Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My 30 Seconds of Fame

I'm in Las Vegas flipping through the channels on the TV when all of a sudden there is my face on the screen.  Now this may happen to some of you on a regular basis but this was a very big first for me.  It was from an interview I did with Hog Heaven a number of years ago.  You could have knocked me over with a Las Vegas stripper.  If only my high school guideance counsler, who said I would never amount to anything, could see me now.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Las Vegas Strip

Glitz, glamour, and some of the best entertainment in the world.  And for "low rollers" like myself, a great people-watching place.

As I walked into the different casinos, I got the feeling there was something missing from the old days.  Then it hit me...  no sound of metal coins hitting metal trays at the slots.  As far as I can tell, you now get a piece of paper with your winnings that you cash in.

Lastly, Vegas is no longer a "cheap vacation" spot.  Yes, there are deals but you have to look for them.  My advice to visitors is the same as I got before going to Alaska:  "Create two piles.  Put your stuff into one pile and your money into the other.  Cut the stuff pile in half and then double the money pile."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon is a national park just west of Las Vegas.  A scenic 13 mile loop through the park showcases the mountains created by geological faults and fossiled sand dunes.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

I've traded looking at stars in the desert for looking at neon lights in Sin City.  It's been 15 years since I was last here so I suspect there are a lot of new things to see.

Today, I walked next door to Sam's Town and was struck by the fact that I did not know how to play most of the slots in the casino.  The days of machines with just bars, cherries, sevens, and mechanical pulls are long gone.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Valley of Fire State Park

This is a scenic state park about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas.  The multi-colored rocks in seemingly endless shapes and formations make it a great destination.  Hollywood has shot a number of movies here and they were filming a car commercial during my stay.

Lastly, I used Google's Sky Map on my smartphone to identify planets and major stars/constellations in the night sky.  What a great app!

My campsite


Narrow "slot canyon"

Helicopter filming car commercial

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bryce Canyon National Park

It's all about the Hoodoos (pinnacle or odd-shaped rocks left standing by the forces of erosion).  To give you some idea of how beautiful this canyon is, I took 144 photos, the most of any park to date.  Unfortunately, I did not have time to hike the trails within the park which in my opinion would be the best way to view the Hoodoos.

Click on photos to enlarge

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Zion National Park

If you enter Zion from the west gate, you can either stay on Highway 9 through the tunnel and exit the east gate or take the shuttle bus up the scenic drive.  I took the shuttle in order to hike from the Vistor's Center to the lower, middle, & upper emerald pools to the Grotto and then the riverside walk from the Temple of Sinawava.

Lizard Lunch



If you have food, the squirrels are on you like Harley riders on chrome.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Grand Canyon North Rim

This was my first visit to the north rim and I must say I like it more than the south rim.  First, it is much less crowded and second, there are numerous trails that take you right up to the edge of the canyon walls - in some places you look straight down!  Be sure to drive out to Point Imperial and Cape Royal for more spectacular views of the canyon.

Click on photos to enlarge

Angels Window

Angels Window Walkway