Las Vegas Road Trip

Granting a Christmas Wish


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 Freedom Bridge and Tail Race Structures at Hoover Dam.
Sony Alpha 7R Mark II,
1/320 sec, ISO 100, 26mm at f/8.
All photos copyright, Bill Caid 2017. All rights reserved.

The Trip

Kathleen has always been a big fan of Cher and recently found out that Cher would be performing in Las Vegas.  Since she found out around Christmas and I was in a giving mood, we set up a road trip to Vegas to see the act.  Kathleen's sister Dee was also it town, so the 3 of us piled into the BMW and motored north.  We planned to stay several days and check out some of the local sights.

Travel Route

Given that we were traveling in a "normal" passenger sedan, our route was the easiest and most obvious: the interstate highway system.  While less glamorous than a hard-core off road trail, it was efficient and allowed us to minimize travel time.  Our path took us north from San Diego through the Riverside area, over Cajon Pass and across the Mojave Desert on I-15.


For this trip, I used my Sony Alpha 7R Mark II camera with Sony 24-70mm GM automatic zoom lens and Voightlander 35mm f/1.1 manual focus lens.   The camera does an outstanding job, but using the manual focus does requires some thought during shooting.  For Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam, the 24-70mm was used exclusively.

Trip Details

The link table below contains links to the photos and dialog for each of the days of the expedition.

Links to Daily Adventures
Part Dates Adventure Locations
Las Vegas and Red Rocks Park
Hoover Dam


Conclusions and Advice to Travelers

As much as I try, I cannot "get into" Vegas.  It is a beefy drive from San Diego and while there are shows there that are interesting, the attraction (for me) is overwhelmed by a combination of logistical challenges and casinos.  Casinos have very characteristic smell that is due to the excessive amount of air deodorizer that is used to attempt to purge the smell of smoke.   I find that odor unattractive.  I do not gamble as I took statistics, so can anticipate the outcome of the game, so casinos, as a rule, hold nothing for me.  That said, the show was great and very entertaining.

The path to Las Vegas from San Diego is all high-speed freeway.  However, that freeway goes over 3 large mountain passes that will stress even a new vehicle.  The passes are steep and most folks travel at the speed limit or (way) beyond while going up the passes.  This will further stress the vehicle.  If you car is not in good shape, particularly with respect to the cooling system, you may be in for a surprise.  Check all fluid levels before starting your trip and insure that you tires are inflated to the proper pressure for the load and speed that you intend to travel.  And, just because you are on a freeway does not mean that you will be going fast.  The path to Las Vegas is heavily traveled and can become very congested in the event of problems resulting in much-longer than expected travel time.  Be sure to have extra water in your car in the case of a mechanical breakdown;  a tow truck could be an hour or more away given the remoteness of some of the portions of the highway.


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Copyright Bill Caid 2017