Sunday

Site Introduction

Welcome to my Photo Gallery. With more than 1,438 posts and counting, many containing multiple pictures, I estimate that there are now more than 6,150 pictures on a wide variety of subjects scattered throughout the site that have received more than 301,088 page views. Because most of the pictures shown here have been captured while hiking areas in and around Las Vegas, the site has somewhat evolved into more of a hiking journal; listing and describing the places I have visited. There are five ways to find information on the site. [1] To locate a page on a specific place or subject, use the SEARCH THIS BLOG box located in the upper left side of the home page. For additional ways to locate specific pages ... {click "Read more >>" below}

Saturday

Recently Added Pages

Click here to see a list of site maintenance actions ... Notes on Recent Site Maintenance


November 2017 Posts (by Category & Title
NEW - McCullough Range - Exploring the McCullough Range
NEW - Art - Sculpture - Seven Magic Mountains

October 2017 Posts (by Category & Title
NEW - Black&White - B&W Images of Cathedral Gorge
UPDATED - Cathedral Gorge - Cathedral Gorge State Park (Summary Page)
NEW - Cathedreal Gorge - Cathedral Gorge State Park - Trip Notes for 10/18/2017
UPDATED - Lovell Canyon Road - Rainbow Spring Road (Summary Page)
                  
Click the "Read more" link below to view a list of 2016-2017 Year-to-Date posts ... 
Click here to view an index of ALL HIKES Listed by Previous Year and Month ...                          Click here to view an index of ALL HIKES by location: Daytrips & Hike Index

Note: Every attempt is made to provide accurate information on the posts made on this site, but occasionally depictions may be inaccurate due to error of available information at the time of posting, mapping, navigation or cataloging. The information on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied, and is indended for informational and historical purposes only.

If you have any comments regarding any of these postings, or if you would like to be placed on my mailing list, click here for contact information ... Contact Me.

Friday

Daytrip - The Las Vegas Strip

This page last updated on 04/02/2017

Earlier this year Jim Herring and I spent several hours touring CityCenter, the 16,797,000-square-foot, 76 acre collection of hotels, casinos and residential buildings on the Las Vegas Strip. In addition to CityCenter's 40 million dollar modern art collection, I hope to be adding additional pictures of art and unique architectural structures that I have collected over the past several years. If you haven't already visited this collection, Click on the picture/title above and it will take you to a post containing links to dozens of pictures and art installations and unique structures found throughout the city of Las Vegas. 

Tuesday

Daytrip - Exploring the McCullough Range

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Back on 11 November, Harvey Smith and I decided to explore the hills of the Northern McCullough Range. Our mode of transportation for the day was Harvey's 4WD Polaris Ranger. This area is huge and encompasses more than 45 thousand acres. Its peaks and ridges are rocky and rough, with heights spanning from 2,000 feet at the eastern base of the range to 5,092 feet at Black Mountain. Infrequent visitor use and the need for route finding skills provide great opportunities for solitude and four wheel exploring. Click the following link for pictures and a brief description of the days activities ... Exploring the McCullough Range.

Sunday

Daytrip - Seven Magic Mountains

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On November 1st Harvey and I took a ride out to the town of Goodsprings and Sandy Valley to investigate the access road leading to the top of Mount Potosi. For several reasons, we found out that we would not be able to attempt this trip in the near future. On the way home we went thru Jean and visited the Seven Magic Mountains located in the Ivanpah Valley between Jean and Las Vegas. Click here for pictures and to read about this outdoor land-based art installation ... Seven Magic Mountains.

Wednesday

Exploring the McCullough Range

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This page last updated on 11/20/2017
(Fig. 01)
(Fig. 02)
Area Description: The map above shows the area of the North McCullough Range that we explored. This area is huge and encompasses more than 45 thousand acres. This area of the north-south trending range is comprised of ancient metamorphic rock. Upon closer inspection, you will see that the peaks and ridges are rocky and rough, with heights spaning from 2,000 feet at the eastern base of the range to 5,092 feet at Black Mountain (refer to Fig. 02). The peaks are volcanic in origin, rounded to flat-topped, and have a steep eastern escarpment and a gradual western slope. In addition the North McCullough Wilderness Area is within the newly designated Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area which allows further protection and enhancement. There is a wide, deeply cut bajada on the east side of the mountains. The lower slopes are comprised of gently tilted alluvial deposits of unsorted sand, gravel, and cobbles.  Infrequent visitor use and the need for route finding skills provide great opportunities for solitude and four wheel exploring. The landscape ranges from approximately 3,000 to 7,000 feet in elevation and displays a thriving Mojave Desert filled with creosote bush, Mojave yucca, banana yucca, buckhorn cholla, catclaw acacia, apache plume, blackbrush and Joshua trees. As we explored the area shaded in yellow on the map in Fig. 02, we encountered several jackrabbits and one coyote.

11/11/2017 Trip Notes: Today Harvey Smith and I decided to explore the hills of the Northern McCullough Range. Our mode of transportation for the day was Harvey's 4WD Polaris Ranger (Fig. 03). Our starting point was from the backyard of some friends behind the Mission Hills development, upper right corner of (Fig. 02). Only a short distance from the start, encountered the view in (Fig. 01) above. As we reached the first ridge we looked down into the large bajada that borders the east side of the McCullough Range. As you can see, there are power lines in almost every picture. There are no less than 8 separate power lines that cross the entire area, some wooden old, some steel new ones (Figs. 05, 06 & 07). I assume that most of them originate at the Boulder Dam and wind their way into the Las Vegas valley. (con't below)
                                          
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
Trip Notes Continued:  Once we reached the large bajada, looking due south, we could see off in the distance the panels of the large solar sites (center of Fig. 08) that border Route 95 south. (Refer to the map in Fig. 02). As we continued west towards the mountains and the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area we made several attempts to get over the mountains for a view of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, both roads we tried to follow ended up as washes (Fig. 09) that dead-ended (Fig. 10). At one point we ended up at a place looking up at the back side of the array of TV and radio towers that can be seen from Henderson. I captured this picture with my 720-zoom lens (Fig. 11). (Refer to the map in Fig. 02) At one point we did reach a ridge that provided a view of the west side of Henderson (Fig.12). After more than two hours we headed back to our starting point (Fig. 13). As we approached the area of Mission Hills, it provided us a view of  Black Butte in the background, located on the northeast end of Las Vegas (Fig. 14). As you can see from these pictures, it was a sunny day that was in the mid 70's. Just another beautiful day to be out in the quiet wilderness, away from the sounds of the city of Las Vegas.

(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)

Saturday

Daytrip - Cathedral Gorge State Park

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On 10/18/2017, on the return of a recent trip to Pioche, Nevada, Harvey Smith and I decided to visit Cathedral Gorge for a second time to capture a few more pictures. I find the unique geology of this park to be fascinating and always worth a stop. A short side road from the highway leads to a picnic area opposite the Cathedral Caves, closer to the edge of the gorge. The brightly-colored cliffs and spires provide the opportunity walk through nearly a dozen caves notched in to the eroding cliffs. Click here for pictures and a description of this recent visit ... Cathedral Gorge State Park - Trip Notes for 10/18/2017.

Friday

Daytrip - Rainbow Spring Road

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On 10/12/2017 Harvey Smith, Bob Croke, Jim Herring and I attempted to reach the Rainbow Springs and the ridges of the Wilson Cliffs east of the spring. Having not been there for fours years, I got confused and mistakenly thought the access road was the first right off Lovell Canyon Road. Wrong. Unfortunately, some mapping services erroneously referred to this road as Rainbow Spring road. However, while hiking around we came across one of the largest agave roasting pits I have ever seen. Click here for a link for pictures and information on this hike ... Rainbow Spring Road (Summary Page).

Monday

Index for Category – Black & White

Daytrip - Mt Charleston Wilderness Area

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On 09/30/2017 Jim Herring, Connie and I made a daytrip of driving around the 57,442 acre Mt. Charleston Wilderness AreaThe purpose of our trip was to locate and photograph some Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) trees and have a picnic lunch. Due to recent drops in temperatures, we guessed that it was about time for the broad trembling leaves of these white-barked deciduous trees to be turning. As you will see from the pictures in this post, we guessed the right time. If you want to enjoy these fall colors, I would suggest that you make a trip to here within the next several days. Click here to see this post ... Mt. Charleston's Quaking Aspens.

RoadTrip - Grand Canyon Railway

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At the beginning of March in 2009, we took a trip to the South rim of the Grand Canyon National Park. After driving to Williams, Arizona, we took the Grand Canyon Railway that travels 65 miles to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. A recent review of my site revealed to me that I had never taken the time created a page to showcase the pictures of this momentous occasion. The link that follows is the result of a recently posted page to cover this unique journey ... Grand Canyon Railway.

Sunday

B&W Images of Cathedral Gorge

(Fig. 01)
Discussion:  The lack of color in a photograph better accentuates the light and shadows in a picture. It can help keep you focused on the actual composition and texture of the photo. It allows you to focus on shapes, light and shadows, and perspective, and it can make a unique impression upon the viewer that cannot be seen in traditional color. The lack of color allows a viewer to more vividly visualize depth and contrast. No one has to be an expert to realize when looking at a black and white image, that it is something out of the ordinary.

The six black and white landscape pictures here were all taken at the Cathedral Gorge State Park in Panaca Nevada.  I think you have to agree, that the conversion of the original color photos (seen in Fig. 07 below) to black and white allows these pictures to take on the look and feel of a moonscape or alien-like planet landscapes. The fact that the landscapes found here are almost completely devoid of any living plants or vegetation seem to add to the unworldly feel. Click the link at the bottom of this page to visit the page with full color pictures and a detailed description of this park.
                         
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
Click here to go to the page on ... Cathedral Gorge State Park - Trip Notes

Seven Magic Mountains

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This page last updated on 11/19/2017
(Fig. 01)
What is it? Seven Magic Mountains is one of the largest land-based art installations in the United States. This large-scale, site-specific public artwork was nearly five years in the making. The installation is comprised of seven individual towering sculptures, mediating between geological formations and abstract compositions. Its seven colossal stone forms defy gravity with their teetering formations (Fig. 01). The shapes, reminiscent of naturally-occurring hoodoos, seem poised between monumentality and collapse. The mammoth contemporary cairns evoke the art of meditative rock balancing, and mark Rondinone's  place in the history of Land Art. I converted the picture in (Fig. 02) to provide a faux "oil painted" look.

(Fig. 02)






At first glance, one might think that these totems might be be made of lightweight polyurethane. But this is far from the truth. Each of the sculptures consists of locally-sourced limestone boulders stacked vertically in groups ranging between three and six boulders (Fig. 03), each weighing an average of 40,000 lbs, with the largest weighing just over 60,000 lbs. Over a period of five years they were carefully cut, shaved and drilled. Heavy steel rods were then inserted through each boulder to hold them together. Each stone boasts a different fluorescent color and each individual totem stands between thirty and thirty-five feet high - it's like a psychedelic Stonehenge.
                           
(Fig. 03)
Where is It?  This sculpture is situated on the far southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard along Interstate 15, approximately a half hour from downtown Las Vegas. Just off the boulevard there is a large gravel graded parking area (Fig. 04). Positioned within the Ivanpah Valley and surrounded by mountains, the piece will be on view for two years that began May 11, 2016. Its been estimated that approximately 16 million vehicles will pass the work over its two-year installation, making it one of the most visible works in the history of Land Art.”
                               
(Fig. 04)


Who is The Artist? Ugo Rondinone, born 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland, lives and works in New York and has long embraced a fluid range of forms and media. By allowing himself such formal and thematic freedom, Rondinone creates the conditions for an expansive emotional range. His work has become recognized for its ability to channel both psychological expressiveness and profound insight in the human condition and the relationship between human being and nature. Referring concurrently to the natural world, romanticism and existentialism, his works encapsulate a “mental trinity” that has underpinned his art for more than twenty years.

Bonus: On our way to visit this installation, we went via the towns of Goodsprings and Sandy Valley. Out behind Goodsprings we spotted small herd of nine wild horses way off in the distance (center of Fig. 05 - Click to enlarge). Using the 720mm zoom lens on my camera, I was able to better capture some nice pictures of these beautiful horses (Figs. 06 & 07).
                           
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)

Cathedral Gorge State Park - Trip Notes for 10/18/2017

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This page last updated on 10/18/2017

                    



(Ref. A)
Park Description: Cathedral Gorge State Park is a public recreation and nature preserve area featuring a gorge eroded through soft bentonite clay near Panaca, Nevada.  In 1935 it was established as one of the four original Nevada state parks. The park sits at an elevation of 4,800 feet above sea level, and is typically arid with semi-hot summers, and very cold winters. The state park covers more than 1,600 acres along U.S. Route 93. Refer to (Ref. A - the boundary map on the right).  A majority of Meadow Valley was covered by a freshwater lake nearly 1 million years ago during the Pliocene Era. The richly colored canyons of Cathedral Gorge (seen in Fig. 01 above) are remnants of this ancient lake-bed. Over centuries, the lake began to gradually drain. Erosion began working away at the exposed portions of sediment and gravel that once composed the lake bottom. Rainwater and melting snow carved rivulets in the soft siltstone and clay shale, splitting tiny cracks and fissures into larger and larger gullies, caves and canyons.
          
(Ref. B)



              


10/18/2017 Trip Notes: On the return of a recent trip to Pioche, Nevada, Harvey Smith and I decided to visit Cathedral Gorge for a second time to capture a few more pictures. I find the unique geology of this park to be fascinating and always worth a stop. A short side road from the highway leads to a picnic area opposite the Cathedral Caves, closer to the edge of the gorge (refer to Ref. B). Brightly-colored cliffs and spires rise quite steeply ahead (Fig. 02). I think the spires and hoodoos in this picture almost resemble the 'pipes' of a large pipe organ. As we walked around this area, we hiked into several of its many 'caves' with many narrow crevices at the outer edge of the cliffs. The walkways of these caves are often only 2 or 3 feet wide but extend inwards for up to 100 yards. There are usually many side-winding side-branches. The walls tower high overhead and the effect is very much like being underground. The further in you walk the steeper the walls become (Figs. 04 thru 06). Figure 02 above shows the entrance to one of the largest caves we entered. Most passages end abruptly, a characteristic feature of the rock, in a circular shaft with daylight visible far above (Fig. 03). These mini canyons are formed when rainwater runs off the nearby land and is channeled down the shaft, causing the 'caves' to gradually erode further back into the cliffs. The 'caves' run anywhere from 25 to 75 feet deep into the cliff side. Looking up, there are openings at the top of these caves whose walls stretch as much as 100 feet high (Fig. 03). By the time you reach the end of a cave, the temperature is 15-degrees cooler than the outside temps. By the end of our exploring, I ended up with a treasure trove of interesting pictures. (notes con't below)
                           




Trip Notes Continued: As I were editing these pictures, I got to thinking how some of them might look in black and white versa color. I think some of them bring out the textures of the soft bentonite clay more in black and white (Figs. 07 thru 09). View thhis page to see more of these pictures converted to black and white ... B&W Images of Cathedral Gorge. As you can see in Figures 08 and 09, some of these shots almost have the look and feel of a moonscape. Figures 10 and 11 are two shots taken at the Cathedral Caves site (refer to Ref. B).

Though we did not walk the short 1-mile Miller Point trail (see Fig. B) which links with an alternative northern entrance road to the park at Miller Point (Ref. B), we did drive to there. Even though several parts of the cliffs of the 'caves' have particularly fine formations, those at the north end are even more unusual. The overlook at Miller Point (Fig. 12) provides fine views southwards over the valley. From the point there are a series of steel chairs and a trail that leads to a cliff edge (Fig. 13) that overlooks a stunning view filled with hundreds of hoodoos and spires (Fig. 14). Here the main streamway branches and several forks wind through deep, narrow ravines, very much like slot canyons except that the softness of the rock often results in the flood waters eroding several passageways on different levels, forming short caves, abrupt elevation changes and strange surface textures. If you look closely at this area (Fig. 15), the grouping of hoodoos and spired cliffs almost appear like a grouping of mosques, pagodas or temples. Totally void of the typically sage-brush-rich Nevada desert vegetation, this unique and diverse landscape makes you feel like you are looking at another world. The views are just amazing. There is so many trails here that I have yet to hike, I would like to go back here again.                  
                           















Return to the summary page ... Cathedral Gorge State Park (Summary Page).