I love getting out of town, even if it’s just for an hours-long drive through our famous southwest landscape. Recent quick getaways include Utah, skiing on Mount Charleston, Lake Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. One of the easiest excursions for getting out of Vegas for a few hours is to drive out to the Hoover Dam. Even though the suburbs of the city are more sprawling than a lot of people realize, at the end, it really does end abruptly with nothing but desert on the other side. When driving east, it’s easy to pass right by the Railroad Pass casino. Next time, get out for a minute and look around. It’s the oldest continually running casino in Nevada (it’s game license is #4). Boulder City, the town between eastern Vegas and the Dam, is one of only two cities in all of Nevada that prohibits gambling — it was a town built for the workers on the Dam, and no one wanted them gambling away their earnings! You also drive by Lake Mead, the reservoir shown here. It supplies 90 percent of our desert city’s water.