Saturday, May 7, 2011

KBIS - Get Away From the Strip

KBIS 2011 in Las Vegas was all about work. But all work and no play makes Arne a dull boy. And as much fun as Las Vegas is, it’s welcome relief to get some time away from the strip. My travel agent (aka my wife) did excellent work seeing what there was to do around Las Vegas: Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Death Valley all provide unique day-trips from a Las Vegas base.

A little closer in is the Red Rock Canyon. Part of the Bureau of Land Management the Red Rock Canyon was designated as Nevada’s first National Conservation Area. It’s a place I had never been, but the idea of hiking outside in 90° heat didn’t sound too appealing after several days at KBIS. What did sound appealing was seeing the Canyon with driving a 3 wheeled cart with Scoot City Tours.

Our tour began when Curtis from Scoot City picked us up at our hotel (part of the tour fee) and drove us to their facility just west of the city. After going over the operational and safety features of the cart we climbed in and followed our guide Nick to the Canyon. The carts are surprisingly easy to drive, much like riding a snowmobile or ATV. What’s different about the cart however is the sense of stability which leaves you secure enough to take in the scenery!

After a short drive to the canyon entrance we made a quick stop at the Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Center. For a canyon neophyte, it’s a worthwhile visit. There’s plenty of information on the flora and fauna of the region, and large vistas with spectacular scenery. If you think of this area as being only dry and dusty, think again. The colours although muted, are plentiful. The flowers of the creosote bush are a beautiful soft tangerine, which contrasted against the dusty green of the leaves and the rust-red rocks. It’s not difficult to see how the deserts have inspired similar palates.

We followed Nick into the canyon, making several stops along the way, each revealing some new geological aspect of the area. The sandstone is prevalent in virtually every view, the layered rock formations invoking images of some alien landscape. I couldn’t help but wonder how much tile I could quarry out of the walls of the canyon. And when we discovered the area is also well know for gypsum, a major component in drywall, the connection between the Red Rock Canyon and my world of interior design was complete.

The tour lasted a little over 3 hours which went by incredibly quickly. That could have also been because we were lucky enough to have had a private tour due to a last minute cancellation. Once back at the Scoot City facility and the carts returned to the garage, we were driven back to our hotel. Aside from a little bit of sunburn on my forehead (you can’t wear hats while in the carts … safety issues) every aspect of the tour was top notch. Scoot City Tours was a perfect diversion from a busy week of seminars. Highly recommended.


Pam said...

So glad you got to see a little of the desert while you were down here. Isn't it fabulous?! When I was a kid in Socal, we used to camp in the desert (Calif. side) sometimes during spring break. It's a whole different kind of beautiful than the Pacific Northwest. I already miss the warm breezes even here in the California Central Coast area --we have a marine layer still in the morning and it doesn't get very warm later in the day. Going to Vegas was like stepping into summer!

Arne Salvesen said...

Being born and raised in the Pacific Northwest (or Southwest from a Canadian perspective)spoils you as to what "wilderness" means. I always thought the desert was just bleak and uninteresting. Granted, what I saw was part of the Land Reserve, but it was some of the most stunningly beautiful scenery I've ever experienced.

I'm missing the warm weather too ... Vancouver has decided to forego Spring this year and just hold onto Winter until July. Very cold and wet since we've been home.

Becky / @ecomod said...

Looks like a fun trip! Plus, you got to see some reptiles. Real ones, not the ones on the highly overrated Strip.

I'd gladly send our ubiquitous humidity from now until October out to Vegas. Or at least share it so we all could have a bearable 35ish%

The Fine Life said...

Glad you had some extra curricular fun! Your photos make me feel like I've seen it first hand. Say hello to your lovely wife for me!

Arne Salvesen said...

Loved your pictures of the Chandalier Bar too! A great night to be sure. Give me a follow, we'll stay in touch for the next excursion. J says "hi" too.

Arne Salvesen said...

The photos I mentioned above are about 4 pictures in to this post. A gorgeous place to have a drink or 3

Live The Fine Life: Bright Lights, Sin City

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