So, after you have wandered through the casinos on Vegas’ prolific main strip, ate at a celebrity chef’s restaurant, saw a show, blew a bunch of cash on the slot machines and shopped until you dropped… what else is there to do in Las Vegas? I get it… sit by the pool day-drinking until the morning turns into evening and then dance the night away. Sure, that could be fun…Or, you can explore the incredible landscape just outside the city limits!

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Behold, the Valley of Fire! This Mars-like playground lies a mere 25-30 minutes outside of Vegas on a road that leads to Boulder Beach and the the Hoover Dam. The most outstanding feature in the Valley of Fire is that the mountains are all different colours ranging from purple to red to green to white. It’s likely that  you will have the place to yourself. With temperatures from to 100 to 145 degrees Celsius, very few venture out here for a hike. (Don’t forget to bring lots of water!)

And of course, there is the Hoover Dam!

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Over the last 14 years the lake has experienced some of the lowest water levels in probably 40 years, due to the ongoing drought conditions in the West. The waterline on the rocks shows the dramatic demarcation. And, if you plan to cool off in the refreshing waters of Lake Mead, here a few words of warning. Due to the low water levels, the silt at the bottom of the lake is almost like quicksand, sucking you in, down to your ankles, sometimes up to your knees. What happens next is your shoes are sucked right off your feet when you pull your feet up from this muck. The next steps you take are typically struggling steps, wild and off balance steps, angry steps (because you just lost your shoes), and forceful steps with bare feet in your last ditch attempt to keep from embarrassing yourself by falling. Yes, this is the recipe for injury, so be careful. (Bring extra shoes!) Or, head back to your hotel and sit in the pool sipping gin and tonics well into the evening! Whatever… what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

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Written by Elyse Kishimoto

Elyse Kishimoto is a regular girl with an extraordinary sense of adventure. She's done everything from hiking up volcanoes in Iceland at midnight, to sitting down to dinner with royalty. She's climbed Mt Fuji and the Great Wall of China in the same week, and explored the lost glowworm caves in New Zealand. You never know where her next story is going to come from, but you can be sure that it will be packed full of fun! After spending years reading her favourite classic novels to her students, Elyse is excited to publish her second action/ adventure novel, Sky Watchers in the popular series, The Dining and Social Club for Time Travellers. www.thetimetravellersclub.com

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