5 weeks in Las Vegas went fast!

So many people said “… what will you do for 5 weeks?” I can honestly say that we haven’t done it all yet! I would love to come back … when it’s a bit colder and do a hike or three!

We have had a few weather bombs with incredible thunder and lightning, and flash floods over the last week. It is monsoon season, and these weather bombs appear out of nowhere and then it’s all on. You get warnings on your phone, and when they say expect a flash flood … believe them. We have a storm water drain over the back fence and it goes from bone drying to fast flowing in minutes!

I took these pictures at night…it was still so hot. The power was out for a lot of the area but fortunately not for us (how would I have coped without the air-con?). There is carnage everywhere with branches/ trees down and a lot of cleaning up to be done.

Yesterday we received this weather warning! It was a dust storm coming up from Arizona… it was like ‘pea soup’. We spent most of the day inside, as I sure didn’t want to aggravate my lungs … they can be a bit delicate sometimes! And then we had a lovely coolish evening.

We met a fabulous lady called Lois on 4th July…she had recently been to NZ and is hosting people from NZ from the International friendship group she belongs to. We were fortunate to catch up with her again and she took us to Mt Charleston in the Spring Mountains, and for lunch at the top.

It was absolutely wonderful to see her again, she is so full of life, has a sense of adventure and is full of mischief!! She was determined that we were having a tour of the chalets up there, and after asking at the reception [who said no!], she followed the maintenance man who she / we charmed and so he let us in one of the chalets for a looksee- what a great place to stay winter or summer.

After lunch she took us on a little tour of the community and we generally had a nosey about. I took a photo of Colin with all the letter boxes – I love they way they do mail here, in one central point. We even have that where we are staying. 16 letterboxes – it means only one stop every so often for the UPS person! When I think of all those funny little right-of-ways up our street and what a pain in the neck it is to go up and down them [I know this because Jason had a paper round …. !!!!)

This is a ski resort in the winter and a wonderfully cooooool place to visit in the summer!

Not sure about the YELLOW house … hummers! Didn’t really blend in like everything else!!

Colin blended in! 🙂

There were awesome rock structures all along the road.

Lois then decided that she was taking us to see the horses at Cold Creek Ranch, which was just up the road [another 30 miles up the road!]. But it was so worth it. We drove in past the State Prison which is the largest in Nevada and borders the Indian Springs area and the other end of the Spring Mountain Reserve area. Red Rock is the other side, which we visited a few weeks ago.

Cold Creek is an off the grid community, about 40 miles from Las Vegas. It sits at about 6,000 feet and again is cooler than ‘town’. Lois was determined that we were going to see the wild horses. We drove all the way up into the community to find them (at least 20km). We saw a few on the horizon, but then found a rough little road which led us to this group. They weren’t really interested in us until I threw out a cinnamon bun with icing!! (Did it say don’t feed the wild horses …. oooops!). They loved it, so our afternoon tea became their afternoon tea! A couple of the herd came close to our wee car and stuck their heads in for a nosey!!! Couldn’t put the windows up quick, as the car was off!! Colin hung out the window for a selfie pic!!! This is the man who I can’t get to go on a horse ride with me, cause he doesn’t really trust horses! So what does he do … get up close and personal with wild ones!!!!!!

Really !!!!!!!

Well we had a wonderful day with Lois, and hearing about her mad escapades over the years. Her (and her husband) before he passed, travelled all around the world and have cruised heaps. Lois still travels a lot with her international friendship group (it is a bit like having a pen pal – except you visit them, how cool is that and cheap too!)

We finally got ourselves to the Neon ‘Bone yard’ Museum and did the night tour. Lots of fabulous history from our guide about the various hotels, The Mob and the cost of these signs!! Fun fact: all of the signs were leased, as the maintenance of them was so high! The Neon businesses, had the whole business completely tied up. If you did buy a sign, the maintenance charges were so high, that eventually you went back to leasing.

After our tour we headed into Fremont Street to soak up some of the atmosphere!! It really is a no holds barred place – I described it to Daniel as ‘human soup’. There was some brilliant music (3 stages), some clever street art, some fabulous (and some trashy!!) buskers and lots of people begging!! A fun night out here!

I had to hide behind another man to get this photo, as he wanted money if you were taking a photo of him! And the girls with Colin wanted money too! Oooops – hadn’t realised that I would need a swag of $5ers!! Late night for us – didn’t get in until 1am!

Another day out with Lois on Monday to Boulder City to see the desert big horned sheep. [They sorta look like a cross between a deer and a goat!]. We were lucky enough that a small group (about 30) came in off the wilderness and sat under a tree in the park. Colin of course wanted to get up close and personal ….. not sure about all this getting close to nature – we are heading to bear country!!

Just up the road is the St Jude’s Ranch – a ranch for abused, pregnant and neglected children. We met with one of the staff and she gave us the history and a tour – what an inspiring place. They offer a home for up to 60 kids, become their guardians and give them a chance at life again. They attend the local schools, have wonderful facilities on-site and are nurtured back to ‘health’. They are gifted scholarships, work in the shop on-site, and generally supported to ‘just be normal’. I loved visiting here and while we didn’t meet any of the kids, their photos and stories abound the walls. Love, love, loved coming here. Love does make the world go around 🙂

As we heading up the road to the famous Boulder City hotel for lunch, I did reflect on how ‘privileged’ we are to be doing this trip.

Lunch was huge – Lois and I shared a chicken pot pie and then had room for dessert 🙂 Colin had corned beef hash – he was in his happy place. After lunch we took in the small museum about the history of the Boulder Dam … just when you thought you couldn’t learn any more about the dam …. you do!

So tomorrow we fly out to Tacoma (just south of Seattle) for our next adventure, but I just wanted to share some pictures of where we have been staying. Katie’s place has been wonderful and we have loved being here (although I have had enough of the temperatures now!) and have met some lovely people.

Ps: Road Rules – I loved these three things …

  1. we should adopt ‘turn right on a red light’ [although it would be left for us!]
  2. ‘yield’ to a flashing yellow arrow to turn left [would be right for us]
  3. At some round-a-bouts the entry speed is ’20mph’ – so much easier to navigate when everyone has to slow down [nearly everyone does]. Great for us because going around these the wrong way, still takes a bit of thinking about – even after 5 weeks!

These three things alone make driving here so much easier.

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