Part 1: Las Vegas and Red Rock Park


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The Experience

Kathleen's sister Dee had never been in the Mojave Desert, so the passage to Las Vegas provided some interesting views of the desert.  We stayed in a room in the Monte Carlo "Resort" for the duration.  I was not very impressed with the quarters as the room was old, tired and only marginally comfortable.  But, it did have the one critical quality that was desired - co-location with the venue, thus making travel to and from the show trivial.

Our plan was to take Dee to Red Rock Canyon and then to Hoover Dam as both are within easy striking distance of our hotel.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

The view from the window of our room was interesting, but I could not open the window for a clear shot.  Sadly, the windows were quite dirty, preventing a good photo.  But, the photo above gives you an idea of the view.  The building at the lower left of the photo above is a parking structure.  The bottom right is the roof of the Monte Carlo's gaming area.

Visible to the south of our location was the New York New York hotel and the promotional billboard for the MGM.

I tried to get a reasonable shot of the nightime views, but the dirt on the window made that impossible.  The odd glow around the lights are due to the dirt.

The sun woke me up and I was able to get a shot of the Vegas sunrise.  Note the helicopter in the upper right of the photo above.  The commuter flights start before sunrise so visitors can see the sun rise over the eastern mountains.

The space-age looking structure on the left is part of the Aria Hotel.  The area between the Aria and the Monte Carlo was undergoing construction.  The structure at the bottom center of the photo is the tram station for the MGM properties.  The tram must have cost a fortune, but it only stops at MGM properties thus "keeping patrons within the MGM ecosystem".

We piled into the car and headed west toward Red Rock Canyon.  The temperatures were moderate, but there was residual clouds from the storm a few days previous.  The storm dumped snow on the upper reaches of the Spring Mountains.

 Outcroppings of red and white sandstone are visible within the park.

This area of mountains was formed due to uplift, folding and faulting.  Note the arch of a monocline in the photo above.

The view from the visitor's center shows both the red and white sandstone rock in the far cliffs.

Kathleen spotted this young rabbit in the parking lot of the visitor's center.

We drove the car on the loop road and got close to the sandstone cliffs.  Note the person on the flake at the bottom center of the photo above.

Sandstone erodes and weathers rather fast (for stone) and can produce interesting patterns.  These cliffs were once sand dunes and the bedding of the dunes is visible in the rock.

The sun broke through the overcast to provide better lighting.  There had been a recent "burn" in the area; note the stumps of the Joshua Trees.  The multicolored strata are clearly visible in the far canyon walls.

The white sandstone abuts the red sandstone producing an interesting effect.

The sun was starting to win the war with the clouds providing partial views of the peaks beyond.

The cliffs in the distance were steep and rugged.

The loop drive brought us close to the massive cliffs allowing us to see the finer detail in the cliff walls.

A side road headed deeper into the cliffs, but our schedule did not allow that path.  Note the snow on the higher cliffs.

This side canyon is steep and narrow and oh-so-much-fun in heavy rains.  The combination of flash flood potential and debris being washed off the cliffs would make the canyon a dangerous place to be during rain.

We were "on the clock" for this trip and to see what we planned and still return in time for the show, we needed to head on to our next destination: Hoover Dam.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2017, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.