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While we were in LA, we took a  road trip to Las Vegas – a four hour drive on Interstate 15 North.  Vegas baby !

On the way, we saw signs to Route 66.  It would have been an interesting detour but would take at least half a day to explore – so we skipped it but promised to return.  And this is my favorite cover version of the song – (Get your kicks on) Route 66 by Depeche mode.

” You’ll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico;
Flagstaff, Arizona don’t forget Winona;
 Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino

Out of the urban sprawl and onto the Mojave Desert. We climbed and gained some altitude, at some point, we passed 4000 feet (photo below). There were lanes for slow moving vehicles going uphill (trailers and trucks), and lanes for runaway trucks on the downhill sections.

We stopped by Barstow for lunch and took at a look at their only other commercial activity, beside gas and fast food, i.e, the Tangier outlet mall. It was being invaded by several busloads of Chinese tourists, busy shopping, keeping the stores in the desert open.

Exit 23 to Zzyzx! What ? And Exit 191 to Ghost Town ? Area 51 is somewhere nearby.

The Mojave desert is not quite the kind of desert I had in mind – endless yellow sand dunes. Instead, it is rather rocky and covered by patches of weeds.

The longest train I have ever seen, crawling slowly under the sun. I only caught maybe one third of it in this picture.

In late afternoon, the sun seemed to set quickly. The trucks looked like wagons for a second.

As we got closer to Vegas,  small clusters of casino/hotel/amusement park/service stations started to pop up in the middle of nowhere by the roadside, like Vegas I imagine many years ago.

Sue volunteered to drive, so I had the chance to snap these pictures at 1/1600th second with my new little camera.

You know Vegas cannot be far when one of the roadside hotels looks like it is made of gold.

South Point. This is where the lights of Vegas (on Interstate 15 North) start. It was dusk when we reach the outskirts of the city. We avoided the strip and got on the ring road to our hotel on the eastern edge of the city – Red Rock Station (next post).

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