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Old 24th June 2010, 00:07   #1
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Default Exploring Nevada and Drive to Grand Canyon

I went to Nevada for a Geological field trip sponsored by my company in mid-April. I was thinking of posting for long, but due to my laziness and busy schedule I always get stuck in somewhere else. But, Hrithik’s Kites inspired me to post the travelogue.

The purpose of our visit was to study the rock deformations. It gave us access to some of the remote places with mesmerising landscapes. We were total of 13 people in the course including instructors and we rented three SUVs for the whole trip: Chevy Suburban, Nissan Armada and GMC Yukon from Hertz Car Rentals, Las Vegas.

We did our field from 18th to 23rd April roaming in the outskirts of Las Vegas. We drove around the Lake Mead Recreation Area, Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park. After the course was over, I rented a mini-SUV and drove to Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon South Rim.

Most of time, we did off-roading through RTV trails. Everyday we had our same routine: morning classroom session and set off to the field by lunch time. There is nothing too much to share about our field stops, but those rock structure with vivid colours added by deep blue sky background, hardly let our cameras from stop clicking. So, I will be filling this travelogue with photographs rather than descriptions.

1. Photos from Lake Mead Recreation Area, Nevada.

To be continued...
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Old 24th June 2010, 10:21   #2
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Nice pics HJ!

Refreshed my memories!
I visited LA, LV, Lake Mead, Grand Canyon in the month of March 2009.

Loved the Lake mead area and the Grand Canyon

Looking forward to more pictures from you.
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Old 24th June 2010, 11:40   #3
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Default Echo Bay..

The place where we stayed first 4 days- Echo Bay on the bank of Lake Mead.

Lake Mead is the main water source for Arizona, Colorado and Las Vegas. But, due to prolonged drought over the last 10 years the water level is going down rapidly. The white band on the rocks was the water level prior to 2000 and when our instructor told us this fact, our instant reaction was "Oh S***, what the ****"

Also, few pics of the monsters we took!!

@Amit.. thanks a lot. I will try to complete loading the photos as soon as possible. Problem is, currently I am in a remote location working on a very slow GPRS connection
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Old 24th June 2010, 12:43   #4
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Man! Whats your company? Can you find me an opening?
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Old 24th June 2010, 12:48   #5
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Default Valley of Fire State Park

It was very windy on that day with lots of suspended sand particles. I really had to give a second thought on whether to expose the camera to it or not.
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Old 24th June 2010, 13:12   #6
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Few photos from Red Rock Canyon. We hiked for 4-5kms, it was painful for most of us (side effect of office job).
Few macros, encounter with blooming cactus.
Last photo: Hoover Dam taken from overflight on the last day of the course.
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Old 24th June 2010, 14:06   #7
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Deserts...wow!!! Something tells me that this thread is going to be rated very well & I start it with *****; Pics are terrific & this is one of the place in US that I love to ride (not drive) - The Grand Canyon.
Quote:
The white band on the rocks was the water level prior to 2000 and when our instructor told us this fact
I didn't understand this quite well, appreciate if you can help me understand. Tks.
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Old 24th June 2010, 14:44   #8
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Thanks aargee for encouraging a newbie to go ahead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post

I didn't understand this quite well, appreciate if you can help me understand. Tks.
In the photos of the lake, there is a white band on the rocks. This band was developed due bleaching effect of the lake water. Water took the colour off the rocks and hence the white band. Prior to year 2000 these bleached rocks were under lake water, but due drought the water level is going down exposing stained rocks.
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Old 24th June 2010, 15:14   #9
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Default Las Vegas and Drive to Grand Canyon

After the course is over I am on own for 2 days in Las Vegas. I rented a Toyota Rav4 from Hertz Rentals. I was asking for Ford Focus, but Rav4 was the only car available on location. I will advice to book online if someone wants to drive in US, it's cheaper and one can get the car of own choice. Rav4 was of May 2009 model and had done 18000miles. It was pre-installed Hertz GPS system.

I decided to go for a short drive to Hoover Dam to get idea of the car and the feeling of driving on the other side of the road. Well, everything gone well, I drove quite confidently on the right lane, overtook others from left, moved to the proper lane whenever I required to take a turn, etc. except for very funny incident. I had never drove any automatic car; in a manual transmission car, parking it is simple: park the car, pull the hand brake and take out the key. Well, I followed the same principle there, parked the car, put the gear to neutral, and...!!! what the heck, unable to take out the car key! I was stunned, what am I going to do now? I was about to return the car, then I saw P-gear on the gear box! Hoila!!! Never knew that in automatic putting to parking gear is must to get out of car.

Now, I was pretty confident to drive Las Vegas-Grand Canyon and and back by evening. I need to get back to Las Vegas by evening and catch the morning flight back to Delhi. Only worrying factor was I was all alone, the fear of getting bored.
26th April, 2010:
I started the engine at dot 6am in the morning and set the GPS to Grand Canyon South. I was doing 65-75mph, depending on the speed limit. Something I really like driving in there was on 4 lane Freeways everybody drives on the extreme right lane leaving the left lane free for overtaking.
By 11:00am I was in Grand Canyon. I wished if I had took out a day extra to stay in Grand Junction. The best view of Grand Junction is either in Morning or Evening. And I got there during the worst time of the day. There are two option to enjoy Grand Canyon: a) take your own vehicle and drive around and b) take the free shuttle bus. I took the first option as I was already running out of time. By 3pm I started by return journey. On the way saw three highway petrols parking their cars in bushes.
By 8pm I was in Las Vegas and the trip meter was reading just over 600miles. 600miles a day, extremely tired, get into hotel room and gone for sound sleep.

Photos:
Few glimpse of Las Vegas at night
Grand Canyon Drive and the Toyota Rav4.
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Old 24th June 2010, 16:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hridayjyoti View Post
Photos
Few glimpse of Las Vegas at night
Grand Canyon Drive and the Toyota Rav4.
Sorry, guys. Photos missed out! Here we go.
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Old 24th June 2010, 16:38   #11
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Very dramatic landscapes you have captured there HJ. Never seen Grand Canyon in such glory till now.
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Old 24th June 2010, 16:50   #12
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Great pics HJ. Loved the photos. I would love to visit Nevada. Just can't get proper leave from job of a week to 10 days. Need to explore so much there.

Keep it coming.
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Old 24th June 2010, 16:59   #13
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Great pics HJ, looks like the bridge construction near Hoover dam is nearing its completion.
Next time you go there I suggest you visit north rim of Grand Canyon, its more beautiful and less crowded.
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Old 24th June 2010, 18:32   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
Great pics HJ. Loved the photos. I would love to visit Nevada. Just can't get proper leave from job of a week to 10 days. Need to explore so much there.
thnaks chevelle, Nevada worth a visit for sure. Grand Canyon North Rim, Moab and Skywalk are also recommended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Very dramatic landscapes you have captured there HJ. Never seen Grand Canyon in such glory till now.
Thanks MX6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepaktpatil View Post
Great pics HJ, looks like the bridge construction near Hoover dam is nearing its completion.
thanks. Yeah. It would definitely save some time to Grand Canyon and I feel Hoover Dam will look amazing from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepaktpatil View Post
Next time you go there I suggest you visit north rim of Grand Canyon, its more beautiful and less crowded.
Copied. If I get a chance next time, I would surely spare a few days more for North Rim, West Rim and a drive to Moab.
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Old 24th June 2010, 19:43   #15
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@Hriday - I can bet on one or both the things below.
1. You're a professional photographer
2. You're a amazing DSLR camera worth several hundred bucks

I mean, very brilliant photographs & very good captures. I simply loved your pictures very much. Makes me glued to this thread.
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