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Old 13th September 2007, 00:02   #1
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Default From the Bay to the Desert

After too weeks of the sea and the fog and the beaches it was time to do something different. So off we went to Las Vegas. 3 day weekend 1300 miles.
Not many pics this time.... most of the time was spent in driving!
Day 1: The departure:
At 7am I wake up rubbing my eyes. Its a saturday, and 7am is an unholy time to get up on any day, let alone a saturday!
7:30am I get the call that the taxi is there. No light rail to rental station this time, its a tight schedule, so plan is to leave home by 9am.
A little before 8am I am standing in front of the counter of Dollar car rental with my confirmation number.
"We give you a free upgrade". Well they always give you a free upgrade, but sometimes the upgrades are scarier than the economy segment cars which are upgraded.
Its a "avenger", a Dodge avenger o be exact. Now if this had been a few months before, I could have bragged I got something from the ownership of the mighty Diamler, but now dodge is Chrysler LLC.
Anyways the car was a little ugly to look at. Very similar to its cousin the charger RWD, but different under the hood. It has a 2.4L engine and is actually a very confused car. It tries to be a mercedes, smells like a mitsubishi, but is actually an american car who loves korean food.
Confused, well even I am after reading up on this thing.
Oh, it loves to drink fuel. 173bhp sure, but it drinks gulp gulp gulp.
We got around 22-25mpg on our trip.

The trim we have has a sirius satellite radio(which plays mostly useless channels) mp3 player blah blah blah. An almost top spec version, no AWD though. For that you have to get a AWD, and thats not the "rental edition".

So I come back with the car, we get ready, and eventually its 9:30 as we hit the 101 freeway 1.5miles from home.
Soon its traffic jam time, with everybody heading towards LA for the long weekend. So the tiny connecting road from 101 to I-5 is totally jammed up.

But finally we are on the open road. Wife takes the wheel and I take a short nap. I wake up and see we are in the left lane(the fast lane), whipping a little too fast by the cars in the slow lane.

I ask her how fast is she going, and she says "Speedo's ended".
I look groggily and its 120mph. I tell her to slow down and never never cross 80. But I am sure she was doing 80-90 frequently. Thankfully there is no LIDAR on that route(atleast then there wasn't any) and the Bel 940 was our guardian angel

As miles go by we pass through rural california to desert california, where I take the wheel we we are entering into Nevada. I don't know whether its the UFO's or Air bases, or cops hiding, the RD kept beeping all the time. As we enter nevada, we find somebody or the other always stopped by cops.
With my eyes on the speedo, I am very careful to never cross 80.

Arund 6:15 we are sitting in the room, tired and hungry, and its the time to hit the streets. We are sleepy and groggy(9 hours on the road) but still we see some casino's roam the strip.
Its midnight when we retire, not chance of seeing much nightlife, besides we are finding it okay, nothing too great.
Here are some pics
Eiffel Tower: You don't have to go to Paris you see

A Casino-Hotel called the Bellagio(Oceans 13 fame)

Musical fountains at bellagio




Day 2: The Desert and the mountains

After a good nights sleep we wake up at around 10, and decide to visit the hoover dam. The avengers thermometer tells us its 110F outside. 110F is very high temperature, around 44 degrees. Since we are bay area californians( heh heh) we cannot tolerate heat, and in all probability the hoover dam is going to be 120 degrees.

So whats the next best option? Drive around the countryside and go to mount charlston. Its 36 miles from vegas and cold. Hooray.

Thankfully we miss the turn and go a bit further towards something called snow mountain. Now you cannot drive to snow mountain, just near the base, and its around 15 miles from LV.
The landscape is awe inspiring.






After hanging out in the hot desert, off we go to mount charlston.
Its a long and winding road all the way up, and would you believe it, here also they have speed traps!

To go the peak you need to trek, but we are not in mood of that, so off we go to the base lodge, and take a few pics of the scenery. Its nice and cool, thats about it

Thats us you see:
I am not that fat actually, its just the wide angle lens


Thats the avenger parked there. Menancing, isn't it?

View from the dash. I accidentally clicked it


After a few moments here we decided to drive on the road to lee canyon for 30 minutes and see if we get some nice views.
Views we did get. We unknowingly reached a place which was used by tourists to observe the A-Bomb tests in Nevada!

This is while looking towards the test site. So if I grow scales or a tail, you know its hot my fault

This is us again, I told you I was not that fat, see

Another pic

Here is the Avenger

That scratch was there beforehand, I did not cause it


[cont......]
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Old 13th September 2007, 00:02   #2
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After this it was time for the drive back, and the views were again amazing.
Taken from the moving car by wife

The Guardian angel


After this the time was to hit the strip again and roam around casino's. Did not go to Cirque de soleil or blue man shows because the 60$ discount tickets are sold out, and 100-110+ tickets... Well we did not win a million dollars!
This is the freemont street

This is at MGM grand, Leo's wife

Leo

This is a casino called the Venitian, built like venice


Caesor's palace


Toni@Flamingo's


All this roaming around continued till 6am. Yes 6am, we made sure that they cleaned up the casino's properly.
So we go to our room and crash, to wake up at 10am


Day 3 : Back to Pavilion and of Jams!!


So as we check out shortly before 11 and head to Primm, we see this huge huge jam. I turn into nevada welcome center, and check out the maps and stuff. There is an alternate route through the mountains which is like 100 miles longer and will take 12 hours.
Those guys suggest we take that only if this jam looks like a 5 hour one(not unheard off if there is a crash).
So we tune into the traffic radio and around 2 after some mall hopping we are on the road again at primm
This doggy was at the mall at Primm. I love dogs


The radio tells us of some small crashes and stuff. Few miles from PRimm we get to know that 4 cars have crashed in a massive pileup at primm. Good we got out of that earler!
After couple of hours of slow moving traffic, its all clear(well mostly)
Temparature is variable 110-117F. Its the Mojave desert baby

Deserts can be beautiful too






We are still 100+ miles from home when its 7pm


I push on the rural california highways, but rabbits are few and far in between.

Its almost 11pm when we reach home. Talk about a long drive
1300 miles 3 days. Now thats what I call a long trip.
It was sure a hectic holiday, and inspite of that a fun one.
LV is nice. But I guess if you have loads of the green stuff to spend, it can be very very very rocking. Its a gamblers paradise.
So many casino's.
Even the gas stations have slot machines.
I expected the restrooms to have slot machines too, on the lines of "Take a dump and dump your cash", but no such thing.
But LV is one big slot machine.

Want to enjoy Nevada? Go to the desert if you like the outdoors. The strip is too too too crowded.

And the driving, its like India. You feel like home there. For the first time in my stay in the US I saw a car guy threatening a pedestrian by inching towards him, spinning wheels and revving engine with horn pressed and expletives to go with it!

So thats all folks... Until the next travelogue. Its going to be about the Pacific highway 1 in the Big Sur region, in a Jeeeeeep!
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Old 13th September 2007, 00:13   #3
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Tanveer wonderful pictures man.
Quote:
1300 miles 3 days. Now thats what I call a long trip.
Splendid dude, wonder if that feat is achievable in India. Keep them coming .
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Old 13th September 2007, 00:17   #4
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Wonderful pics!! Gosh..its so scenic out there.
110F (39 deg C)isn't too bad for this time of the year..its the heat index which sucks big time. Lucky that it had begun to cool off a bit. My friend was in the same area sometime in July,and he had a real bad heat stoke.

None-the-less...bet you guys had a terriffic trip. Anything planned for the Thanksgiving weekend?
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Old 13th September 2007, 00:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
Wonderful pics!! Gosh..its so scenic out there.
110F (39 deg C)isn't too bad for this time of the year..its the heat index which sucks big time. Lucky that it had begun to cool off a bit. My friend was in the same area sometime in July,and he had a real bad heat stoke.

None-the-less...bet you guys had a terriffic trip. Anything planned for the Thanksgiving weekend?
First week of October its back to india... So not much planned now!
110 is 43 Degree C
117 is around 48 C, which is the hottest we saw, and its hooooot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Tanveer wonderful pictures man.

Splendid dude, wonder if that feat is achievable in India. Keep them coming .
Yes its doable in India, by air.
I hardly get any time to process pictures. The problem is that I shoot in RAW always and for every picture(esp the good ones) I like to adjust the shadows, the contrast the curve etc., etc., before writing out the jpg. So its a tedious process!.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 13th September 2007 at 00:20.
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Old 13th September 2007, 00:44   #6
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'First week of October its back to india... So not much planned now!
110 is 43 Degree C
117 is around 48 C, which is the hottest we saw, and its hooooot!;

thats right..
must have been dry heat,right? we've had a high of 103F here in houston,but the humidity makes it feel more like 115F..
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Old 13th September 2007, 00:45   #7
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Gr8 pics Tanveer, brings back sweet memories of my recent trip to Vegas. And you should have gone for the Cirque de soleil or Blue Man show, they are worth that extra cost.

Cheers!!!
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Old 13th September 2007, 03:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8guzzler View Post
Gr8 pics Tanveer, brings back sweet memories of my recent trip to Vegas. And you should have gone for the Cirque de soleil or Blue Man show, they are worth that extra cost.

Cheers!!!
Maybe someday!
As for this trip 240 quid is like Whooooa
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Old 13th September 2007, 04:25   #9
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Nice pictures Tanveer. No time to go to Grand Canyon?
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Old 13th September 2007, 08:18   #10
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Tanveer, Aapke pics ne LV ki sair kara diya...Indeed Spendid !!
Excellent writeup too...

Abhi
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Old 13th September 2007, 08:26   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Splendid dude, wonder if that feat is achievable in India. Keep them coming .
Riju, ya it can be easily done in India as well...
some examples which people do often in 3 days:
1) Blr - Goa- Blr (1600km, including roaming around in day2)
2) Blr - Vizag - Blr (2400km, -do-)
3) South India Circular trip from Blr (close to 2000km)
4) Blr - Mumbai - Blr (ask kumar, he does in 2 days)

etc (3 times )...

India is not behind you see...It is all in our mindset..

Abhi
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Old 13th September 2007, 10:29   #12
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Amazing pictures tanveer and equally interesting reading. Boy you have some fixation with the wide angle lens. It makes you look so healthy
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Old 13th September 2007, 10:43   #13
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@tsk - super pics !! Nice write-up too !!

@akroy - i have done pune-bangalore-pune in 2 days. Its achievable if you don't wish do some site-seeing around the place.. just Touch and Go !
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Old 13th September 2007, 10:55   #14
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Tanveer, these are some terrific photographs! Loved the shots of the car.
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Old 13th September 2007, 11:12   #15
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Hey tsk1979,
Superb photography, Amazing, It's very beautiful indeed.
Rudra sir, Samurai .. U got a competetion.
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