It was 6 a.m. when the Desert Adventures company came to pick me up from my hotel. “Thank God I’m still on eastern time,” I thought to myself, “otherwise this would seem almost unreasonably early.”
I was staying just off the main strip at the Clarion Hotel & Casino (now closed) just off the main strip in Las Vegas, on Conference Centre Drive. A Groupon deal meant my stay cost me just $40 for the night, and the hotel was quite adequate (especially considering I was only there long enough to sleep for 6 hours). There was even an attached restaurant that served me its daily steak special for $7.77. A small casino near the hotel lobby had a video blackjack table, and after turning $5 into $40 I cashed out while ahead, knowing I’d need the sleep before the big paddle.