Arizona and Nevada
LAUNCHED: 16 March 2014. LAST UPDATED: 13 April 2014
Accessed at least
since 16 March 2014.
Tuesday 18 March 2014. Tied up loose ends and headed off from Jaffrey around 9:30am. 7 degrees when I left. Flew Boston-Dallas, then Dallas-Phoenix. Not a single empty seat on either flight. Joy and Art were at the airport in Phoenix to meet me.
Passing over Logan. Nahant down below.
Boston and Cambridge. Across the Mississippi.
Over Little Rock.
Wednesday 19 March 2014. Beautiful morning. In the 70s. What a change from Jaffrey. Off later in the morning to the end of the Light Rail line and parked and bought an all-day ticket: $2. Got off at the Skytrain and took it out to the airport. Joy wanted to see a terrazzo floor designed by a friend of her's. Beautiful stations. Back to the Light Rail (VALLEY METRO). Artwork at each stop and interesting structures to hold and protect plantings. Through Arizona State University. Got off in the center of downtown—a few older office buildings and lots of new schlock—and found Tom's Tavern where we had a very nice lunch. Got back onto the Metro and got off at the Heard Museum. Only went into the gift shop and enjoyed a coffee outside. Lovely buildings. Back onto the Metro and retraced our steps. Retrieved the car and headed back to Gold Canyon, arriving just after 5pm.
Looking out from Joy & Art's.
VALLEY METRO stops.
The SKYTRAIN linking the METRO and the airport. The terrazzo floor in a SKYTRAIN station.
The old neon sign at Tom's Tavern.
Lunch at Tom's.
A Phoenix squad car. Our chief doesn't think it will work in Jaffrey.
The Heard Museum.
Thursday 20 March 2014. Headed off in Art's car to meet up with Shane Murphy at Taliesin West. The 90 minute tour was quite good and interesting. A lot of visitors, one tour on the heels of the next. Headed back around 4:30. Lots of traffic so didn't get back to around 6 or so. That night we went to Organ Stop, a pizza restaurant featuring a Wurlitzer organ as the highlight, up on a stage.
Taliesin West. Aerial view (the surroundings have developed!).
Shane Murphy at Taliesin West. There's Rob overlooking Shane's patriotic Arizona truck!
Pizza Parlor with organ!
Friday 21 March 2014. Joy, Art, Whitney (the dog) and I headed south to Tucson. A pretty ride. Arrived at Bruce and Sally's in Tucson at noon and soon after were enjoying a lovely lunch of curried chicken, asparagus, etc., and wine. At the end of the day, Bruce, Sally and I drove up the moutainside to the Skyline Country Club to see the sunset over a drink. Panoramic view out over Tucson. Then to Ginza, a Japanese sushi place. Back to Bruce and Sally's and watched the movie, "The 3:10 to Yuma." Very violent but we stuck it through to the end. Much of it was shot in Arizona.
Approaching Florence, Prison Capital of Arizona, along Rt. 79.
Lunch with the Larsens.
Bruce & Sally and Joy & Art. And Bruce & Sally in front of their house.
To the Skyline Country Club to enjoy the sunset.
Saturday 22 March 2014. After breakfast we headed off to the south with dog Kari in tow. Went nearly to the Mexican border through the grasslands. Arrived at a friend of the Larsens - Matilda Essig - who's an artist. Now doing a lot of quite nice scans of various grasses then printing them out. We had lunch there and then all, in two cars, to a ranch about ¾ hour away where Matilda is ranch-sitting. We then drove on to Ft. Huachuca where the Army intelligence school is. Dates back to around the civil war. Stayed in the guest quarters; very nice. Had drinks, then cooked up spaghetti.
Driving south from Tucson.
Rob, Sally and Matilda.
Lunch at Matilda's.
Looking towards Mexico.
The ranch where Matilda ranch-sits.
Fort Huachuca, where we stayed the night in the building on the right.
Sunday 23 March 2014. Next morning we set off for Bisbee, with a detour up Ramsay Canyon, probably an hour or so away. This was a copper town; now a tourist location, arts center, hippie place. Very hilly compact town and quite picturesque. From Bisbee to Tombstone, another hour. Pretty much given over to tourism. Two or three block main street closed off to traffic. People dressed up in clothes of the late 19th century. Went with Sally to a dramatic representation of the Gunfight at the OK Corral (Wyatt Earp). Out to the edge of town to visit Boot Hill. Stopped at the Singing Wind Bookshop in Benson. Woman there had been to the Antarctic. Then back to Tucson, stopping at Whole Foods to buy groceries.
The Lavender Pit copper mine in Bisbee.
Recreating the Gunfight at OK Corral—poorly.
Boot Hill, Tombstone.
Monday 24 March 2014. Away about 8:30 for Las Vegas. Stopped in Wickenburg for lunch at the Horseshoe Café. On for another 100-200 miles, finally to Las Vegas around 5:30 or so. Staying at Harrah's in adjoining rooms. Had a drink, then arranged some shows at the hotel, then walked down the Strip to the Venetian. I left Bruce and Sally, who wanted to eat, and I wandered around a bit, stopping at Bauman's Rare Books and a magic shop. Then an ice cream cone. Back to the hotel and to bed early.
Downtown Wickenburg on the way to Las Vegas. Lunch at the Horseshoe Cafe in Wickenburg.
On the road to Las Vegas.
Approaching Las Vegas.
Tuesday 25 March 2014. Breakfast next-door at McDonalds; checked for e-mail, and then met up with Bruce and Sally. Made a booking for Mac King magician for 3pm, then walked south to Paris where we had lunch in a café. Mac King turned out to be the same magician Joy, Art and I saw some years back. Excellent. Around 6:30 or so we took the car a few blocks away to the Hofbrauhaus, a large, busy and noisy beer hall restaurant. Had a schnitzel. Back to Harrahs and then a bit of time on the slot machines. Walked away with $5!
Harrah's: where we stayed.
Out my window.
Out my window.
Lunch in Paris!
Walking the Strip!.
Big Beers at the Hofbrauhaus.
Dinners at the Hofbrauhaus.
Spanking at the Hofbrauhaus.
Sally at the Slots; and my total winnings!
Wednesday 26 March 2014. Breakfast at Starbucks downstairs. Walked to Bally's and met the BigBus. Bruce and I stayed for both routes though Sally left early. Quite a good tour and quite good guides. Got off in downtown Las Vegas and went to a brew pub/casino and had lunch.
A Bus Tour of Vegas. Bizarro World!
A Bus Tour of Vegas. Manhattan in the desert.
Excalibur and Luxor. No need to go to Egypt.
The Famous Sign. Pretty small compared to its surroundings.
Luxor and Manhattan.
The Wynn and Encore.
Downtown Las Vegas. Not too much of the old remains.
Fremont Street: where it all began.
Frank Gehry (and the Cleveland Clinic) going bonkers!
Clark County Government Center, designed by Fentress Bradburn, opened in 1995.
The Stratosphere: apparently the tallest thing west of the Mississippi.
Checking out Caesar's Palace.
The new Ferris wheel about to open.
The tallest in the world
(for a bit: China's building a bigger one!)
Thursday 27 March 2014. After breakfast Bruce and I drove out to check out two Thai restaurants for tonight (chose the Weera Thai restaurant and had a good Pad Thai). Visited the National Atomic Testing Museum with Bruce. After dinner drove to Planet Hollywood and saw The Vegas Show, quite a good variety show focusing on the history of Las Vegas.
Anyone for a thermonuclear device?
The National Atomic Testing Museum has one. Also an H-Bomb in case you're in need.
Friday 28 March 2014. We left Las Vegas around 9 or so and drove to Hoover Dam. Stopped at the visitor's center and then over the dam and parked to take some photos. The water level is very low. Next stop was in Kingman where we ate lunch at the Redneck's Southern Pit Barbecue. Paid a visit to the Route 66 Museum which was quite good, actually. Continued on with an ice cream stop in Wickenburg. Arrived at the Radisson near the airport where the Larsens would be staying the night. Off to the Arizona Biltmore, the Frank Lloyd Wright hotel, where we had a nice dinner. Back to the hotel and I took the shuttle to the airport. Boarded flight back to Boston at 11:30pm or so and then had to get off because of mechanical issues. Fortunately another plane was available so we were off again with only an hour delay.
The model of Lake Mead at the Visitors Center.
Looking up Lake Mead. You can see how low the water is.
Pork barbecue at Redneck's in Kingman.
Route 66 in Kingman.
The Route 66 Museum.
The Lobby at the Arizona Biltmore.
Sally and me after dinner at "Frank & Albert's."
Saturday 29 March 2014. Arrived in Boston about 8am. Sunny and crisp. OJ and coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. By bus to Nashua, then home to still snowy and cold Jaffrey.
All my trip photos—the good and the bad—are at http://smu.gs/1mWUsjT