Big Bear, California

DSCN1051Big Bear, California, must be my favorite vacation spot on the planet. I have spent more days and weeks there than anywhere else ever. IMHO, the perfect time to go is the last week in June. The weather is perfect and the crowds have not yet arrived. This year we went the first week of July. The weather is still perfect, but the holiday is crowded. Still the fireworks over the lake are worth seeing.


Lake Mead, Nevada

DSCN1015Echo Bay, Lake Mead, Nevada, on May 25, 2016. I knew that drought had reduced the level of Lake Mead and I wanted to see how much for myself. You can see the bathtub ring on the right cliff (light gray below dark gray). The above picture was taken while I was standing at the top of a boat launching ramp that functioned when the lake was full. Now there is an alternate road that leads down to the current lake level. It is a gravel road more than a mile long that I did not want to drive.

The picture below is an aerial view from Google Earth. The red dot marks the spot where I stood when I took the above picture.


7 Magic Mountains

DSCN1001California has only one Magic Mountain while Nevada has 7 Magic Mountains. California’s Magic Mountain is an amusement park located on the west side of Interstate 5 in Valencia, California. There is unlimited parking and admission is expensive.

Nevada’s 7 Magic Mountains is a free art exhibition with limited parking located on the east side of Interstate 15 north of Jean, Nevada, between mile posts 17 and 18.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is a once in a lifetime experience and IMHO once is enough. Las Vegas now is fantastically expensive. Yesterday we took in the Blue Man Group show at the Luxor. It is a 90 minute show that cost about $1.65/minute. Cheaper seats are available. I would suggest seats in the first two rows, poncho seats, that are about $30.00 cheaper and require that people in the audience wear plastic ponchos to protect themselves from flying food and paint. Before the show, I strolled over to Sheldon Adelson’s Mandalay Bay Hotel. It has a gigantic casino floor, the largest I have ever seen. For those who want their gambling in smaller doses, I recommend South Lake Tahoe. It reminds me very much of the Las Vegas of the 1960s and 1970s.