Gypsum Cave Hike

EFP-P1000258This past Wednesday, Harvey and I hiked to Gypsum Cave. Located in Sunrise Mountain, less than 20 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Gypsum Cave is a six-room limestone cave that is considered to be among the oldest aboriginal sites in North America. The cave measures 300 feet long (deep) by 120 feet wide. Its rooms are filled with dry, dusty deposits. Gypsum Cave is significant because it has yielded artifacts related to early human occupation and information about the region's ancient ecosystem. Click here to read more about this site ... Gypsum Cave.


Desert Spiny Lizard

EFP-P1050661In the past couple of weeks I’ve come across a couple of Desert Spiny Lizards while on my weekly hikes. A relatively large, stocky lizard, its large, pointed, keeled, overlapping scales give it a kind of pre-historic look. Click here to read more about this ‘scary’ looking fella … Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister).

Yucca Peak Fossil Beds

EFP-P1000117This past week I made my second visit to the Yucca Peak Fossil Beds inside the Desert National Wildlife Range with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park Senior Facility. Unlike my previous visit, I actually found and climbed the ridge that is known for its many examples of rock filled fossils. Click the following link to read more about this hike … Yucca Peak Fossil Beds.

The Bonanza Trail at Cold Creek Nevada

EFP-P1050590This past week I made another visit to the town of Cold Creek, Nevada and the Bonanza Peak Trailhead with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park Senior Facility. As usual, we had the pleasure of seeing dozens of the wild horses that roam the desert areas that surround the town. Check out my update to this area by visiting the following link … Bonanza Trailhead at Cold Creek. I slso created an new triptych of the horse pictures I took here today ... Wild Horses at Cold Creek - Triptych #4.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS30

LUMIX DMC-ZS30Camera: I recently upgraded my everyday carry around camera to the black Lumix DMC-ZS30 Digital Camera from Panasonic. I can’t say enough about this amazing camera! Measuring only 4.3” wide x 2.3 high x 1.1" deep and weighing only 6.07 oz, this versatile, high-quality compact digital travel camera has a 18.1MP MOS sensor that provides low-noise images, accurate colors and fast performance and comes with a powerful Leica DC Vario-Elmar 20x optical (35mm camera equivalent: 24-480mm) zoom lens with a maximum aperture of f/3.3 at the wide-angle end. The 3.0" 920,000 pixel Touch-control LCD screen is provided for composition and playback, and lets you control autofocus, zoom, shutter and playback with simple gestures on the touch-screen. It has full HD 1080p/60p video recording with built-in stereo sound is supported with a dedicated one-touch button that will take you instantly from photo mode to video. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. An iOS or Android smart phone app allows you to use your device as a remote control for shooting and viewing photos and HD video. NFC (Near Field Communication) allows you to connect camera to phone with just a touch and sharing images with a friend's phone is just as easy. Direct upload to social networking sites, auto transfer and wireless TV playback are all possible with the Image App. To learn more about this amazing camera, go to the "My Equipment" tab on my Photo Journal site ... My Equipment.

Category Description

What is a Triptych? Similar to a diptych, which is a photograph that uses two different or identical images side by side to form one single artistic statement, a Triptych uses ...


My Nevada Fossil Finds - #05

Yucca Peak Fossil 01
Picture Notes: During a hike on 04/18/2013 to the Yucca Peak fossil beds inside the Desert National Wildlife Range, I found the two rocks shown in diptychs above and below. Though I’m not sure what the stem-like fossils are in (Fig. 02), you can see from the top and bottom view of this specimen, that they extend right through the rock. The fossil in (Fig. 03) is half of a clam-like shell. The first picture shows the rounded surface of the outer top half of the shell; while the bottom of the specimen shows the bottom edges of the shell. (Figs. 04 & 05) are some more examples that I found while hike the upper ridge of these fossil beds.
Yucca Peak Fossil 02

My Fossil Finds – #04

(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes: During a hike near Table Mountain of of Sandy Valley Road on 11/27/2012, I discovered these two examples (Figs. 01 & 02 below) of a fossilized seabed floor. It is just amazing to me that I found these at an elevation close to 5,000 feet above sea level. In the same area, only a half mile away I also found the specimen shown in (Fig. 03). Could it be a fossilized dinosaur egg?
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)

04/11/13 Update – Corn Creek Station, DNWR

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This page last updated on 04/21/2017

(Fig. 01)
04/11/2013 Trip Notes:  Made a stop here with the rock-hounds from the Heritage Park Senior Facility before heading over to Cold Creek. Because this was just a short stop, and the fact that I was just here a month ago, I didn’t take very many pictures. It was still too early in the season for many of the plants and trees here to be in bloom. I did manage to capture a robin (Fig. 02) that was perched high in a tree and a couple plants (Figs. 03 – 05) in the nearby desert areas.
(Fig. 02)
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Click here to return to the previous page and continue reading more about the Corn Creek Field Station … Corn Creek Station - DNWR.

The Stratosphere - Summary Page

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This page last updated on 12/27/2017
EFP-P1050276 Stitch
(Fig. 01 - North)
(Fig. 02 - West)
(Fig. 03 - East)
(Fig. 04 - South)
Though it certainly doesn't hold any spiritual significance, the Level 107 Lounge at the top of the Stratosphere Casino Tower has now become a special meeting place and traditional stop whenever Jim and Patrick come to visit. Located just one floor up from the elegant, revolving Top of the World restaurant, the lounge serves up an array of excellent 1/2 price appetizers (Fig. 05) and martinis (Fig. 06) during a daily ‘happy hour’'; all with sunset views (Fig. 09) that can be just heavenly. Jim and I always make sure we order the Chocolate Masterpiece Martini (Godiva Chocolate Vodka, Godiva Chocolate, White Chocolate Liqueur) for dessert, though we may have to change this next time. On our last visit we also ordered the Carmel Swirl (Absolute Vanilla Vodka, Butterscotch & Carmel Mix) and thought it was outstanding. North (Fig. 01), South (Fig. 04), East (Fig. 03) or West (Fig. 02), it provides views of the Las Vegas valley that can’t be found in any other Las Vegas lounge. (Fig. 07 & 08) just enjoying the view. One of the great advantages of partaking of happy hour here is that you avoid the $18 per/person tower fee for elevator ride to the two observation decks and thrill rides located above the lounge. The night view of the tower at the bottom, (Fig. 18), was taken from the valet area while we were waiting for our car.
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Jutting 1,149 feet into the Vegas skyline, the iconic Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States and offers the world’s highest and most exciting thrill rides. So, if you’re an adrenaline junky, a thrill seeker, or a daredevil – this is the place for you. So far none of us have gotten drunk enough (yet!) to try any of these.

Insanity the Ride: A massive mechanical arm (Fig. 10 & 11) extending out 64 feet over the edge of the Stratosphere Tower at a height of over 900 feet, this Vegas ride will spin you and several other passengers in the open air at speeds of up to three 'G's. You'll be propelled up to an angle of 70 degrees, which will tilt your body into one position — straight down! If you're brave enough to keep your eyes open you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of historic downtown Las Vegas. Experience Insanity and walk away to tell the tale!
(Fig. 10)
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Big Shot: Strap into the Big Shot (Figs. 12 & 13) and be shot 160 feet in the air at 45 miles per hour as you overlook the majestic Las Vegas Valley. In a matter of seconds, the Big Shot thrill ride catapults 16 riders from the 921-foot high platform up the Tower's mast to a height of 1,081 feet and down again. Before you catch your breath, you'll be shot back up again at a gut-wrenching four 'G's of force on the way up, and feel negative 'G's on the way down as your legs dangle in the Las Vegas skyline.
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)

X-Scream: The X-Scream (Figs. 14 & 15) is a giant ‘space age’ teeter-totter, 866 feet above the ground. It propels you and several other riders headfirst, 27 feet over the edge of the tower. After being shot over the edge, you'll dangle weightlessly above the Las Vegas Strip before being pulled back and propelled over again for more.
(Fig. 14)
(Fig. 15)

Sky Jump: Sky Jump (Figs. 16 & 17), the highest controlled free fall in the world, sends you jumping off the 108th floor at a scream-inducing speed. Before the jump, riders are prepped and suited up in Stratosphere’s custom jump suits and given a safety lesson. After a short elevator trip to the top of the Stratosphere Tower, the jumper is connected to a high-speed “descender” and led to the edge of the platform. Just take that last step and plummet through the sky 855 feet, or the equivalent of 108 floors. Click on (Fig. 14) and you will be able to see the wires that control the jump. Click on (Fig. 15) and you are able to see a jumper (in a blue suit) just to the right of the pool.
(Fig. 16)
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EP-P1050292-2 EP-P1000387

Calico Tanks (RRCNCA) - Summary Page

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This page last updated on 04/01/2018
(Fig. 01)
Calico Tanks Cover
Calico Tank Hike
(Fig. 02) Click to Enlarge
04/04/2018 Trip Notes: This was my second trip to the Calico Tanks. Today Jim Herring and I made this hike. Even though someone had added a several more "stone steps" into this trail since my previous hike, I found today's hike was much more difficult than it was back in 2013. Click here for pictures and information about this hike ... Calico Tanks (RRCNCA) -Trip Notes for 04/04/2018.

04/25/2013 Trip Notes: Today’s trip with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park Senior Facility took us back to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Driving along the 11-mile scenic loop, we headed to the Sandstone Quarry parking lot, our primary destination for the day's activities. From here everyone divided into four primary groups; some hiking to the Sandstone Quarry, some to the Calico Tanks, some to Calico II & I, and some to Pine Creek. Harvey, Buster and I (Fig. 03) headed to the Calico Tanks (Fig. 01). One of the nicest things about this hike was that you could easily converse with your fellow hiking partners the entire way.
Starting out on an old road that runs northward into the historic quarry area, the trail crosses a wash and heads upstream before leaving the wash and turning up a major side canyon on the right, heading southeast. This side canyon leads into the heart of the Calico Hills. The lower part of the canyon is wide and sandy (Fig. 04), and at times is surrounded by Singleleaf Pinyon Pine and other bushes, plants, cactus and shrubs, such as the Dune Evening Primrose in (Fig. 05) making the hike not only quite enjoyable, but also providing some great views of Turtlehead Peak (Fig. 06). However, higher up, following use-trails, the canyon narrows and the trail runs on red and white sandstone slickrock where the route is not always obvious. There’s one section where you’re forced to scale and side-step your way up a large red rock. This is probably the most dangerous leg of the hike, but if you’re reasonably sure-footed, you’ll make it easily. The fact that the trail crew has cut steps in solid sandstone rock and built stone stairs (Fig. 07) on some of the steeper parts was an unanticipated relief at times. After climbing steeply for what seemed quite some time, we then crossed a long flat area with singleleaf pines and eventually dropped down into the Calico Tanks (Fig. 08).

Though there wasn't as much water in the tank as we had hoped, we were still surprised that we were unable to find (Fig. 09) any tadpoles or footprints of desert bighorn sheep. Continuing past the tanks and hiking to the top of the saddle visible at the top right of ((Fig. 08) we were rewarded with some outstanding views of Calico Basin and the Las Vegas Valley (Fig. 10). (Figs. 11, 12 & 13) show some more pictures of the plant life that we encountered along the trail.
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Play a Slide Show
Clicking the picture-link below will open OneDrive in a new window and a folder containing 16 pictures taken of trip to the Mojave National Preserve. To view the show, click on the first picture in the folder and you will get the following menu bar:

Clicking the "Play slide show" will play a fullscreen window of the slide show.



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