Escape Is at Hand for the Traveling Man

A journal of life on the road

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A trip to Las Vegas, a trip marred by problems and issues, ups and of course downs. Why flights must decided to be hours late leaving Houston Texas whenever I decide to fly and have a plane coming from there I will never know, but the flight from Reno to Vegas left Northern Nevada a wee bit late. That part wasn’t so bad, the flight was uneventful and fairly smooth. Upon arriving in Vegas I was confronted by the single worst airport I have ever encountered, hell this makes Sea-Tac look like a walk in the park. After finally getting the luggage and progressing to fetching the rental car, that lead to another long delay.

After getting lost on the way to finding the Flamingo (I thought id go the wrong way on Warm Springs for the hell of it) we finally arrived only to find out that they lost our damn reservations. So there went another hour down the tubes as we finally got a room as we had proof that reservations were made. The room itself was wonderful, we were starved, got dinner, and then I wandered the strip a little while the grandfather had miserable luck at the blackjack table.

The next day looked to be better, as well, it sure couldn’t have been a hell of a lot worse that’s for sure. We walked the strip towards the Luxor, going into many a casino checking them out and looking for tables with reasonably low minimum bets. None of those were to be found however till the afternoon. We dined on some of the best pizza at the new York, New York as we were happy to get out of the strong wind that was hitting us in the face for most of the walk.

After finally returning to the Flamingo we kicked back and watched the third period of the hockey game featuring the United States and the Czech Republic which the United StatesSahara. managed to lose we decided to hop in the car and aim for the

At the Sahara, an older casino on the far end of the strip, we were immediately greeted by a welcoming sight in the smoky haze of a room, blackjack tables with good limits. We parked ourselves there and looked to see what would unfold. For me, I got lucky and ended up walking out with a nice chunk of cash, the grandfather managed to break even.

This summed up the trip as the unlikely seemed to happen more and more, the following morning when we went to the top of the Stratosphere and it decided to snow…… yes, snowing in Las Vegas, the unlikely continued as when we hit the casino at the Stratosphere my luck continued as I managed to walk out with a sizeable amount more money than when I walked in.

This more or less sums up the trip, it was filled with the unlikely and unexpected but was overall one of the most fun times I have had in Las Vegas, hopefully to be surpassed when I return in March on spring break.
Over and out from the road weary traveler

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The traveling man hits the road again

The traveling man one again hits the road this weekend making a Friday to Monday voyage to sunny Las Vegas, Nevada. This trip will mark my sixth to sin city, and my first time going without driving. I know the concept of me of all people not driving is surprising, as I practically live in my car, but this was my grandfather’s idea as he will be traveling with me for this trip.

The trip also marks my first trip while being legal to partake in all Las Vegas has to offer, and I shall be taking full advantage of that, as we are staying on the strip. While in Vegas, the plan is to hit everything we can as my grandfather has not been to Las Vegas in the better part of 13 years or more.

A weekend like this is much needed as work is starting to take its ever present toll on my body and my mind and making a four day weekend seems as good of way as any to ease my mind and try to relax and have a little fun.

While in Vegas, there is also the opportunity to obtain the car mentioned in my prior post, a white Porsche 914 in moderately decent condition. I believe however that I shouldn’t purchase this car quite yet as I really lack a place to store it at the present time. Until I move out of the dorms hopefully in May, I have no real good location, besides a friends garage in Las Vegas, to store a second car.

This weekend also kicks off my travel extravaganza as every weekend for the next month I will be hitting the road with the exception of one, concluding with spring break which will lead me through three or perhaps more states visiting friends, looking for cars, and seeing parts of the country I have yet to experience. This travel is what keeps me both sane, but alive and kicking as well, its one of the few things I truly enjoy in life that makes me honestly happy.

Prior to the long spring break voyage my present car needs some work, new struts and perhaps new brakes as well as a couple new tires, that will without a doubt crimp my cash flow, but I should still be able to make the trip comfortably from Reno to Flagstaff and then on to Southern California.

That’s all I have for now, over and out, and on to packing.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Many times I gaze along the open road. The road and my car are my home, which leads me to ask myself do I really want to go shell out between $350 and $500 on a second car that is not even in running condition? Do I really want (I do) and do I really need (I probably don’t) a second automobile?

Now this isn’t any ordinary car, although it hasn’t been manufactured in thirty years that doesn’t necessarily mean all too much. A car of its vintage carries a certain amount of class, as well as being a hell of a lot more fun and enjoyable to drive than most present cars.

A Porsche 914 would without a doubt be a project car as it would take up residency in a friends garage in sunny and hot Las Vegas, Nevada until it was in running condition, or perhaps just until I had a garage to store it in up north in Reno.

The car is a classic example of vintage German air cooled design, with a mid engine design and only two cozy seats the 914 hugs the road and is designed not so much for speed but for handling and cornering, which earned it the title of the “giant killer” in Europe as it was highly successful in defeating much higher powered cars on the track and open road. The car boasts 80 horsepower on the 4 cylinder 1.7 liter model which isn’t much but when you realize due to the weight distribution in the car you can corner at roughly twice the speed than what you could in a conventional automobile, that gives you the upper hand everywhere.

The car although ancient still remains fuel efficient as it can achiever 30 or more miles per gallon still today. 914’s are plagued by problems as they are often known for overheating in certain conditions due to the mid engine design but then again also they are known for their rust problems. Cars from the American Southwest are much less likely to rust as those from Michigan or the upper Midwest but they are still problem prone and do need work.

My future car that I have no doubt I shall obtain needs work in the worst way, it is a complete car but it has been sitting for an unspecified amount of time and needs a thorough cleaning as well as a completely new interior.
There is no doubt that I will invest in a money pit, but is it a money pit that is worth it? I can only hope so.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hmm backgrounder time

Since this is new, and designed for a class I thought I might as well give everyone a little bit of background information about me.
In general I am just another college student, hailing from out of state, going to the University of Nevada, Reno. I am a journalism major hoping to go into print, but doubting that decision on a daily basis.
More than anything I have a love afair with the open road, I like nothing more than getting in a car and taking off through Nevada, California, Oregon or wherever in search of adventure and a place to happen.
I attempt to get out of town whenever I can financially afford to do so, which seems to be more and more often. As for driving itself, I am always in the market for a new vehicle to take my trips in, preferably something much more vintage than my present car which is only three years old.
The present goal is to open up a garage and speed shop in Northern Arizona post graduation with a good friend of mine from Las Vegas, specializing in rebuilding and restoring classic cars. Needless to say that sounds a hell of alot more exciting than working at a dead end newspaper in Montana or something like that. Flagstaff in itself seems like a pretty darn cool place to call home, alot better to raise a family if that oppertunity ever comes to be. That seeems less likly some days, and more likly on others, seems to be a hit or miss situation entirly.
Besides my love for the open road, I am a big hockey fan, as I love the Chicago Blackhawks (yeah so what if we suck) as well as the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey Leage. Hockey has been huge in my life as I have attended games since I was seven years old back in 1992.

I guess thats all for now, comment, ask questions, and knock yourself out