.All Trips / Arizona / North America / Southwestern USA

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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.All Trips / Arizona / North America / Southwestern USA / Utah

Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah

01 witw (2)

Monument Valley has been featured many times in classic western movies, especially those starring John Wayne and directed by John Ford.  Ford loved the beautiful scenery of Monument Valley and perhaps more than anyone helped put it on the tourist map.  The valley floor is not that large — around a half dozen square miles — but it’s been filmed from so many angles you’ve likely come to think of it as being representative of the entire American West.

You’ll have seen Monument Valley in the movie Stagecoach, this photo including the Three Sisters rock formation….

Stagecoach, 1939, with the Three Sisters formation.

Stagecoach, 1939, with the Three Sisters formation.

And in the classic film, The Searchers…..

The Searchers, 1956

The Searchers, 1956

Henry Fonda’s “My Darling Clementine” (a screening of which my father-in-law told me was the first date he and my …

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“Pic of the Week”. December 5, 2015: Bobcats, Living Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona

Picture 243

Bobcats are fairly common and I’ve seen them everywhere from Southern California to the Yukon; in fact, they’re the most abundant wildcat in North America, with a wide range.  But they’re shy and rarely pose for photos, so I was glad to see them at the Living Desert Museum in Tucson.

They’re about a meter long and weigh up to 14 kg (30 lbs) — about twice the size of a big house-cat.   Most bobcats are brown or brownish red with a short, black-tipped tail (from which the cat derives its name as the tail appears to be cut or “bobbed”).

They’re great hunters and usually eat small game like rabbits, birds and squirrels.

(Click on thumbnail to enlarge)

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Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”. December 5, 2015: Bobcats, Living Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona
.All Trips / Arizona / North America / Southwestern USA

The Desert: a Garden in Spring

001 California, Spring 2009  209 Joshua Tree National Park

I’ve been intrigued by deserts ever since I first visited one as a teenager.  The first impression I remember having is of a lifeless, harsh and barren place.  It’s certainly a hostile environment but I couldn’t have been more wrong about it being lifeless and barren.  Deserts are teaming with life and have a flora and fauna that’s incredibly well adapted to their challenging environment.  Temperature extremes, strong winds and little rainfall all necessitate hardy species.  Examples such as the cactus, with its protective spines and thick skin, are illustrative.

I love visiting the desert in the spring almost as much as I hate visiting the desert in the summer.  The reason for those who’ve lived in the American Southwest is …

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“Pic of the Week”. April 12, 2013. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona


Of the many photos I’ve taken in my life, this remains one of my favorites!  We were visiting the Grand Canyon for a few days, part of a loop trip through the American Southwest that included Monument Valley, Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce and Zion National Parks.  The scenery everywhere was truly spectacular, almost otherworldly!

I think if there’s one place in the United States every visitor should see, that’s the Grand Canyon (or maybe Yosemite?  or Glacier?…. so very hard to choose).   You can’t appreciate the incredible size and scale of the Grand Canyon until you’ve see it with your own eyes.  Photos don’t do it justice but can give you an idea of the beautiful eroded formations and colors of the place.

Set against …

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Karl on | 7 Comments