Monday, May 16, 2011

Road Trip Overview Part 2

Reno wasn't much anything special. Really was only there to sleep(Sands Regency Casino, no complimentary Internet! Luckily, I had iPhone). Also was there to lose 60 bucks at the blackjack tables. Stayed the night at Reno, then left for Lake Tahoe in the morning, a touch more than an hour's drive away.

Lake Tahoe was beautiful. Possibly the most beautiful expanse of water I've ever seen. The water was so clear, and the weather so perfect, we near spent a goddamn hour just staring at the water at various locations. Took some great shots with Konni, spent quite some time trying to shoot the starling jays. Learned a bit more about the D7000 body.

Hiked down the short Vikingsholm trail, but Vikingsholm itself was closed. Went around the south end of Tahoe, stopping at various vista points. (Was not very impressed by the Dodge Charger we rented, doesn't corner as well as the European cars we(Nan and I) usually drive.) Went back to Reno for terrible prime rib buffet and cards.

Next day was spent on the drive down to Vegas. The original plan was to play a bit in Yosemite, but all the entrances on the eastern side were closed due to snow and season. Instead, we beat it all the way down to Death Valley.

Death Valley was quite the adventure. Anyone passing through the area should devote a day driving into it. As it was springtime, it wasn't all that hot, especially since we arrived late afternoon, and played into the evening. Artist's Drive and Badwater Basin, as well as Devil's Golfcourse are all must see points. Didn't get the chance to go to any others, but I'm sure they were just as good as the above listed, if not better. Really did wish we had a better car, because the driving was awesome. Sunset at Badwater was really something else.

Helped push a stuck car out of the desert sands. What positive karma that was built was shortly removed when Nan hit a jackrabbit.

Reached Vegas after dark. Original plan of sleeping was scrapped when Arjen mentioned he had never been to a strip club before and was interested in experiencing one. Nan(who I increasingly believe is allergic to boobs) refused to go, so I reluctantly*cough* went along to keep the innocent Dutchman out of trouble.

Three hours and another large hit on my finances later, we returned to the hotel(Palace Station) and hit the sack.

Thursday was dedicated to the Grand Canyon. Spent the morning driving to said Canyon. Took the Cedar Ridge trail down a couple miles with Arjen. Nan, in his less than optimal physical state, begged off and stayed on the rim. We were rather entertained by a fat squirrel, who insisted on crawling into my backpack and coming home with us. Didn't let him, of course. Waited till sundown, took some pictures, and booked it up to the rim to meet Nan. The day was a bit hazy, but the sights and sounds were still amazing, some might even say...grand.

Spent the night in Flagstaff, and left for Las Vegas in the morning.

After arriving in the afternoon, we hit a buffet, then I went to make some money at the roulette tables. Doubled my initial investment($80), then tossed it all away on an all in bet when it was time to hit up the Strip. Didn't really expect to leave with any money at all, so I never considered cashing out.

Nan received a traffic ticket on the Strip, was a downer for the rest of the night("Twelve hours before the end of the goddamn trip!") Saw the three outdoor shows(Bellagio, Mirage, Treasure Island), Treasure Island being the most WTF. Played a game to see who could collect the most "hooker cards"(I won, because I look like a sex-starved 20-something, apparently).

Ate dinner at the McDonald's and headed to bed.

Woke up at 0400, left the hotel at 0430, and made it back to the car rental place at 0830 before our car rental expired.

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