Being a Colorado girl (though "in absentia", for the time being), I can get away with the "high" jokes (both because of the elevation AND the newly passed pot laws). Starting a new summer of Travelogue posts (I had to travel to come up with some material, but am back now), and starting with the HIGHEST spots first (and actually I was higher, on a mountaintop back home this summer, but that's another post). I know that every once in blue moon, someone lands here (whether accidentally or on purpose) that might just be interested in what I've seen or have to offer up travel tidbits about. I begin with the "high" at the end of my summer travels, the new HIGH ROLLER at The Linq, on the Las Vegas Strip.
Standing at 550 feet tall, this is presently the world's largest observation wheel, with a wheel diameter of 520 ft. We have watched with interest at this being built, over the past few years - being a little uneasy with heights, I really had no idea if I would ride or not...
until this past week, when my Dad and I braved it. There are special Summer ticket rates now, through Labor Day, with Tuesdays also being half price for locals. We decided we would be able to see farther during the day, but both agreed that a nighttime trip is probably in store next time round.
28 spherical pods, each weighing 44,000 lbs., can hold up to 40 people (yes, in each compartment - you can't even begin to get a feel for how big this thing is without seeing it in person). We shared our cabin with 5 other strangers that day - 3, a delightful family from England, home of the 443 ft. London Eye Ferris Wheel.
Looking up upon departure - each pod offers a 360 degree view. The wheel maintains a constant motion, meaning you will board and depart while it is slowly moving. There are ride attendants to help you on and off, should you need the help. I am also assuming that if they have someone who really is is need of more help with these processes, they do bring the wheel to a halt - it did stop once while we were up towards the top, for about 3 minutes.
My dad, ever the engineer, noticed that part of the driving force behind keeping this giant wheel in motion are sets of large automobile tires on a track at the bottom (see large photo). The wheel rotates on a pair of custom designed spherical roller-bearings, each weighing approx. 19,400 lbs. Eye level with ascending airplanes, and my car (in the second from bottom row of the parking lot photo, 5th from the left), looking like a Matchbox toy.
Two banks of seats on opposite sides of each pod; air-conditioning; and an overhead video/sound system with wheel information during your 33-minute trip, up and over.
Make sure you bring a camera - it is usually so hard to capture the perspective your naked eye sees, and relay it in a manner that reads the same. 550 feet above the Las Vegas valley floor was pretty impressive, to say the least!
Up, out, over, under...the windows afford a clear shot of just about anything you want to see. I noticed that the Imperial Palace/Quad needs to take more pride in the aging rooftop of their hotel.
High, high, high...for those who are a little "nervous" with heights - as I said before, I hyperventilate at the Hoover Dam, but wasn't bothered a bit by this. I did pop a half a Dramamine that morning (yeah, plagued by motion sickness too), and didn't have a problem with that either.
Vegas from the air...
Definitely a "don't miss" sight in "the town with something for everyone".
Looking west, while Dad looked south...so high!
We were even treated to a view of the fountain show at the Bellagio (just to the left of the Flamingo Hilton building in the large photo). For those interested in more information, click on THIS!! THE LINQ/HIGH ROLLER! If you're traveling through, hit me up and I'll meet you there! More travel highs next Tuesday ~