Tuesday, February 16, 2010

WBPT Trip Report: Part 7 - Neon Graveyard #WPBT

Alright. Almost done. CK challenged me to get the rest of my trip report out before March. My calendar says February so it looks like I might just make it and besides, Mastadon Weekend is also just weeks away, not that I'm going. :-(

Late last spring/early summer, I was having a nice chat with Katitude. Seems we were both ready for the WPBT Winter Gathering. Let the record show, I'm ready right now. Anywho, one of the things she really wanted to do this past year was go to the Neon Graveyard. What's this? I'd never heard of it...but she thought it would be fun to head out with the cameras and do some shooting. Besides mind numbing hours at the card tables and more beers then my liver really wants to process, there's one more thing I really love to do in Las Vegas...shoot!

Kat set the time and signed up for the 2 p.m. tour on Friday. They only have 2 times a day they do the tour and photographers will tell you, the worst light of the day is noon, which is, of course, the only other tour time.

As I wrote about before, Yestbay and I were enjoying the Pinball Hall of Fame and the Gamblers Book Shop. Both of us had signed up to take the tour with Kat and with time pressing had pulled ourselves away from the great stories being told at the book shop.

On our way back, SpecialK had contacted us looking for a ride to the graveyard. No problem, he was down on the strip, all we needed to do was find it. Ok, we found the strip, but how the hell do you enter it heading the right direction to pick him up and still be going in the right direction to get to our destination. If you have ever driven off strip in Vegas, you'll know what I mean...cuz look! It's right over there!!!! Anywho.

Kat sent me a text too. She's down back at the IP and also looking for a ride her and BettyUnderground. Thankfully, Yestbay had rented a 4 door...economy. Cozy is good :)

Having found Kat and Betty in front of the IP, picking them up while never really stopping, we headed to the V to pick up Special K. He was to meet us out front for another moving pickup. You really can't stop on the Strip. Unfortunately, we over shot him and he was running like thief through the entrance of the V. Nice moves by the way. He made the car and we headed out.

The graveyard is on the north end of the strip pretty much the end of it. That's the complete opposite end of the universe from where we were. Yestbay did some fantastic driving and with the power of the iPhone, we were able to call the museum and ask them to stall the start of the tour by just a couple of minutes. We were enroute and tourists. Please forgive us. Betty handled that conversation like a pro.

So here we are, at the museum. We got there to hook up with OnAFoldDraw, Butch Howard and his wife. This place was awesome. There were so many interesting things to see and photograph. Our tour guide was great. He was telling some of the most fascinating stories you've ever heard about Vegas and the twisted metal and glass laying around this empty lot. By next year, this lot will have a real building to house the relics. Should be fun although, as you'll see, there's a certain charm in the rusting piles they have right now.

This first picture was of the a dude with a mullet playing pool. I loved this sculpture. I'm sharing it not for the quality of the picture, frankly, I tried and tried and just could never get a good shot. The background is horrible. I just thought he was really cool. Maybe next year there won't be a power line behind him or I remember to bring a lift truck.

I shared this one on my photoblog as well. They have several piles of letters laying around. Showing some great wit and fun, they often spelled words. Ya!

You don't see them now, but there apparently were trailer parks-o-plenty around here.
Sin or sing...you decide.
Boneyard - This kinda gives you a feel of where you are.

There were lots of stories told about the old Stardust facade. Behind the Binion's sign, which was cool too, was a piece of the old facade. My wife and I went to a show there, back in the day. The fun thing was hearing the stories that the theme the Stardust was trying to portrait was that of the nuclear age.
This was back behind the Stardust stuff. You took your life in your own hands going back there.
Dollars are always cool.
Rubber ducky, you're the one, you make bath time lots of fun. Rubber duck, I'm awfully fond of you.
What's a blogger tourist trip without a group photo. Gangs all there! If you look close, you can even see Betty. She's the two finger on the shoulder of OnAFoldDraw.

I don't think I can thank Kat enough for getting this ball rolling. This again was a totally awesome experience that I would have never even known about if it wasn't for her. Thank you.


Sean G said...

Great stuff, Captain. I especially like the trailer park shot and the vacant laundry shot, but they were all really good.

2:00 isn't a terrible time, anyway... you were there in December right? I mean, it's not idea, but a lot better than noon.

Kind of a shame to think they'll move the stuff inside, but maybe that'll mean free-form walking instead of specific tours. We can hope anyway.

Memphis MOJO said...

Great shots, thanks for sharing. Nice recap, too.

OhCaptain said...

Thank you! I think in a way we were lucky it was a cloudy day. 2 is better then noon but would have been nice to have been closer to sunrise or sunset. December in Vegas still has pretty short days. I think there will still be somethings outside even with the indoor museum, but I'm not sure. We'll just have to wait and see.

OhCaptain said...

Thanks Mojo!

Mojo and Sean...next year?

BWoP said...


I'm so impressed that you're gonna finish your trip report :-)

Katitude said...

So glad that you and everyone joined me! It was one of the high points fo sho :-)

yestbay said...

Great shots and commentary. I am very glad that we went on that tour - it really was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

The Wife said...

Nice shots, pal. Next time, if I'm not on conference calls, maybe I can join you!

Wolynski said...

Very nice.

Noon is better than 2, I think - fewer annoying shadows - although on a lucky overcast day it makes no difference.