December 6, 2014 Lake Mead, Nevada

Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip

More Las Vegas

Sorry for the delay in posting entries but for some unknown reason, I am having a lot of trouble accessing WordPress, despite a strong 5 bar 4G Verizon signal. When I am able to log in, it takes 4 or 5 minutes for a page to open and forever to actually get an image to load. ( Turns out there is a problem at my server, I am hosted by Go Daddy and they have been trying to get me going for a week now, without a lot of luck )

Hilton

 

Still staying out on Lake Mead at Government Wash, one of the most pleasant spots I have encountered yet, mostly because of the specific site I managed to snag.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version. 

Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip

These two towers at the enormous City Center project actually do tilt 5 degrees in opposite directions. Why? Who knows. Read here if you are interested in this project and it’s impact on the Strip.

Modern Art?
Modern Art?

Modern art (?) abounds all throughout this project.

One side of Vegas, Gucci
One side of Vegas, Gucci
Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip

As do many shopping opportunities for folks of modest means such as myself.

Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip

Grey sky behind the towers almost looks like an abstract painting.

Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip

Definitely a colorful place, lots to see and do … and eat, but personally I’d rather be out in the desert ….

Campsite visitors
Campsite visitors
Campsite visitors
Campsite visitors

watching this stuff than people watching in Vegas.

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December 5, 2014 Las Vegas

Walking the Strip
Walking the Strip

New Batteries and a Trip into Las Vegas

Been a while since my last post as I simply relax and goof off at my wonderful campsite overlooking Lake mead, just outside Las Vegas at Government Wash. Other than making a little more progress on getting my wildlife images loaded onto my website ( mcqgallery.com ), I have simply been hanging out and enjoying my surroundings. The gorgeous sunrises and sunsets of my first week here have disappeared over the last five days as the area has been enveloped by heavy cloud cover and a dull white haze, even had a few drops of rain fall every now and then.

I did finally bite the bullet and purchased 4 new 6 volt batteries ( Trojan T-105’s ) for the motorhome from Battery Systems in Las Vegas. They had a decent price, $148/each, and were quite easy to deal with, had my new batteries charged and ready to go, brought them out to my car and unloaded the old batteries for exchange and loaded my new ones in the back of the Prius for me. The whole exchange only took ten minutes and I was on my way.

Back at the campsite, I managed to get the replacement batteries installed and power was restored in just an hour or so ( I did have to reroute one cable as the posts on the Trojans were not quite as tall as on the old Duracells, requiring me to pop a new hole in one of my storage bays for the rerouted cable ). So far, so good with the new batteries.

Day Trip to ” The Strip “

New York New York
New York New York

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Cities and crowds make me uncomfortable. While I thought there probably were some interesting shots along the strip in Vegas, I was hesitant to venture in since I was so enjoying my quiet stay here on Lake Mead. But today, the fourth straight day of overcast skies and no sun, boredom got the better of me and I traveled down to North Las Vegas to do some banking at BOA and then on down Las Vegas Blvd. to the bright lights of the strip.

New York New York
New York New York
New York New York detail
New York New York detail

To say the strip has changed in the 40 years since my first visit here would be a huge understatement. I remember camping in the parking lot of the old Sands Hotel that first trip and being able to walk most of the strip in a matter of minutes not hours.

Understated Las Vegas
Understated Las Vegas

The chaos and congestion, the understated architecture, is there any place else on Earth that looks like this? Would anyone want any place else to look like this?

Chaos of Vegas
Chaos of Vegas
Shapes and textures
Shapes and textures

Though I definitely would rather be sitting in a blind waiting for birds to shoot than be here bumping into fellow tourists, there is a lot here for the photographer’s eye to explore.

Las Vegas is back
Las Vegas is back

And Vegas does seem to be recovering from it’s setbacks suffered in the latest economic downturn, construction has resumed along the strip and there are several large scale projects being started.

Las Vegas
Out of place?
Excalibur
Excalibur
Reflections of Excalibur
Reflections of Excalibur

An observation on Las Vegas, the glitz and glamour of the strip,

One side of Vegas, Bellagio
One side of Vegas, Bellagio

the over the top display of excess,

One side of Vegas, Gucci
One side of Vegas, Gucci

exist in stark contrast to a lot of the folks drawn here.

The other side of Vegas
The other side of Vegas

( at least this guy is honest )

The other side of Vegas
The other side of Vegas

The homeless tragedy is everywhere to be seen. I was quite taken aback driving south on North Las Vegas Blvd. as I was heading down to the strip. I have never seen so many homeless people, the sidewalks were covered with folks on their blankets, pushing their shopping carts full of their belongings, clustering around small campfires in the center of the city. As the images above show, the strip itself is not shielded from the homeless either, these two individuals were panhandling on the pedestrian walkways just feet from shops like Gucci’s and Versace. Quite the juxtaposition.

Today I only covered a small portion of the strip, from Excalibur north to the southern edge of Bellagio. After only spending four hours there, not being acclimated to the noise, congestion, and weirdness of the experience,  I was quickly exhausted and ready to head back to the quiet and seclusion of my campsite.

 Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !