.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

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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“Pic of the Week”, March 16, 2018: Descent into Las Vegas

00 Las Vegas Descent

One of my favorite places to enjoy the views from a window seat is when flying over the beautiful desert scenery of Utah and Nevada.  Recently while on approach and descending into Las Vegas McCarran Airport, just before sunset, I enjoyed some beautiful scenes of the Mojave Desert.  Colorful shades of red, tan and brown, ending with the now filled reservoir that is Lake Mead.  And ending with views of the Las Vegas Strip as our plane was about to land.

The last few minutes of I flight I found most memorable.

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“Pic of the Week”, March 2, 2018: School of Fish, Sparks, Nevada

fish2-1

One of our stops during a recent visit to the Reno area was the Outlets at Sparks.   The store selection and shopping experience left a bit to be desired, but there were some clever pieces of public art including this one, which I really liked.  Anyone who’s ever watched a school of sardines swim know how the individual fish merge into a collective organism, and that idea was brilliantly captured in this piece.

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“Pic of the Week”, February 23, 2017: Western Gorillas

San Diego Zoo Safari (121)

While gorillas are the largest of the great apes, the western (lowland) gorillas are the smallest and least endangered of this subspecies.  Native to the Congo River Basin, they live in lowland tropical and swamp forests.  They are quiet, peaceful animals whose existence is threatened by deforestation and poaching.

Male gorillas are up to 1.55 meters tall and weigh up to 157 kg; females are 1.35 meters and weigh up to 80 kg.  They  are mainly herbivores, feasting on leaves and fruit but occasionally eating ants, worms and caterpillars.  Western gorillas are nomadic, wandering in groups of up to 30 individuals in search of food.  Each band is lead by a dominant “silverback” male ( so called because of a silver …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Back at the Getty Center, Los Angeles

Getty Center Museum 11-2016 (7a)

When I have free time while traveling in greater Los Angeles, I love to visit the Getty Center — well worth a full day’s visit, especially if you’ve never been there before.  There’s no admission fee but you have to pay $15.00 to park for the day (so if you’re dropped off by a friend, the entire day would be a freebie).   There’s a large parking structure adjoining the 405 Fwy in Sepulveda Pass and from here visitors takes a tram uphill to the Getty Center.  The tram/funicular ride takes just a few minutes and when you exit you enter a beautifully crafted world of art and architecture.   I enjoy walking the meticulously maintained grounds and taking in the ever …

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