Hey Ride-DR, Sorry I missed your post, I didn't check in much the week or so leading up to the trip.
The trip was great! Thanks for all the great feedback and suggestions everyone. I ended up staying close to Vegas and did "The Loop" on Sunday, then Red Rock Canyon on Monday morning before turning the rental back in. I left Vegas about 12 noon and headed strait North on 15 to the Valley of Fire. It was a high of 45 that day, but my new Klim Latitude Jacket and Patagonia liner kept me suprisingly warm. The wind, however, was BRUTAL!!! I seriously thought I was going to die several times just trying to get out of Vegas. The cab drivers in Vegas are all trying to kill you anyway even if you aren't getting blown 3-4 feet side to side every 20 seconds. It's just not something we have to deal with here in The South since we have these things called "trees" that block most of it. I think this wind was unusual for Vegas and it moderated once I got out of town. I limped north at 60 MPH until I was passed by a new Ferrari and two guys on Harleys doing 100+ MPH, so I figured I was good to step it up a notch. I just hadn't realized the wind had died down as much as it had.
The VOF was absolutely INCREDIBLE. The roads were awsome and a few some of the trails were open as well. It was definitly the off season and the crowds were small. Everywhere you look there's an amazing vista. I only spent about 2 hours there since I started so late but it was worth every bit of it. From there I headed west to Northshore Dr and down to the Hoover Dam. I have to say this was so much more than I had expected. I dnon't know why but I really only imagined it as a flat little ride along the lake, but there were mountain views and all sorts of twisties to make it fun. I took a short detour out to Stewart Point which was vacant and kind of wierded me out. But the view of the lake from there was priceless. By the time I got to the Hoover dam the sun was setting and the temp had dropped into the 30's. I got out, used the restroom, took a picture, and booked it bakc to Vegas where I dodged cab drivers and the wind to get back to my Hotel.
Monday morning I left out at 7 am in 35 degree temps. Red Rock Cayon is only 30 minutes out of Vegas but felt like another world. As long as I was moving the gear kept me warm, but I was getting on and off again which made me sweat some, and that made me cold when the wind blew. The VOF and Northsore Dr was a tough act to follow, but RRC was certainly a worthy trip. Once again it was super cold and there weren't a lot of people. Great place for pictures though: