Barb Howe diary: Interbike

Where do I even begin? Perhaps that I'm still recovering, and I didn't even go out and party. It started Tuesday before dawn with a trip to the Oakland Airport, there's very little traffic at 5:00 am. Sheila Moon, my employer, had driven down with all of our stuff on Sunday and was just waiting for me to complete the group. Joining us to man the Sheila Moon Athletic Apparel booth was Gillian and her husband Greg. This was my first time at a trade show as a vendor, and it's really hard work.

I've got a love hate relationship with Las Vegas. So much of the city sickens me, the obscene overuse of precious water in the desert, vulgar humanity throwing money away, the smoke filled disorienting casinos and crappy service on overpriced goods. Sure, the glittering lights and massive themed casinos are impressive in a wasteful overdone way, but my preference is that of a lesser, more subtle existence. The parts I love are actually not in the city. Red Rocks National Conservation Area has stunning sandstone climbing (remember I was a rock climber in my former life) and the mountain biking near Blue Diamond is great. During the right times of the year you can find waterfalls cascading down tucked away canyons and chorus's of frogs beckoning you to refresh your feet in the cool water.

After a quick shuttle ride to the hotel, Sheila, Gillian and I trekked to the convention hall to put the finishing touches on our booth. This was followed by a fabulous lunch at Paymon's located off the Strip. Their baba ganoush had a subtle smokiness, the humus was light and creamy and the dolmas burst with lemony goodness. Just across the street the three of us indulged in manicures and pedicures – you have to look good!

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