Shari and I left for Vegas at about 5AM. I am really surprised this came about. Shari is NOT a morning person while I can get up at the crack of dawn and be ready to rock in a moment's notice.
The whole point of leaving at about 5 AM was to hit the Virgin River Casino Buffet. Truly probably the last truly bargain buffet (that I know of). I remember last year when we drove to the marathon we had to cram food down our gullets because they were closing the buffet in preparation for lunch. For $6.95 it was a good buffet, for the sake of its price.
Our goal was to get to Mesquite before it's 11AM closing and be able to enjoy the food and gamble a bit.
We did hit our expected departure time and we had smooth sailing.
Thanks to the Utah government, much of the freeway was at 80mph, so we easily gained about 15 minutes compared to what we had to deal with last year. I kept my cruise control at about 83mph and I saw very few people abusing the new speed limit.
The trip down to Mesquite was uneventful although I did have Shari snap some pictures of the most expensive freeway ever built in America's history. You can read a little about it here. In short this is about 15 miles of downhill driving. While the speed limit is 55mph, I found most people were still doing 65 to 70. There is some beautiful scenery here as you are surrounded by towering canyon walls.
I have attached some of the photos here -- I apologize in advance for the window glare.