Showing posts from July, 2023

Review of Sunset Crater National Monument: The most recent volcanic eruption in Arizona and a place to still see lava flows!

  Sunset Crater National Monument, Arizona  On our drive to Page (Arizona) from Meteor Crater National Landmark on December 24th, 2022, my wife and I happened to pass through Arizona state road #89.  It was during that drive north that we saw Sunset Crater National Monument . At first, I didn’t think much of it, until I had an ‘eureka’ moment.  I had remembered that the place is featured as one of many scenic walking/running routes of the Borgata gym’s treadmills!  My wife and I had been using those treadmills which display popular hiking/running routes in many national parks and monuments like Grand Canyon, Zion, Grand Staircase-Escalante, etc. We always found those scenic routes totally enjoyable and made it much less boring when using them, sometimes an hour at a time.  Buried within one of those running routes was Sunset Crater National Monument , which I found fascinating. Even on a small display screen of not more than 10 inches, the fascinating and extraordinary landscape cov

Review of Walnut Canyon National Monument in Arizona: An amazing place full of geologic formations and ancient inhabitants’ dwellings!

  Walnut Canyon National Monument, Arizona On the morning of January 30th 2023, my wife and I had checked out of our fantastic hotel room at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, slowly but surely making our way back home to North Carolina after over 2 months of traveling across the American Southwest and West.  Our first stop on our way back to the east coast was Flagstaff (Arizona), about 330 miles from Las Vegas. We knew we had a long way to go before getting back to North Carolina, so we planned it so we would make it back at a rather leisurely pace.  Because of our early retirement (since 2020), we had all the time in the world, which worked to our advantage. We could decide to spend a night, or two on our way back, depending on what attractions are available at that particular location.  It was an easy decision to select  Flagstaff , as it lies right along the I-40 corridor, which is the way we would be going back home, and it boasts several world class natural attractio

Our third trip to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Las Vegas, NV: Finally got to do some hiking!

  View from the visitor center, Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas  The first time we (my wife and myself) visited Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area was back in 2005, during our visit from Hawaii where we had lived back then, to Las Vegas .  On that trip, we took a red-eye flight from Honolulu and arrived in Las Vegas early in the morning. Because our check in time to our hotel wasn’t until 3 p.m., we decided to get breakfast at the then inexpensive buffet at Main Street Station Casino/Resort ($5.99!) in downtown Las Vegas, then head out to Red Rock Canyon afterwards.  Buffet was fantastic at that price point with humongous selection of breakfast staples like eggs, bacon, omelette station, and carving station, but also unexpected items like Miso soup, rice, and kimchi! We stuffed ourselves loving the food, but especially the price of the buffet!  $5.99 for a breakfast buffet is something we no longer see in Las Vegas these days, and I certainly long for those days when Las Vegas was