My room at Excalibur--well, not really, more on this pic later.
Part of the registration area for NACE 2006.
A wider angle shot of the registration area, after the close of the show.
Oops. This truck was parked near the entrance to the show.
I managed to get to the Stratosphere one night. I came looking for the roller coaster, but I found out it had closed last year.
This is a view of Las Vegas from the Stratosphere tower.
This is a picture of the tower. At the very top of the tower is the Big Shot ride.
Here's a closer look at that. Since there was no roller coaster, I rode Big Shot instead. The blurry red ring is a group of lucky people racing at 45 miles per hour up to a height of 1081 feet!
Another view of Las Vegas while I was waiting to ride Big Shot.
On the way back to Excalibur, I poked my head in to take a quick look at the Star Trek: The Experience entrance in the Las Vegas Hilton. Barry Manilow and Star Trek? I guess that covers a lot of bases.
This is a Star Wars slot machine in the Hilton.
I had a red-eye flight back after the show was over, so I decided to spend a little time in the Mojave National Preserve. My original plan was to rent a Charger. This picture of Kelbaker Road in the preserve might give you some idea of why. Sadly, no Chargers--so I got a Taurus instead.
Still Kelbaker Road. I'd say I drove on the road for about 20 minutes without seeing another vehicle. There were turns in the road, but I just took pictures of the straight parts.
This is a rock formation along Kelbaker Road.
A Joshua tree along the road.
A desert plant of some sort.
This is kind of the last sign I expected to see driving through the Mojave desert.
In case you're wondering where Kelbaker Road goes, this is it--the Kelso Depot.
This is the front of the Depot.
There's one lunch room in the middle of the Mojave, and you know I found it.
Unfortunately, there's no longer any lunch in the lunch room. So I wandered around the depot, which was recently restored by the Park Service.
IT, circa 1930.
A poster from back in the day.
The second floor housed railroad workers. Down this hall was the room I took the picture of.
This is the other half of the room.
A Union Pacific train rolling by the depot.
A short drive from the Kelso Depot are the Kelso Dunes, the third-tallest sand dunes in North America. So I had to climb on them, even if I didn't have enough time to go all the way to the top.
This is an outhouse at the entrance to the dunes. Exciting stuff, I know.
This is another picture of it from on the dunes, as far as I managed to walk out on them in the time I had. It's the small white spot just left of the center of the picture.
This is where I managed to get to before I had to go back or face inconvenient things like the sun setting while I was in the middle of a desert, not being able to get back in time for my flight home, etc.
You can't really tell the sun was setting in that last picture, but this one shows it really is going down!
Did I mention that the sun was going down?
Almost back to the car!
Out of light, out of time, and fortunately, back at my car. I wound up driving over 300 miles before jumping on my flight home.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006