Vegas Birthday!

This past weekend Paul took me to Las Vegas to celebrate the many things we have to celebrate, particularly my 25th birthday. We flew in Wednesday night (I had Thursday and Friday off work for Rosh Hashana) and went to a lounge on top of Mandalay Bay to take in a view of the whole city. Thursday we spent the morning walking down the strip, stopping in shops and casinos, and seeing lots of interesting buildings and people. We went back to our hotel, the MGM Grand, to enjoy the sun and the pool in the afternoon. That evening we got all dolled up and went to a fancy seafood place for dinner before walking to the Bellagio to see the fountain show and go to one of their night clubs. Friday was very similar to Thursday with the addition of a circue du soleil show and the subtraction of the nightclub. We also tried our hand at gambling a few times. While the tables were a little intimidating for me and the slot machines were a little too mundane, the computerized versions of blackjack were right up our alley. We actually finished the weekend up $2! On Saturday we drove to Lake Mead and rented a jetski. While timid at first, I slowly let myself get up to 50, 60 then 70 mph! We got to see the Hoover Dam from a very unique point of view and I got to experience driving Paul around. Overall it was a great trip!

Finding An Oasis In The Desert

Sarah and I found an awesome river canyon to the north of us that is remote and protected. In fact, there are no trails, foot travel is restricted to 50 people with permits, dogs & pack animals are not allowed, and due to these rules there is almost no trace of human presence there. We brought a cache of food, filled the camelpacks, and threw in our watershoes. Since there are no maintained trails the easiest way to traverse the canyon is mostly through the riverbed. Needless to say, your feet will be wet no matter which way you go. We crossed the creek countless times in the 7 mile round trip. While we did see a few other hikers, there was little else to suggest that we were not the first souls passing through. Living in the hot desert valley of Tucson I am always awed when we find these gems of greenery in the backcountry. Enjoy the photos!