Other Riders' Stories
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|Day 1 - Santa Clara, CA
Day 2 - Lee Vining, CA
Day 3 - Baker, CA
Day 4 - Las Vegas, NV
Day 5 - Las Vegas, NV
Day 6 - Grand Canyon, AZ
Day 7 - Durango, CO
Day 8 - Glenwood, CO
Day 9 - Highlands, CO
Day 10 - Highlands, CO
Day 11 - Estes Park, CO
Day 12 - Craig, CO
Day 13 - Jackson, WY
Day 14 - Cody, WY
Day 15 - Mammoth, WY
Day 16 - Choteau, MT
Day 17 - Kelispell, MT
Day 18 - Sandpoint, ID
Day 19 - Omak, WA
Day 20 - Anacortes, WA
Day 21 - Anacortes, WA
Day 22 - Poulsbo, WA
Day 23 - Poulsbo, WA
Day 24 - Poulsbo, WA
Day 25 - Astoria, OR
Day 26 - Lincoln City, OR
Day 27 - Bandon, OR
Day 28 - Eureka, CA
Day 29 - Anchor Bay, CA
Day 30 - Martinez, CA
| Western Loop - July 2, 2002
Miles Traveled Today: 95
Las Vegas, NV
Miles Traveled on Trip: 783
|We are up at 4:15 a.m., as planned. As I’m packing the Goldwing,
I meet Igor in the parking lot, since he and his wife, Jo Ann, are
getting ready to leave also. We check the thermometer and it reads
86 degrees. We wish each other a safe trip and they pull out right
at 5:00, the mellow sound of his Harley trailing off toward Las Vegas.
The air is still warm, but much better than yesterday and no longer
oppressive. By 5:10, we’re also heading north on I15 with Las Vegas
just 91 miles away. I figure about an hour and a half. The roads
are almost empty of car traffic and the trucks have a lane all to
themselves, so they are of little bother. Surprise, the temperature
on the road actually gets cooler and Linda says that she may have
to stop and put on a jacket. Go figure. This has been a lesson in
weather patterns since the temperature will go up and down several
times in the next 91 miles and reaches 93 degrees by the time we get
to Las Vegas.
We pull onto “The Strip”, sometimes known as Las Vegas Blvd., at about
6:30 a.m. (photo 1). We decide to tour the strip and see
where we want to stay. I opt for something with easy parking for
the bike. As we turn around and head back up the strip, we decide
that Treasure Island (Where they have the sailing ship battles)
might be reasonable since they cater to families. We’re not wrong
about that, so we park the bike and get a room for only $59 (photos
2, 3, & 4). We grab a little breakfast and relax and I’m
surprised to find that I’m already drinking a lot of liquids and we
were only on the road for about 90 minutes. I make a note to get
off the bike often for drinks since this hot air obviously dehydrates
us faster than we would expect.
I decide to go see the Art of the Motorcycle, which is at the Guggenheim
Museum, located at the Venetian, right across from our hotel
(photos 5 & 6). Linda has no interest in wandering around,
reading about motorcycles, which look pretty much the same to her,
so I leave her to read and relax while I go next door (photo 7).
I find the museum and stay for over three hours while I take in the
history of the motorcycle. This is a pretty popular exhibit and it
was supposed to end on June 30th. Thanks to popular demand, it has
been extended until the end of the year. Actually, this exhibit was
the reason I made this hot, hot, trip to Las Vegas, in the first place.
I really enjoyed the exhibit but I’m not sure it was worth chancing
heat stroke to see it. I buy my first souvenir, a CD that shows most
of the motorcycles on display. I see an original brochure that shows
my old gold and white Triumph.
I met several other riders at the show, (photo 8) one couple
lives in Santa Cruz, CA just over the hill from me. They are on a
new Harley and have come from the Bryce Canyon area where they said
the temperature hit 130 degrees. They tell me the only thing that
saved them was a “wet vest” that they soak in water for about five
minutes, wring out, and wear under their clothes. He told me the
vests normally keep you cool for up to three hours but yesterday they
had to re-soak them every hour. They were convinced they saved their
lives. After being in 113 degree temps, I would probably agree. His
wife tells me I need to get some of these if I’m going south. I’ve
never seen any of these “wet vests” but I’ll call some of the local
dealers in the area to see if they carry them. This couple were older
than Linda and I, have been riding for over 30 years, and own a new
Harley Electra Glide, a ‘69 Triumph Bonni, and a vintage ‘88 BMW RS.
You can’t have too many motorcycles, I guess.
Las Vegas has changed drastically since we were last here with our
sons in the late 70’s. Then we stayed in a tent camper. Now we’re
staying in a fine hotel for only three times the cost of that campsite.
Each hotel seems to have tried to top the next in luxury, novelty,
uniqueness, entertainment, or star power. This is all eye-candy for
us tourist (photos 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13). Last night we
took the Monorail from our hotel over to the Mirage. Since both hotels
are owned by the same company, that’s as far as this railway goes.
We got tickets to see Seigfried and Roy, the magicians who make white
tigers and an elephant disappear and reappear on stage. Lots of glitter,
spectacle and $5 bucks for a coke. Linda and I were talking and we
both agreed that the magician we saw in Maui was so much more entertaining.
His was a one-man show with eight members of the audience up front
as participants, and it was great. A true example where big is not
necessarily better. That doesn’t apply to my Goldwing, of course.
After the show, we followed the crowds to the fire fountain/waterfall
at the Mirage Hotel (photo 14), then back to the Treasure Island
for the mock “ship battle” where they actually sink a phony ship out
front. Talk about your bread and circuses (photos 15, 16, &
17). Las Vegas has truly turned into Disneyland, with off track
betting. I love the excess of it all. Having said that, I have no
great desire to return anytime soon. I don’t like the crowds.
We head back to our room where we have a great view of the strip.
I take another picture at night to go with the one I took this morning
(photos 18 & 19) then one in black and white of the Venetian
to finish out the day (photo 20). Tomorrow we’ve got to take
some time to relax.