Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MOJO to the Mojave (no poker/bridge content)

It was nice to finally meet bridge bloggers and Canadian cousins Ray and Linda Lee who blog here. They publish many excellent bridge books at Master Point Press.

Phil Gordon of Las Vegas won the NABC Open Swiss Teams on the last weekend. Maybe he was helped by the positive MOJO power from the story I did on him? Well, whatever. I took the photo of his team (he had them all wearing Full Tilt patches) and wrote a short recap that you can see and read about by clicking here.

The winners of the Wagar Women's Knockout Teams included Lynn Deas of Schenectady NY. She gave me a deal where she made 6NT on a nonsimultaneous double squeeze (the declarer went down in the replay at the other table) which I published in the Daily Bulletin. I called it "Double whammy" in reference to the word double in the squeeze name. It's on page 4 of the Sunday Daily Bulletin.

This from the "Let's brag" department: I shared a copy of it with the NY Times and they published it with a rewrite (also they added some other NABC news). The Times didn't opt for my snazzy title, can you believe it? You can see the Times' version by clicking on: NY Times.

On my last Sunday (7/27) in Las Vegas, I decided to do the tourist thing. Even though we worked until 3 a.m. the night before, we started early and went to Hoover Dam, then traveled a road alongside Lake Mead on the way to Valley of Fire State Park. All of these are in the Mojave Desert.

At Hoover Dam we took the tour. It's a pretty amazing and worthwhile thing to do and see. I saw it when I was a kid, so that must have been back in the Iron Age, or maybe the Bronze.

Hoover Dam -- a symbol of America.

After we left Hoover Dam, we traveled a road that paralleled Lake Mead. Lake Mead is skinny, but extends for miles. The road led us to Valley of Fire State Park. People who come to Las Vegas know about Red Rock Canyon State Park (commonly called Red Rock), but Valley of Fire seems to fly under the radar. Maybe it's because RR is close, whereas V-of-F is about 50 miles away. I was surprised to find that it had many more interesting things to see than RR.

Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

One of many rock formations at the Valley of Fire. This whole area was a sea millions of years ago. The rocks and earth have iron in them. The red color is from iron oxide (think rust).

This trail led to some petroglyphs that were drawn on what is called desert varnish.

This formation at Valley of Fire caught my eye. I especially like the contrast between the small rocks that are close versus the mountains in the background and the green vegetation in the foreground.

I'm guessing that other than a road leading through Valley of Fire, things aren't too much different than they were millions of years ago.

This road in Valley of Fire seems to disappear.

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