October 19, 2008
After that we set off on our road trip to Vegas.
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This is where we went, we left San Diego the pretty way which avoided highways but was a bit confusing. It took us over some mountains and some pretty views and windy roads. Near Palm Springs we passed a forest of wind turbines which were amazing, all a bit surreal. We took a detour on the way to twentynine palms to check out Pioneertown, built in the 1940's as a movie set for westerns. We spent the night at Twentynine Palms Inn on the edge of the Joshua Tree national Park. It was a pretty cool place, but not that relaxing as we had a desert mouse in our room and had to get up and try and trap him in the middle of the night.
The next day we had a good wander round the Joshua tree park where we saw some very cool cactus, big random rocks and many Joshua Trees.
After a morning in the trees we headed north to Vegas stopping at Amboy and hitting route 66 to get to the Mojave National Preserve to see Kelso Depot and lots more Joshua Trees.
We had to get on the big roads by then and soon got to the exciting Nevada Border and made our way to Vegas! We stayed 2 nights at Treasure Island and with a ridiculously comfy bed and a great view of the strip.
Vegas was as amazing as I’d hoped. We spent our day wandering along the strip popping into the hotels. At the MGM in exchange for money to spend in the CBS shop we reviewed a terrible sit-com Gary, unmarried. I think I lasted about 5 minutes before hitting the "I'd turn over now" button. They clearly listened to us as its now on US TV.
We also checked out the amazing fountains outside the Bellagio, it really was amazing, and we got to look down and see them from the top of the Eiffel Tower, although I was a bit gutted I couldn't make any measurements as the Volcano at the Mirage was broken.
We also went to Bill’s Gambling Casino for a brilliant free show where we got to see the fantastic Big Elvis sitting in a lounge IN VEGAS, very cool. We even stayed for the Karaoke afterwards and even though they randomly had PJ and Duncan’s Eternal Love Luke didn’t let me sing. Probably for the best.
After a couple nights in Vegas we headed north and made our way to Death Valley, stopping at the mining ghost town Rhyolite, Scotty’s Castle , got a bit work related going to Uhebe Crater and spending the night at Stovepipe Wells, I even had a quick swim, it was a bit warm. We had a good wander round the desert checking out the sand dunes at sunrise and then headed on to Badwater, the parks lowest point 282 feet below sealevel. It was really hot and I was disturbed to see a woman going for a bit of jog at about 11 am there. After that we went back up the hill to see the Natural Bridge, Artist’s Drive and wound our way up to Dante’s View.
Luke's blog has been more active than here lately. I've been off in Hawaii (in July) looking at the volcanic activity and seeing how much mercury is coming out. The pics show the new activity at Halema'uma'u as well as the ocean entry point where Pu`u `O`o' lava meets the Pacific. The pen is with a bit of Pele's hair ejected from Pu`u `O`o starting to form beads. There's a fog sampler under the tree trying to see what's in the VOG. The pics are posted here.