Monday, November 11, 2013

Street Walking in Vegas ~ Oct 26, 2013

Gotcha! Not what you're thinking at all, curb your imagination and read on. 
Opened the curtains in our 27th floor aerie to an amazing sunrise reflected in the windows of the Wynn. Since we've been doing a lot of sitting the last few days it's time for a walk. Temperatures are in the mid eighties, which is warm for me, but large hotels cast mighty shadows. After breakfast we take off down the Strip.

There is something for everyone here: shows, fine dining, sports events, gambling, and shopping. Where else could you find the Chapel of the Bells wedding chapel next door to the Strip Gun Club? There are hucksters and entrepreneurs on every corner. People watching is spontaneous entertainment: short story scripts everywhere you look.

Wynn Atrium
We declare a turnaround point at the Wynn and stop in to look around. By the time we returned to our hotel we were astonished to find we'd walked 5.3 miles. (iPhone app from Kaiser called Every Body Walk! logs time, distance, calories and your route via GPS).
We head out to Thomas and Mack Stadium a little after 5pm. Our taxi driver tells us not to worry about standing in line for the return trip. He handed us his card and said "call me when the event is over and walk up to CVS Pharmacy (about a quarter of a mile) I'll pick you up there".
 Eight seconds is an eternity

10 months, 26 events, 71 riders, 2,500 outs and no one has seen a race like this one in the 20 year history of the PBR. It's the best bulls vs. the best riders. The venue was more electric than the night before, the crowd larger and louder.  
Since mid season J.B. Mauney has been on fire, overcoming a 3,000 point deficit. Tonight he's in second place, by only 19.75 points, so he rides next to last. The feeling is that J.B. is betting on himself and leader Silvano Alves is betting on J.B. to fail. 

Silvano has a penchant for not taking re-rides and keeping low scores (judges award one to rider if the bull is not performing well) and on a previous night he didn't take advantage of the opportunity and kept a score of 70 something. This may come back to bite him. 

Some of the riders have theme songs and when J.B. enters the chutes you hear the first few bars of George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone" and 15,000 fans go nuts. He scores 90.75 points on Breakdown. Silvano's bull tonight is Trueblood and the clock is stopped at 6.9 seconds due to a touch, 1.1 seconds short of an 8 second ride (rider cannot touch the bull with free arm).
Click on the link below to see J.B.'s ride on Breakdown

J.B. Mauney is only 26 and being the World Champion has been his dream for over 20 years. He regained control tonight with only the final two rounds to go tomorrow. Past champion Kody Lostroh captured the moment: "There've been a lot of great races throughout PBR history, but this year with guys swapping places at the Finals, it's inspiring to watch.”
We've been screaming, clapping and cheering for a couple of hours and need to take a few breaths and calm down before we reverse direction on the 120 plus steps of what we've dubbed the Stairway to Heaven.  Since we have a personal taxi tonight we just amble out of the arena and stroll over to the CVS parking lot. He's pulling in as we walk up ~ big time tip. Back to the hotel for a late dinner, a little gaming, and a few chapters of Louis L'Amour.