Wild Flowers in Calico Basin

Two oldies of yellow wildflowers in Calico Basin located west of Las Vegas several miles. A favorite place for photography and hiking as well as rock climbing. I’ve seen countless cars from the States and Canada that have apparently come to this rock climbers paradise.

The Big Cholla

A Buckhorn Cholla that is! This photo was taken between Charleston Boulevard and the Red Rock Escarpment which is a fault line. My best guess about the distance between the road and the base of the mountains is about one mile. I was able to hike it once about two or so years ago. That’s a very long hike for a guy with a compromised back! Don’t give up, you can do it!!

I also have a compromised heart which is why I have had a Life Alert account for two or more years as a safety precaution. You wear the mobile unit clipped to you somewhere or in the pocket. It’s very small but is actually a satellite transceiver, does not link to the cell system so it works anywhere and has full duplex conversation capability like your phone. Peace of mind.

Hiking The Desert Floor

These beauties were taken while hiking around the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park probably two years ago with my old Nikon D3300 body. The website says the park is closed which is zero surprise right? Two things that I seriously want to do when this situation passes is hop on a big jet plane and go home to Michigan and see my children and the family! And of course get my bum back out in the open desert for some fresh photography. I miss the freedom!

Ariel and Ground Photos

Digging deep into my archives yesterday, I found these two photos. The top photo is via the DJI Drone I had, it’s high above Lovell Canyon looking south. The bottom photo was taken on a hike heading for the base of the Red Rock Escarpment a couple or so years ago. The little mountain is not a part of the escarpment.

iPhone Photos on The Trail

I’ve been putting off processing these iPhone photos from a couple days ago. I started down the trail intending to walk the entire circumference of the little mountain but made it about one third of that distance. My heart just wasn’t up to the walk that day, something I’ve had to incorporate into my life. These photos are intended as test photos but they seem to look pretty good, I tossed four of them as they were zoomed in toward the Strip and just pixelated to death.


The Crack

I snapped this image while walking back to the trailhead, the light coming through this small crack caught my peripheral vision. I think it makes a dandy black and white too. 😎🌵

Not So Barren

Not all deserts on Planet Earth are barren wastelands, the beautiful Mojave Desert that Las Vegas sets in is a beautiful example of what the yearly Monsoon rains can bring forth in the middle of nowhere. Both of these photos are wide-angle 10-20mm photos which to me make the mountains look shorter. Weird.


On The Way Home

Heading home yesterday from the canyon I took the ‘back roads’ and grabbed these photos which include Downtown Las Vegas too. Those huge water tanks mounted high up are for tanker trucks to get water from for dust control. Controlling dust is serious business out here!


Along The Trail

I didn’t intend to take a short hike yesterday but I did and was very surprised at how well I did walking up the gentle ups and downs of this trail I’d been on several times in seven years here. It’s a heart condition that slows me down. It was so darn nice to hike again! What had me start walking was a literal busload of children showing up.

I had just set down on a picnic table to wait for some Golden Mantled Ground Squirrels and birds to get close enough for some good photos. The children exiting the bus about one hundred foot away was enough to change the animal’s behaviors such that I just got up and started walking uphill and away from the noise. I did my time with children!

I passed a few people and two couples along the trail. It still amazes me how people here are just not as friendly as the people in Michigan are. Say hello to some, you are totally ignored. Others acknowledge you and move on. Then the one woman with a helmet on, a small backpack and hiking poles came by. She said hello to me! Shocked!

These little poles along the trail are new, they weren’t here my last time out a good while ago. The BLM also placed large rocks along several areas of the trail to guide hikers away from areas they had been hiking in and shouldn’t have been. I’m glad to see efforts to preserve the natural beauty of the desert, of course I have a photo.


Scooter Train

So today I got my bum off this couch and took a ride into the desert. Such a beautiful day, I just gotta get outta here! I snapped tons of photos of course, here is the first set. I’ve seen these scooter trains as I call them out here before. They are likely great fun for the tourists but I am concerned for their safety.

The road is Charleston Boulevard which crosses the entire valley proper from east to west but continues for many miles west of the city into the Red Rock Canyon area. There are some seriously ignorant drivers out there once in a while, that concerns me for the scooters and the tons of bicycles riding the shoulders.

You would likely agree with me should you have seen the assholes on motorcycles riding wheelies at high speed, passing you thereby risking my life and truck. Here in Clark County if the police catch you doing that shit or similar, you just forfeited your bike. It’s going to be placed in a crusher and smashed into a small cube. And rightly so!


Another Set from Red Spring

Here are ten more photos from yesterday at Red Spring at Calico Basin. I found one storyboard photo that didn’t get into the previous post on this historic site, oops. Blue skies, beautiful rocks and a short hike that my ticker can handle easily! Unfortunately my heart has to be factored into any hike I take, it could be worse!

Rotating Colors

This is a blended photo I took today at the park, I used iColorama for this. Honestly, I’ve seen and follow people on Instagram that produce images that blow me away using this same application. I also used an HDR application to enhance the colors, this is a seriously huge canopy hanging over the children’s playground!

Another Walk in The Park

Here’s a set of ten from a couple hours ago walking the same park but heading north this time which provided a clean view of the Las Vegas Strip many miles away to the southeast. No wind today but there’s much more cloud cover. I passed the usual piles of dog shit that lazy owners refuse to collect! And one huge pile of horse shit. Such a poopy walk! These are all 35mm photos, I don’t like this set as much as yesterday’s photos…

More to come from this quick walk, photo 2 shows there’s no excuse for not packing your dog poop out!

I Love Little Birds!

No matter the specie and colours, they are all such beautiful little critters. So free and happy! This morning I stepped outside in the backyard as I usually do, a small bird flew by my head very close in a serious hurry. It was a little dark blur! I’m glad he or she didn’t smash into my face! These cuties were seen in Calico Basin.

Cathedral Rock

This beautiful mountain is at the end of your drive up to Mount Charleston Lodge, easily seen from the lodge. There are several hiking trails around this area and boy do I wish I could hike them! I can only walk a short distance before my heart starts telling me to head back down. At least my eyeballs can still take in the beauty!

Different Faces of The Escarpment

These are surplus photos as I call them, photos that didn’t make the cut the day I snapped them which was a few days ago now. I’ve given them each a different look. I can’t find a suitable link to information about the Red Rock Escarpment and it’s geology, sorry about that readers! Especially if you love geology…

People Enjoying Red Rock Canyon

It’s a very long way between the Red Rock Overlook and Red Rock Canyon proper as you can see in these photos by the cars parked. The canyon is a major gash in Earth’s crust and can’t be seen unless you are very near it. I assume nobody is climbing the rocks directly behind the canyon, this area is rock climbing heaven.

Can You See Red Rock Canyon?

From this perspective it’s not possible. In the photos, roughly left and down a bit of centre is about where the canyon actually is. To get to it, you must pay Uncle Sam the entry fee since this area is under the jurisdiction of the BLM. I forget how much it is, I used to have a yearly pass too…

The entire twelve mile, one way only road was repaved a couple years or so ago so it’s a nice ride with wonderful views. Along your way you’ll know when you get to the canyon, trust me. It’s a huge gash in Earth’s skin! If you have the time when visiting Las Vegas, head out there, it’s worth the time.

Just take Charleston Boulevard west and you’ll drive right to the park entrance. 🌵🌴

Shades of Turtle Head Peak

Turtle Head Peak is on the west side of the valley and has a nice hiking trail ascending it on it’s very steep west side. I tried to hike this trail two or three years ago and it didn’t go well. I got a long ass way up because of making several stops but in the end I just couldn’t do it, the air is thinner too. I can’t get to the top of Lone Mountain either! Thanks very much to inherited heart disease which tends to crop things out of my life…

Desert Travel

I’ve found travel around the Mojave Desert to be very easy over the last six years living here. Since it usually doesn’t snow on the desert floor, the roads are in pristine condition compared to up north. The sights and sounds are always beautiful no matter where I go. Nevada is the most mountainous state in our union directly behind Alaska so you see them anywhere you travel in Nevada. Nevada love!