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Post Posted: August 5th, 2012, 8:53 pm 
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Here are photos from a couple of hikes I did in the Spring. The first was at China Ranch Date Farm, an oasis over in Cali at the edge of Death Valley. The hike was to a slot canyon on the other side of the Amargosa River. That one was a four miler round trip. The second was the Five Tunnels Hike out at Lake Mead along the old government rail bed which linked the Union Pacific line at Boulder City to the dam construction site in 1931. That hike with additional walking around once I got to Black Canyon and the Hoover Dam was about ten miles on the round trip.


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The slot canyon in the distance, the Tidewater & Tonapah rail bed and a gypsum loading spot above where the tracks used to be.

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The Amargosa. Water is always a special site in the desert. This stuff is pretty alkaline though.

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Into the slot canyon. It's blocked about 100 meters in by some boulders. I may have been able to get over them, but not sure if I could have climbed back over on the other side. I wasn't prepared for a possible long detour.

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Terminal headache if those decided to fall at that moment. Heading back towards the date farm now. Some tumbleweeds were hiding from something.

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A tin can dump, probably from mining days around 100 years ago.

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Gypsum crystal.

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There is a nice little gift shop snack bar located here where you can purchase all the date varieties as well as baked goods and souvenirs. Below is the tunnels hike starting with a view of the promontory named Cape Horn by the crews that built the dam back then.

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The power relay station is located just above Hoover Dam. The trail ends at the roof of the parking garage.

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The Nevada spillway with it's 100' drum gates. The last time they were used to prevent topping at the dam was 1983.

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The entrance to the spillway diversion tunnel on the Nevada side. Can you imagine the difficult job it was to apply the wet concrete at that angle. In fact about 1934, a work platform with three or four guys on it at the time broke free and they went for about a 3/4 mile toboggan ride until they shot out the other end and into the river below the dam. As far as I know they all survived, albeit with a couple of serious injuries. Legend has is that one of them yelled down the tunnel, 'Look out cuz we're coming through!' to guys he knew were working below them

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And finally, taking literary license and bragging rights into consideration, this is me. Today before a workout in preparation for Tough Mudder. Hit my goal weight of 180# this morning (okay, 180.3), down from 244 in mid November. That Mudder $%^&* is mine!

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Post Posted: August 5th, 2012, 9:31 pm 
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As a long time resident of Las Vegas I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I was unaware of China Ranch until recently. I'm looking forward to taking a drive out there when the weather is cooler, maybe October.
I was at the Dam when those spillways were being used - it was quite a sight! Makes the current situation at the lake very sad in comparison.

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Post Posted: August 5th, 2012, 9:37 pm 
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The last photo looked exactly some guy I met in the parking garage. :icon_lol:
Some great photos!!!! I love them.
244 to 180 -- simply amazing .... I need to match your weight.

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Post Posted: August 6th, 2012, 3:32 am 
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We loved China Ranch, I tried a date milkshake at the little store. Shame about the rock fall, Norm took us somewhere that looked very much like that place, and the rock formations and colours walking through were spectacular.

Good work on the fitness regime. Do you have any goals to aim for after the Mudder? See you soon.

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Post Posted: August 6th, 2012, 4:54 am 
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pebbles wrote:

Quote:
Good work on the fitness regime. Do you have any goals to aim for after the Mudder? See you soon.


Nothing specific at this time, though working out and healthy eating are now no longer goal oriented, but a way of life for me.

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Post Posted: August 6th, 2012, 9:46 am 
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Great pictures, thanks for sharing!

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Post Posted: August 6th, 2012, 6:30 pm 
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Nice job all around man!

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Post Posted: August 6th, 2012, 6:31 pm 
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Thanks for all the comments, guys.

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Louie DePalma 'Taxi'

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Post Posted: August 6th, 2012, 6:35 pm 
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Looking good, buddy. All that hard work has paid off.

How have your friends/family reacted to your new-found healthy lifestyle? Congrats or feeling a little bad that they shouldn't have any excuses for not doing the same thing?

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Post Posted: August 6th, 2012, 6:58 pm 
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Most of the reaction here is positive, rog. I do have a few friends who think I'm going too far with the weight loss. But then, they're not exactly svelte. But I don't criticize. Keep my thoughts to myself. It did happen much more quickly than I expected it would. Still three and a half months short of a year's membership in the gym.

I guess I do have a goal after all. I want to build a five-pound buffer zone beginning each time I'm a couple of months from a trip. Slow down now, but continue to lose weight to 175 by the beginning of October. That way I can partake of culinary debauchery (if I can even get myself to do so now) in Las Vegas and on the off chance I gain five pounds, I'm still at my goal weight of 180.

The biggest kick I get is telling people that the last time I wore 34"W Wranglers (buttoned at the navel) Richard Nixon was president. Many of them don't even know who he was. :icon_lol:

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Post Posted: August 7th, 2012, 3:41 am 
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"culinary debauchery" that's a pretty good term for what usually happens to me in LV :)

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Post Posted: August 7th, 2012, 8:53 am 
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Nice pics thanks for sharing.

Great job with weight loss. Keep it up.

Jim

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Post Posted: August 7th, 2012, 1:51 pm 
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Good pics, but that's a lot of rocks.

Yeah, not enough neon for me :icon_wink: I'm the type that if I am outdoors, I want trees, cool air and rain.

Looking good! Would it kill you to smile? :icon_biggrin:

And.....aren't my biceps bigger? HAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Post Posted: August 7th, 2012, 3:03 pm 
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Brat! We serious meatheads don't smile when we're holding iron. ;-)

Okay. Fewer rocks more pretty lights for you next trip.

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Post Posted: August 7th, 2012, 3:11 pm 
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historian wrote:
Brat! We serious meatheads don't smile when we're holding iron.

Why on earth not? Too many muscles in play at once? (Just kidding)

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Post Posted: August 7th, 2012, 3:18 pm 
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The buffer is a good idea, I try to do that myself, so that it eases the burden of making up the calories when I return.

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Post Posted: August 7th, 2012, 5:38 pm 
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Pebs, the old saying it requires less muscles to smile... blah, blah. So if I want to sculpt my face I have to frown a lot. But when I frown and chew gum, I fall down. ;-)

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Louie DePalma 'Taxi'

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Post Posted: August 7th, 2012, 6:36 pm 
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You men!!! No good at multitasking.

:icon_wink: :icon_biggrin:

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Post Posted: August 7th, 2012, 7:18 pm 
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Dear Lord, there's a bunch of men over here....they SUCK at multitasking.

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Post Posted: August 10th, 2012, 10:42 am 
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Looking good, Tom! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the Mudder after the race.

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