December 31, 2019

It was up a bit later in the morning, but I wished to catch the sunrise back at the Conservation Area. With few people, I motored in, and took the scenic drive to an overlook, the highest point on the loop. Pointing my car and dash cam at the escarpment being hit by the sun, this would be fine time lapse video. Motoring on to Pine Creek trailhead, I took more photos, and spoke with some rock climbers. Several parties with ropes and gear headed out on the trail to some climbing destination.

Again to the highway overlook, I chatted with a cyclist. The ride to this point had downhill back into town, so is a good workout. There are mountain biking tracks about, so this would be exercise for free, and the highway is pretty wide. Other cyclists had been seen. Though too hot in summer, winters are nice here.

Going back to my motel, I parked my car, and walked to the Strip. Touring casinos, I was game for dining. My intended eatery was still closed for the morning, so I couldn’t get lunch. Walking back to the motel, I was there past checkout. I had taken everything out of my room, so it was just my car in the motel lot. 

I had checked for free parking. I found a huge garage at the Miracle Mile Shops. Leaving my car on the 7th floor, I entered the mall, and walked out to the Strip. I had all day to wait for midnight and to the New Year. It was to saunter about the latest casinos with shopping. I had dim sum in one casino, then a doughnut. Eating more, with sticky rice, I spent my cash. Chatting with some other tourist, I estimated that people might spend a thousand dollars to celebrate the event tonight, with as much as $600 or more for lodging. Normally rates are affordable, but they have to make money sometime.

Killing time, it was to savor the free parking, but they would close at 6 p.m., as the Strip and all will be shut down for the event. I spent time at the City Center, and the Strip, exploring. Then it was time to exit the garage. A casino, normally free parking, had a $25 parking charge for the special event. So, it was to the gas station, and I tipped the help and security guard to get permission to leave my car there, some 14 minutes walk to the Strip.

Taking my warm clothes and my camera, I strolled over to the Strip, where I saw armed personnel with AR rifles. Early in the night, I had lots of time. No backpacks are allowed, as security is tight. I did photos and video, figuring for a longer drive tonight after midnight. I had to stay awake for that. I had been paying models in showgirl costumes for photos. Grateful for the photo ops, some pair wanted two twenties for a 20-20 fee, by them. Not rich, I declined, and they walked on.

I sought to kill more time, and went to have some $$ sushi. Prices were way up, and I didn’t gamble a penny, and just walked about. The streets were filled with people to celebrate, and it shortly got close to midnight. I used the restroom, and headed out to wait on the Strip. Tired, I lay down on a curb, resting, and somewhere lost my camera case. I looked for it, but this was futile. A name brand case, this’d be a loss.

I got up and prepared for the strike of midnight. I’d shoot 4K video of the fireworks and the screaming crowds. The countdown began on a electronic sign, and people began to count. The midnight and new year arrived, and I had my phone running video. The fireworks were all over the Strip, with me recording.

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