Andy Warhol Exhibit at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

Warhol 11 Cowboys & IndiansThis past week, my friend and fellow hiking partner, Blake Smith and I took in the Andy Warhol Exhibit at Bellagio’s Gallery of Fine Art. Though neither of us had ever been avid followers of his work, we both thought we would be remiss if we didn’t take the opportunity to view this collection from one of America’s most iconic pop culture artists. As I’m sure is true for most America’s who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, I was familiar with some of his well known portrayals of consumer goods, like the “Campbell’s Soup Cans” on “Cow Wallpaper”, however, it was his lessor know “Cowboys and Indians” series, one of his last works created in 1986, shortly before his death that I was unfamiliar with, that drew my attention to this exhibit. Click here to learn more about this exhibit … Andy Warhol Exhibit at Bellagio's Gallery of Fine Art.

Bellagio’s Summer Exhibit

EP-P1020363This summer's lush floral exhibition is titled “Summer Garden Party”. As usual, it is made up of tens of thousands flowers that are stocked fresh every week over the length of the exhibit. It features a 50-foot long glass greenhouse, turned bird aviary, a 26-foot tall red lighthouse, three ponds, and a life-like tree-house. This beautiful exhibit ends on September 8th, so if you haven’t taken the time to “smell the roses” yet, be sure and stop by; you will feel better within minutes of entering its enchanting spaces. Click here for pictures and a detailed description … Bellagio Botanical Garden - Summer Garden Party.

The Spring Mountain’s Carpenter I Canyon Fire

EP-P1020139Over the first half of July, I followed the fire, known as Carpenter I,  that raged in the Spring Mountains for more than three weeks. On a few occasions I was even able to capture some distant pictures of the ever billowing plumes of smoke. On 7/18 I traveled with a friend to the west side of the range to evaluate the damage. Today, 7/25, twenty-five days after it was started by a lightening strike, it was reported that it was 95% contained. Click this link for pictures and information … Carpenter I Canyon Fire.

Pages Uploaded in Jul 2013

Desert Bighorn Sheep - Mowing Duty
Places & Events - Andy Warhol Exhibit at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
Birds - Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
Birds/Collages - The Birds of Bellagio
Places & Events - Bellagio Botanical Garden - Summer Garden Party
Plants & Flowers and Textures In Nature - Green Manzanita (Ericaceae Arctostaphylos)
Cactus - Mojave Mound Cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus)
Carpenter 1 Fire - Carpenter 1 (canyon) Fire - The Aftermath
Carpenter 1 Fire Carpenter 1 (canyon) Fire
Horses - Feral Horses at Cold Creek - NV
Places & Events - Historic Boulder Dam Hotel - Boulder City, NV
Cactus - Banana Yucca (Yucca baccata - torr)
UPDATED Daytrip - Lava Butte & Rainbow Gardens
Mt. Charleston - Trout Canyon Fire & Sunset Pictures


Mountain Springs Saloon (Summary Page)

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This page last updated on 10/13/2017
(Fig. 01)
10/12/2017 Trip Notes: On this date, Harvey Smith, Bob Croke, Jim Herring and I made a quick stop here for some beers after a hike to the Rainbow Spring.

07/28/2013 Trip Notes: The “World Famous” Mountain Springs Saloon (Figs. 01 & 02) is one of only two public buildings in the small community of Mountain Springs located in the pass that crosses over the Spring Mountains. Just 15 minutes west of I-15 and Blue Diamond (Silverton Casino), it is on Highway 160 between Las Vegas and Pahrump. At an elevation of 5,490 feet, the temperature at the bar is nearly 20 degrees cooler than the Vegas. If you’re looking for some mountain views, cooler weather, reasonably priced drinks, live 60’s and 70’s music (weekends), regulation horseshoe pits, good BBQ, and a “biker bar” atmosphere (Fig. 03), this is the place to go. The bands may not be the greatest, nor the food the best, but the relaxed atmosphere is hard to beat. Unfortunately their website is not kept up to date, as we stopped by for an advertised “pig roast” only to be told that it was held the day before. They were however barbequing some brisket (Figs. 05 & 06) off the patio area (Fig. 04) at the rear of the property. Behind the rear patio we were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful “Water Lilly” pond filled with gold fish (Figs. 07-09). Having been “bikers” in our previous life (176,000 miles on a Goldwing), I enjoyed roaming the parking lot admiring some of the motorcycles (Figs. 10 & 11) in attendance. Even though the weather became cloudy and threatened rain, it still turned out to be a fun afternoon.
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Town of Mountain Springs: Mountain Springs is a small community in Clark County in southern Nevada. It is located in the pass over the Spring Mountains through which Highway 160 connects Las Vegas and Pahrump. Public buildings include a fire house and a saloon. The population is estimated to be near 175. The community was named for the springs that once served as a stop on the Old Spanish Trail. The latitude of Mountain Springs is 36.020N. The longitude is -115.508W. It’s elevation is 5,410 feet.

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Post Update to Lava Butte and Rainbow Gardens

E-P1090817Yesterday I updated a page with pictures and info from a daytrip that Harvey Smith and I made to the Lava Butte and Rainbow Gardens area that consisted of a drive down Kodachrome Road and Rainbow Gardens Road this past April. Done together, these two roads form a 15-mile loop through the Rainbow Gardens Basin. Click here to read more about this site ... Lava Butte and Rainbow Gardens.


Carpenter 1 (canyon) Fire

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This page last updated on 02/11/2019
Side Note - Carpenter Fire: The fire began on July 1, 2013 in Carpenter Canyon behind (north east of  Pahrump, Nevada), before spreading eastward. It was reported that it was started by lightening. After eight weeks of battling the fire, Carpenter 1 was fully contained on August 18, 2013. The fire consumed nearly 28,000 acres and resulted in the evacuation of residents and closure of businesses and portions of roads in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the Carpenter 1 fire was considered "the highest ranked priority fire in the nation" at the time of its occurrence. The fire, stretched between 5,000–11,000 feet elevations, and was fought by hundreds of firefighters and eight Hotshot crews, as well as helicopters, fire engines, water tenders, and a DC-10 tanker plane.
I created this page to follow the fire and post updates on its progress. Two and a half weeks after the fire started, Harvey and I drove to Pahrump to see what we were able to observe in the mountains. We tried to get Carpenter Canyon but were unable to get up the wash. We then drove to Trout Canyon to see if they had received any damage. Check the link below.

07/18/2013 Fire Update: Click the following link to get the latest update on the Carpenter 1 Fire and pictures and info from our visit yesterday to some of the affected areas ... Trout Canyon and Lovell Summit Road and the SMNRA.

Map-Carpenter Canyon Fire
(Fig. Map) General Area Consumed by the Fire
Yesterday (07/13 – day thirteen of the fire) heavy equipment was used to open roads and gain access into the areas which were affected by flash flooding/debris flows on Friday. This allowed firefighters to continue constructing direct line southeast into the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Creeping and smoldering with isolated single tree torching was the observed fire behavior yesterday. Structure protection continues for Kyle Canyon, also the Harris and Prospect Ranches. Crews are continuing cold trailing and construction of a line along the South Loop ridge while patrol and mop-up operations are ongoing in all areas of the fire. The area shown in the (Fig. Map) above represents the 27,971 acres (roughly 43-square miles) burned as of Friday morning. The recent wet weather has allowed firefighters battling the Carpenter 1 wildfire near Mt. Charleston to strengthen their containment lines, bringing the fire to about 43 percent containment, a significant increase from many of the previous reports which listed containment at 15 percent. The extra moisture allowed the nearly 1,400 people battling the blaze to make progress building containment lines along Kyle Canyon Road near the Rainbow neighborhood.

07/12/2013 Fire Update: The good news is that as a result of yesterday's heavy monsoon rains this massive fire is about 42% contained as of this morning. The bad news is that it has now burned 28,000 acres and is still not out.
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07/10/2013 Picture Notes: While we were out driving around yesterday, I captured some more pictures of the smoke plumes of the Carpenter Canyon fire that is still raging in Mount Charleston area of the Spring Mountains, just west of the city. The shot in (Fig. 01) was captured along NV-160 near Lovell Canyon Road on our way out to the Pahrump Valley Winery. Lovell Canyon Road was closed to fire fighting personnel only. If you look carefully at this picture, you can see some flames near the middle of the plume. The picture in (Fig. 02) was taken out by Red Rock Canyon near the turnoff for Calico Basin.
Fire Notes: Today (07/11) we received some much needed rain that we hope will aid the firefighting efforts against this huge fire. Yesterday was the 10th day of this fire, which now according to estimates is only 15% contained and has burned more than 25,000 acres – approximately 40-square miles. As of late yesterday some more elite out of state firefighting crews joined the effort to control this blaze, bringing the total number of firefighters to more than 1,048.
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07/08/2013 Picture Note: Captured the picture in (Fig. 03) above from the highway coming back into Las Vegas with our friends Jim Herring and his daughter Christina after a daytrip out to Boulder City for lunch and a visit to the Hoover Dam and the Mike O'Callihan/Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. It shows the smoke from the Trout Canyon fire, now in its 8th day, blanketing the city of Las Vegas. So far this fire is only 15% contained and has already burned 18,000 acres or about three square miles. They don’t expect to have it under control until the 19th of July. Jim sent me the bottom picture (Fig. 04) that he took from his house in north Las Vegas after he got home that evening.
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07/05/2013 Picture Notes: After picking company up from the airport on Friday afternoon, I captured these pictures on the way over to my friends house in North Las Vegas. (Fig. 05) was taken while stopped at an intersection off US-95. The pictures in (Figs. 06-08) were taken from a mall outside an In & Out Burger.

Side Note - Fire Notes: The fire, ignited Monday by lightning just south of Carpenter Canyon in the Spring Mountains, covered about 1,950 acres by Thursday. The growing wildfire forced residents to come down the hill Thursday afternoon and leave their homes behind. By Friday night the fire spread to near Mount Charleston. Having grown to about 6,000 acres, it prompted 520 residents to evacuate. Trout and Kyle canyon communities northwest of Las Vegas are under mandatory evacuations, while Lee Canyon is open only to residents. The fire remained completely unconstrained by early Friday afternoon. Officials say they expect winds up to 35 mph and extreme fire behavior throughout Friday and Saturday. Roads and trails in the area are closed, as is all access to Mount Charleston Peak.
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The Birds of Bellagio

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Bellagio Bird Collage
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07/24/2013 Picture Notes: This summer's floral exhibition inside Bellagio's 13,573 square foot Conservatory & Botanical Gardens was built around a green house (Fig. 03) that is 13 feet high, 36 feet long and 14 feet wide. Decorated with many aged antique tools, it provides a habitat for Rosey Bourke Parakeets, Canaries, Cockatiels and 50 Finch birds. Even though I had to stand several feet from the sides of the greenhouse, and peer through the reflections on the glass, I was still lucky enough to capture enough shots to make the two collages in (Figs. 01 & 02).

Bellagio Bird Collage-2
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Mowing Duty

Image Title Bar 02 Sheep

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07/08/2013 Picture Notes: Recently I took some visiting company to Hemenway Park in Boulder City to see the Desert Bighorn Sheep that usually frequent the park. Designated the official state animal of Nevada, these gentile animals are always a pleasure to see and fun to watch. Sure enough, there were nearly thirty of them roaming the area and grazing on the parks lush grasses. Many were just enjoying sitting in the shade of the park’s trees (Fig. 02). Because the four in (Fig. 01) appeared to be on a mission, organized and oblivious to everything around them, I titled this picture, “Mowing Duty”. Unlike on previous visits, where many of the sheep appeared to be much “older” and more mature, the majority of those we observed today appeared to be relative young.

Cold Creek Feral Horses - Trip Notes for 07/10/2013

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This page last updated on 04/12/2018
Picture Notes: On 07/10/2013, I drove some company that was visiting from Kansas out to Cold Creek to see if we could get lucky and capture some pictures of feral horses that commonly roam the area. We were not disappointed. During the nearly two hours we spent there, we must have observed more that 25 of these wild animals either walking the road or roaming the desert areas along side the road leading to town. Stopping on several occasions for a closer look and some “petting” opportunities, I was able to capture several dozen pictures, which I narrowed down to the half dozen or so shown here. As you can see in (Figs. 06 & 07), Jim and his daughter Christina were both amazed at how “tame” most of the animals were; many times walking right up to us for closer inspection, or more likely looking for a handout. If you have never been to Cold Creek, I encourage you to make the time for a visit. As many times as I have been here, I never come away disappointed. Note: If you do go to visit this area, please resist the urge to offer them food, as it is illegal to feed them.  
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Boulder Dam Hotel - Boulder City

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This page last updated on 01/09/2018
(Fig. 01)
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This Dutch Colonial-style hotel (Figs. 01 & 02) is located in the heart of the historic district of downtown Boulder City. Built in 1933 to accommodate the many visiting government and corporate project managers that were supervising the building of Hoover Dam, the Boulder Dam Hotel quickly gained a world wide reputation from a steady flow of dignitaries and celebrities. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places on August 19, 1982. Today this charming hotel  provides a 24/hour front desk inside its beautiful main lobby and offers 20 quaint, comfortable, newly-remodeled rooms and suites with all of the modern amenities including free wi-fi internet service and a “cooked to order” continental breakfast. The beautifully decorated lobby with period furnishings going back to the 30’s and 40’s is ideal for capturing some “period” photos such as that found in (Fig. 03) below. I want to give special thanks to my two models, Jim Herrington and his daughter Christina for providing these two great poses.
(Fig. 03)
There is even a small “Boulder Dam Museum” located behind the lobby that highlights the experiences and suffering of the men and families who built Hoover Dam. It makes you appreciate both the determination and character of our ancestors and the harsh life and conditions that they endured in the building of this colossal dam, recognized as one of seven man-made wonders of the U. S.

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However, in addition to the charm of the hotel itself, I feel the real hidden “gem” here is “Matteo’s, a restaurant & lounge that is located inside the hotel just off the beautifully furnished and decorated lobby. Open to the public for breakfast and lunch, the newly remodeled dining room offers a casual and relaxing dining atmosphere that harkens back to the era of the 30’s & 40’s (Fig. 05). Its menu offers a unique split featuring authentic Northern Italian & Continental cuisine. The Italian side of the menu features recipes directly from Rome and a broad continental side, which will appeal to most everyone. All of its menu offerings are well prepared, with portions large enough to fill any hungry traveler. It even offers outdoor dining & entertainment in a beautiful little courtyard (Fig. 04). This restaurant makes the perfect before of after stop whenever visiting Hoover Dam and the new Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge or when just pursuing the dozens of quaint shops and antique establishments the permeate Boulder City’s downtown historic district. Over the years we have shared many enjoyable dining experiences here with several of our friends, neighbors and relatives (Figs. 06-08). Our most recent lunch visit with company is portrayed in the (Fig. 09) polyptych – Jim and his huge Club Sandwich, Connie with a Chili Bowl topped with chopped onions, cheese and a side of homemade Cornbread, Christina with Chicken Fingers and Sweet Potato Fries, and myself with homemade Split-pea Soup and homemade Cornbread, and oh yea, unlimited refills on ice teas and beverage drinks. Love it! 
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Boulder Dam Motel
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