Time to charge up the GoPro!

And find the GPS!

I am planning on going to Temple Bar campground next weekend. April 10-11 I will be doing a test run and attempting the Fortification Hill hike with Bruce. This trip will also help me inventory my equipment and see what I am missing or don’t need. Space in the Passat is at a premium.

Hope y’all are getting ready for the summer vacation/camping season!

Visiting the Grand Canyon for work

For the last 8 months I have been working for a helicopter tour company in Las Vegas, NV. We mostly fly people to the western end of the Grand Canyon by helicopter, but we also have airplanes.

Our fleet of 3 Beechcraft 1900D’s take tourist to Tusayan, AZ where they then get onto a trolley/bus and head into the Grand Canyon National Park. The flight to Tusayan is just under an hour, compared to almost 5 by car or bus. Customers have the choice of two different tours while at the canyon, two stops by trolley or one stop and a helicopter flight over the canyon.

I am the reserve driver for the Grand Canyon tour. So, when three planes get booked I get on one and fly out to drive the second trolley/bus.(Not a bad commute to work!) Once we land in Tusayan I quickly pre-trip the trolley, load up the customers and the tour begins.

First thing we see on the way to the Canyon
Lake Mead, Pat Tillman Bridge and the Hoover Dam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closer view of the bridge and dam

 

We leave Lake Mead behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is Grand Canyon West, where the helo’s land below the Canyon rim

 

Not much to see out of the right side of the plane
Sometimes the desert has cloud cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorado River from the pilot’s seat
Gorgeous scenery from the First Officers seat as well

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My wheels for the day (and the customers)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mather Point, only spot inside the park with this sign. Other spot is just before the entrance station, on the way into the park from Tusayan

 

 

Mather Point offers the best views of the two stops we make
Even when the weather isn’t so great this place is spectacular
I love this one, the clouds, the color, everything!
At Mather looking up one of the many “fingers” of the Canyon
Looking up the same “finger” just with cloud cover
Canyon with some fog rolling through
Looking NE towards Desert View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bright Angel Lodge area along the Rim Trail
Lookout Point just west of Bright Angel
Winter can make visibility low
Don’t let low visibility ruin your visit, it just makes for a different Canyon
Mother and baby eating some grass while I take my break
This little deer was eating the flowers off this bush
Doe, a deer, a female deer
Young buck
Some spring flowers
Hang in there, a deer will come along soon and nibble on you
Rocky Mountain Elk grazing on the side of the road
They fly in the rain, just not lightning
They fly in snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They fly in perfect weather

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trip is finished, we are cleared for takeoff. Vegas, here we come!

 

The Moon and a planet
Flying back at sunset is peaceful
Sunset from the cockpit
Stormy return flight, good thing we are above the clouds

Tule Springs Fossil Beds

Located just 20min from the Las Vegas Strip is Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. An open area consisting of over 22,000 acres. I went out today to have a look.

Tule Springs is a new National Monument and has no amenities. Parking is along the road and you have to find an entry point in the fencing. There’s also no designated trails, as of this writing, so explore at your own risk.

Bruce and I explored for about an hour, we found only fossilized mountain bike tracks. With more time and a trained eye I’m sure you could find some cool evidence of the prehistoric time. We enjoyed some time outdoors, blue skies, lizard chasing, and a flyby of three military helicopters.

The only sign indicating you are at the correct location
Picture of the fence along the roadside
Hidden entry point
View of the “parking lot”
Bruce standing on top
Where are the dino fossils?
View of the varying terrain
Layers of sediment
This rock looks like it’s peeling
Bruce found an arch
Old 4×4 tracks
Panoramic views!
Something caught my eye as we were walking along
The Midwest has crop circles, the Southwest has rock circles
Proof of aliens, and a rock circle
Crossroads
Fossil of Mtn Bike tracks

New Month, New Look!

I completely changed the look of the site and am working on a new logo. Site is now mobile friendly. Some of you may have seen it already. I wanted to post about it and generate some traffic.

The background image now changes randomly. Every time you visit the Homepage the background image should change, I’ll be adding more as I take more pictures that are worthy.

St. Thomas, Nevada

 

In an effort to learn how to run this blog, I took a drive out to Lake Mead on Monday. Living in Las Vegas, NV I am so close to many amazing National Parks and National Recreation Areas. Some are close enough to do a day trip and others will require an overnight stay. Lake Mead National Recreation Area is home to many points of interest, not just the Hoover Dam. St. Thomas is one of those POI. Located in the norther part of the Recreation Area along the Overton arm of the lake.

St. Thomas was settled by the Mormons in 1865. The area was prime farm land due to two rivers, the Muddy and Virgin, that flowed nearby on the way to meet with the Colorado River. At its prime St. Thomas was home to around 500 people. After about 5 years the state of Nevada came to collect the overdue property taxes. The Mormons refused to pay and returned to Salt Lake City. On the way out they burned the homes and businesses to the ground. Some did stay and other resettled the town.

In 1928 the building of Boulder (Hoover) Dam was approved by Washington, DC. This dam would create Lake Mead. As the water levels rose it would eventually submerge the town. Knowing this the government reimbursed the residents for their property and they had to relocate. At the lakes highest level the town was 60ft under water. As the Southwest has been in a drought for many years, the water has receded considerably. The town is now above water and you too can go visit.

You can see a well worn path. It’s an easy 2.5mi loop trail
Bruce was hunting lizards while we were out on the hike
There are many old foundations left
You will see many shells along the trail and in the town. Evidence that this area was once under water
I love how the ground cracks after a rainfall

Wow, it has been a while…

Sorry for the lack of posts. Big life changing events have happened. I’ll leave it at that.

I’m writing today to say happy 2017! I haven’t forgotten about my dream trip. I have just had to postpone. This should give me a little more time to schedule and nail down all of the finer details.

I’d like to thank you all for your continued support.