Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hiking Red Rock Canyon's Keystone Thrust Trail - Part 2

Part 2 of Royal Flusher's Keystone Thrust hike pictorial, continued from Part 1.
The Keystone Thrust. You are seeing how the colored sandstone layer has been sublimated under the gray granite in a tectonic clash of epic proportions. Like, millions of years epic.

Close up of the thrust. The trail turns east here and drops down. Bear in mind that you'll have to come up again.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Hiking Red Rock Canyon's Keystone Thrust Trail - Part 1

The Keystone Thrust trail in Nevada's Red Rock Canyon conservation area, just outside Las Vegas, is shown on maps as short hike (around 2 hours) of moderate difficulty. The elevation change is shown as 500 feet, but add some feet if you hike from the first parking lot to the second one at the trail head, about a mile up a gravel road. The elevation change is surprisingly challenging, but the trip is well worth it for the views, and for the geology lesson.

The Keystone Thrust is a fault formed by tectonic plate movement - the older gray granite plate has gotten shoved overtop the younger yellow and red sandstone rock layers. Weather has done the rest of the work to make these fascinating formations.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pinball Hall of Fame Las Vegas

There is something magical about pinball. The flashing lights. The seductive themes and gaudy alluring carnival-style artwork. The ever present challenge - can you beat the machine? You feed a quarter in and the machine springs to life with the clatter of resetting counters and ringing chimes. The first silver ball is slammed into the chute with a loud 'whock'. You pull back on the spring-loaded plunger, and it's just you, the game, and gravity, suspended in a fast-paced world of sound, motion and lights for as long as you can keep that ball out of the gutter.

This wonderful device has been around for decades, and hearing those chimes and banging those flippers instantly brings you back to younger more carefree days.

The Pinball Hall of Fame is a living museum devoted to pinball and all kinds of other coin-op arcade games. The best part? You can play all of them. But even if you don't want to partake, coin-op arcade games are a feast for the eyes.