Downhome Magazine

OUTSIDE LAS VEGAS

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I've often heard people talk about spending a week on the Strip in Vegas and wandering from one Casino to the next. Not only is that very tiring but also very expensive to stay and eat on the strip.<br />
My wife Wanda and I first went to Vegas in 1973. At that time Fremont Street area (which is now very freakie) was the main part of Vegas. The population was 60,000, now almost 3 million.<br />
We have family in Vegas, Oregon, Calif. and Arizona. So over the years we have travelled extensively throughout the western states.<br />
So, want to see some of the west. Rent a car and do some driving, using Vegas as a base.<br />
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is probably the best viewing. It is an overnight trip and we've often stayed in the old western town of Williams, AZ. While there take a trip to Sedona...the scenery is breath taking. Visit the Church of the Holy Cross, build into the side of the red rock mountains.<br />
So, back in Vegas you can do a day trip to Red Rock Canyon, and continue on a short distance to see Spring Mountain Ranch, once owned by Howard Hughes and once the home of the largest diamond in the world, the Krupp Diamond. Visit the hidden room and hear the story of how the diamond was stolen.<br />
Take another day trip to the Valley of Fire....pack a lunch and lots of water. Beautiful scenery. <br />
If you like wine, drive around the mountains overlooking Vegas to Pahrump via Blue Diamond Road. Find the Pahrump Valley Winery surrounded by desert and taste a variety of very nice wines.<br />
Another day trip is the China Date Ranch &amp; Bakery. About half way out to Pahrump, turn left on Tecopa Road. It;s a bit of a drive and you actually enter California. Follow the signs to an oasis of date trees from all over the world....dates, date loaf and even date ice cream. Another beautiful spot and there is hiking if you like that. Always take lots of water and make sure you have a full tank of gas.<br />
It can be done in one day but it is a long trip, Zion National Park in Utah. About a 3 hour drive. Climb the winding narrow roads and enjoy the fantastic scenery close up.<br />
Going south, Laughlin is like a mini Vegas. Nice place to stay with very good hotel rates. Cross over the Colorado River into Arizona and through Bullhead City to Oatman. An old western town with burros and gunfights in the street.<br />
Enjoy!

Coldbrook, Ns
 
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