“Pic of the Week”, December 7, 2018: Unbearably Lake Tahoe

05 Lake Tahoe, California (19)

An art form I enjoy, which has seen growing popularity these past few decades, is chainsaw carvings.  As the name implies, the artist uses chainsaws of different size to work a piece of dried raw wood into the final carved piece.  The carvings are often large and heavy.  The wood is then generally stained or painted and sealed with varnish or polyurethane to protect the art.  

While driving around Lake Tahoe this past summer — a beautiful scenic drive that’s highly recommended — we came across several homes on the California side of the lake that had some fine examples of carved bears.  I thought they were quite good and stopped to get some photos.  Not sure if all the ones …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 23, 2018: Paradise Valley, Nevada

03 Paradise Valley, Nevada (5)

While on a road-trip last year, I drove through northern Nevada and came across a rather pretty place in the desert.  Relatively green and lush, it was known as Paradise Valley.   One of about a dozen places by the same name I’ve encountered in my travels and like the rest of them, visually striking.  This was a place of horse and cattle ranchers.

Don’t know much about the region but it was worth stopping and enjoying the view.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)

 

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The National Atomic Testing Museum, Las Vegas — unlike any other

03 National Atomic Test Site (10)

I’ve been to Vegas more times than I can remember.  It’s always been a decent weekend getaway  destination and is a good place to meet up with friends as it’s easily accessible, has reasonably priced accommodation and great restaurants.  And if you want you can explore the desert, catch a live show, gamble, or go to a night club.

I’m not much of a gambler or a nightclub guy, but I do like to visit an interesting museum.  The National Atomic Testing Museum (NATM) certainly is different than most and if you have an interest in science and military history, is well worth a visit.  The museum opened in 2005 and is operated by the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation.  It’s …

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California / North America / Southwestern USA

“Pic of the Week”, July 6, 2018: Flying A Service Station, Truckee

04 Truckee Ca (36)

I’ve previously discussed my visit to the small town of Truckee, which rests on California’s eastern Sierra Nevada slopes and which you can read about at this link.  The town has a nicely preserved historic core, with lots of buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

My favorite building in Truckee was this old Flying A Service Station, which brought back memories of many like it I’d see when I was much younger, under a variety of banners like Texaco and Sinclair’s.  Most of these old buildings have been torn down and replaced by large self-serve fueling outlets, each with an attached convenience store.  These new structures may be efficient but they lack the intimacy …

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Truckee, California

01 Truckee Ca (17)

Situated slightly north of Lake Tahoe and a little west of Reno, I’d driven past this small city on route I-80 many times.  But it was not until this past summer that I actually stopped and explored it.  The day of our visit was dry and hot and the sun intense as it can only be at high altitude, the heat draining our energy; still, we took our time, stayed hydrated and enjoyed visiting Truckee.

The town’s original name was Coburn Station, after one of its saloon keepers.  It was renamed ‘Truckee’ after a Paiute chief named Tru-ki-zo. This friendly chief greeted the first Europeans migrating to California and legend has it that he rode toward them yelling, “Tro-kay”,  Paiute for …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 22, 2018: Views of Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, California (1)

Lovely Lake Tahoe!  It has been described as the “gem of the Sierras” and it’s hard to argue with that.

Its statistics are impressive.  Lake Tahoe is situated in the Sierra Nevada mountain range at 6,225 ft (1,897 m) and straddles the California/Nevada border.  At 1,645 ft (501 m) deep, it is the second deepest lake in the United States  — only Crater Lake in Oregon is deeper at 1,945 ft (593 m).  It holds more water than any lake in the US, excluding the five Great Lakes.

And the scenery is spectacular.  As are the hiking opportunities around the lake!

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)

 

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“Pic of the Week”, May 4, 2018: Reclining Connected Forms, CityCenter

03 Around the Vdara (9)

Who would have believed that Las Vegas, in its ongoing transformation, would become a center of fine public art?  Certainly not yours truly, at least not until recently.

This is especially true at the $10 billion CityCenter, where part of the master plan included $40 million to purchase some world-class pieces.   One of these is by English sculptor Henry Moore, a work called Reclining Connected Forms.  It is one of several similar-styled pieces by the same artist found around the globe.

Here are some specifics:  Crafted between 1969-1974 of Roman travertine marble. A massive piece measuring 10 x 17 x 7 feet. It is thought to represent a baby wrapped in its mother’s embrace.  

You can find this work between ARIA Resort …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 27, 2018: “Big Edge”, Las Vegas

00 Around the Vdara (16)

Situated in the heart of Las Vegas’ City Center, in the middle of many beautifully designed skyscrapers, is a fascinating piece of street-art.  It’s crafted by Nancy Rubins and is known as “Big Edge”.   Like something you might imagine seeing at the bottom of a waterfall that has surprised dozens of boaters.

“Big Edge” is situated in front of the Vdara Hotel and Spa, between the Aria and Bellagio casinos, and is best seen from its elevated circular drive (its not visible from The Strip).  Two hundred boats, many canoes but with some flat bottom boats and rowboats, are incorporated into this unusual piece.  Given the strong desert winds, this seemingly haphazard arrangement of boats actually has to be firmly …

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