Our night in Las Vegas was highlighted by attending "The Phantom of the Opera" at the Venetian Hotel. It was presented in the special 40 million dollar theater built just for the show and made to look like the Paris Opera House. Fantastic, Spectacular all of these adjectives come up short. We sat right down front in the "Golden Circle" seats and when the massive Chandelier comes down it was right on our heads!
The Venetian Hotel was a nice reminder of how much we love Italy, but just like Italy it was a little pricey to spend the night, so we stayed at a very nice room across the street at Treasure Island. Late night we got lucky with a front row seat for the outdoor Sirens Show at the Lagoon in Treasure Island.
We love the shows in Vegas, but in the morning it was time to get away from the crowds so we headed north on State Hwy 95 toward Tonopah. Small desolate former mining towns and Indian Lands passed by as we drove along the dusty highway. A huge valley with high mountains on either side spread before us and every
now and then we would pass through a small town filled with bikers, small greasy spoon restaurants and strange old junk. We stopped by one place with some cars all decorated up and a billboard advertising a hotel up ahead with a great deal on a cheap room if you feel lucky.
Then, in the distance we could see snow-capped peaks that offered respite from the heat and dust of the desert. We drove thru a nice farming community along the Walker River and the landscape became greener and cooler as we continued gaining altitude and climbing into the mountains. The temperature continued to drop and when we finally crested over the pass it had dropped to 42 degrees. High-end ski chalets had replaced the dusty desert shacks and we knew the Paradise of Lake Tahoe lay ahead.
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