Day 396: Las Vegas, Day 12

Yesterday a storm blew in and we actually had a bit of rain. It was the first day since we’ve been here that I could go outside towards sunset and not immediately start sweating, which was nice.

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Zaidy and B worked on fixing a cabinet door from the RV that had been damaged when we opened the slides and the door got stuck between the slide and the wall:

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Tonight we move to an RV park on the East side of town which is only $13.50 a night thanks to our new Passport America membership. We will be here for the rest of the week getting ready for M’s bar mitzvah this Shabbos.

Day 392: Las Vegas, Day 8

This morning, M put on tefillin for the first time:

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After shul, I went for a bike ride.  For most of the ride I tagged along with a rider who works as a Wine Director at one of the local casinos.

This afternoon, we moved over to a local RV park, as we had used up the 72 hours of curbside parking my parents’ HOA allows at their house.  It’s $46 a night here, so we joined Passport America to get 50% off, which will pay for itself after two days:

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Trish and I left the kids with my parents and drove down to see the water show at the Bellagio, our first date in at least 392 days!  It was our first and hopefully last time on the strip:

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We walked through a part of the Bellagio, which sports among other things the world’s largest chocolate fountain:

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Day 372: Welcome to South Dakota

Getting off to a late start, we continued East into South Dakota.  The route we’ve taken since leaving Alaska was designed to specifically get us to South Dakota.  Since we no longer have a permanent domicile, we decided to transition our state of residency to South Dakota, with its lack of state income tax and its low 3% tax on vehicle purchases.  We initiated this transition before buying the truck and 5th wheel, but we did have to physically be in South Dakota to get our new drivers licenses.

South Dakota law requires that we reside in South Dakota for one night before giving residency status, so we stayed at a small private campground behind an RV dealership near Sturgis, South Dakota:

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The $17 fee doesn’t get us working WiFi, but we do get full hookups and, more importantly, a receipt we can use to show our one night of “living” in South Dakota.  See the trip map for driving details.

Day 193: Birds of Cloth and Steel

Update: I’m now a pilot myself, and flew at the 2015 Salton Sea fly-in.  Photos from the 2015 fly-in start on Day 544, and a video montage of my flights at the fly-in can be viewed on Day 553.  I also flew the 2016 Salton Sea fly-in, starting on Day 887.

Shabbos was nice, we spent some time watching the flyers and asking questions.  We learned a lot, much like the times we were accidentally imbedded in a motocross hillclimbing competition and stumbled into a competition involving quail, horses, and dogs.

Today I was running around with the camera, photographing the pilots and their machines.  It still amazes me that an aircraft that can fit in the trunk of a car can be assembled and launched in 15 minutes, and can be flown for 2-4 hours on a tank of gas.

Most pilots were foot launching paragliders with back-mounted paramotors:

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Jim does a power check before liftoff:

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John does a flyby:

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Casey Cadwell takes off:

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John let me try on his paramotor:

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Chad Bastion heads out:

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These buggies are lifted by massive powered parachutes:

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This plane is homebuilt and has a open cockpit:

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Another flyby by John:

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Kiting a wing:

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John lands:

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I photographed Greg from takeoff through landing:

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John heads out again:

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Sunset brought great light:

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Salton Sea winter:

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What a day!