Las Vegas – October 2022 – Random Sights

A stopover in Las Vegas….

A 14 floor tall mural on the side of the Plaza. It is difficult to tell from this angle but the Plaza was used as the model for Biff’s Hotel in Back to the Future II.

Private Cabanas at the Golden Nugget.

The Giant praying mantis outside the Container Park art colony.

Vegas Vic without working Neon.

Need a lit up liquor store at 6 AM – no problem.

Giant showgirls on the Strip.

The Circus Circus has been along the Strip since 1968.

How to combine a band that broke up 53 years ago along with a circus in a casino in the middle of the desert surrounded by palm trees. True Las Vegas

New York in the desert

And on to Egypt – which actually is in a desert.

Our final stop is Mandalay Bay and their Griffins.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – A Library Architectural Gem

The current Salt Lake City Main Library was designed by architect Moshe Safdie, and was completed in 2003.

The numerous curves are striking from the exterior.

The building is even more impressive on the inside, with the 4 story atrium intended to invoke the classic arcades of the past (such as the Cleveland Arcade)

The dramatic stairway takes patrons between the levels.

The building was designed to provide as much natural light as possible, along with quieter spaces on the upper levels.

The massive hanging sculpture is entitled ‘Pysche’. It consists of 1500 small sculptures of books and butterflies that form a large human head. Some of the butterfly wings will flutter.

A model of the building is proudly displayed on the main level. When in Salt Lake City a visit to the library is well worth the time.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Random Views

Some random views of an evening in downtown Salt Lake City.

Trolley Square was once a trolley barn for the original streetcars of the city. For 50 years it has been a trendy shopping district (and somewhere with a patio restaurant open for lunch!). The water tower is a highlight of the skyline.

Another in a long line of stupid arena names in the pursuit of a few more dollars – the Vivint Arena. The streetcars however, are a great (re)addition to the city.

While we are going on strange names – the Utah Jazz. The franchise was founded in New Orleans in 1974, playing just 5 seasons there before relocating to Salt Lake City, but keeping the Jazz name, apparently because they switched cities so close to the start of the season they never had time to get new uniforms and advertising completed.

A few murals…

Our hotel for the night had a nice view of downtown for both sunset…

And sunrise….

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Utah State Capitol

The Utah State Capitol sits on the aptly named Capitol Hill above downtown Salt Lake City. Completed in 1916 it’s style is similar to most of the state capitol buildings in the U.S.

As always this posting is not meant to document all the features of the building, rather to reflect on some of the more photogenic views.

The lions guarding the side of the building were originally made out of concrete, but were replaced during a 4 year overall capitol restoration project ending in 2008. They are now made out of Italian marble, and were completed by Nick Fairplay.

This glass window features the ubiquitous Utah beehive. The beehive symbolizes the belief that the community works together as a whole to improve life for all.

One of the two grand marble staircases. Each staircase has a massive mural depicting the mormon settlement of Utah.

The rotunda ceiling. When the building was first completed the rotunda remained unfinished for 20 years until the cyclorama was completed in 1934.

The artwork around the rotunda was completed at the same time.

This bust is of the native Ute hunter and fur trader Unca Sam.

Nearby is a bust of Ute leader John Duncan.

Noted Utah inventor Philo T Farnsworth is also featured on the 4th floor gallery. Among his many discoveries Farnsworth is credited with inventing the first complete television.

Also from the 4th floor many of the details visible.

Provo, Utah – September 2022 – An Evening in Town

After an amazing day of hiking and scenic drives we ended up in downtown Provo, Utah for the evening. The town is home to BYU, which according to those that do studies like this is the least party school in the country. A quick walk or drive through town affirms this as there are very few bars for a large college town.

There are a number of newer buildings downtown.

There are a few interesting older buildings in town as well.

Circleville, Utah – September 2022 – Butch Cassidy’s Boyhood Home

The small town of Circleville, Utah has the claim to fame of being the boyhood hometown of Butch Cassidy.

They celebrate this fact by maintaining his boyhood home.

Butch lived here under his birth name of Robert Leroy Parker from the age of 13 until he was 18, when he started working at the nearby Jim Marshall Ranch. It was here he met Mike Cassidy, who taught him (among other things) how to handle horses and guns. The rest, as they say, is history.

The farm has a collection of old implements that post date the time Butch would’ve lived there.

The valley the cabin is located is very scenic.

Butch Cassidy’s boyhood home is not something most people would make a destination, but if you are passing by it is worth the stop to stretch your legs and check out a bit of Utah history.

Tucson – September 2022 – Agua Caliente Park

In the foothills east of Tucson lies Agua Caliente Park, with it’s large palm trees and year round ponds feed by spring water.

Originally there were two springs, a hot spring and a cold spring. Over the years attempts to improve the flow of water failed miserably resulting in a combination of the waters, and a lower overall volume of flow.

The native Hohokam had a village here for nearly 1000 years. In the mid 1800s the Army had taken over the area for an encampment following the Gadsden Purchase of 1853.

In the late 1800s it was claimed by a settler who ranched the land. Later they advertised the ranch as a health spa. This pattern continued for 100 years, until the mid 1980s when the county took over the property to develop as a park.

The majestic palm trees were added in the late 1800s when it became a spa.

Cochise County, Arizona – September 2022 – Ghost Town Tour

In the late 1800s and early 1900s Southern Arizona had a plethora of little mining towns. Most of the mines closed, and the towns disappeared.

A few have some surviving remnants of their existence scattered about attracting a different type of tourist. Cochise County has embraced this and have identified a ‘Ghost Town Trail’.

Our tour started in Fairbank. Located about 10 miles west of Tombstone along the San Pedro River, this town survived much longer than most, finally being abandoned in the 1970s.

The townsite is maintained by the BLM with some of the original buildings in good shape.

Some are a bit rougher.

Gleeson is about 20 miles east of Tombstone. While the original jail is maintained as a visitor center, the rest of the town has degraded to mostly ruins.

What was once Courtland is now just a couple of ruins in the middle of the desert.

Our final stop was the town of Pearce. Technically it shouldn’t be included as there are a number of homes and businesses in the area, thriving with the Ghost Town hunters trade.

Western New Mexico – September 2022 – Catwalks National Recreation Trail

The small mining town of Graham, New Mexico was founded in 1893 to mine silver and gold ore. To obtain the water required a pipeline was built up the narrow canyon, with a wooden walkway built on top for workers to be able to traverse the path.

Known as the Catwalk, this was in place for the 10-15 years that the town and mine was in existence. In the 1930s the WPA effort known as the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) rebuilt the catwalk for recreational purposes.

In 2012 this catwalk was destroyed in a large flood, leading to the rebuilding of the current Catwalk. It is a great engineering feat as well as a nice, shady hike up the canyon hovering above the creek.

The creek below is a favorite spot for people to cool off from the hot New Mexico summer.

As you proceed up the canyon you begin to run out of catwalks and have a small creek crossing.

Eventually you go as far as the trail will allow, as the rest of the trail has been damaged by storms, so it was time to turn back.

The entire area is very beautiful, and the Catwalks is a required stop.