What makes this video so awesome is that it is made entirely of still images.
Pictures speak for themselves. Zion is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.
When I made the cross-country trek, moving to Las Vegas one month ago, it was a requirement we stopped at the Hoover Dam. It seems like the Dam is almost a right of passage when visiting, traveling to the Las Vegas area and frankly, it wasn’t all that I expected.
Flocks of tourists, piled of of buses, cars and even pink SUV’s snapped their photos, got a hot dog from the Hoover Dam Visitor Center and were off, myself included. Knowing a bit about the history of the Dam, as well as the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, I knew there had to be a more real, intriguing approach to exploring the area.
Luckily, just a few days ago I was a made aware of the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail, which is 6.8 mile trail which connects Lake Mead to the Hoover Dam via a series of historic railroad tunnels which were built and used to support the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s.
Aside from the sheer scale of the tunnels and the realization of their importance in one of the worlds most important and historic construction projects, the trail itself offers beautiful scenery, winding itself through the rugged desert and along the placid Lake Mead.
The trail itself is fairly flat and there is little gain in elevation. I would not recommend hiking this trail during the summer months, or in the middle of the day. Despite the length of the trail, the Dam acts as sort of a prize for your efforts as the trail technically ends on top of the Hoover Dam parking garage. I explored the dam area for about 30 minutes before returning back to the trail and heading home. In my opinion the dam is much better experienced via the Railroad Tunnel Trail.
I never would have guessed that the release of a movie trailer would have provided the inspiration needed to get back to blogging. Since moving to Las Vegas, I have lacked motivation and time to dedicate to this blog, but with the release of the ‘On The Road’ movie trailer today, I received a much needed nudge to get back to writing.
“On The Road” is an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel of the same name and is a book that I have read several times and has had a tremendous impact on my life. Having first read it as a college student, the book expanded my horizons and truly educated me a great deal about the power of travel and the beauty that exists when you step out of the confines of practical society and are willing to experience lives simple things. The book inspired a cross country road trip, a trip that helped me better find myself and begin to mature and grow as a person.
The free-spirted nature of the book, almost encourages a generation to live for simple moments, good company and to seek adventure and exploration. I found myself grow extremely close to Kerouac’s words and almost used them as a soundtrack to my many travels. I re-read the book during my two backpacking adventures through Europe and have always found myself pulling it out when I find that I am growing complacent and a bit too comfortable in my day-to-day grind.
One line that always seems to stick in my mind is the when Kerouac says: “They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
I’m sure many people are tied closely to Kerouac through this book and I know there are many days I wish I could lead a life similar to those carefree adventurers in the book. With that said, I’d sayI remain cautiously optimistic about the adaptation of this book into a movie. It has been attempted before, but never made it to theaters, as the director did not feel as if it did Kerouac Justice.
I suppose now we will see how well Kristen Stewart does Kerouac justice….
I spent my first solo weekend in Las Vegas, frankly…as far away from Las Vegas as I could.
For some reason the fact the nothing closes, ever, nor do they ever turn off the lights has managed to slightly bother me. It could be the fact that living on Las Vegas Blvd., or should I say trying to sleep when living on Las Vegas Blvd. is near impossible. Or maybe it’s the sparkling McDonalds sign located outside my window, either way, by Saturday I was ready for a break.
Luckily, not too far from town is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, a series of large red sandstone cliffs and peaks, some as high as 8,000 feet are a welcomed recluse from the bustle of Las Vegas. Upon entering the park ($7), there are a series of scenic overlooks and hikes located along the 13-mile one-way loop. I pulled off a number of times to take a few photos and briefly mull around with the hundreds of other visitors to the park.
I settled on hiking a 2.5 mile trail named Ice Box Canyon, which was an interesting hike that began with about a 1-mile jaunt through the desert, which wasn’t all that pleasant considering my extreme phobia of snakes. No worries, no serpents on this journey. Following the fairly easy stroll through the desert, the hike became increasingly more difficult and required a bit of
bouldering. A ominous white marker indicated I had entered “wilderness” and it soon became clear what that meant. Portions of the trail were cutoff by large boulders, which had to be scaled, while other parts required walking along a fallen pine tree. Throughout the hike, you are bordered by sheer cliffs on both sides making for great views.
The reward for your efforts? Nestled at the end of the trail is a cascading waterfall and clear pool of water, which seems a bit out of place considering the landscape.
After briefly soaking it it, I headed back to my car. In total, the hike took about two and a half to three hours.
There are plenty of additional hikes that I plan on returning to Red Rock Canyon in the near future to explore a few more trails.
As the three-day journey from Western New York to Southern Nevada wore on, I slowly began to realize how far away from home I was. 39 hours drive to be exact. Along with the changing landscape, the mountains, desert and sunshine, comes endless possibility and a host of opportunity that unfortunately could not be found in my hometown. As I begin to get situated in my new home, I feel more and more at peace with my leap of faith, but still miss so much that I left behind.
“It’s the too huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies,” Jack Kerouac
Coming soon: photos of my apartment
“Go West, young man, go West and grow,” -Horace Greeley
Bittersweet. Are really the only words that come to mind today, asI formally begin the next chapter in my life. As excited and optimistic as I am with a new job, in a new city, a huge piece of me is still in Western New York. Family, friends all who have contributed greatly to who I am and the successes I have had, will soon be thousands of miles away. Frankly, it’s not an easy pill to swallow. Today, I completed the first day, of a three-day drive from Niagara Falls,N.Y. to Las Vegas, NV and plan to use this blog often to share my experiences out west, as well writing has always been a outlet for me, help me in dealing with leaving behind so much.