07 August 2007

Walnut To Vegas

In continuation to my earlier entry, I was to embark on a solo drive from Walnut, CA to Las Vegas, NV. My plan was to set off at about 9:30am so that I could arrive at Barstow at around lunch time where I would take a break and go shopping.

During my last trip, I regretted not picking up the 4-PC Samsonite luggage set for USD 299.00. Back then, I was thinking that my current luggage is still in pretty good shape and as such don't see a need to buy new luggage. Besides, I paid full retail for the last one. Well, the luggage is 7 years old and I think it has seen the best of its days. Time to pick up the deal.

And that's when it struck me.

Will the deal still be there after 2 years? Probably not. I was telling myself that perhaps they would have something else in place by then.

As it turned out, Mercantile Way didn't show up on my GPS navigation and I believe the reason for that was that the road was new and the map hasn't been updated since the car was driven out of the VW showroom. The closest on the database was "Barstow Mall" and I thought what the heck, it's probably the same place anyway. Even if not, there would be signs to get me there anyway given the the Outlet Mall, as I last recalled, was a pretty big place.


On hindsight, I made 2 mistakes.
  1. The place was not at Barstow but an exit earlier (6 miles) before Barstow Mall i.e. I overshot. As it turned out, Barstow Mall was an entirely different place and when I pulled into the carpark, it felt like a ghost town as there were only a couple of cars in the big parking lot and none of the shops opened.
  2. The place I wanted to goto was not Barstow Outlet, which incidentally, was close to being a ghost town as well. The place that I wanted to go was Tanger Outlet which fortunately was just across the street from Barstow Outlet. I think the ghost town effect from Barstow Outlet and Barstow Mall was because everybody moved to the new and spanking Tanger Outlet location.
Anyway, the 4-PC set offer was long gone but fortunately, there was a new deal in town, a 3-PC Samsonite Luggage set for USD 199.00 (will show picture here later tonight).

After circling the town for about 15 minutes, I gave up the search and pulled into a local diner for a quick lunch before setting off to the second half of my journey.

The second half of the journey was tougher in the terrain-sense where I had to cross the Death Valley before embarking on a 15-mile hill climb. Thank the stars for my V8 engine as I descent to 280-below sea-level before climbing up to over 4,000 ft above sea-level easily overtaking everybody.

Also thanks to Kev's ValentineOne radar detector that allowed me to spot a radar gun from a safe distance away to allow me to slow down to within legal speed limits. Otherwise, I was maintaining a comfortable cruise speed of between 110 to 120 mph (180 to 190 km/h). One thing I have to say about this ValentineOne is that the bladdy thing is damn accurate and the range was damn long. The thing started to beep and I instinctively slowed down and shifted to the right lane, obediently following the rest of the traffic in front of me. I traveled for quite a distance and was wondering if it had been a false alarm before a police car popped into side hiding behind an overhead bridge. Naturally, I drove past it under the radar both literally and figuratively. Another thing I like about it was that it was able to differentiate between real radar gun signals and false positives. Otherwise, I would have to slow down whenever I pass through a town, especially one with shopping centers in it.

Anyway, given that this is the second road trip into Vegas from Los Angeles, there is nothing more to cover from my last trip.

This time round I got a room at the Monte Carlo for a great USD 89.00 per night bargain and they put me on the 31st floor. Woot! The view was fantastic from up there. Click on the picture to enlarge.

More to cover in tomorrow's entry. Stay tuned. 

Image Credit:

- Voxeros

1. Ed, Edd & Eddy left...
Tuesday, 7 August 2007 1:28 pm ::
Yo, that radar thing is damn cool man. Does it work in detecting speed cameras in Singapore? Not that I'm always speeding. Erm, just asking :P

2. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 7 August 2007 3:12 pm :: 
Ed: Only if the speed gun is a microwave gun that is commonly used by the mobile traffic police. Mind you, it is illegal in Singapore to be using such a device.

In short, it does not guard you against static detectors like red light cameras. Spitlanders however has an ingenious solution to that. Since the cameras are all static i.e. fixed location, the locations are all uploaded into a database and you buy their GPS device that memorises all the locations. As and when you are about to approach one of the cameras that is listed in their database, the GPS will voice out a warning.

"Ahead 100m, static speed camera approaching, please keep below the limited of 110 km/h."

3. An left...
Wednesday, 8 August 2007 10:51 am ::
SG Gps also tells u that there's a speed cam ahead. but as mentioned, I think that's only for the static/stationery type bah... Anyway, that's only for some GPS sys, not all.
I was also thinking tt the radar gun is illegal in sg but it would be so cool to have it. Arwww.... wasted
That's really a nice view from the hotel room! Unblocked! It would probably fetch a premium price if it's a sg house. LOL!!

4. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 8 August 2007 4:04 pm :: 
An: At USD 89 a nite, it was certainly a steal. Hopefully, I can get the same rate again come January but I seriously doubt so as Vegas summer rates are lower in general.

5. Kelly left...
Wednesday, 8 August 2007 5:18 pm ::
Wah! You high roller ah!
Get such a good room plus cheap room rate!!!

6. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 9 August 2007 3:01 pm :: 
Kelly: High roller is defined as a player who bets USD 200 minimum a pop. I am a USD 25 level player and hardly qualifies as a high roller.

Then again, high rollers get their rooms for free.

I just happened to know the right people at the right time at the right place.


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