After checking around a few places, I found one casino that would let me take pictures. Even so when I pulled out the "BIG" lens there was a BIG guy at my shoulder in a split second.
"You trying to pull an Oceans Thirteen or something?"
" Ahhhh No"
"Ok , see that you don't"
"Ok, I won't"
Vegas casinos are designed in a way that to get anywhere (restaurant, toilet, elevator etc.) you need to walk through the gaming floor.
People are playing 24 hours a day and its interesting to compare the atmosphere at different times:
At night its all shouting, laughing and drunken revelry.
At breakfast it bleary eyed, grim desperation.
You can just hear the auctioneer's voices foreclosing on properties in the future.
People don't sleep.
The guy behind me in the line for coffee was talking to his friend this morning at 7. He's one of the 150,000 folks in town for the Consumer Electronic show going on at the moment.
"You know you're in Vegas when your wake up call comes as you're coming in the door- Vegas baby!"
My how virtuous I felt......
Are we having fun yet?I was a bit dismissive of the "Fremont Street Experience" yesterday. What I hadn't seen then was the hourly light show on the worlds biggest TV screen. Its different every time and I have to say I stood open mouthed along with all the trailer park folks from the heartland. I went to one show in Vegas;
They pumped out thirty five songs intermingled with cringey Liverpudlian accented scripted dialogue. When they got it right it sounded like a Beatles record.
They also looked like them (ish). Of the 30 or so people who shelled out $50, roughly70% were Chinese or Japanese.
It must be on the tour.
These folks jumped to their feet in unison and took pictures every time they nailed a song. When it didn't really sound like the record they sat stony faced. Why would the picture work better when the song was good?
Silly as it was, I had fun.Over the course of the 40 minute drive to the Hoover Dam I had a laugh at the off beat radio contests;
"Guess the mystery song and we'll pay your child support for 6 months"
" We can't give you Hooker Money, but what you spend the prize on is up to you!"
The scenery was pretty good too. The Hoover Dam stands 726 feet from its base and weighs 6.6 million tons. There's enough concrete in the structure to build a 3 inch thick, 4ft wall all the way around the earth at the equator. The top of the dam stretches 1,244 and is 660 feet thick at its base.
That's wide enough to accommodate 6 football fields.
The weight of the dam anchors it to the canyon floor and the pressure of Lake Mead pushes its walls against the walls of the gorge.
The water reservoir is enough to flood the entire state of Connecticut to a depth of 10 feet.
The power generated by the dam is enough melt both polar ice caps and still have enough left over to satisfy Al Gores electricity hungry house -for more info go here.
I made the last one up, but I figure you've got the point.
Its also beautiful.
I took the next three pictures from the middle of the dam looking straight down. Surprisingly there are no barriers atop the wall.
I had to hold the camera out at arms length to take the snaps.
Odd how primeval instincts kick in.
Back in Vegas, I didn't need to look far to find a less attractive aspect to the glitz and the spin offs from the gambling culture here.
Finally I just had to take a picture of the Shark tank in the swimming pool at the hotel that I'm staying. It really is too cold to swim but some brave souls couldn't resist the water slide that runs through the tank.
Only in Vegas.
Only in Vegas.
That's it for Vegas.
I'm off to California.