Saturday, 28 September 2013

Las Vegas and Palm Springs

Well I have been home for 4 days and figured I better get me home on the Blog but as usual I have been go, go , go since I stepped foot back in Calgary and am struggling to keep up to date. After leaving Valley of Fire I headed in to Las Vegas and without a lot of difficulty ended up at my friends place by Nellis Air Force Base. The biggest problem was I thought I had the wrong address as I could not believe they lived in this beautiful home.
Bill designed it and had it built. Wow! I had my choice of 5 bedrooms each one with its own television and bathroom. There is even a theatre with 8 lovely leather lazy boy chairs. A vanishing edge swimming pool and the whole thing overlooks all of Las Vegas.
Soon Bill will have the garden trains set up in his yard . Lynn and I took a ride downtown just so I could say I had been in Vegas but I never stepped into a casino or did the usual Las Vegas stuff.
That night we went to a friends to an 80th birthday party for a friend of a friend and I met Teri and her friend Igor and Teri wrote a book about Igor and the roadrunner he befriended. Great story. The next day after hiking the mountain we drove out to Lake Mead. This is the first time I had ever seen it and it is lovely. They have a boat and often go there fishing.

We went to this lovely restaurant in Boulder City for lunch and then for ice cream afterward and out to the railroad display where Bill volunteers as engineer/brakeman/conductor.
This bench was outside an antique store in Boulder City.
The last day was very interesting for me We went to Pioneer days at Spring Mountain Ranch. Bill was playing with his fiddle group and I was sitting watching and received this wonderful glorious kiss from Penelope the cow. She thinks it is her duty to greet everyone who comes to the ranch. What a character. Here is a picture of Bill playing with his group.
Before they started I went for a hike. This area is known as Red Rock Canyon and I took these interesting pictures. 

There was a little lake back there known as Lake Harriet.

The occasion at the ranch was Pioneer Days and that is why the fiddlers were there and then there were representatives from Mountain Man Rendevous and Civil War Re-enactment and they had candle making and washing on a scrub board and ringer and flute and drum playing. A lot of families were there participating in these wonderful fun and historic events. Lynn took me over to the Ranch House and we did a tour. The ranch was originally started by the Paiyute Indians of the area. Then it was sold to a Mr George who rose chinchilla's He was the furrier to the stars. It was then sold to Vera Krupp who lived there. She was the daughter of a very rich German industrialist and she took acting in Germany and then came to America to become a Hollywood actress. She is famous for marrying Mr Krupp and he gave her the Krupp diamond which was Later stolen from her and found by her heirs and auctioned off to a man by the name of Richard Burton who gave it to his wife Elizabeth Taylor. Vera had a secret room added to the ranch house and the door to this room posed as a closet door. The ranch was then sold to Howard Hughes but there is no indication he ever went there and the ranch went into a caretaker state. Very interesting and fun story.

Penelope manning the greeting line 
Drumming and the gentleman in the corner is playing the flute 
Bet you cannot tell this is father and son. Wow I just had to get a picture. 
Some of the buildings of the original ranch.
We went from here to a potluck and jam session over at Blue Diamond Ranch not far away. That night we went back home and watched the Stampeders get beaten by the Blue Bombers. The next morning we went for breakfast at the Timbers a Packers Bar and then I headed for Palm Springs. I stuck to the Interstate as it was very windy and I was not comfortable with taking the back road through Amboy. I arrived at Ken and Karen's early and we got the bike parked and the next day just hung around the house and Tuesday I flew out of Palm Springs and landed here in Calgary at 5:30. I went to Beavers and the next night was group committee and then Thursday saw me at a Richard's Ride meeting and that evening Scout popcorn kickoff. Never a dull moment.

Thursday, 19 September 2013


Sorry about that. Looks like incredible was the word of the day in the last Blog.

Zion and Valley of Fire

The motel in Cedar City was so nice. I felt so pampered and the staff were great. The Abbey Inn in Cedar City Utah.

It is located off I15 just off exit 59. It has lots of food places surrounding. It is in the heart of the Canyonlands and everything is conveniently close So after breakfast the first day I headed for Cedar Breaks and Kolob canyon which I reported on yesterday. When I got back I went to the IHop right next door for dinner and was pleasantly surprised in that my dinner was paid for by complete strangers. WOW. The next morning after a lovely breakfast again I packed up and headed out. I decided to go through Zion proper and get new pictures. It was very crowded but I went through the 1.1 mile tunnel both ways and then carried on to Valley of Fire in Nevada. Here are some of the phenominal photos I took.
The sheer cliff faces in Zion are such a contrast to the sandstone of Cedarbreaks and Bryce. It is overpowering to view these magnificent edifaces and see the awe inspiring forces of nature. My favorite is the checkerboard mesa. It looks like someone took a square and a black marker and marked off the mountain.
I finally left this incredible place and headed to another incredible place. Again the same only different. Bright red rock. That is why it is called The Valley of Fire and is Nevada's First State Park. Here the red rocks are pockmarked with holes. Holes everywhere. One can see many faces and shapes like a giant sculptor has tried to portray something and then thrown away his failures in a heap.
This was an overview of Rainbow Vista. Sorry there is so much road and I tried to cut it out but with my limited ability this is the result but it gives an idea of how vast this place is. I almost missed much of this place but turned around and went back to the visitors center. A must.. as questions are answered and another road is taken to this beautiful place. The reason this spot is different from the rest is that it used to be the bottom of a sea and as one takes one of the many trails through the soft red sand, one can visualize just that.
And after reaching the end of the park I headed to Las Vegas and my friends place. I drove right by their home. That cannot be it! It is a beautiful mansion with this incredible yard with a vanishing edge swimming pool, It's own mine. And eventually it will have model trains throughout the back yard. It is so beautiful. Pictures in the next episode.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Cedar Breaks and Kolob Canyon

The Sundowner Inn was a bit of a dump but effort was made to keep it clean and the continental breakfast was good but I made up for that. I headed for Cedar City Utah and am currently at the Abbey Inn. It is really a beautiful place and very beautiful considering there is a complimentary free breakfast and all kinds of food places right next door and down the street. The only complaint I have at present is the wind is very high and not fun at all out on the bike. However several beautiful spots are not far away and I went to see them. Cedar Breaks...The amphitheater is gorgeous with all its many brilliant colors and formations. It is similar to Bryce Canyon but has its own unique geology.
Cedar Breaks
I met a whole group of Germans again on Harley's rented from Eagle Rider in Las Vegas. It seems to be a very popular thing to do in Germany and no wonder with all the wondrous things there are to see. After viewing this awesome spectacle I headed back to Cedar City and fueled up and grabbed some water and a sandwich from Jimmy Johns and headed for Kolob Canyon part of Zion National Park but I had never heard of it before. Oh My What can I say. It is so wondrous it is beyond belief.
The sheer red rock cliffs are absolutely ethereal. I even did a 1.12 mile hike up to a point where one could see the plateau that is the start of the Grand Canyon.
I took all of these other pictures on the trail.
Rocks through a knarly ole juniper.
Through the branches of a bristlecone pine.
In one spot the trail tended to be wet so this is how they coped. They made little islands of logs and dirt and left spaces so the water could run between them leaving the path intact. Rather unique and rustic.
Joe, just for you..Who did I talk to? A couple from San Antonio Texas in a car,A couple from Saskatoon Sask Marie who teaches German and her husband. A couple Valerie and Rick from Tuscon Arizona on a Honda GoldWing and Paul from Pleasant Valley Utah on a Goldwing Trike. I would still be out there meeting all these wonderful people but I opted to come back to the Abbey Inn and finish my blog and have dinner and go for a swim because the wind was very strong. Oh!!!The Hard Life I Lead. I will leave you with a couple more pictures of this wonderful Canyon.
In this picture I was trying to show the vertical crack on the little tower in the middle. I am sure I have often viewed these mesas from the air and wondered where the were. I am positive I have solved this mystery and will be sure to look on the 24th as I fly from Palm Springs.