We arrived in Las Vegas on the 24th, after only a 2 hour drive and a day earlier than planned, and settled in the Las Vegas RV Resort. This is the closest RV park to the NHRA race track and we have stayed here a couple of times before. We signed up for the Halloween Potluck on the 26th. The 25th was the first day at the track. We weren't there too long. They have a good system from the handicapped parking lot with golf carts that take you wherever you want to go. We spent our time on this day in the pits. Larry got a few autographs on his hat that he didn't already have. He asked Brandon Bernstein for his and Brandon laughingly pointed out that it was already there! Good thing he can read his own writing. Our reserved seating did not kick in until the next day.
Friday we saw some racing and again spent some time in the pits. Our seats are really good. The potluck at the park was very well attended with about 80 people there. It worked out well because people didn't all arrive at the start. As dishes disappeared, new ones arrived so everyone had something to eat. The park provided a huge pot of Chili and plates, bowls and cutlery (in case you didn't bring your own). There were a few costumes and a great band. Nice to be able to sit outside in the evening.
Saturday qualifying racing finished. We stayed until almost dark. It's cool to see the fire coming out of the pipes as it gets darker. The track is in the flight path from Nellis AFB so we saw a lot of jets going in and out of the base and some of the pilots showed off the abilities of their aircraft for the crowd. It was busier today so we had to wait a bit longer for the golf carts. Sunday was very busy. We spent a little time in the pits but most of it in our seats. A very warm day with a quiet breeze once in a while. There were a few oil downs so they cut the opening ceremonies a bit short to make sure to get all the racing in. This is the second to last race of the season so the points race really heats up.
We did some shopping on Monday - Costco, Wal-mart. As we were coming back into the park, Glen and Donna and Brutus from Vernon were just coming out in their coach. They had turned into the wrong park but we convinced them to stay so they turned around and they found space. We had happy hour with them and agreed to take them on a tour the next day. They didn't have a tow car with them. After lunch we went to Costco again and they stocked up (they are heading for Mexico). We brought our purchases back then we did a drive down the Strip and they took us for dinner. Harry and Pam from Peachland were passing through (staying at the Cannery in North Las Vegas) and we arranged for them to stop by the next day.
Wednesday we had to get up early (8 am!) because guys were coming to wash the coach. They arrived at 8:45 and spent about 1 1/2 hours washing, drying and polishing. They did the car too. An excellent job - $125. During that time, Glen and Donna left and Harry and Pam arrived. We spent about a half hour with them and then they headed out - they were heading for Needles, their winter destination.
Friday we packed lunch and headed for the Valley of Fire. It's about 60 miles to the State Park. We passed through Lake Mead National Recreation Area ($10) and then went on to the Valley of Fire ($10). The rock formations are very beautiful, rising out of the desert as they do. The grey rock is older than the red rock. The red rock was formed 150 million years ago by shifting sand dunes and since had extensive erosion. It's just a small park but very well maintained. Unbelievably there are grafitti artists here too. There are some RV sites here, mostly primitive but some with power and water. We ate our lunch among many chipmunks near Atlatl Rock. After completing the loop back to I-15 we went downtown and got tickets to Defending the Caveman comedy for Saturday night. We will go to Flavors Buffet at Harrahs.
We stopped in at the Imperial Palace before going for dinner. This used to be the place on the Strip where, if you didn't have a whole lot of money, you could stay quite cheaply. Even if we stayed at other places, we always ended up back at the Imperial Palace. Sadly the MaiTai Bar, which was a popular attraction, is no more! The whole place is being renovated and will be renamed The Quad sometime in December. We were disappointed with the Flavors Buffet. The roast beef was so tough you couldn't even cut it. The rest of it was mediocre at best. The show was good, really funny, and he had some good insights into the differences between men (the hunters) and women (the gatherers). Men focus on a goal and negotiate their way to it. Women are always gathering information and using imagination while working cooperatively to get things done. Very interesting.
Sunday was spent getting ready to leave. We went in the hot tub that night and met some ladies from Calgary. We set out for Pomona Monday morning about 9:30. Final races of the year coming up!