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Las Vegas Vacation, December 2000

Drake, Jen, and Blue had many adventures on their Las Vegas vacation.
Here are a few pictures of where we were.

First, we began around 6am at the Raleigh Airport.
We watched the sunrise on our way and slept a lot. Take a look...
Five hours and 3 time zones later, we were in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Our first adventure was to drive to the Hoover Dam.
On the way, we stopped in the Lake Mead area and hiked for a bit.

Then we continued on to the Hoover Dam, right at the NV/AZ border.
It looked like something out of Star Wars.

We started driving the wrong direction on our way home from the dam,
but that led to the wonderful discovery of a 3 mile trail that
led through White Rock Canyon (part 1, part 2) to a hot spring.

So, we returned there the next day and hiked the gravel trail for
almost 3 hours and ended up at the Colorado River.
The Arizona Hot Springs were only 1/4 mile downriver, but the climb was steep.
When we finally got to the spring,
Drake said,"At least I can have one more hot bath before I die."
It was a well deserved soak that made us want to relax rather than make the
3 hour trek back, which took us into nightfall.

We decided to take a break from hiking for a few days and spent time going
in and out of hotel casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. Each hotel has a different theme
(such as Paris, Pirates, MGM, or New York City), but each one is a hotel, casino, and
shopping mall, all-in-one. We had hours of fun playing nickel and quarter slots.
The first two pictures are of the ceilings in a couple of hotels and the aerial shots of
Las Vegas were taken when we ate a gourmet dinner way up in the Stratosphere's
revolving restaurant.
One hotel, Mandalay Bay , had an aquarium where we saw alligators, fish, turtles,
sharks, and jellyfish (they're so cool!).

After a few days on the strip, we headed away from the city again towards Red Rock Canyon.
There was a great plateau we saw on our drive, so we pulled off the road and made the climb.

Next, we got back in our car and headed for Death Valley. The mountains kept changing as
we drove. Black lava mountains,brown ones, tall ones, short ones, jagged ones, smooth ones.
Some places looked like Mars. The first six pictures here are of mountains with lots of
Borax deposits. Mode magazine was there taking a photo shoot. By dusk, we arrived at
The Furnace Creek Ranch, home of the world's lowest golf course. Death Valley is 214 feet
below sea level and has a yearly rainfall of only 1.5 inches. There was a saloon at the ranch
where we ate a great meal before heading back to Vegas for our final days there, but not before
seeing two coyotes walking around and enjoying the night.

Good night. I hope you enjoyed the show.