Friday, June 3, 2016

Red Rocks of Nevada just a fast drive from famous Vegas Strip

Red Rock Canyon beckons our roadies away from gambling, with a leisurely 13-mile scenic drive through the Mojave Desert.

Rock climbing offers challenges on a variety of trails in Red Rock.


WHEN YOU'VE grown weary of badgering Lady Luck in Las Vegas, put down your Blackjack chips and head for the beautiful and calming red rocks and inspiring geological formations near the famous Strip.
Most people are aware of Sedona's towering red rocks, and the flamboyant reds and oranges of Utah's Bryce Canyon. You might not know of two natural treasures for the outdoor buff visiting Nevada.
We followed a group of "scooter" enthusiasts,
who took their vehicles on short, scenic journeys.
TWO PARKS await your perusal and we tried them both, creating two relaxing day trips to divert us from the happy craziness of our periodic gambling outings.
If you bring your pets, be sure to
carry enough water for all!
Rock formations resemble animals, and you may be lucky
enough to see a rare, protected desert tortoise.
Red Rock Canyon is a delight.  Maximum speed limit on its gorgeous 13-mile scenic drive is 35 miles per hour, and we went slower through most of it, to give it adequate attention.  The Mojave desert was not yet in the three-digit range a couple weeks ago (it is now), and we had beautiful, sunny days for our outings, with a little breeze to help cool us.
WE REVELED in spectacular scenery and shared stunning views with other motorists, hikers, bicyclists, motorcyclists and even a few daring runners.
Craggy canyons challenge
hikers and offer views
of breathtaking proportion.
Since leashed pets are welcome, we took Nick and Nora on both outings.  We packed a couple large bottles of water, and the four of us drank them both. Do take note of the need for water, even if the temperatures are mild.  The desert air is dry and the sun is bright, so you'll find yourself thirstier than normal.
A beautiful day or two in nature are just what gamblers need,
to slow the pace by providing time to enjoy nature's beauty.
OUR OUTINGS  were designed as nature-driven counterpoints to the seductive clink-clank buzz of casino life.
Moss on rocks provide texture, beauty.
Inspired by Red Rock, we visited Valley of Fire State Park for our other day trip. While Red Rock is 30 minutes west of Las Vegas, Valley of Fire is an hour-plus northeast. Both are worthy outings, at $10 each (your national park pass works at Red Rock.) But beware the encroaching hot season when temperatures can reach 120 degrees!
WE LOVE the man-made glitter of Las Vegas, but it's important to us to explore the natural world, too. We live comfortably in both these diverse worlds,  with our hikes and nature forays in the morning and early afternoon (we packed a picnic lunch and greenie treats for the Yorkies).  Then back to our favorite Flamingo Hotel with its bird sanctuary, a nap and shower and night on the town with a Las Vegas show. Nature's show to begin the day -- and a glitzy Vegas performance to cap the night! Perfect blend.
The Mob Museum in Las Vegas offers a thoughtfully curated study of the
evolution of crime and those who fought it, in major U.S. cities.

UP NEXT: The Mob Museum in Las Vegas offers another opportunity to escape the seductive buzz of the casino world.  Located in "old" Las Vegas, near the fabled hotels of the early-day city, the museum features three floors of crime and criminal behavior, a fascinating effort.  You'll learn about the mobsters and their molls, explore the evolution of crime in major U.S. cities, and learn about the lawmen and women who cracked criminal cases.

Terrific actors play the parts, here Tony winning actor Harriet Harris, top, 
and the gifted Talene Monahon play a crafty stage mother and her
daughter. "Hollywood," a world premiere directed by Joe DiPietro,
runs through June 12 at the famed  La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego.
--Jim Carmody photo
NIMBLE NEW WORK: A noir murder mystery, with exquisite staging and costumes, plus a brilliant piano "score" from an on-stage virtuoso, makes a fun night at the theater. "Hollywood" at La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego,  runs through June 12. Headlining a cast of accomplished actors is the magnificent Harriet Harris. Expert direction and the Playhouse's usual high production values provide engaging theater. The story, based on a real-life unsolved murder, is an homage to the noir thriller films of Hollywood's golden era. Remember to explore, learn and live, and catch us Fridays when we post for the weekend.


  1. Fun idea...point counterpoint to gambling.
    Deal us in.

  2. Georgia sojournersJune 5, 2016 at 8:58 PM

    Had no idea....thought surely the rocks were Sedona.
    Excited to discover these parks.
    Many thanks.

  3. These excursions of yours are remarkable -- all over the globe, all types of terrain and cultural wonderment. Inspirational!
    The play sounds intriguing, too.