Category Archives: Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada to Grand Canyon Day 36 & 37 of 43

 

Packed and left Las Vegas and headed east then south to the Grand Canyon. The landscape on the way was beautiful. I love the desert shapes and colours. The smattering of rocks up and down the volcanic ridges and valleys. The blues and mauves of the distant mountains and the yellows and creams of the grasses on the hillsides.image

Green in patterns across the rolling hills. Some have rocky outcrops on the top. Red, brown yellow, grey-green and white – almost like the Aussie landscape. Just stunning in its parched look.

Colours in Nevada and Arizona
Colours in Nevada and Arizona

Now the flats again with occasional palm like stumpy trees no more than a metre high. thick stems and green tops. Coarse and tough.Many of the native scrub is very like Australia. It looks dry and desolate yet worth a second look.

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The drive could take between 4 and 6 hours depending on our stops.
The more we travelled into Arizona the more lush the landscape. More grass and more stumpy trees – where there had been fewer than 1 per square km now it would be 10-15.

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Arrived at the Grand Canyon National Park and are staying in two cute cabins called Bright Angel cabins. Basic but lovely, with wooden doors to cupboards and the bathroom. Cosy and unassuming. Easy to get around. There are a few cabins for the princely sum of $125 per person per night. Right on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s seven wonders. Beautiful to see.imageimage image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image

Day 37 Grand Canyon

The next day we were up around 7:30 Fresh and cool. Lovely day.

Went for a wander to “the rim” for morning photos – different from the sunset ones of yesterday. We are driving around the south rim 40km drive around the edge of the canyon. 17 degrees and clear. The air here is fresh and tasty.
Spent the day driving around the south rim of the Canyon and being awe inspired. Again if you want any further explanation, ask.

We came back to the Bright Water Cabins on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. There are hotels here that have been here since the beginning of the last century. Some of the buildings are very rustic and full of character. Our cabins are very basic but very well constructed and cosy. We have a bathroom with toilet, a built in Wardrobe a TV ceiling fan, heating desk and about 4 lamps.
We had dinner at Bright Angel Lodge Restaurant, where we had Clam chowder and Apple Pie. Very yummy.
There is little to no internet access here so I have had to write my blogs each day in the notes section on my ipad until I can make them ‘real’
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We went to look at the Canyon once we had dumped our bags. It is amazing and a huge expanse of rock in so many colours it was awe-inspiring to see. There is no rail, fence or boundary to stop people stepping off the edge. There is an idea in some places and a wall in others but no barrier from actually tipping over if you over balance on the edge. With the sand stone pathways, there is  a high likelyhood of this happening.

 

Las Vegas, Nevada Day 35 of 43

Hoover Dam wall
Hoover Dam wall
Its famous!
Its famous!
Holding up the bridge. Some people do silly things!
Holding up the bridge. Some people do silly things!

Hoover Dam

Las Vegas is only an hour’s drive from the iconic Hoover Dam.  We drove out early around 9.00 to avoid the tourists.  The tour busses arrive around 10 am.  The day was hot and you could feel the sun penetrating your clothes.  I wore my cap which I bought at the Missouri Memorial in Hawaii – that was after leaving my woven paper hat on the front seat of the shuttle we caught to the Memorial. It was untraceable.:(

The structure of the dam is phenomenal – one of the modern wonders of the world.  It was precipitated by floods in the low lying areas where food crops were being grown and subsequently wiped out and the depression at the time, when millions were out of work and this was an opportunity to earn $40 a week, a fortune in the 30s. The amount of concrete used was amazing and the video intro we had before the tour was facincating.  The tour through the tunnels lasted about 20 mins and we then were let loose in the display area to read more and look at the tremendous effort performed by the men who built it.

http://www.history.com/topics/hoover-dam
Publisher A+E Networks

Highway bridge of Hoover Dam
Highway bridge of Hoover Dam
Images of the time. Lots of evidence of the Art Deco era when this structure was born.
Images of the time. Lots of evidence of the Art Deco era when this structure was born.

We did a Power Station tour to look at the hydro-electric turbines and listened to the amazing talk about how marvellous the hydro electricity feeds thousands of homes and controlling the water has made growing food down river from the dam where the Colorado River is no longer  a problem for farmers down river.

There was nothing said but it was documented about the 96 men who lost their lives during the construction.  Some through accident and others through illnesses assoiated with being underground – pneumonia and tb showed up but they were not considered to be the fault of the work.

“Officially, the project had 96 construction-related fatalities —from such causes as falling rocks and run-ins with heavy equipment—but some sources contend the number likely was higher.”

The dam - Lake Mead
The dam – Lake Mead very low at the moemnt as evidence by the high water line.
The tunnels
The tunnels
The turbines
The turbines

This is  a sign (below) we saw twice at this venue.  We went through some security checks on our way in and had to removed everything from our wrists  and pockets.

No firearms!
No firearms!

We had icecream at the cafe and toddled home for lunch.  as we were leaving the Dam, the line of cars coming in was very long.  Glad to be leaving – it was very hot and we did not want to hang out with lots of tourists.

We went back to the hotel and had turkey sandwiches, then a sleep, then we looked at the pool.  We went to the outlets on the northside of the city and i bought a pair of very cool brogues in plum.We ate at the food hall there for tea, and had chinese.  Very nice too.

Later we went out to look at the casino lights and the strip to get photos. Saw the famous Bellagio water fountain with music and movement.

The Bellagio at night with the music playing.
The Bellagio at night with the music playing.

Moments after seeing this display – I lost my party.  A youngster of about 10-11 with a black long haired wig on and a hat and Michael Jackson music blasting out of a huge speaker in the forecourt of the Bellagio caught my attention.  I moed to my left with a swarm of others to watch this kid dance.  In the meantime, Didi and Brian were somewhere in the crowd.

After many messages to Brian and Anne on the Bellagio wifi through Skype and What’s App , and waiting an hour on the steps inside the hotel “Where I could be seen!” I went back to our hotel and low and behold if not 15 minutes later the other two returned also.

Lovely night overall and home in bed by 11:45pm

Washington to Las Vegas via Chicago – Day 34 of 43

Today we packed up again and flew via Chicago to Las Vegas. On our flight from Washinton to Chicago, we met a fantastic Steward called Rodney. He had dreads very well contained in long wraps and he had frameless glasses, and greying hair.  He was tall and slim and black, and had been married for 22 years and has a couple of kids We met him again on the next leg of our journey from Chicago to Las Vegas.  I gave him one of the furry koalas I brought with me for those who gave exceptional service. The food on the American Airlines flight was beautiful, yummy and fresh. Upon our arrival in Las Vegs where the desert winds blew a little and the car cleaners at the Hertz station mentioned them in apology if your car was dirty.  We collected a car at the airport in like this one.imageWe needed a vehicle this size due to the bags each of us is toting around.  And then there is the extra stuff we have bought at all the outlets and presents and stuff.  So we are currently running at 4 suitcases, two large extra bags, two smaller cabin luggage, 3 hand bags, and 2 camera bags.  So we need a van!

We will probably need two taxis when we arrive home too. lol

Las Vegas, Nevada – Sin City

The famous Las Vegas sign
The famous Las Vegas sign
Famous Las Vegas sign more info here about its origin and the clever woman who created it. Betty Willis who only died at 91 in April this year.

Hilton Grand Vacations at The Flamingo

We checked into the Hilton Grand Vacations Flamingo and moved into our spacious, palatial rooms.  We had two adjoining rooms.  One had a bathroom, spa room, bedroom and kitchen lounge dining.  The other room had a spa/bathroom, bedroom and kitchenette with small fridge and coffee/tea making facilities.

We were on the 4th floor so lift waits for rides were few.  Our MO when we arrive at these places is looking for – the gym, the pool, the ice machine and the laundry.  Once that has been sorted we usually settle down for a drink or swim or get the laundry done.

It’s all very civilised.  In Vegas we went out to have a look around and were only one Casino’s width from the Strip.  Saw posters of Donny and Marie Osmond who perform at the Flamingo Casino next door.

The Strip is pretty ordinary in the day time.  There are homeless people on every street corner/bridge/walkway.  At least they won’t die from the cold. Some we saw in New York looked very sad.  I never know what to do, I would probably talk to them all but when I am with other people I tend to walk on.  I gave a few dollars to a couple of different people as I walked by.

Just thought about the movie that Richard Gere has just made about being homeless. Read an article in Street Sense (I bought a copy from a guy)- which is a paper in Washington sold by street vendors who are trying to get back on track – like our Big Issue in Perth. Anyway he said that they filmed for 45 mins when he was being the ‘homeless’ guy and no-one spoke to him.  http://www.india.comimageI spoke to a kid in town one day and gave her some money.  I have also heard that kids do it and make between one and two hundred dollars a day.  I don’t know what is the right thing to do.

You can have your picture taken with these birds at the Flamingo
You can have your picture taken with these birds at the Flamingo
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Or these showgirls for a tip
Or these showgirls for a tip