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The latest update as of March 29, 2011

Spring Roadtrip - Tucson to Las Vegas

Let's start today's "lesson" with a math question. Say, for argument's sake, that you're on vacation in the middle of the Southwestern U.S. desert and you want to tele-transport yourself from Tuscon to Las Vegas with the least amount of bother - but you can't fly. And the train is really not an option. So you're left with driving between those two cities. Pick a car, any car, say (again, for argument's sake) a 2006 Dodge Charger in the ever-popular colour of "BUST ME Red" (adored by highway patrol officers in every state) and a full tank of 91 octane fuel.

Synchronize your watch at noon in Tuscon and set a target arrival time of 6:00 pm in Vegas. Choose a rather offbeat route, on Interstate 10, Interstate 8, Highway 85, back on Interstate 10, Highway 303, Highway 93, Interstate 40, back on Highway 93, Highway 515, and presto, you're in Las Vegas. Along the way you've seen a whole bunch - and I mean A WHOLE BUNCH! of absolutely nothing other than cacti, sagebrush, dirt and rocks. The backside of the moon is almost as picturesque as this scenery. Seriously, it's a fun drive through the desert, passing through the thriving metropoli (plural of metropolis?) of Eloy, Gila Bend, Wickenburg, Kingman and Boulder City.

But we digress, so back to the math problem. You started on this trek - hypothetically speaking of course - at noon and planned to arrive at 6:00 pm and the distance of the chosen route is 453 miles. What speed would you have to average to make the trip in the desired timeframe?........ tick....... tick....... time's up. And the answer is: too damn fast. Or to be more precise: 75.5 mph AVERAGE. That even includes following a convoy of stuck in 2nd gear motorhomes through the slowest 15 miles of highway ever seen just outside of Phoenix.

So to answer the question that everybody is probably asking themselves right now.... did our "hypothetical" driver.... and just to make it interesting, let's give him the name of Bob... did he make it in the time and at the speed required to fit the equation. Not quite; he stopped for gas and restrooms twice for a total of 15 minutes and didn't arrive at the MGM Grand in Vegas until 6:30, so the average speed was only 72.5 mph. Remember though, that includes that very slow stretch on Highway 303, and driving down Tropicana Avenue in rush hour traffic. Still, a pretty good performance and just to add a degree of difficulty and danger, our driver did while snapping roadtrip pics along the way.

All of the foregoing preamble was just to explain the mediocre quality of today's shots. Remember, don't try this at home, or on the road, and especially not at an average speed of just under Mach 1. By the way, I can hardly wait to hit the highway north to Vancouver and see what we can do on that stretch of road. Pan blur shots here we come.

The pics below were all shot in Arizona and show the various types of scenery with the overall theme being desert, more desert, and surprisingly enough, even more desert. Thank goodness it's still not quite spring and the temperature never rose much above 80 F.

Next update on this page will be later this week. Until then, more news as it happens, when it happens, if it happens. It might be a slow news day tomorrow, so here's some pics just snapped of the view outside the hotel (the MGM Grand) to show what a great day it is in Vegas. The weather forecast is great for the race this weekend too.

To see previous updates go to the What's Old page