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On Walkabout In: A Las Vegas Winter Wonderland

After completing the drive back from Area 51 with my wife and our two friends from Australia it was quite dark out by the time we got to Las Vegas and the snow had stopped.  We were all quite hungry and much like when I took my friends to Denny’s, I couldn’t let them leave America without trying a burger at an IN-N-OUT.  So once we got back to the strip I immediately began to drive over to the IN-N-OUT when suddenly it began to snow heavily:

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The storm that hit us earlier while driving back from Area 51 had finally caught back up with us and was dumping snow on Las Vegas.  It was quite a sight and once again my two friends from Australia were loving it.  They still could not believe that their first snow storm experience ever would be in Las Vegas of all places.

So we ate our burgers at IN-N-OUT and admired the heavily falling snow outside.  They both loved the IN-N-OUT burgers, but were not impressed with the fries.  The fries always seem to be a subject of debate with people who eat at IN-N-OUT, but I have never had anyone tell me the burgers are not great.

Anyway after eating we headed back over to our hotel, The Imperial Palace in order to get some sleep because we were exhaused after the long day. It was funny seeing the scene outside the hotel of scantily clad cocktail waitress and celebrity impersonators standing outside and enjoying the snow.  I would probably have enjoyed the snow as well if it wasn’t for the fact that I was so tired after driving all day.  So I parted company with my Australian friends and headed back up to my room to get some sleep.  Here is what the view of the falling snow looked like from my room:

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The snow was a really wet snow and was only accumulating trees or roof tops from what I could see:

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That night I slept quite soundly and the next morning I woke up to see what it looked like outside.  There was no snow to be seen out on the strip other then some of the snow that still remained on some of the roof tops like over at Caesar’s Palace:

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Anyway that morning we checked out of our hotel room and began to drive towards Hoover Dam.  Our two friends followed us in their rental car.  As soon as we got off the strip and on to the highway we could see all the mountains surrounding Las Vegas were covered in snow:

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The outlying suburbs of Las Vegas still had snow accumulated on the ground the next day when we drove through with some of the exit ramps appearing to be quite hazardous because of all the ice:

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The ground around Highway 93 going to Boulder City, which is just a short distance from Hoover Dam, continued to be covered with a fairly thick layer of snow:

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As we got closer to the city we could see in some of the lower lying areas that the snow had begun to melt and the melting was slowing creeping up the sides of this huge valley:

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As we pulled into Boulder City the snow was mostly melted with only some of the higher mountain peaks in the distance covered with snow:

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Boulder City was establish in 1932 to house the workers that were busy constructing Hoover Dam.  From its inception Boulder City forbid gambling and to this day it remains one of only two cities in Nevada that outlaws gambling.  The city is still home to many dam workers as well as a growing retirement community along the shore of beautiful Lake Mead:

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When I was in college I went water skiing a number of times along the shores of Lake Mead, which really is an under appreciate lake in the US.  Anyway once outside of Boulder City it was only a short drive towards the dam that is located in the Black Canyon that Colorado River over centuries cut through the high snow covered peaks in front of us:

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Here are few more pictures of the rugged snow capped mountains:

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Just before Hoover Dam, depending on what direction you are going is either the first of last casino you will see in Nevada along Highway 93, the Hacienda Hotel & Casino:

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When we drove by the place was absolutely packed so it obviously gets its fair share of business even though it is located far away from the bright lights of Las Vegas.  Anyway just passed the casino we finally reached out destination of the always impressive Hoover Dam:

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Next Posting: Touring Hoover Dam

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