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A Newfoundland Photography and Knitting Blog by Betty Nolan

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's the Grand Canyon Ellen!

Thursday in Las Vegas was a super busy day.  We took a helicopter ride over the Hoover Dam and into the Grand Canyon, then landed at a real ranch in the Canyon. When the helicopter landed (some distance from the ranch) we were transported by wagon to the ranch where we had lunch.  We learned the history of the place (apparently once owned by Butch Cassidy and his gang), had a real cowboy serenade us (he said he once toured Canada with Stompin' Tom Connors), panned for gold, petted the horses, went on a covered wagon ride and generally explored the place.  On the ranch there's an historic rock house where a family of 5 made their home. You don't leave your shoes in the porch of this house - no porch and clay floor!  Then there was the covered wagon. Wouldn't fancy riding around in that through the desert for months at a time! Very thankful for current modes of transportation.  :-)

The helicopter pilot gave us all kinds of facts and figures about Lake Mead (man made), water levels, and history about the surrounding towns. For instance Boulder City was built in the 1930's to house workers building the Hoover Dam. Therefore, no gambling or drinking alcohol was permitted there. Apparently, it's the only place in the State of Nevada where gambling is still not permitted to this very day. 

The pilot told us that because there is so much iron in the Canyon that when the iron comes in contact with air, it actually rusts. That's the reddish colour that's everywhere there. Plenty of inactive volcanos. More people drown in the desert than die of dehydration. Imagine! Apparently people go camping in the desert in the low lying areas because there's sand and it's flat. Then, if it rains, the water does not sink into the ground because it is baked hard with the sun, so it runs in all the low lying areas. Sometimes flash flood style! Note to self: no camping in the desert!

On the way back to the airport we flew over the Strip, so some of those pictures are included too.  Some of the photos have glare because they were taken through the helicopter window. I say better to have a bit of glare than no pictures!  That night we went to see the Cirque du Soleil Show "Love, The Beatles". We weren't permitted to take pictures in the theatre, but I did get a few near the box office. Fabulous show! 

The next day we went to the Shark Reef at Mandolay Bay, so I've included a few snaps of the sharks (and funky underwater creatures).  On the way back to the hotel from the Shark Reef (through other hotels - long walk) I spotted a group of young ladies and one of them was carrying a blow-up doll. Got a quick pic for Ellen! Keep an eye out for the lady with the large white brim hat in the last picture.  :-)

Now Ellen, we're done with Vegas.  Back to reality (and knitting)!  Hope you enjoyed our week away!

Inactive volcano

Lookout - accessible by road

John at the rock house. The picture by the door is of the family who lived there.

Covered wagon ride

Joshua tree

Gold fish in a bath tub

Inside teepee

Bathroom Poster

Ceiling inside Mirage, near "Love" box office

Stairs at Shark Reef

For Ellen!

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