Phoadtography: Vegas and Zion Trip 11/2010 Pt 2 of 3

It’s quiz time.  What has over 70 pictures, comes in three parts and has the ability to completely clean out your browser’s cache of all that pr0n you’ve been wasting your web time on?  Okay, that was an easy one.  Yes, I’m back with the second installment of the Las Vegas and Zion Phoadtography post.  Unlike last time, none of these are wall worthy which means they generally fall into the category of things that make you go “Huh?”.  I like to get the most out of my vacations and finding those interesting pearls puts the cherry on top.  Now that the Smugmug picture links have been captured, let’s not waste anymore time and get right to this set.

Linda and I stumbled onto this sign just before entering the Zion National Park.  Having to leave the children at home to go on vacations is always tough but I am sure they enjoy the Doggy Spa at the grandparents.  Maybe next time we head out to this park we’ll see if they want to come along – although if they find out they have to work on a ranch their pampered paws will carry them right back home.

It is no secret Linda and I enjoy vacationing in Vegas.  For two people watchers, that place is like steroids for the eyes.  Even with all our trips, the first time we ever saw the Welcome to Vegas sign was a couple of years ago at Linda’s niece’s wedding.  Their party bus took us out there so they could get some pictures under it.  Well, this year was the first time we got to see the downtown Leaving Las Vegas sign.  Our lives are now officially complete.

Hit the jump to see a bunch more Phoadtography pictures!

How are you at your TV trivia?  If you can recognize what show this refers to you are spending too much time in front of the boob tube.

Did you figure it out?  It is the pawn shop made famous by the History Channel’s Pawn Stars reality show.  This is one of the rare shows both Linda and I enjoy watching together.  We are able to get a history lesson based on the various items people bring in to sell or pawn and I get to witness intriguing human interaction.  If you think people are predictable, try to guess the outcome of the transaction based on your first impression of the patron.

I made Linda go around the block in order to get another picture of the shop.  How ironic that there is a Bail business directly across the street from the pawn shop.

If you are curious, we did have the opportunity to go into the store.  It really wasn’t what I had expected.  In reality it is a pretty small place, but the people traffic through it is amazing and it was pretty cool to see a number of the items from the episodes we had seen.

Looks like Fremont street was going through some renovations.  It may just be time to switch out the burned out bulbs in the light show canopy.  This was not the time to blow the camera orientation.  There must be 15 vertical references pointing out a nasty 5 degree shift left of center.  You nail some and you blow some but this one caught me by surprise since I was looking the other way when we entered the intersection.

This one still cracks me up.  Some may already know, but this is at the Palms Resort Casino and is plastered down one side of their Club Tower.  It may just be the effects of Sin City, but the whole time I was looking at this (and whenever I look at the picture now) it reminded me of a zipper.  Just saying…

Here’s a sweet Gibson sunburst.  I bet it has some sweet tone, but you’ll need a ladder and some very long fingers to actually play the thing.  The Hard Rock Cafe was a new addition to the strip since last we were there.  I was surprised to learn that the Hard Rock Casino a few blocks of the strip is not affiliated with the Hard Rock Restaurant chain.  The Casino apparently bought the rights to use the name, but now the restaurant chain is trying to get the name back due to potential image tarnishing by the casino’s pool party reality show.

This would be in the “blow some” category.  A classic ‘D’ grade Phoadtography shot based on eclipsing the right side of the image with part of a sign, bad camera tilt and worst of all, lost the subject in a stupid palm tree.  It was pretty cool, trust me.

The car industry must have cornered the market on strange blow up creatures.  The colorful dragons are the norm these days, which made this grape ape stand out in the crowd.  There was not enough time to get a good look at this thing as we drove by, but the camera took it all in.  What exactly is up with the glasses anyway?  (and yes, that is a downtown casino in the background)

We drove by this bizarre sculpture on our way out of Vegas heading to Zion.  I was unable to get the camera out in time to get a picture and attempted to explain it to Linda to no avail.  On our way back I made sure I was ready.  There are no signs explaining the purpose for this and actually extends out over the highway wall.

Here is another angle.  Adding to the strange placement is the cement structure to it’s right.  It looks like a bridge pillar with sleeping bags on it.  Now I just need to convince Linda we need one of these for our backyard!

These were pretty clever highway decorations.  At various places on the Vegas bypass they erected these bush like sculptures.  They are actually made with rebar and painted sheet metal.  A nice scenic touch that is both visually appealing and water conscious.

Here is coincidence for the record books.  Remember earlier when I mentioned that Linda and I like to watch Pawn Stars?  Every once in awhile someone brings in a rusty piece of American history to convert into some quick cash.  The owners of the shop have a few individuals they farm out all their restoration work – one does most of their vehicle work and another person takes on all their metal decorations and mechanical device restoration jobs.  The latter ended up getting his own reality show on the History Channel called American Restoration and thanks to his quality work we ended up getting hooked on that show too.  Are you still with me?  In one of the American Restoration shows, he is called out to the home of Lance Burton to fix an antique light pole that had blown down on his driveway.  Now Lance is a huge Vegas act and a staple of the show crowd.  During this reality show I was paying special attention to the house and surroundings trying to figure out where it might be.  I could tell it was on a pretty big hill without a lot of other buildings near it and the architecture was rather unique.  On our way out to see Hoover Dam, we were passing Henderson when I looked off to the right and holy crap, there it was.  I grabbed Linda’s attention to confirm it and she immediately agreed and stunned I had found it.  The house sits a ways off the road, but the zoom brought it in nicely.

You can even see the light poles lining the driveway up to the house.  Clearly a case of being able to look down on the little people of the world while enjoying a breathtaking view.  Here is another snap.

I  had to give myself a pat on the back for connecting all the synapse links to pull that recognition off, especially cruising down a highway.  Although the following home owner has nothing on Lance, he does have a sweet location (minus the telephone wires of course).  One upping Lance, there wasn’t any other houses to dampen the view at this location.

I am taking any ideas or wild ass guesses on what this thing is.  It was sitting out alone in the middle of the desert without any signs or other indicators as to what it might be.  The assumptions at the moment is it is some kind of cell tower that is just going up or possibly a new billboard based on the circle of lights at the base.  Don’t be deceived by the zoom, this structure was a significant distance from the road to the point I was not sure what it was until I looked at the camera’s LCD viewer.

Slapping this shot in here because their devious marketing scheme cost us at least $40.  We passed this on the way up to Zion and was intrigued by the fancy waterfall.  The fact it was an small oasis in the middle of desolate desert was interesting enough, but the waterfall rivaled the one outside the Wynn in Vegas.  On our way back we pulled into check it out and the casino sirens lured us in … but no winnie means we leavie.

Linda gets all the credit for this shot.  She saw the large cacti off in the distance on our way down to Lake Mead.  I probably need to get my head out of the gutter, but the cactus on the far right made me laugh out loud… hey, I’m sure I am not the only one that gets the same mental picture.

This was a personal insult to me.   Throughout the entire trip I was complaining that I had not been able to take a picture of any mountain sheep – a personal quest having been denied a shot of one during our entire trip out to Maine.  Trust me, I was “watching for sheep” and they are nowhere to be found.

We must be getting close to the Hoover Dam bypass bridge.  We made a special trip out to see this based on all the hype it was getting during construction.

Here we are boys!  I hope it worth it, because we were in a traffic jam all the way from Henderson.

Ah, hmmm, ehhh, it really was not that impressive.  Based on the pictures and literature, I was expecting it to be sitting way up in the sky with a long expanse over a mountain valley.  Looks like I let myself over-hype the view.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a pretty nice bridge, but not exactly worth the pain it took to get there.  Now, we decided not to head up to the parking lot and check out the pedestrian walkway across it.  It was still pretty cold out and not sure I wanted to take the risk of adding more disappointment to the day.  We may go back and do this the next time we are there … maybe.

This is apparently where you go to access the pedestrian walkway.  The parking lot is actually a mile or possibly two off the bypass and it looks like the walk to this point is pretty lengthy.  Based on all the walking we did in Zion it was probably a good thing we saved our energy.

Take a deep cleansing breadth and slowly let it out.  Roll the head back and around a few times and give your mouse hand a break.  You are officially at the end of part two of the Vegas Zion Phoadtography set.  It isn’t that bad is it?  Maybe you only got a picture of the Lion outside of the MGM casino the last time you were at Vegas and now excited about finding out what else Vegas has to offer.  Although, I might have just educated a Lance Burton stalker… sorry about that Lance, but you let the cat out of the bag first.

Hope to see everyone at the third and final part of this series.

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