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Driving stories to/from Las Vegas

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by surf87, Jan 14, 2017.

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  1. surf87

    surf87 MIA

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    Anyone care to share driving stories to and from Las Vegas (good or bad). I usually fly from Los Angeles to Las Vegas but once or twice a year I would drive especially when airfare is too high.

    I remember a bad experience once driving home (2005) in a 1997 Ford Ranger and the air conditioning no longer worked in 105 degree heat at about the Cal/Nev stateline. Just as I passed Whiskey Pete and Buffalo Bill before going up a long hill incline my A/C stopped working. For the next 2.5 hours until I go thru Victorville it was tortuous without A/C. Once past Victorville and going down the Cajon Pass the temps dropped and relief was on the way.
     
  2. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    My very first trips to LV were in the 1970s and I would fly out to El Lay and we would then drive in my dad's big Olds-Mo-Boat land yacht to LV. I know that on the first trip it was not four-lane all the way.

    My very first "jackpot" ever was a single cherry on a dime machine in a service station in the Jean area where we stopped to fill up! {whoopee!} This was in the years of the nationwide 55 MPH speed limit, but it was not enforced at all on that stretch! They were telling me that a few years before there was NO speed limit there and people would normally cruise at 100mph or more!

    Years later (80s, 90s) we would always stop at either the Bun Boy (LOL, the name kills me) or Mad Greek to eat. We would sometimes stop to shop at Barstow, if I could talk the others into it. :)

    I never remember making that trek in a car without AC or without the AC working well. I LOVE going in the LA-bound direction through Cajon Pass!

    Now, and this seems stupid, but for several years I was very turned around mentally, direction-wise, when in Las Vegas. My senses said that the main part of the Strip ran east to west, as we drove in from El Lay, which I always think of being about as west as you can get. it took me several years to get used to the fact that the Strip ran mostly north-south.
     
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  3. DESPERADO

    DESPERADO VIP Whale

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    :wave:driven from Fresno 2 LV 30+ times. One word description = BORING. :beer:
     
  4. ShelbyCharger

    ShelbyCharger MIA

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    My drive from Maquoketa, IA is days. Good story. Dec. 18,2015 drove to Viva with BFF Shelbz in Dog Van. Leaving Flagstaff they have stoplights in the exit merge lane. I was stopped and 2 guys came out of the ditch and tried getting in my locked van. I surprised myself by running the light and I think knocking one guy backward. Then picked up SO in Vegas spent 1 week at house. Decided to drive through CO on way back, as we never did before. Holy Crap Blizzard, FedEx truck jackknifed in front of us, cars and 4 trucks in the ditch. Not a lot of exits on the Rocky Mountains. I was told I was the better driver, so onward. I used up all of my prayers and begging and we made it home. 35 south and 40 west forever now.
     
  5. ken2v

    ken2v Wear a mask

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    100+ roundtrips. We've had fires and snow in the pass, epic traffic jams, 60 mile-per-hour winds, sand storms, torrential rains, seen every manner of insanity and some carnage. We've routed most every way in from So Cal and the central coast.

    My personal fave is rounding a corner s/b near Lake Dolores and right into Mr. CHP. Weren't really busting it, maybe 90. He came out after me. And then right when he hits the lights some angel goes by like I'm nearly standing still. The cop shot around me and went after that dude.

    Another time, coming across the 166 between Maricopa and Cuyama -- same thing. Come around the bend. BAM. CHP patrol pointed right at me. Then I see an open door ... and an open trunk ... and a tire being changed.
     
  6. surf87

    surf87 MIA

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    I should add that in addition to driving once or twice a year from Los Angeles to Las Vegas that I fly the other 10x's a year. Yes I go to Las Vegas about once a month (12x's a year). I'm a single guy with no kids so I can go anytime. The drive to Las Vegas is very exhausting and it takes about 5 hours total. I always stop in Barstow (half-way) to refuel gas and use the restroom. I bring my own sandwich and thermos with iced water and eat it after the Barstow stop. This might be TMI (too much information) but I also bring a few empty half gallon juice/milk bottles to pee, don't want to make too many stops.

    My vehicle preparations before making the trips include;
    1) topping off air in my tires, including the spare tire
    2) changing wiper blades
    3) bringing tools, portable air compressor, 1 gallon water, spare radiator hoses, belts, etc.
    4) cleaning my windows inside & out
    5) topping off fluids (ie, engine oil, power steering, transmission, and especially windshield washer fluid for bug splatter)
     
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  7. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Did a road trip with a buddy about 15-20 years ago from VA to the Southwest. Vegas was one stop along the way. Most fun I've ever had getting to (or getting home from) Vegas.

    Damn pretty country we have! :usa:
     
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  8. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Drove non-stop from northern Illinois to Vegas in '99 with my 20-year old son. He planned it so we'd hit Vegas at night, so as to see the place all it up as he rounded the last crest on I-15 north.
    Trip went fine, but got totally lost upon hitting the Strip. Being first-time visitors, we had no idea where we were going, eventually finding a dive a couple blocks west of Imperial Palace to bunk at. So naive, we didn't go into any casinos because we thought one had to be a gambler to enter.
    The next day, got back in the car and drove onto to LA.
     
  9. GamblingGolfer

    GamblingGolfer High-Roller

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    Interesting topic - drove from Disneyland to LV on a Friday in late May of '72. Three guys were picked up by a girl (at Disneyland! It involved Players Cigs, which you could only get in Canada).

    Anyway, two cars drove to LV ... with Friday afternoon traffic, took a while. We hit the Hacienda (I think, first casino in early 70s) where the 'girl' changed into a very, revealing dress and found someone else with lots of $$

    The rest of us (three guys at this point) drove to Lake Mead Nat'l campground and proceeded to 'hang out' in Vegas for another week ... more stories if you want ....

    GG
     
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  10. surf87

    surf87 MIA

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    Yes please more, I'm making popcorn (lol).
     
  11. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 High-Roller

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    Back in 1975, I drove out from Wisconsin to Las Vegas nonstop with a friend of mine; in his brand new corvette. Only problem was that the speed limit back then was 55 MPH (thanks OPEC). We stopped for breakfast in Amarillo Texas and that was the only stop other than quick bathroom breaks and for gas. We had a CB radio and played cat and mouse with the "Smokies" with the help of some truckers. Coming out of the mountains just west of Flagstaff, I pulled out and passed a long line of cars and RV's....when I pulled back into my lane I looked down at the speedometer and I was going 135 miles an hour. I'll never forget seeing Vegas for the first time....it was twilight and all you could see was this island of neon lights off in the distance burning brightly in the surrounding desolate landscape. The next afternoon I was sitting at the bar at the Golden Gate sipping a Coors and enjoying a shrimp cocktail...cost me a buck....I've been hooked ever since.
     
    Birthday trip...hopefully
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  12. rob889

    rob889 High-Roller

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    Tailgaters beware :wink2:
     
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  13. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ VIP Whale

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    Several years ago we drove from LV to Reno/Tahoe. We were staying at Peppermill in Reno and had planned to drive to Tahoe in the AM. Since there was snow in the forecast my DH got up in the middle of the night to look out the window and somehow fell against a marble table and SEVERLY dislocated his shoulder. Six hours later we left the ER with his shoulder mostly intact but he was in severe pain. (he ended up with a torn rotator cuff for which he had surgery when we got home). We didn't go to Tahoe but had to get back to LV to fly home and I had to drive all the way back. We hit a blizzard in Tonopah and weren't sure we could get back that day but I pushed on and we eventually got to LV. This was the trip from HELL. Hope to never repeat it.
     
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  14. PsyDoc

    PsyDoc High-Roller

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    My most memorable drive to Las Vegas was a road trip with a friend of mine from Alaska to Vegas.
     
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  15. surf87

    surf87 MIA

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    The Sunday after Thanksgiving travelling from Las Vegas to Los Angeles took 11 hours (normally a 5.5 or 6 hour ordeal). I caught the Megabus for $51 so I wasn't driving but boy was that a long trip home. Megabus is a double decker bus and I reserved the top front seat ($7) above the driver so I had a nice view. We left the South Strip Transfer Terminal (SSTT) in Las Vegas at 1:40 pm, scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles at 7:00 pm. The SSTT is near McCarran on Gilespie Ave on the same road as the car rental center in Las Vegas. Traffic was good until we got to Whiskey Pete and Buffalo Bills where it was bumper to bumper and basically at a crawl heading back to Los Angeles. The traffic was so heavy that truckers and cars were pulled over on the side of the I-15 freeway to wait it out. Baker is the first major city in California once you leave Las Vegas which is about 1/4 of the way to Los Angeles. We got to Baker at 7:00 pm (scheduled to be in Los Angeles at 7:00 pm). At Baker the bus driver made an announcement that he needed to pull over to take a break which of course all the passengers on the bus had sympathy for the driver. After the break we chugged along and made it to the half way point at Barstow at about 9:00 pm where we took another break and the bus driver had to refuel for gas. Normally the bus doesn't need refueling but with the heavy traffic the bus was running low on gas. At Barstow everyone is allowed to get off the bus and purchase food and use the restroom for 30 minutes. After Barstow the traffic was free flowing and no other incidents of significance were remarkable. We arrived back in Los Angeles at midnight. The scheduled arrival time in Los Angeles was 7:00 pm. I would rather have taken Southwest home but on that Sunday after Thanksgiving all the fares were $289 or higher.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  16. Johnzimbo

    Johnzimbo VIP Whale

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    Made the trip from So. Cal to Vegas one time and a buddy of a buddy offered to drive his car so I was glad I could chill the entire way. Well, this buddy was super straight arrow, didn't drink and I didn't even think he was the type to gamble...just a square guy. It was 112 as we passed the Baker thermometer and he sees the sign on the side of I-15 saying "Avoid overheating. Turn off AC next 22 miles" and he does so, stating "they want me to turn off the AC".

    I tell him "just leave it on and watch the temp" but he wouldn't turn it back on. Soon we are sweltering and I try to reason with him, saying "Dude, it's not like they have the AC police out here who will write you a ticket for running the AC" but he was standing firm. Longest 22 miles of my life.
     
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  17. surf87

    surf87 MIA

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    Moderators I just thought of expanding the parameters and if possible could you change the title to "Driving stories to/from casinos," so the East coasters, Southerners or Midwesterners could play too by sharing their experiences driving to let's say Atlantic City, Foxwood's, New Orleans, Biloxi, or anywhere else. Or maybe someone could start another thread if so desired.
     
  18. idtwins

    idtwins Low-Roller

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    Back in 2001 drove from Tucson to Vegas with my wife and my brother/sister in-law. We stopped for Arby's in Kingman and my brother (driving) had actually never been to an Arby's. Just as we get to the drive-up window, I tell my brother "she's going to ask you if you want horsey sauce" and he says "what dude?". Just then the girl at the window asks "you want horsey with that?" and my brother laughed in her face cause he hadn't yet had enough time to process what 'horsey' even was. Wife and I are busting up laughing in the back seat. Guess you had to be there :D. Good times!

    Same trip: got to the dam crossing and the feds were still stopping cars in the post 9/11 era. Sad dose of reality but we all understood. It was actually a pretty quick process if I remember correctly.

    And finally: driving Tucson to Laughlin for the first time and we leave Tucson around 4:30 PM so it's dark by mid-trip. As we're heading across the valley to the mountains on the AZ/NV border I can see this bright source of light in the distance but not sure what it is. As we finally get over the top of the mountains I can see it's the huge lights lighting up the sides of the casinos on casino drive in Laughlin. The sheer excess of light flowing into the sky struck me as just such a 'casino' thing. Loved it and we had a great time at the (now extinct) Ramada Express.
     
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  19. NYNYGirl

    NYNYGirl VIP Whale

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    So from an East coaster, all I remember is toll after toll after toll driving from Upstate NY to Atlantic City. It was 3 girls and we all emptied our purses of any change we had. All we could think of as we were laughing so hard was what would happen if we didn't pay. Because I'm sure we shortened a couple of those tolls...
     
  20. remmerde

    remmerde VMB's Resident Cigar Sommelier

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    The one thing I miss about driving in...if you're arriving in the evening, when you're getting close, and you crest that last hill and first catch sight of the lights of the city in the distance. That chill that runs up your spine.
     
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