My ticket to Vegas this year was so expensive ($700!) that I figured I'd add a few days onto the front of the trip. I had hoped to be storm chasing, but the storms (remember those twin tornadoes?) developed too late and too far east for me to get to them and get back to Vegas in time for Infocomm. Next time...
So I headed first to St. George Utah, and then the next day headed up through Moab to Durango, CO.
The Colorado river at Moab was running very high, apparently due to a large, late snowfall:
With the weather developing too far east, I spent a couple days in beautiful Durango, Colorado.
The next day I headed down through the four corners area and visited Stephanie, who I met on my Cuba trip, and her husband in Sedona, Arizona.
I stopped at the very cool Begaye Flea Market in Shiprock, NM
Made the obligatory stop at the four corners monument:
Drove through a couple dust storms and saw a bunch of pretty powerful dust devils:
Got to Sedona:
The next morning I checked out the damage from the recent fire that closed the northern road in and out of Sedona:
And I stopped at the very low Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam with a new (since my last visit) visitor center and bridge:
You can see the old lake level on the sign:
There were several days of very high winds which made some cool clouds over Las Vegas, including some lenticular:
I stopped by the Treasure Island hotel, where I worked on the Buccaneer Bay show back in the 1990's. This show was succeeded by the "Sirens" show, and is now drained and closed, with the home position of the main ship being replaced by a Walgreens (apparently shopping is the next phase for Vegas).
You can still see the burn marks from the pyro:
I went to the excellent Neon Boneyard Museum:
This is the pirate face from one of the Treasure Island signs; if you look at it from Google Earth he's looking at you.
I stopped down to check out Freemont street, which I hadn't seen in the years since my friend George worked on it.
The next night we rode the brand new High Roller observation wheel:
After our case study session/geekout we played KISS Mini Golf:
And on our last night, Jim J and I caught the amazing Piff the Magic Dragon (and we won!):