Saturday, January 12, 2013

Las Vegas Day Trips & Staycations

Despite the ridiculously cold weather here in Las Vegas (38 degrees at 10:30 a.m.… seriously?), I was out and about today. I gave a talk at the Summerlin Library about Las Vegas Day Trips and Staycations—one of my favorite topics.

Luckily, I had my husband with me, because later on—on the drive to lunch at Due Forni—I got to ask him, “Did I mention that Death Valley is the largest National Park in the Lower 48?”

“No,” he said, "You missed that," which opened the door for us to talk about all those little details that I had intended to share, but had missed during my talk. What can I say? So many fabulous places to describe, so little time.

If you were at the talk today, here are some extra details, along with links to the official sites for all the places I talked about. And if you weren’t at the talk, well, just imagine a slightly out-of-breath woman is reading the text to you, and it will be kind of like you were there.

In the late 1970s, the BLM issued permits for oil drilling in Red Rock, but fortunately that idea was squashed.

The Park hosts Civil War reenactments every year for Nevada Day, and throughout the year they regularly hold living history and pioneer events. (Interesting side note: Since our State Day is October 31, I grew up thinking Halloween was a holiday. One of the many oddities of being raised in Las Vegas.)

Twenty-four of Ash Meadows’ plants and animals can be found nowhere else on earth, giving Ash Meadows the highest concentration of endemic life in any local area in the United States.

Experts now say that St. Thomas, the town that was under Lake Mead for over 60 years, is not expected to ever be underwater again.

Grafton was part of what was known as the Mormon Cotton Mission, an unsuccessful attempt at cotton farming along the Virgin River. 

Okay, you already know that it’s the largest national park outside of Alaska. But did you know that the famous Harmony Borax Works were only open for 5 years?

Curtis Howe Springer named his spa Zzyzx because he wanted it to be “the last word” in health (which might have been really catchy, except that he was a fraud.)

Links to information about the other places I talked about today:

Lake Las Vegas hotels: Ravella, Westin, Aston MonteLago

How many of these places have you visited?

Many thanks to the library and everyone who came to my presentation!

All pictures by Terrisa Meeks

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