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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings all!

Hope everyone is having a peaceful Holiday season. My little family went on a vacation to Las Vegas during the week that ended on Christmas day. This trip was part of the reason for us getting our beloved Odyssey. My family loves to take vacations at 'drive to destinations' and the Odyssey really comes in handy with all the space it provides and also because of its reliability and ease of driveability.

About 3 weeks ago, I got our 9 year old to get the address of the resort we would be staying in Vegas and had him enter that in the Navi system. We also looked up addresses of several destinations in and around LV and saved those as well in the Navi system.

The day before we left home I Zainoed the van and tried to put the nose mask on. Seeing how ugly the nose mask looked on the van, we scratched the idea! (Anyone care for a '05 Ody nose mask?:p)

We left the Bay Area around 10 AM and arrived in Vegas around 7 PM. We encountered only light traffic on the way.

We found out that the Navigation system is not updated to show the old CA-58 around the town of Mojave and Edwards Airforce Base has been replaced with a brand new bypass freeway that has been in existance for at least a year and a half! When we entered this stretch of the freeway, the Navi system reported that we are "Not On a Digitized Road" and tried to follow us by drawing a dotted path. When the road finally meets the part of the old highway, it recognized the road, however, it kept insiting that I turn on to some other road... So, I had to "Cancel Current Route" and have it redo the routing. When rerouting was done, it gave me the right directions again! When we came back on the same route, the same thing (showing "Not On a Digitized Road") , however, the Navi system didn't get confused after it recognized the road as before! (Just to be safe, I cancelled and had it re-route.)

On our way back from Las Vegas on Christmas day, we stopped at Laughlin, NV to say hello to a friend of ours who is staying there for a few days. After saying goodbye to him, we stopped at the empty parking lot of a supermarket to eat our lunch that was prepared earlier that day. As we were standing around our van eating lunch, we see a newer model pickup truck pulling by us. The driver of the van pulls out about $15 and gives us saying "Merry Christmas"! We politely said "No, thank you". He asked "You don't want the money?" I said "No, thank you. We are on our way home after vacationing. We both said "Merry Christmas" and they left. I hope they do find someone who can use that money.

As mentioned in another thread, I did get flashed by about half-a-dozen cars on the single lane parts of CA-46 and CA-58. Apparently they thought I was driving with my high beams on!

While in Vegas, we spent a day exploring Nevada's very first state park- "The Valley of Fire State Park". The park is about 90 minutes East of Vegas, off I-15. Entrance fee is $6 per vehicle. At the park entrance one gets a map of the park that shows the most attractive parts of the park including the Atlatl Rock, The Elephant Rock, The Beehive Sandstone formations and the Arch Rock. All these are easily accessible by short walks from various roads and parking areas in the park.

Here are some pictures from our visit to the park:


At the entrance to the Valley of Fire State Park, about an hour East of Las Vegas.

Just past the Ranger Station, before the Beehive Sandstone formations.


At the Beehive Sandstone formations.


Beehive sandstone formations created by thousands of years of wind storms.


Standing under the Arch Rock!.


The petroglyphs on Atlatl rock.

More pictures and information available at http://www.richard-seaman.com/USA/States/Nevada/ValleyOfFire/Sampler/

Thanks and Happy New Year everyone!

These photographs are not edited except to trim and to 'smudge' the license plate. I didn't mess with the colors or brightness.
 

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Kapish,
A nice story of your family's pre-Christmas road trip, also some great pics. I can't wait for our first extended trip somewhere, we may head the opposite direction to you and head up towards very northern California or Oregon and we too will try to get some Ody tourist pics ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
JennyS said:
Nice pictures. Now I want to visit this park. It looks beautiful!

I can't wait for our first Ody road trip! :)
Thanks Jenny! If you are ever near Las Vegas it is a 'must see'. The rock formations have the same characteristics as those in the Southern Utah parks such as Zion and Bryce Canyon and then, of course, the Grand Canyon! (If you remember the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes", Bill Watterson used these landscapes to draw those alien planets "Spaceman Spiff" would end up crashing into :) )
 

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Discussion Starter #6
prop said:
Why did that guy offer you money? It's not like you were eating out of your car that was made in 1972 - it was an 05 Ody!
That thought did cross my mind, however, they might have been offering the money for us to go to a nice "sit-down" restaurant for our Christmas lunch. I do think it was a genuine gesture of goodwill and we did appreciate that.
 

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Hi Kapish,

Nice summary and great pics... we may also be taking a drive down to Vegas soon, but my wife wants to head north, to Vancouver :(

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the first extended trip in the new Odyssey

Thanks again for your post :)

Happy New Year!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A trip to Victoria is being planned...

Thanks Brian. We also plan to go on a road trip to Victoria, CA next summer. We are hoping to stay at the WorldMark resorts at Gleneden Beach, OR and Discovery Bay, WA on our way to Victoria and at Depoe Bay, OR on our way back home. It will be a cool 10-day trip! :nice:
 

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brian123 said:
Hi Kapish,

Nice summary and great pics... we may also be taking a drive down to Vegas soon, but my wife wants to head north, to Vancouver :
Hello Brian:
Vancouver is OK, but I'd also suggest that you include Victoria in the itinerary. A visit to the Museum is a must.
Is your trip or Kapish's trip planned to happen before mid-June?
 

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What incredible pictures. This is the reason I really want a Touring Ody. I LOVE car trips and so do my daughters. It would be so fun to travel to the West Coast this summer to see some sights in the Ody.

I am planning to purchase one after April 15th.

Mjones
 

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warrenW said:
Hello Brian:
Vancouver is OK, but I'd also suggest that you include Victoria in the itinerary. A visit to the Museum is a must.
Is your trip or Kapish's trip planned to happen before mid-June?
Looks like we'll have a Vancouver driving trip scheduled for the spring... my wife and I absolutely love Vancouver and try to head up there each year (we even had our honeymoon there).. anyway this trip will probably not include Victoria as we've been there before several times already...

The purpose of this trip (according to my wife) is to introduce our new baby to Vancouver... but for me, it's a good chance to test the van on a long-distance drive ! :)

Since I don't have the NAVI, I'm currently considering a Garmin 2610 or 2620 for this trip...

Kapish.. again, great photos, and please tell us about additional trips you'll be taking!
 

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Kapish,

Nice pics. We are planning a trip to Vegas during my kids' spring break from school. They have never been to Vegas so they are really looking forward to it. I'm also considering going to that state park you went to and maybe a side trip to Hoover Dam. So how long did it take you to drive from the Bay Area? Any driving tips you can share to help with our planning?. I've never driven to Vegas before. Thanks
 

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Pare,
If I may intervene, enjoy the drive. Make sure you try to do the bathroom breaks all together. Believe me, when went a couple of years ago with a full van, we were stopping every few hours !:p
Also, in the Mojave desert,you can take a peek at the "graveyard" of planes at the Mojave Airport (MHV), if anyone is interested in them. That's where they store some of the older commercial jets. Prety cool.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
wadab: Thanks for your kind remarks!
  • It took us about 9 hours to get to Las Vegas from San Jose, since we weren't in any big hurry.
  • Needed only one gas stop, in Bakersfiled on our way to Vegas and at Bartsow when coming back.
  • The new portion of 58 completely bypasses the town of Mojave as well as the "Airplane Graveyard" that Hachiroku mentioned, although we can see those planes in a distance.
  • Redrock Canyon State Park is only 15 miles from the strip. It is a very nice park. When going with children, be sure to let them listen to the 90+ year old park ranger talk about the history of the Las Vegas Valley and how/who it was discovered etc. Fascinating history! The visitor center also has several exhibits that would be of interest. It also has a very elaborate gift shop.
  • Hoover Dam is also very interesting. Half way across the dam/bridge, we get to put one foot in Nevada and the other in Arizona!
  • The park I mentioned earlier in the thread "Valley of Fire State Park" is about an hour and a half from Las Vegas, if you drive on I-15 towards Salt Lake City/St George. There are numerous signs for the park. One would drive about 20 minutes off I-15 on a windy but very clean road. Make sure to go slow and take in the scenery.
  • We were in that area during Spring Break 2004. It is a great time of the year to visit that part of the country. It is not too hot, nor too cold. At that time we spent a few days in St. George, UT and Zion National Park.
  • One of these days we would like to spend a few days at Arches National Park too.
  • Feel free to send me a PM (or post in this thread) if you have any questions. I will try my best to answer.
 

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Rob and Kapish,

Thanks for your reply guys. I will definitely keep your suggestions in mind. Just curious, what is or was the longest gap in between bathroom facilities?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
wadab said:
Rob and Kapish,

Thanks for your reply guys. I will definitely keep your suggestions in mind. Just curious, what is or was the longest gap in between bathroom facilities?
I would say, it is between Barstow and Vegas. There were at least two rest areas, however, one was closed, and may have to wait until Baker, CA.

Interesting look at I-15 @ http://www.westcoastroads.com/california/i-015g_ca.html
 

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Nice trip description and great pictures. We are planning a trip from Denver to Tahoe via LasVegas this summer. I'm concerned with the heat in July and am planning on installing a transmission cooler before we go. I don't haul a trailer but with all the talk about the ODY tranny problems, I figure it will be a good investment (I do have a bike rack on the back that does create a little drag and adds some weight). The threads on this site explaining the cooler install make it look easy. I have two suggestions for you from what you have written about your trip. One is to get a plastic bug shead for the front of your van. I did that and it looks very sharp (and I can always find my van in that parking lot much faster now). After three years I have no paint chips on the hood to speak of. The second is to install the rear spring air suspension bags. These will lift the rear end just enough to avoid the high beam problem you spoke of. I was parked next to an Ody in my church parking lot last week and noticed that my van was about three inches higher. It also improves the handling with a heavy load. Install is relatively easy and there are many threads here explaining it.
 
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