Las Vegas 2007

side trip to Death Valley NP


Death Valley National Park was awesome.  It took M a little while to get into it, but she enjoyed herself anyway.  It was a little bit far to drive, so we did not get to see as much of the park as I'd liked, but you do what you can.  M caught up on some sleep for part of the trip, but she missed seeing a couple of million Joshua trees and a few very impoverished towns, her loss.
M still moving a little slow after the long drive.
Zabriskie Point

I will just throw this out now.  I have been insulted, or is that assaulted, by some nasty bathrooms in my years of camping and partying, and have smelled things indescribable, but I have experienced nothing as revolting as the vault toilet that I stepped into near the entrance of the park.  It was so offensive smelling that I had to stop mid-stream and walk out of it and finish my business beside a trash can, so that I would not have liquid coming out more than one part of my body simultaneously.  In fact, that was not assured by just leaving the building.  And the weirdest part of all this was I passed a woman leaving this parfum-de-rotting-carcass toilet as I approached it.  If she actually squatted in that filth, she ...  well I don't know what to say about her.  I went back to our rental car and when I got in M gagged, literally.  The stench had stuck to me and I carried some of it into the car.  It was legendary.  With temps in the forties, I had to open the windows and could smell the 'attack' in my clothes for a long while.  Unbelievable.
Then at Furnace Creek, we find a really nice resort.  Who knew?  A 4-diamond historic resort, with a golf course, a saloon, a few restaurants....  It is the green spot in the picture below.  Amazing, in all this arid nothing, palm trees and swimming pools and even valet parking. Furnace Creek also had a visitor center, gas station, and quite a lot of campsites.  Very empty while we were there.

After a quick stop at the visitor center, we headed for Badwater Basin, the lowest spot in the US, 282 ft below sea level. It is in the shots below

Once there, you can feel the temperature difference immediately.  I would not want to be there in the summer.
Telescope peak in the background - 11,049 ft above sea level
acres of salt and even a little water

a marker on the rocks showing sea level
The next stop was Devils Golf Course.  This really jagged landscape of what looked like salt and hard clay.  Very interesting area.  Telescope Peak in the background again.

Next 3 are from Artists Drive. 

2 more. This is called the artists palette for obvious reasons. And the Artists Drive is a fantastic drive, lots of dips and curves and only one lane wide.

Then M sat in the car while I walked to the natural bridge.  Not that great compared to most of the other things. A nice little walk though.

The Sand Dunes near Stovepipe Wells.  Then we were out of time. Never made it to Scotty's Castle.

We did swing by the Chicken Ranch on the way back
We went back to the Venetian Resort and M was so impressed with this room that she took pictures of it. the quick breakdown was 3 LCD TVs, one in each room, a view of the pools (heated of course), marble floors throughout.  But it did take a trip on 2 elevators just to get from the parking garage to the room.

Never understood the need for a phone by the toilet. 
Yes we did rock our robes while there.
We also turned all the TVs on and everything else that trailer trash would do in an expensive resort.
We had a big dinner planned for the night, at Delmonico.  M still drools a little when she talks about it.  There was still gambling money in the budget too.  Plus we wanted to visit the club that the Pussycat Dolls performed in later in the night.  It was another very late night.
The next morning we even took pictures of the lobby of the hotel

Photos from Bellagio's botanical garden, decorated for Xmas.

M wanted to try an overnight flight back home, so we went shopping for a few gifts and headed to the airport.   The redeye turned out as you'd expect....

Elvis has left the building!

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