Vegas Wrap-Up

welcome to las vegas

After my failure to take on Mount Charleston, and my first day dealing with the sweltering heat, I cut my losses. I returned the rental bike, and decided to spend my vacation like an ordinary tourist. That means I walked, and walked, and walked. And I ate, and ate, and ate. Most of the time was spent with wife and family, which was not ideal for a bike-cation.

The weird thing happened after I attempted Charleston. I knew that there had been a small fire over the weekend. At first I was concerned, but it was eventually contained. Or was it?

The day after my Charleston attempt, it went completely up in flames. We were resting in the hotel room when we saw on the news that people were being evacuated. When we left the hotel room to check out 4th of July fireworks, we could see a mass of smoke coming from the mountain. It was so immense that it covered much of the Las Vegas strip in black smoke.

We could see the billowing smoke from the heart of Vegas.

We could see the billowing smoke from the heart of Vegas.

It is a shame. As I found out the other day, the Charleston area is lush with greenery and vegetation, a nice respite from the brutal, desert temperatures down below. I hope they get it contained soon, and I hope it can one day retain the beauty that I witnessed on Wednesday.

That's Caesar's Palace in the foreground, burning Charleston in the background.

That’s Caesar’s Palace in the foreground, burning Charleston in the background.

Even though I did not ride again, this trip was good for me. Vegas has a way of getting you to walk. Whenever we wanted to do something, we would park at one of the hotels and walk over. Sometimes that would involve 2-3 hotels. When you walk through hotels, you usually have to walk through casinos and gift shops.

I walked for miles. Remember that I have not done any significant sort of weight bearing exercise in months, so my lower legs were not equipped. After the first day, my legs were screaming with soreness. At some points, I felt that I could not go on. I had to stop and sit more often, and found myself constantly giving my calves self-massage to alleviate the pain. All told, I am willing to bet that I walked a marathon in three days. The hip was sore a couple of times, but was not a major impediment. Depending on what the physical therapist says, more walking might be in my future..

Other highlights of the trip:

  • Took the Hoover Dam tour.
  • Crossed the California state line for the first time in 10+ years.
  • Ate at In-and-Out burger twice – my favorite indulgence.
  • Ate at two food celebrity restaurants.
  • Ate in ‘old Vegas’ and immediately understood why it is ‘old.’

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