Friday, November 28, 2008

Las Vegas by day and night

We had to go to Las Vegas to get some warranty work done on our home so we stayed at Sams Town, about 6 miles from the strip. We used public transportation (free) to get around town and also found an easy way to get to the strip and park so we also used that. Let us tell you the drivers in Las Vegas are brutal and we don't want to have to drive around that city again. (They seem to think a yellow light means gun it so you can get through the intersection, even if you are the second car back!)

Our first outing was to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas and it comes alive at night. This is the "old" part of Las Vegas.

The streets for about 3 blocks are covered with an interesting roof.

But then at night the ceiling is a backdrop for a light show every hour, which when combined with the music is very dramatic. The next couple of pictures capture a portion of this.

The inside of one of the downtown casinos. The waitress was walking around the machines at the right and when she saw us taking the picture she backed up, stopped and smiled. (Happy to pose.)

New York, New York Casino on the strip. The red is a roller coaster on top of the buildings.

This is a closer look during the day and...

about the same shot at night.

The Excaliber Casino on the strip at night:

And the Paris Casino.

The spectacular fountain display (to music) at the Bellagio. We were on the walkway to the casino when the show began, and had a perfect view.

The atrium at the Bellagio was decorated for fall.

A closer look at the big guy. This was just a small sample of the decoration that they had in the huge area.

Some of the other casinos had already decorated for Christmas, which was beautiful, but because we were there before Thanksgiving, we really appreciated the fall decorations.
We had planned to spend just a couple of days in Las Vegas while we had the 5th wheel worked on, but found there was so much to see and do that we ended up spending five days. We did gamble a little, but mostly just loved the site-seeing and people watching. Dick put a dollar in a machine and it gave him $50.00 back, he ran it down to $45.00 and cashed out. We went to see "Momma Mia" at the Mandalay Bay Casino -- it was great! Our time in the big city was fun, but we were ready to head on and get back to the "country".
To be continued....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quiz answer...

Here is the answer to our Blog question the other day. This is the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Their description of the art is:

"Upon entering our extraordinary Las Vegas hotel, you'll be extended a gracious greeting by 2,000 dynamic hand-blown glass flowers peering from high above their spectacular ceiling stage. Allow your senses to take flight as your gaze ascends to appreciate this vivid piece of creative expression commissioned by world-renowned artist, Dale Chihuly. This piece de resistance is the quintessential complement to the welcoming lobby awaiting your arrival."

Again here is a closer look at the detail.
Thanks for looking and to be continued...

Just an FYI, we are in Desert Hot Springs, California. Since our last Blog we have traveled from Nevada to California to Arizona to California to Arizona and again into California. Did I mention we also traversed the Mojave desert twice, once each way? We still have Las Vegas and Arizona to catch up with in our blog, so stay tuned.

Ghosts, art and a big hole in the ground

Just before the ghost town, Rhyolite, was an outdoor artist's display. These resin ghosts really caught our eyes. This is all out in the desert near Death Valley and miles and miles from anything except rocks, sand and sage brush.
He wanted to go for a bike ride, but had two flat tires!
The "Last Supper".

And a mosaic bench. The next couple of pictures give a close-up view.

CC was ready to take a nap on this nice warm bench.

The Ubehebe Crater at Death Valley.

The land around the crater was actually growing something!

Scotty's Castle at Death Valley.

And for Dicks brother; I guess there are places on earth that have more rocks than your yard. :>)

This was a good time of year to visit Death Valley. We spent three days there and still didn't see it all, so plan to go back later and maybe camp there so we don't have to spend so much time getting back and forth. (Last night we met a couple who were there in March and talked about how beautiful the flowers were. Of course, by November the flowers were all gone!)
To be continued...

Friday, November 21, 2008

first half last day in and near Death Valley

Our final day heading back to Death Valley, while traveling on the highway we noticed way off the road toward the hills what looked like some old buildings out in the desert. Never ones to shy away from a narrow dirt road, off we went.

We found several structures with only part of the concrete still standing. All the wood had been gone for years. The best we could tell was that it was used for processing whatever was being mined in the area.

Dick never misses a shot through a building. Notice all the bullet holes in the walls. We also found several areas where the facility was used for paintball. Could be quite a lot of fun as long as you don't fall into one of the basements.

Lots and lots of desert with the mountains in the background.

Someone went to a lot of trouble to create some artwork on one of the walls. Not sure how many years it's been there.

Further up the road was the small town of Beatty with this interesting and I must say well done murial.

Just before getting into Death Vally was a ghost town, Rhyolite, where some of the buildings still stood. You could wander around the ruins and there were several people spending most of the day taking pictures. Add us to the list. Up the hill from this artwork is the town.

More about the artwork in the next Blog.

The old train station still stands but is completly surrounded by a chain link fence, so the only way to get a good picture was to back the truck up to the fence and stand on top of the tool box. (Of course Dick had no problem with that!)

This is the remains of Jackie's bank (the COOK bank).

Not sure why some of the walls are still standing. Take a look at the bricks on the top left corner and then take a look at the next picture.

Why are they still there?

Someone decided to build a "bottle house"; here again it is surrounded by a fence. The yard is full of artwork with broken glass imbeded into all the structures.

Would be interesting to go inside and see what the light shining through all the bottles looked like.

To be continued...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

6 plus month update...

Thursday November 20, 2008

We have been on the road 6 months and 20 days and are still loving it. We moved again today and left Las Vegas Nevada, at 8:30 this morning, arrived in California at 11:00 and then into Arizona at 11:50. We are at River Island State Park on Hwy 95, 25 miles South of Lake Havasu City and 12 miles North of Parker.

The problem is we still have two more postings of pictures from Death Valley we would like to share and then we need to weed through over 130 pictures of the Las Vegas area and post some of them for you to see.

We have taken over 3000 pictures so you can see how hard it is to pick just a few to post here. This is the 7th State we have visited and of the 7 we have been to 5 of them twice.

We have posted 83 updates to our Blog and have had over 3000 hits on it.

Our question to you dear fans, is 12 pictures too much to post with each Blog? Should we increase or decrease the number? We have a lot of interesting pictures that we never posted but I guess you know that based on the number of photos we have taken.

Time to sign off, find a cold drink and our lawn chairs and just relax. The sun is setting so we can turn off the air conditioning now, it is 5:00 some place...
We will leave you with one picture, see if you can figure out what it is.

To be continued...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Second trip into Death Valley

Our second trip into the valley of death or Death Valley was another very long day but we did get back home to Pahrump just shortly after dark. That was the day we caught the wonderful sunset pictures that we posted earlier.

We ran across this very unusual rock formation and had to get out and do a little climbing. Jackie got ahead so Dick was able to catch her looking up into the hole. Someone had camped there and had a campfire in the upper small cavern.

As we traveled we ran across this old abandoned gold process area called Ashford Mill, it was down at the bottom of the valley. Not much left but an interesting picture.
When we came through here the other day it was after dark so wanted to go back to Badwater, 282 feet below sea level. This is a lot better shot than what we got the other day. You can see all the people walking out onto the salt flats. Hard and smooth but very difficult trying to get it off of your shoes.

This is the Natural bridge that was talked about in a previous Blog. After walking a narrow canyon you rounded a curve and came to this sight. Lots of people but what a beautiful canyon and view.

If you look close you can see the people walking up the canyon in the distance.

Further down the road and still in the low valley was an area called the Devil's golf course. Only the Devil himself could play a round of golf in these piles of sharp and jagged salt formations. We saw a young man out on the "field" pretending to swing a golf club while his wife took his picture!

We went back to the Artists Drive during the day so we could get a better shot as when we stopped here the other day it was after sunset.

While Dick was out on the hills looking for the perfect shot, a fellow traveler noticed that we had a tire going flat on the truck. Got it changed and off we went back home. (Dick is very modist here: he had quite a time getting the tire changed, but kept his good humor, even in the heat.)

One more in the desert and then it's the lights of Las Vegas and Red Rock Canyon.

To be continued...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Red dress in the desert

We spent another day in Death Valley. On the way up the hill to see the Natural Bridge (a long canyon with a large arch rock formation you can walk under--pictures to follow), Dick noticed a young lady standing out in the desert. We stopped to capture the vivid contrast between colors of the surrounding area and the bright red dress.

You will have to click on the photos to blow them up to capture the contrast that Dick found.

When we got to the top she was still there with a totally new back drop, with her now standing on the rim of the hill. These are now looking down on the stark barren salt flats of the Death valley.

Dick talked to her when she came back to the parking lot and offered to share these with her, so Tara these are for you, and hope you enjoy.

To be continued...