Sunday

Daytrip - Tours of Walking Box Ranch

On 4/27 Jim Herring, Bob Croke, Blake Smith and I joined approximately 12 others for a tour of the Walking Box Ranch provided by the BLM that was set up by Sharon Haugen. Overall, a general lack of funds is still limiting the progress and finishing of the renovations. Even though it was decided to open it to tours, the renovations are nowhere complete, and clearly not ready for opening the property to the general public. Unfortunately, most of the furnishings and many other items are still being held in storage. Click here for pictures and information about this, and my previous visit ... Walking Box Ranch Tours. Over time I have visited this area on several previous ocassions. Click here for links to more information and pictures ... Walking Box Ranch/Road - Summary Page

Saturday

Daytrip - Gold Butte National Monument

On 4/25 Harvey Smith, Bob Croke and Jim Herring and I visited Gold Butte for the first time since it was designated as a National Monument. As a result of this designation, I updated all of pages for my previous visits. Click here for my "summary page" containing links to each of Gold Buttes' most notable areas ... Gold Butte National Monument - Summary Page.

Wednesday

Daytrip - Gass Peak Road

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On 4/19 Jim Herring, Harvey Smith and I drove to the Desert National Wildlife Range on the north side of Las Vegas. The purpose of our visit was to locate Gass Peak and the Quail Spring Guzzler off Gass Peak Road. Even though there we no visible water at Gass Spring, we did find water at the guzzler. Click here for information and pictures ... Gass Peak Road - Trip Notes for 04/19/2017.

Friday

Daytrip - Cottonwood Cove Road

On 4/14 Jim Herring and I took a trip to Cottonwood Cove in search of spring wildflowers. Trying to guess the timing to observe Nevada's desert wildflowers is always a crap shoot. Even though it appeared we were a little early, the good new is we got lucky and were able to fine quite a few. Click here for pictures ... Cottonwood Cove Wildflower Visit.

Monday

Daytrip - Kodachrome Road

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On 04/10 Jim Herring, Blake Smith and I drove out to an area near Lava Butte just west of the Lake Mead National Recreational Area. This whole area is called Rainbow Gardens. This is my forth trip to Rainbow Gardens and my second drive down Kodachrome Road. Kodachrome Rd runs north to south and is the road that spans the west edge of Rainbow Gardens. We drove the entire length of this road (approximately 8 miles) to the edge of Las Vegas and the western edge of the County Clarke Wetlands Park and the Sunrise Trailhead Park. This ride provided us with some great views and some gorgeous wildflowers. Click here for info and pictures ... Kodachrome Road Drive.

Wednesday

Daytrip - Clark County Museum

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On 04/05 I took Jim Herring and Blake Smith to the Clark County Museum. After touring and viewing all the exhibits in the museum proper, we went outdoors and toured the grounds. The 30-acre site we includes a collection of more than a half dozen restored historic buildings on Heritage Street. Click here for descriptions and pictures ... Clark County Museum.

Sunday

Daytrip - The Las Vegas Strip

This page last updated on 04/02/2017

Recently Jim Herring and I spent several hours touring CityCenter, the 16,797,000-square-foot, 76 acre collection of hotels, casinos and residential builldings on the Las Vegas Strip. In addition to CityCenter's 40 million dollar modern art collection, I will be including additional pictures of art and unique architectural structures that I have collected over the past several years. Clicking the picture/title above will take you to a post containing links to these and other pictures of the many art installations and unique structures found throughout the city of Las Vegas. 

The Tea Lounge at Mandarin Oriental

(Fig. 01)


(Fig. 02)
Description: It's likely that you've never heard of the Mandarin Oriental. The hotel doesn't have gaming, which is normally an entry point for wandering tourists. Additionally, you won't find a pedestrian entrance on the Las Vegas Strip. You'll have to either drive up to the valet or awkwardly walk around The Shops at Crystals to reach the entrance. The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas is a triple five-star hotel located within CityCenter and is operated by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Its 392 hotel rooms are decorated in an Eastern style. The hotel’s lobby is located on the 23rd floor (Fig 02). The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas has approximately 225 condominium residences located on the building's upper floors. Parking for this area is valet only. The hotel holds the AAA Five Diamond Award and three Forbes Five Star Awards, one for every category. The 23rd floor also hold the properties Tea Lounge, Mandarin Bar and their acclaimed signature restaurant, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, the only venue in the US where you can experience the extraordinary cuisine of Chef Pierre Gagnaire.

Every Mandarin Oriental hotel has its own fan, which is reflective of its local culture and bonds each property to the Group's Asian heritage. It is located opposite the windows in the 23rd-floor ''Sky Lobby'' of the Mandarin Oriental hotel. True to this tradition, Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is delighted to showcase its signature fan (Fig. 01), created exclusively for the hotel by artist Eric Jiaju Lee.
                                           
The Tea Lounge:  This large lounge (Fig. 03) is designed as a zen-like retreat. Its seven seating areas (Fig. 04) are spaciously spread about the room and tied together by an absolutely beautiful rug filled with red Chinese dragons (Fig. 05). After selecting from a menu of the finest infusions of teas from around the world, you are then left with the tranquility of the environment while you sip your tea (Fig. 06) and enjoy the beautiful views and dazzling lights of the Las Vegas Strip through its floor to ceiling windows (Fig. 07). If you take part of the Classic English Afternoon Tea, served daily, you can also combining a selection of divine pastry delights such as English scones, cupcakes and macaroons. OBTW - it is right next to the Mandarin Bar, with a modern decor. See more below.
                                    
(Fig. 03)

(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)



Mandarin Bar:  There are over-sized leather chairs, a squared bar with a towering liquor shelf and dim, strategically placed lighting. The focal point of this room, though, is the view. Floor-to-ceiling windows can be found on three of the four walls, giving you an unparalleled view of the Strip no matter where your seat is. The drink menu is filled with tastes that you'll only find at Mandarin Bar, such as the The Mandarin Martini (aka the Golden Leaf), which pairs up Hendrick's gin, Aperol, muddled mandarin, pineapple, fresh lime juice and simple syrup. The rest of the cocktail menu focuses on high-end spirits usually paired with fresh fruit or fresh herbs. If the menu doesn't satisfy your palate, the bartenders, who are also mixologists, can whip you up a fresh creation based on your taste preferences. If you find yourself too engulfed in the view and cocktails to make that late dinner, there is also a menu filled with light, Asian-inspired bites. Mandarin Bar provides that rare place to just get away without ever really being away from anything. Both of these places are now two more places to add to my favorites list of places to relax with a drink, including the Hostile Grape at the M Resort and the 107 Skylounge at the Stratosphere.

Saturday

Wild Horses at Goodsprings Valley


(Fig. 01)


Picture NotesToday I made a trip with Jim Herring and Harvey out to Aztec Tank and a ride up Pauline Road on the west side of Goodsprings Valley. About halfway out, after a very rough ride up Pauline Mine road, we came across a group of 12 wild horses. This was the largest grouping I have ever encountered. I think there are nine in the picture in (Fig. 01). It was pretty amazing how close they allowed us to get to take pictures. I think the horse in (Fig. 03 & 06) was the leader of the pack. He was the only one that whinnied when we got too close. We counted at least four foals in the pack. The one in (Fig. 09) looked like he was barely walking like he may have only been a few days old. 
                                     
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)

Clark County Museum

(Fig. 01)


(Fig. 01A - Museum Building)
Description: Inside the Anna Robert Parks Exhibit Hall (Fig. 01) is a gift shop
and bathrooms. The inside exhibits of the museum takes museum visitors through a historical journey from the Ice Age to Age of Entertainment (Fig. 01A).  The timeline chronicles the history and culture of the ancient Pueblo and more recent Paiute, the first Anglo pioneers and their daily lives, early town-sites and land auction camps, mining technology and the gaming and entertainment heritage of Las Vegas.  The Heritage Gallery changing exhibits feature art and artifacts in their historical context. There's lots of great old Vegas memorabilia. Each of these exhibits are very well done and provide lots of historical information. The outside area of the museum property is about 30 acres in size (Fig. 02). There is an Old ghost town type buildings, wagons and a Mojave Desert nature walking trail. A huge old Union Pacific locomotive, also a caboose, and lots of other train stuff. The best part of the museum is the old replica city block; filled with restored homes from the 1930's to the 50's. There's even a old replica motor court complete with camper. Heritage Street homes offer doorways into past decades, from the 1910s to the 1970s.  The Boulder City depot and collection of railroad cars recall the railroad heritage of southern Nevada, while the arrested decay along the Ghost Town and Mining Trail offers a perspective on life in the hot and arid Southwest environment. Visitors and spent about two hours here taking tours of each of the buildings and homes.

(Fig. 02 - Heritage Street Homes)
                                           
04/05/2017 Trip Notes: On this date I took Jim Herring and Blake Smith to the Clark County Museum. After touring and viewing all the exhibits in the museum proper (Fig. 1A), we went outdoors to tour the grounds. Walking to the Northwest corner of the 30-acre site we toured the collection of restored historic buildings on Heritage Street (Fig. 02) that depict daily life from different decades in Las Vegas, Boulder City, Henderson and Goldfield. Starting with the Townsite House (Fig. 03), we toured the interiors of each of the eight restored buildings. For information on some of the homes are shown below (Figs. 03 thru 08). The print shop is a replica that was built in a style that was popular during the late 1800's and early 1900's. It is filled with a variety of printing equipment used by print shops and newspapers during 1890's to the 1940's. Next was the "Mobile America". The most interesting was the Spartenette Trailer (Fig. 04), built in 1948. It was moved from the Golden Rule Trailer Court, Pittman (Henderson) and restored to the time period of the 1960's. Considering its age, we were amazed by how "roomy" it was. The Babcock & Wilcox House (Fig. 05) was one of 12 houses constructed in April of 1933 for Babcox and Willcox Company employees during the construction of the Hoover Dam. The Giles/ Barcus House was built in 1924 in Goldfield, Nevada and was later moved to 57 E. Hacienda, Las Vegas, Nevada in 1955. It was moved to the museum in 1991 and restored to the period of an Odd Shop Antique Store. Probably the most expensive and elaborate home was the Goumand House. The last host was the Beckly House (Fig. 08). (con't below)
                        
(Fig. 03)
The Townsite House: The Townsite House was moved here from 302 West Basic, Henderson. A three bedroom house, it is in the style of Government Temporary housing built during the building of the B.M.I's magnesium processing Plant. The town-site included 1,000 houses that, in 1944, officially became Henderson, named in honor of Charles B Henderson, a Nevada attorney and U.S. Senator. The interior walls are made of 1/4" plywood with batten strips covering the seams. The windows are situated to provide cross ventilation and a six-sided swamp cooler provided comfort during the hot weather. It was moved here in 1982 and the restored time period is 1940's.
                               
(Fig. 04)
Mobile America: We found the "Mobile America" area quite interesting. There was a Motor Court Cabin build in the 1930's. It was moved in 1987 and opened in 1997 after restoration in 1997. In the 1930's, automobile travel by average families made it necessary to create affordable accommodations. Motels were one-story, often separate buildings, with parking next to or in front of the room.
                                 
(Fig. 05)
Babcock & Wilcox House: The Babcock & Wilcox House was one of 12 houses constructed in April of 1933 for Babcox and Willcox Company employees during the construction of the Hoover Dam. It was moved from 441 Hotel Plaza in Bolder City in 1987 and was restored to the time period of the 1930's. This two bedroom home had a half-basement accessible from the laundry porch. The screened porch often served as a sleeping porch during he hot nights of summer.
                           
Giles/Barcus House: The Giles/Barcus House was built in 1924 in Goldfield, Nevada and was later moved to 57 E. Hacienda, Las Vegas, Nevada in 1955. It was moved to the museum in 1991 and restored to the period of an Odd Shop Antique Store.

(Fig. 06)
Goumond House: The Goumond House, a Tudor Revival style, was built in 1931. It was moved in 1984 and restored to a period of 1950. It was purchased by Pros J. Goumond, owner of the Boulder Club on Fremont Street. A full basement sat under the home in its original location and it also featured one of the first private swimming pools in Las Vegas. Moving required the removal and separate transportation of the rock-work and carport, that now houses a 1959 Studebaker Lark (Fig. 07). Once at the museum, all parts were reinstalled and renovation took over ten years.
                                   
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
Beckley House: The Beckley House is a bungalow California style house that was built in 1912 at 120 S. Fourth Street. Over the years, as the family grew, they added on four rooms. Leva Beckley lived in the house until 1978, when at age 93 her ill health forced her to move in with family members. A local landmark because it was the last pioneer home left in downtown Las Vegas, it was finally donated to the museum in 1979. It was restored to a period of 1920's.

(Fig. 09)

                             
(Fig.10)
Trip Notes Continued: We then wandered over to the the 1932 Boulder City Depot and a real 1918 Union Pacific steam engine and collection of railroad cars that recall the railroad heritage of southern Nevada (Fig. 09). We even walked through the  old-time Crummy, (railroad talk for caboose) (Fig. 10). We then entered the mining exhibit filled with mineral specimens; wandered though a resurrected ghost town and a half-mile nature trail; and a pueblo of the ancient ones. Though most of the items in these areas are in much decay, many items offer a perspective on life in the hot and arid Southwest environment (Fig. 11).  No matter what your age, the Clark County Museum is a place where you can explore the rich and colorful history of Southern Nevada. The Esslinger Barn (Fig. 12) was relocated in 2002 from the corner of Charleston and Lindell. It has been restored to a time period of between 1910 to 1970. It now houses personnel items from the Esslinger family and artifacts that depict the many uses od barns from cows and horses to farm equipment and wagons. There is even a car that was built by Sears and Roebuck. There is the General Store from the Last Frontier Village, c. 1950 (Fig. 13) and the Tuscarora Jail from Tuscarora, Nevada, c. 1880 (Fig. 14). In summary, we spent nearly an entire afternoon visiting this expansive museum and were both amazed by how much was available to see. This is a must see for anyone who is interested in the history of Las Vegas and southern Nevada.
                                       
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)




Kodachrome Road Drive

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This page last updated on 04/13/2017
(Fig. 01)
04/10/2017 Trip NotesThis whole area, located just west of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Lava Butte is called Rainbow Gardens. This is my forth trip to Rainbow Gardens and my second drive down Kodachrome Road. Kodachrome Rd runs north to south and is the road that spans the west edge of Rainbow Gardens. We drove the entire length of this road (approximately 8 miles) to the edge of Las Vegas and the western edge of the County Clarke Wetlands Park and the Sunrise Trailhead Park. We had a picnic lunch at the park before heading home. While driving Kodachrome Road we stopped several times along the way (Figs. 02 & 03) to take in the scenic views (Figs. 01 & 06), examine the unique geology (Figs. 02 & 04) and to take pictures of the variety of flowering plants and cactus (Figs. 05 & 06) scattered along the road. (Continued below)

(Fig. 02)

                                   
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
Trip Notes Continued: From the pictures in (Figs.02 & 03), you can see the veins of gypsum common for this area. Gypsum is one of the commonest sulfate mineral. Though pure gypsum is white, other substances such as here have impurities that give a wide range of colors. Proof of the abundance of gypsum in this general area is the Pabco Gypsum Plant, located less than 10 miles from this location. Pabco, who's main product is wallboard, is one of the largest gypsum plants in the world. On its 4,000 acres, it has a gypsum deposit of at least 120 feet thickness that will last this plant 500 years.
                                 
If you click on the picture in (Fig. 07), you can see the two towers at the top of Frenchman Mountain (elevation 4.055 feet) in the center of the picture. The picture in (Fig. 05) above is a California Bearpoppy (Arctomecon californica)  a.k.a. the Las Vegas Bearpoppy. This perennial forb only grows in gypsum-rich soils near Lake Mead, which is in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zone. They also occur in the Gold Butte region and along the south side of Lake Mead near Bonelli Landing (towards Temple Bar). These plants can most easily be seen along Northshore Road (Lake Mead NRA). The entire length of this road was loaded with dozens of these rare plants on both sides of the road. Prior to this trip I have only had the opportunity to view Bearpoppy's on three other occasions, and never in this abundance (Fig. 08) we observed here. In addition to the Bearboppy's there were more than a half-dozen other plants and wildflowers (Fig. 09).
                                           
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
Back to the summary page ... Rainbow Gardens & Lava Butte - Summary Page