On our way out of Las Vegas last Sunday morning, we stopped by the Springs Preserve nature center to see the botanical gardens and butterfly exhibit. We didn't have time to explore the desert tortoise habitat or any of the indoor exhibits. But it's a great place with very friendly staff and lots of things to do and see if you have a full day to explore.
There are several curious aspects to the University of Nevada Las Vegas, UNLV, we noticed the first time we walked onto the campus. First of all, it's right under the flight path from the airport, so jetliners, with an occasional military plane, are taking off every five minutes or so all day long. Secondly, it's hard to see the buildings for the trees, which helps to make it a beautiful campus. Third and most curious, besides a few "Go Rebels" posters on light poles, the mascot for UNLV is missing from the portions of the campus we were on. "UNLV" is prominently displayed on most everything down to the soap dispensers in the restrooms, but "Rebels" and their mascot is not to be seen. Contrast that with the University of New Mexico Lobos, where "Lobos" and their mascot of a cartoonish wolf can be seen everywhere on campus. We finally saw the mascot on a commercial building selling "Go Rebel" clothing across the street from UNLV. The mascot, a cowboy of sorts (a mountain man according to the UNLV website), is hard to read and brought up various speculation about what the various parts of the mascot were until we figured out it was a cartoon characterization of a cowboy-like person — we are not quite sure how a mountain man is a rebel, either. James Dean was a rebel, Elvis with his pelvis was rebellious, but a mountain man? You can read the history of the evolution of UNLV's mascot at https://www.unlv.edu/campuslife/mascot-nickname.
Big 'ol jet airliner.
Cactus in bloom
Celebrating 60 years
There is a lot of superstructure in the structures.
12 Steps + 18 more on the way to overcoming ignorance.
Great-tailed Grackle drinking from a dripper.
"What are you gawking at? Haven't you seen a Great-tailed Grackle drink before?"
Kitty paw prints in the concrete sidewalk.
EPA building with Ferris Wheel behind.
Looking west, the campus buildings blend into the buildings on the Strip.
'Stache the Rebel mascot on a store across the street from UNLV.
Priscilla on the left, Elvis on the right.
Meet the Embassy Suites Swans, Elvis and Priscilla. They are beautiful white, Royal Swans who live in the water feature at the hotel. They are calm and friendly, but Elvis is much more out there for the camera. Pretty similar to their namesakes, I'd say.
Priscilla getting a snack.
Elvis with reflections.
Priscilla with abstractions.
View of interior courtyard from outside our room on the 6th floor.
The suggested hotel for people attending the MAP/RMMRA conference was the Embassy Suites Hotel on Swenson Ave., along the western edge of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). The hotel was wonderful with all kinds on amenities, and, best of all, no casino associated with it. The rooms were large, spacious suites with living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. There was a large, tranquil interior courtyard with tables, seating and a water feature with swans. Breakfast was included, with your choice of eggs cooked the way you like, omelettes, or French toast with sides of sausage, bacon, and hash brown potatoes, and various pastries, fruits, and beverages. A couple of men who looked Spanish whipped out breakfast after breakfast with the efficiency of a cafe bar in Madrid, Spain.
Living room view from the door.
living room view from the kitchen.
Kitchen and living room.
View of UNLV campus from the bedroom window.
Sunrise from the bedroom window.
Looking toward the Arizona side of the Colorado River canyon.
The Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge spans the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada south of Hoover dam on U.S. Highway 93. It was built to bypass Hoover Dam making travel to Las Vegas from Kingman, AZ, and vice versa, much quicker and easier. After 9/11, the federal government restricted access to all major dams in the USA, but until the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge was built, the only way to go to and from Las Vegas on U.S. Highway 93 was to drive over Hoover Dam. Now there is one way in and out to access the bridge walkway and Hoover Dam from the Nevada side, with a checkpoint every vehicle going to Hoover Dam has to stop at. The line of vehicles can be very long waiting to get through the checkpoint. We didn't have time to drive over the dam and get photos of the bridge, and stop and walk the bridge, so we opted to walk the bridge and photograph Hoover Dam. There is a very nice set of displays as you walk up to the bridge that explains how the bridge was built.
One of the displays on how the bridge was built.
Welcome to Nevada.
Overflow spillway is at the top of the photo.
At the center of the bridge I have one foot in Nevada, the other in Arizona.
Towers of power farm are part of the electrical distribution system.
Intake towers on the Nevada side.
Intake towers on the Arizona side.
Arizona welcome sign on the east end of the bridge.
Hoover Dam Lodge standing among the volcanic rock.
We stayed at the Hoover Dam Lodge, which is 17 stories with a casino, Wednesday night. First thing Thursday morning, I went out for a walk and climbed down to a trail that's an old railroad bed. As I hiked toward Hoover Dam, with Lake Mead on my left, I came across a couple of tunnels. I don't know what it is about old railroad tunnels, but they are really fun. Since I didn't have a lot of time, I quickly walked through the tunnels, took photos from inside and out, and walked back to the hotel.
The old railroad bed with Lake Mead in the background.
One of the marinas that is part of the Lake Mead recreation area.
We drove to Boulder City, NV from Corrales on Wednesday, November 11 on our way to Las Vegas for the joint MAP/RMMRA conference. The wind howled at 50 mph or more all the way. Whenever we stopped to take a break or get gas, the wind was so strong that I didn't bother to photograph anything. On U.S. Highway 93 to Hoover Dam, I got this photo of the many taillights in front of us getting blown about by the strong winds. After we got to the hotel at Boulder City, the wind blew at the same intensity all night. Because the wind was so strong, the woman who checked us in said she was putting everyone in an area of the hotel most protected from the wind. The room was very nice, with a great view. After we got settled in, Laurie looked at the terms on the door and asked "How much are we paying for this room?" I told her I got an Internet special that was $80 for the night. The terms on the door said the room was $500 a night. $500 would be excessive. I think they put $500 a night on the terms as a maximum, and to make you think you are getting a really super deal.
After having little or no color at sunset last week, Saturday's sunset was quite nice.
Spunk is the last of the kitties to have a post this week. He got in Laurie's bag this morning when she was on her way to an open house at school. Later, we made the rounds of the property to do a photo shoot of Spunk in the wild.
Spunk had to take a nap after the photo session.
Still a little sleepy, he managed to get to the rail on the deck on his way back inside.
Continuing with the solo kitty series, Marble wanted to get in on the mix.
"Wow! That is a really big noisy bird!
Najar, who is usually camera shy, was not going to be outdone by Lola, Silver, Loki and Sasha, especially when it comes to making different faces and expressions, so she put on the cute.
Enough! I'm bored.