon, hopefully to be completed by 2008. In the meantime, watch out for lengthy lines at security checkpoints.
More rain in the desert as we got into Las Vegas, Nevada. Rain in Nevada is like snow in North Carolina. People have no idea what to do. The sidewalks get oil slick and all the outdoor shows get cancelled. I’m honestly surprised the Bellagio “Water Fountain Show” wasn’t cancelled. We stayed at the Mirage. Pretty fancy. Pretty close to stuff.
Las Vegas is not my idea of a walking city. It would take you hours to walk up and down the strip. Every sidewalk is diverted into a casino or littered with sketchy people trying to give you porno flyers. Nothing is “free.” Even the free shows are blatent advertisments for the casinos. We got back to The Mirage and I grabbed the small amount of “alloted” casino spending money: $50. Then I dragged Christine downstairs with me. We played a handfull of machines. Christine won $6.50 on a nickel machine. (Up about 400% on our $2 worth of nickels.) I lost about $4 on a video poker machine and then on the last hand got 3 of a kind. I pressed the “cash out” button and we headed back to our room. We played for about an hour and only lost 50 cents.