Dry Lakebed Driving

Four miles of dry lakebed and a rental car?  I couldn't resist.

Just south of here, a series of cockamamie solar power experiments are underway.  The land is cheap and the sun always shines, so I suppose it's a fine place for it.

Gold Strike Hot Springs

The Gold Strike trail leads down 800 vertical feet from Highway 93 to the Colorado River, just downstream of the Hoover Dam. It's not quite a slot canyon, but there are places that are quite narrow and there's plenty of scrambling to get over obstacles.

The trail is rather fun by itself, but the best feature is a series of natural hot springs starting about half way down. While soaking, I was told by a hiker that at the far end of this pool, one could dive down and pop up in a cave further in. I didn't test that idea out.


Progressive-house DJ deadmau5 performs to a lively crowd.  Some of the music was excellent, other parts were repetitive and bordering on irritating.

Later in the set, he brought out two industrial assembly robots (decorated with his logo) to dance and groove on either side of the booth. They were really good props!

Joshua Trees

Joshua Trees grow in a number of places in southern Nevada, including the gentle slopes leading up to Mt Charleston, northwest of Las Vegas.  This is around 6000ft.

Bristlecone pines, Mummy Mountain

Mummy Mountain, as seen from around 10,000ft in the Nevada winter.  Bristlecone pines populated the hillsides around this altitude, and feature beautiful exposed wood.  Their lifespans lead in to the millennia.

Las Vegas Strip

Landmarks are easily visible from the air from this view from the northwest along Las Vegas Blvd.  1990s properties like the Rio, Stratosphere, Luxor still pop out, and newer properties like the Wynn and the Cosmopolitan can be seen as well.  The airport is the chevron of darkness in the top-right.

Mount Defiance

Early snow descends on the Cascades here on the Ira Spring Trail, near the fork between the trails leading to Bandara Mountain and Mason Lake and at about 4100ft.  Mount Defiance is the near peak.

Knitting by Firelight

The power went off the other night, and so we kindled the fireplace for both warmth and light. It was lovely, and we should do it more frequently. Sadly, there's a burn ban on for the county due to stagnant winter air, so perhaps not tonight.

Getting the white balance right for this picture was a challenge.

Hemingway's Six Toed Cats

The house where Hemingway lived in Key West for eight years in the 1930s continues to be home to six-toed descendants of a cat he was gifted by a ship's captain. Polydactylism is not entirely uncommon in the larger cat population, and half of the numerous cats at Hemingway House exhibit it.

Mallory Square, Key West

Mallory Square in Key West features street performers every evening.  Most specialize in the sort of spiel that is effective at keeping an audience even when there is very little in the way of a performance happening.

In contrast, this woman just silently fire-danced.

Mile 0 Sunset

At the end of the road, the sun sneaks under a light cloud layer to set into the Gulf of Mexico.  This is mile zero for US route 1 in Florida, which leads north 547 miles until it reaches Georgia.

It may seem like quite a distance for travel through a single state, though I5 spans a greater length of California.

Key Deer

Pint-sized Key Deer are found only in the Florida Keys.  They're a miniature version of regular white-tailed deer, adapted for life in a locale with fewer resources than on the US mainland.  Although considered endangered, it was no trouble at all spotting quite a few of them on Big Pine Key towards sunset.

Brown Pelicans

These two Brown Pelicans were lurking on the dock of Robbie's of Islamorada, looking to profit from unwary tourists trying to feed tarpon (of the excellent genus Megalops) in the waters below. In the foreground is an adult, and a juvenile with immature plumage is in the back.

Grand Tetons

I didn't recognize this striking mountain range when flying over it, as I've never been to this area.  Research after landing has shown that this is the eastern edge of the Grand Tetons, showing Mt Bannon, Prospectors Mountain, and then the South, Middle and Grand Tetons themselves.  I'd love to see them from the perspective of being on the ground in Jackson Hole.

Lake Serene II

Allegedly, that's the shore of Lake Serene extending off to the horizon.  It was quite foggy right up through to this elevation of 2500ft, and so this marks the passing of two weeks of inversion with low cloud and sunny mountaintops.