Wed, Oct 28,2020-The Fremont Street Experience

The last time we spent much time in Las Vegas was in 1984 when we were on the way to LA for the ‘84 Summer Olympics. It’s been a long time but a little Las Vegas goes a looooong way in my book!Anyway, 36 years ago Fremont Street was just a few low-rent casinos in downtown LV. The city decided it needed upgrading sometime in the ‘90’s so a glittery roof was built over maybe six blocks of Fremont, the homeless were shooed away from the area, and now it’s second only to the LV Strip for casinos, neon lights, and hotels. Here are a couple of pics I took of the FSE:
You can see how the lights on the ceiling change colors. There is also a new casino that just opened there called the Circa. The hotel won’t open until later this year but we wandered around some and saw this screen for the Sports Book:
It’s kinda hard to see in this picture but the screen is THREE STORIES TALL! You can see the chairs and tables at the bottom of the pic plus a guy standing there. It’s open to three levels of the…

Friday, Oct 23, 1020-Lost Vegas, NV

After a week in St George, UT, it was time for a change! We chose to come to Las Vegas to do a little shopping, eat at a few more places we’ve been missing, and, of course, to see all the bright lights in Las Vegas! The first thing we did was to locate not one, but TWO Columbia Sportswear Outlet Stores. We each scored a new pair of sandals and a lightweight jacket. Last night we went to the Strip mainly to watch the Bellagio Fountains. Here are a couple of pics from different sides of the fountains:
We also took a couple of pics of New York, New York and Diana with a friend at Caesar’s that are at the top of the page. Tomorrow night, it’s the Fremont Street Experience.

Monday, Oct 19, 2020-Biking Zion NP

Zion is a magnificent NP! The part of the park that is accessible by road is very limited. We drove the Mt Carmel-Zion road last Thursday to get a feel for the park and yesterday we rode our bikes on the other road into the park. It’s called the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. It goes about nine miles from the Visitor Center to the end of the road at the Temple of Sinawava. Here are a couple of pics of us along the road:
The route is lined with almost vertical canyon walls Of different shapes that reach thousands of feet. Here are more of these canyon walls:

Did we like Zion? Of course! The scenery is out of this world and displays a number of different geological periods deposited over millions of years. Is it our favorite NP? No, we preferred Bryce Canyon partially because of the crowds here. Zion is the closest NP in UT to the large population centers in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and even LA so it’s a super popular destination. Plus, Zion is close to Grand Canyon NP and the Grand Canyon is a mu…

Sunday, Oct 18, 2020-St George, UT

We drove to St George to be closer to Zion NP but discovered a new treasure trove-Restaurants! The first one we went to on Friday was an In ‘n Out Burger, yesterday was Panda Express, and today was a FDE-Fine Dining Experience at Costco! Ya gotta understand we’ve been 5.5 months near Durango, CO, in Page, AZ, and several small towns in SW Utah so our eating out options have been very limited! We still have Chipotle, Five Guys, and Cracker Barrel to go. We drove to Zion NP last Thursday afternoon to try to get information on visiting the park but we didn’t take any pics yet. One of the things we learned on our quick visit last week is that private vehicles aren’t allowed on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Shuttles run up and down the 8~mile drive but it’s flat so why not ride our bikes? That’s the plan for Monday and Wednesday this week. I’ll be posting pics along the way. I was rereading about our hike into Bryce Canyon last week but realized I forgot something! Hiking OUT of the canyo…

Wed & Thurs, Oct 14 & 15, 2020-Bryce Canyon NP

Well, we learned another new word at Bryce Canyon! It was “Monocline” at Capitol Reef NP and it’s “hoodoo” at Bryce Canton NP. It seems that a hoodoo is a tall, thin spire of rock that sticks up from a dry basin. Hum, did you notice that this short definition DIDN’T say they protrude from a CANYON! The def can’t say that because we were told and read repeatedly that Bryce Canyon is NOT a canyon in the typical sense. It seems that canyons are formed from the bottom by a river eroding the walls over time. The big one, the Grand Canyon, was carved by the Colorado River over a period of a few million years. Bryce Canyon was carved by water, snow, and wind flowing and running down into the earths opening. Anyway, it’s very unique geology. Here are a couple of pics from the rim looking down into the “canyon” at the hoodoos:
Today we took a 2.9 mile hike down into the so-called canyon. The hoodoos are much taller than they look from the rim. The 600 foot elevation drop DOWN was a piece of cak…

Monday, Oct 12, 2020-Hiking at Capitol Reef NP

We got in seven miles of trails today in Capitol Reef. The first was 4.5 miles out and back on the Grand Wash Trail. It was very flat and followed a canyon that was 50 to 100 feet wife and from 200 to probably 500 feet high. The layers of the sedimentary rock varied from red to gray to tan to black to brown.The second trail was 2.5 miles to a 133 foot natural bridge but this trail has a 400 foot elevation rise so it was shorter but more challenging. We were hiking along on this family-oriented trail and saw two strange things: First, we saw a couple hiking this rocky trail bare footed. I commented on this to the guy, who was in the lead, and then saw the woman wearing nothing above her waist! Maybe in CA or even AZ but Utah?Here is another pic of the wash:

Sunday, Oct 11, 2020-Capitol Reef NP

On the Alaska Highway during the summer of 2019, we learned a new phrase-Frost Heave. That when a section of the permafrost melts and a massive dip is created in a Highway. Today the new word we learned is Monocline. I know very little about the geology of earth’s surface (!) but the best definition I’ve been able to find is that a Monocline is a wrinkle in the surface of the earth! Capitol Reef NP’s defining feature is the nearly 100 mile long “wrinkle” named the Waterpocket Fold. If you want a deeper explanation, it’s Deposition, Uplift, and Erosion. It’s extraordinary geology as these pictures show:

We’re hiking the Grand Wash and Hickman Bridge Trails tomorrow. We’ll post some pics tomorrow night.