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Day 50: Arrival in CA

July 19, 2010 4 comments

Location: near Dunn, CA

Miles Driven: 276

Total Miles: 12,256

Woke up around 8 in the morning on Sunday and took a drive near the Red Rock Canyon conservation area, just a few minutes drive from Jim and Elyse’s place.  They told me Red Rock Canyon was something not to be missed while visiting Las Vegas.  So I drove the 13-mile scenic loop around the park, and it was pretty amazing.

Great views. They should make this place a national/state park

I spent the remainder of the morning restocking on some supplies for the next several weeks, as well as getting my car back in clean order.  Thanks so much to Elyse for preparing a lot of food, snacks, and supplies to take with me.  I will be well fed for the next several days thanks to her.

By mid-afternoon I was packed, re-stocked with supplies, as well as some music and audiobooks thanks to Jim and Elyse.  By the way, Sting has a great new album out called “Symphonicities” (play on The Police song Synchronicity) that takes some of his old classics and he’s accompanied with an orchestra.  Very good.

Me, Elyse, and Jim (and Simon the cat)

Thanks so much to my generous hosts in Las Vegas.  I had such a great stay.

I didn’t have any specific destination in mind for the day.  My rough plan was to work my way to San Diego by Monday, so I didn’t have to hustle anywhere.  I know I wanted to see Death Valley National Park again (the picture on the top right of this blog is from there).  So I headed into the park via an entrance I hadn’t come in before, and also left via a route I hadn’t seen.  It’s hot like an oven, but Death Valley is one of my favorite national parks.  Take a look at the temperature from my car gauge:

That usually runs a few degrees hotter than it really is, so it was really only about 118 degrees or so

One of my first stops was Zabriske Point, which my National Park book recommends as a stop.  Some great views here.

From there, I made my way towards Badwater, the lowest point in North America (282 feet below sea level).

Moon above Badwater

Badwater Basin

I began to make my way south to exit the park and link up, eventually, with I-15.

Looking back towards Badwater

So long, Death Valley

The timing worked out well for me.  I left Death Valley just as the sun was going down and the first quarter moon lit the path south.

Found a rest stop outside of Dunn, CA, and made that my home for the night.  Pacific Coast on Monday!

joe

Day 49: Viva Las Vegas

July 19, 2010 2 comments
Location: Las Vegas, NV

 

Slept in a little bit on Saturday, lounged about a bit, and then Jim took me to a great breakfast buffet at nearby Red Rocks Casino.  The food was so fresh and delicious, it was a shame I could only finish one plate of the entree-type items.

Soooo good

Near the Red Rocks Casino front door

After breakfast, I made it a priority to be lazy.  I stayed at the air-conditioned house all day and just relaxed.  Thanks to my my hosts, Jim and Elyse, for letting me just bum around the house.  This was my second time in Las Vegas, so I had no big desire to do much sightseeing, and I was happy to just sit around.

Late in the night I drove down towards the Strip and walked around for a bit.  I forgot about the atmosphere out there, even in the 100+ degree heat.

Fountain show by the Bellagio

I thought about maybe catching a show or something, but there was nothing that struck my interest enough outside of the “Tournament of Kings” at the Excalibur Hotel (just like Medieval Times), but that would be more fun with another person.

Made it back home before late, and relaxed a bit before crashing.  That was it for my day, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it.

joe

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