Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Further SHOT Show Reports

I'm kinda jumping around a bit with the SHOT Show reports, but sometimes life's just like that! What I'm going to do is come back to the start and post some pictures and more details on the trip. There are a lot of bloggers posting about all the cool hardware and gizmos displayed at the show, and I will definitely show some of that too, but first a little about just getting there.

I went into some detail a few posts back about the transportation fun, lousy weather, and so forth, but here's a bit of pictorial coverage that I didn't get a chance to post earlier.

De-icing the 737 in Bellingham

The drive from the South end of Whidbey Island to the airport in Bellingham, WA. took just under three hours, and the road conditions weren't much fun with the snow. The driver's who had no idea how to drive in snow (drive at all?) made the trip even more exciting. Our flight out of Bellingham was delayed for a while so they could de-ice the plane. It had close to two inches of snow and ice on it.

Not a job I'd want!

Once de-iced, we were on our way to Las Vegas. There was a pretty good tail wind blowing, and it was a rather bumpy ride. We made up some time on the way, and got to Las Vegas almost on time.

Looking out my window on the 14th. floor of the Stratosphere Casino Hotel. 

The Las Vegas airport is relatively large and busy. I caught the tram to the main terminal, then caught the shuttle bus to the hotel. In Reno the bus to your hotel is free, and it goes straight to your hotel. In Las Vegas you have to pay for the ride, and it stops at several hotels along the way.

Looking farther to the left. You can just see the edge of the Las Vegas Strip to the right.

I got checked in, and drug my stuff up to the room. The room was quite nice, and the bed very comfortable.

The spectacular Stratosphere Tower.

The Stratosphere has an 1,147 foot tall tower as part of the hotel and casino. It looks kinda like Seattle's Space Needle if you covered all the iron work with sheet rock. The Space needle is only 605 feet high, however, so the Stratosphere Tower is almost twice as tall. There is a roller coaster and a couple of other thrill rides at the very top. You can also jump off the top with a cable and harness attached, and free fall for over 8oo feet before they slow you up and set you on the roof of the hotel below. Interestingly enough, they sell underwear in the gift shop at the top. Seems like you wouldn't need it until you get to the bottom, but that's just speculation on my part.

Upper part of the tower at night.

Lower part of the tower.

After getting settled in, I headed out to go exploring. On the first two floors of the casino there are several restaurants. All of them aren't at all inexpensive. On the second floor there is a McDonalds, That's more in my budget. Better still, just across the street from the hotel is a Carl Junior's burger place. As fast food goes, they have some of the best burgers out there. I had dinner there a couple of times.

After more exploring and wandering around, it was time to hit the sack, as the next day was going to be a full one, as I was planning on spending the entire day at the SHOT show, and then get together with some bloggers for dinner and conversation after the show.

More to follow......................



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