I got up this morning intent on going to Red Rock before the conference started. As I was about to leave the hotel, I noticed several folks who were attend the conference and figured I should pick up a packet to make sure I didn’t miss anything important. I asked a fellow conference goer from Georgia where the sign up was and we ended up walking down to registration together. I told him my plans and he told me he was going to take part in a pre-conference workshop – something I had intended on doing before our department had a spending-freeze.
After picking up registration then dropping that in my room, I picked up some coffee and headed north looking for a bus stop. I still didn’t have the appropriate cash, but I stopped by the Rivera and turned a twenty dollar bill in to 2 five dollar bills and 10 ones. I asked a guy at the bus stop if I took the Charleston bus all the way to the end if I could get to Red Rock. He seemed confused, but said yes, that if I took the bus all the way out, I could easily walk to see Red Rock. The bus ride took nearly an hour and I saw more of Las Vegas than I care to recall. Suffice to say, I would rank Las Vegas even lower on the stankonia-ranking than Yakima, which while it has no popular destinations, at least isn’t as bad as LV. Riding transit here is vastly different than in Portland. For one, the transit stop and stop light alignment means that a giant bus must stop twice at each intersection. Once for the really long light, then immediately again for the bus stop proper.
As we got further away from the strip, I started to wonder if I was actually going to make it. The hills were getting closer, but something didn’t seem right. I asked the woman sitting next to me if the bus did get close enough to Red Rock that I could walk and see it and she said that yes, I could. The transit center was right at Red Rock so I could get out and see it then get back on for another bus when I was done. Whew.
When we pulled in to the Red Rock Transit center at the Red Rock Casino, my heart sank. I asked the driver, who was perplexed by me wanting to go to Red Rock Canyon, but that no, this was as far as the transit went. I did another check using my iPhone and I was still 11 miles from Red Rock Canyon. Too far to walk, and hell, too far to ride a bike with only 1/2 a liter of water and 100F weather. So I decided to eat my losses (I’m in Vegas after all) and catch the bus back to town. Stupid Me. Stupid Vegasans who thought I wanted to go to Red Rock Casino.
Anyway, after a late lunch (those Duece busses fill up quickly so I missed a bus or two) I headed down to the conference, checked my e-mail, then saw the keynote from Steve Wozniak. Sweet. The Woz. The keynote was OK, mostly a rehash of “the history” with some abrupt comments about education, then a reception where I got a Blackboard beer coozie. I’ll have to give my Canadian server admin grief about that when I get back. The exhibition was actually ok. I was able to see some cool posters, have some good beer and cheese and meet some of the vendors we do business with. The one I most wanted to meet and speak with was swamped with folks so I’ll have to catch up with him later.
Afterwards, I wandered back towards my room and dawdled above the gondolas in the Venetian mall and stopped at Mainland for dinner. The roast duck noodles jumped out at me and I have no regret. Just after I got back to my room, I got a call from Michelle and Ella. Getting a call from your daughter who says “Hi daadee” is just about one of the most incredible things ever. I talked to her for a while then Michelle for a bit before Ella wished me night-night. It was her bed time, but not mine.