View Full Version : RE: Las Vegas



firefighterjake
05-12-2008, 07:54 AM
As some of you may know I will be going to Las Vegas for a Convention in a few weeks . . . while some folks have been telling me how "lucky" and "fun" Vegas is I have to confess that I really am going for the Convention and not for the trip since I don't particularly care for the whole idea of Vegas (as I've told more than one person . . . if I want to see the Eiffel Tower I would rather go to Paris than see a 2/3 scale replica . . . if I want to see New York I would rather see the real place . . . etc.)

So anyways, I'm looking forward to the Convention (last year I was even mildly surprised when I was walking down on the Convention floor with one of our Inspectors and there I was being projected on a plasma TV . . . turns out a PSA I did with the National Christmas Tree Association was being played since the NCTA had a booth set up there) . . . but I was wondering if folks have any suggestions of things to do, places to go, etc. that are . . . well . . . not so "plastic" and "neon."

Of course I'm hoping to grab a few caches in the area . . . although it seems like most of them are virtuals and micros . . .

TRF
05-12-2008, 09:11 AM
Red Rock Canyon! Take in a show or two; off broadway productions are way fun!! Cirque de soleil is cool too. Go to Las Vegas speedway and do one of the driving experiences and watch the Airforce fighter planes take off from the Airbase. Hoover Dam isn't to far away and that is awesome. The rollercoaster on top of the skytower is thrilling if you like to be scared to death!! There are more things to do than time to do them. Enjoy!!!

Wolf207
05-12-2008, 12:59 PM
I have never been to Vegas myself, but my co-worker has gone there a couple of times and here are a few things he has done outside of the strip.


1. All I can say is DAM. The Hover Dam is a neat thing to see and as was mentioned in the previous post is not to far from Vegas.

2. If you are into ripping up the sand in a dune buggy there is a place near vegas that offers two options. Take a back canyon/valley tour (lasts a couple hours) in a large Dune Buggy that holds somewhere between 4 to 6 people. This option has a driver guiding the tour. The second option is to rent your own dune buggy and have at it on the local dunes. This option puts you behind the wheel. I am not sure what the place is called, but can probably be found with a search on the internet. If not and you are interested let me know and I can ask my co-worker for more details.

darterkitfox
05-12-2008, 07:31 PM
Freemont Street experience on Freemont Street at the end of the strip. It only lasts for less than 10 minutes every half hour on the hour at night, but it's free, the sound is great, and it's a great place to people watch in between. There are plenty of street vendors and entertainers to while away the time. Try a fried twinkie too. I didn't lead you wrong with the cruise, so make sure to at least visit this free entertainment. Remember, I am the king of cheap vacations.

vicbiker
05-12-2008, 09:08 PM
Well Jake you are in luck....just checked on answers .com.....Las Vegas Zoo....they have MONKEYS!!!!!!

firefighterjake
05-13-2008, 07:59 AM
Freemont Street experience on Freemont Street at the end of the strip. It only lasts for less than 10 minutes every half hour on the hour at night, but it's free, the sound is great, and it's a great place to people watch in between. There are plenty of street vendors and entertainers to while away the time. Try a fried twinkie too. I didn't lead you wrong with the cruise, so make sure to at least visit this free entertainment. Remember, I am the king of cheap vacations.

That's right . . . I made you my official travel agent after doing the cruise! :D

firefighterjake
05-13-2008, 08:01 AM
Well Jake you are in luck....just checked on answers .com.....Las Vegas Zoo....they have MONKEYS!!!!!!

No kidding . . . didn't realize they even had a zoo other than the man-killing Sigfried and Roy tigers. Maybe I'll look into the zoo thing.

firefighterjake
05-13-2008, 08:02 AM
Red Rock Canyon! Take in a show or two; off broadway productions are way fun!! Cirque de soleil is cool too. Go to Las Vegas speedway and do one of the driving experiences and watch the Airforce fighter planes take off from the Airbase. Hoover Dam isn't to far away and that is awesome. The rollercoaster on top of the skytower is thrilling if you like to be scared to death!! There are more things to do than time to do them. Enjoy!!!

Red Rock Canyon . . . what's there and how do you get there? I'm not much of a broadway show kind of guy . . . and you of all people should know that I live on a firefighter's budget! :D

Hoover Dam might also be an option . . . I did drive out there one time several years back, but didn't realize I could do a tour of the place.

firefighterjake
05-13-2008, 08:03 AM
I have never been to Vegas myself, but my co-worker has gone there a couple of times and here are a few things he has done outside of the strip.


1. All I can say is DAM. The Hover Dam is a neat thing to see and as was mentioned in the previous post is not to far from Vegas.

2. If you are into ripping up the sand in a dune buggy there is a place near vegas that offers two options. Take a back canyon/valley tour (lasts a couple hours) in a large Dune Buggy that holds somewhere between 4 to 6 people. This option has a driver guiding the tour. The second option is to rent your own dune buggy and have at it on the local dunes. This option puts you behind the wheel. I am not sure what the place is called, but can probably be found with a search on the internet. If not and you are interested let me know and I can ask my co-worker for more details.

Hmmm . . . two votes for the dam. I just might do this . . . and see if there are any caches along the way. Thanks.

TRF
05-13-2008, 08:42 AM
Red Rock Canyon . . . what's there and how do you get there? I'm not much of a broadway show kind of guy . . . and you of all people should know that I live on a firefighter's budget! :D

Hoover Dam might also be an option . . . I did drive out there one time several years back, but didn't realize I could do a tour of the place.

Firstly, there are red rocks and a canyon (http://www.redrockcanyonlv.org/). Miles of walking trails as it is a park, plenty of parking and wild @.$.$.es on the way. No, really, wild donkey, serious. They are cool. The best way to get there is to rent a car. It would be easily found on a map and is only about 20 minutes west of the city proper. I'm willing to bet there will be more than one cache on the way if there isn't one or more in the park.

darterkitfox
05-13-2008, 06:37 PM
And the most important thing about Red Rock Canyon is, it is where Captain Kirk was killed in the movie "Generations".

dubord207
05-14-2008, 05:31 AM
It can get very hot there in the afternoon and there's an IMAX theater in New York, New York. If you've never been, take in any of the movies that are documentaries and not re-makes of popular current movies. My all time favorite is Everest. They actually dragged the 400 pound camera up the mountain to make the film.

The Pirates of the Caribean is outside and free as I recall. There's a show every hour.

A volcano goes off on the hour at the Mirage, very cool

And of course there's the fountains at the Bellagio, more impressive at night.

The Freemont Street experience doesn't run during the day. You can get there by bus. You can meet "real" Vegas people on a bus!

The Eiffel Tower, while not anywhere near as impressive as the real deal, is still a great place to see the City of Lights at night. It is closed a lot due to wind but I would still take a ride to the top.

Have a great time. I hurt my eyes there last time looking at all the gorgeous cocktail waitresses!

brdad
05-14-2008, 05:59 AM
One of the spots we were considering if we got up to the NW of AZ was the Grand canyon Skywalk. While a bit more commercial than we like as a rule, it probably would still be a neat thing to see. Looks like it's a couple hours from Vegas. There is also a bus that can take you from Dolan Springs, AZ, so you don't have to drive on the 15 mile dirt road to get there.

firefighterjake
05-14-2008, 07:48 AM
Thanks for the suggestions folks . . . and darterkitfox, I'm surprised . . . didn't figure on you being a sci-fi Trekkie geek. ;):D

darterkitfox
05-14-2008, 05:19 PM
Walk the canals of the Venetian Hotel. I've never been to Venice but I can't imagine the real thing looking much different from the inside of this building. There is also another IMAX in the Palms which shows regular movies if you like those. We saw King Kong there when it came out and when he roared, the whole place shook. I thought the ceiling was going to cave in. And by the way, Star Wars is sci-fi, Star Trek is real life.

firefighterjake
05-15-2008, 07:29 AM
Walk the canals of the Venetian Hotel. I've never been to Venice but I can't imagine the real thing looking much different from the inside of this building. There is also another IMAX in the Palms which shows regular movies if you like those. We saw King Kong there when it came out and when he roared, the whole place shook. I thought the ceiling was going to cave in. And by the way, Star Wars is sci-fi, Star Trek is real life.

HehHeh . . . just tell me you don't have rubber Vulan ear tips! :D:D:D;)

pjpreb
05-15-2008, 08:37 PM
We cached Red Rock Canyon a couple of years ago - left brdad's & msteelee's sig items together in the engagement cache GCJ1E9. It was very hot there in Sept but we brought lots of water and really loved the area. it's only a 20 min drive from the strip.

Lots of virts on the strip. It's an awesome place for people watching. The hotels are fun to wander through and there are a lot of free attractions along the way. You'll have a great time.

Gump & Gumpette
05-20-2008, 01:11 AM
I went caching in Vegas last year, we hit the Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon. My favorite along the strip was A Special Memory. Also congrat on the 1000 finds. Your caches are still some of my favorites.

firefighterjake
06-08-2008, 01:46 AM
I'm back . . . did anyone miss me . . . or more important did anyone even notice I wasn't here last week? ;):D

I can tell you that I learned several things of my trip to Las Vegas. First off, it's hot out there . . . really hot . . . I mean one day they were talking about a cold front that had moved in and this meant the high temps were going to be in the high 80s or low 90s . . . and I actually saw people wearing light-weight coats that day.

Second, it's just a matter of opinion, but I can't say as though I really cared for Las Vegas . . . traveling outside of Vegas to see the real Nevada however wasn't bad. I'm just not a big fan of "plastic" -- fake Eiffel Towers, Egyptian pyramids and New York skyscrapers (as well as the plastic people dressing to impress and with silicone-enhanced. . . . well you get the idea.)

======

My trip out was pretty much uneventful. I drove down to Portland and stayed the night at a Howard Johnson's since I had an early flight out. This allowed me time to grab a couple of caches before turning in early. Incidentally, I would have flown out of Bangor, but it was something like $300 more for a ticket.

On the first flight someone was on board that smelled really, really bad. I honestly think someone was passing gas. On the second leg of the flight I was seated next to a woman who was watching a scary movie or something on her laptop . . . every once in a while I would be minding my own business reading a book when the woman would get startled by something in the movie, she would jump and throw up her hands . . . the second time this happened I suggested that she might want to try watching a comedy or something a little less scary. :D

After getting situated in my hotel room I went out and quickly discovered that nearly all of the caches along the Strip were either virtual caches or micros . . . typically LPC micros.

The next day I attended a great all-day seminar on fire extinguishers . . . OK, I know to some of you that might sound boring, but I found it to be quite interesting.

The next day was a free day so I opted to take some of your advice and went to Valley of Fire . . . definitely worth doing. Saw some great caches -- mostly in terms of the location . . . not a lot of great hides though since the dessert doesn't really offer much in the way of hiding things other than some rocks or the occasional dead yucca. Since I was sightseeing along the way I saw some petrified logs (they were more scared of me than I was of them though ;):D), petroglyphs, cacti, lots of little lizards and all kinds of sandstone. I particularly liked Jeffrey's Valley of Fire Earthcache, 2 Arches/2 Views, Petrified Cache and Mouse's Tank.

The one thing I was glad that I did on this first day was to buy plenty of water at the nearby Native American general store/gas station/liquor store/fireworks store (this place was pretty much custom made for Hiram ;):D) since I soon realized that the dry heat meant I would sweat a lot, but it would soon wick away in the heat and wind and so you would often not realize just how much you were sweating and losing water.

The one thing I wish I had done was to test my hiking boots before heading out since I think they have reached the point where I need to get new ones as I ended the day with lots of blisters on my feet.

I did have one "incident" on this day however when I misjudged the distance and instead of taking the easy route down a steep gravel hill by following a gravel road down I went the direct route . . . and then had to go up another hill and then back down a hill . . . and in the process I ended up losing my footing and fell, scraping my leg and arm with some nasty looking scratches.

By day's end I had grabbed several more caches on my return trip back . . . memorable caches included Visiting Granddad in a grass-less cemetery and Old Spanish Trail which was a mailbox alongside a well-traveled highway . . . only to get to it you had to drive down a 2 or 3 mile long gravel road (something I didn't tell the folks at the rental agency when I returned the Mazda 6 I was renting for the day :D.)

The next few days were spent visiting the Convention's Exposition vendors and learning about new products -- as well as seeing my face on the Showroom floor as the folks with the National Christmas Tree Association were there and playing a video that I did with them a few years back. I also spent quite a bit of time attending various classes since that's why I was in Vegas.

I ventured out a few times in the evenings to grab a cache or two and to see the Las Vegas sights, but as I said earlier . . . watching dancing water fountains, lightshows, etc. just isn't my thing . . . I'm a simple country boy from Maine . . . although listening to the bus driver get into an argument with a belligerent drunk and threaten to call the police until the drunk got off the bus was kind of entertaining.

On Day 5 I met a very special girl named Candy who seemed to be really interested in me . . . and yes I am just kidding! ;):D

Actually on my final day I had some more free time so I figured I would strike out for Red Rock Canyon . . . after driving 12 miles or so and thinking my Magellan was acting up I realized that my Magellan was working fine and that it was me that was in fact not working correctly since for some reason I had it set in my mind that I had to go south on Rt. 15 to get to Red Rock when in fact I needed to get on a completely different road. After getting turned around I headed to Red Rock Canyon which also proved to be a great place for caching and sightseeing . . . definitely more tourists here, but there was plenty to see and do.

I never did see the wild burros, but I did get to see some cacti in bloom which were pretty neat to see and there was a jackrabbit that scampered away from me near one cache.

======

My flight home was not fun. At some point I had caught a cold . . . and in fact I'm still feeling a bit under the weather as I write this missive. Flying home when sick is not remotely fun . . . I was never so glad to be back in Maine and on the ground . . . well actually I was much happier to be home where I slept for something like 12 hours straight. In any case, it's good to be home . . . now someone out there must have missed me. :D

Kacky
06-08-2008, 10:21 PM
...Since I was sightseeing along the way I saw some petrified logs (they were more scared of me than I was of them though ;):D)

That's why I am glad you're back. Good jokes!

brdad
06-09-2008, 05:36 AM
Sounds like a good trip overall. I think I'd feel the same way about Vegas itself, I'd give a day in neon lights for 30 minutes with nature. But people keep saying I have to see it. So maybe someday...

firefighterjake
06-09-2008, 05:47 AM
And the most important thing about Red Rock Canyon is, it is where Captain Kirk was killed in the movie "Generations".

I looked for phazer blast patterns, disruptor signatures and transporter ion residue but never saw any signs. ;):D

TRF
06-09-2008, 12:07 PM
Sounds like a good trip overall. I think I'd feel the same way about Vegas itself, I'd give a day in neon lights for 30 minutes with nature. But people keep saying I have to see it. So maybe someday...


I like living in a rural area but I really like to visit the bigger cities. Toronto CAN, Montreal CAN, Las Vegas St. Paul Minneapolis, Sydney AUS, Brisbane AUS and Darwin AUS are definately my favorites so far. There are many, many more to visit but as much as I enjoyed them I would always need to live in a rural setting. I consider Bangor bigger than I would want to live in yet I always enjoy my visits and never regretted a moment while there. Vegas has a charm that is unique and is definately a place to visit. I'm not much of a gambler but there is so much to do and see. One afternoon my wife and I watched a Blackjack player sitting a $5000.00 minimum table....The individual sat there for about half an hour and lost more money than I'll make in 10 years. That is not something I'm going to see in Albion considering most folks in my neighborhood consider it a gamble to buy a cow out of NH for fear it won't pasture OK..:D:D

squirrelcache
06-09-2008, 02:59 PM
We love Maine and believe in expanding our horizons. So our motto is, "It's great to go away...even better to come home". We've found camping a great introduction to locals and friendly people in most locations. As I'm sure many can relate to in geocaching.

WhereRWe?
06-09-2008, 05:13 PM
I like living in a rural area but I really like to visit the bigger cities.

RULOST2? and I have lived all over the world - 12 of my 59 years outside the US. We've lived in a city with a population over 2 million, and when we retired, it was to a town with a population of 940.

There's something about rural life... :D:D

vicbiker
06-09-2008, 08:22 PM
RULOST2? and I have lived all over the world - 12 of my 59 years outside the US. We've lived in a city with a population over 2 million, and when we retired, it was to a town with a population of 940.Are you counting the dogs and cats?

WhereRWe?
06-11-2008, 11:00 AM
Are you counting the dogs and cats?

Sheesh! Don't get me started on census takers! LOL! They're worse than the religious solicitations! LOL!