"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Sidetracked in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada
Elks Lodge 

A couple years ago Steve had a detached retina.  The last couple of days he has been experiencing some of the same symptoms, so we found a retina specialist in Las Vegas to get his eye checked out.  At this time we were camped at Boulder Beach BLM Campground on Lake Mead.
It was $20 with a senior pass.  No electric, scattered water spigots and a dump station. 
We had site # E43 and Rick and Angie were across from us.
Most of the sites are not too deep and it's a pretty busy park.  It's quite pretty.
We enjoyed a fire and a nice evening. 
Since Steve's doctor appointment wasn't until the afternoon, we all went for an early morning paddle.
We put in just around the campground and were able to drive to the marina.  Large boats are to the right and kayaks/canoes to the left where we could drive right to the waters edge.
Rick and Angie.
We've seen these tires that were tied together by cables to act as a wind break.
It was clear and warm out.  We could see the layers of mountains in the distance.

The water was crystal clear and calm.
The small coves were full of pink and orange rock which looked so pretty with the blue green water.
We even came across a sunken boat in one of the coves.  Kind of creepy looking.


Carp swam in and out of the weeds around the boat.  

We really had a great time on the water after our cold, snowy time at Cathedral Gorge.  After our paddle we drove to Steve's doctor appointment and the news was what we expected.  He had an attached retina in his other eye.  Ugg! This meant we needed to make some quick decisions.  Either we find another place to stay in Las Vegas, have the surgery here and spend his 4 week recovery here or make a quick drive to Arizona and have the surgery and recovery there.  Problem is it is high season in Arizona and it would be almost impossible to find a place to spend 4 weeks so we chose to stay here at an Elks Lodge and cancel our next 5 stops.
Surgery was scheduled for the next day so we went back to camp, packed up and moved right over to the Elks Lodge.  It was dark by time we got there.
The Northern Las Vegas Elks Lodge isn't in the best area and it is very noisy.  There were screaming jets from Nellis Air Base right there, traffic and noise from the very busy flea market (complete with blaring Mariachi music) and college across the street with constantly beeping gate.  Home for four weeks?  We'll deal with it.  As always, we're grateful for a safe place to stay at the Elks.  W/E/Dump for $25. Plenty of services around us that are low enough in elevation for us to go to.
Rick and Angie also cancelled their stay at our next place and stayed with us a few days in case we needed help with anything.  It's so nice to have great friends when times like this pop up.  We went to breakfast at Chicken & Waffles which was delicious.  The potions are huge.
The waitress' arm is in the way but you can still see the size of their Mimosa For Two!
Thanks for the friendship and we'll see ya next month!

The first week he had to lay on his side so we were in "Trailer Jail". There aren't many places we can go to that are under the needed elevation once he could get up and move around. Unfortunately, most of the strip is out but we had a few fun places to visit.  One was a nice farmers market.

Next we visited the Gilcrease Nature Sanctuary.  It's nothing fancy but kind of fun to see some varied animals and plenty of birds they rescue.  $8 to get in.

There were a few turkeys and peacocks.
The Ostrich was not a friendly fellow.  But he cracked me up.  He kept eyeballing us.

We raised Emus on our ranch and loved these guys!  They only weight 90 lbs verses 290!

There were the usual mini goats and donkeys, lamas, potbellied pigs and tortoises.

Another day we drove to Kounts Customs.  Steve has watched the show before so it was a fun little stop.  No charge to get in.
It's a small place with not too many cars but it was still fun to see.

My Dad had a couple of Bel Airs and would've loved this car!

We decided to see what that Flea Market across the street was all about.  $3 entry fee. We figured we'd find some great Mexican food here, which we did!  We walked around looking at the wares but most were the same.  We bought some dried spicy mango which we put in salads, oatmeal and our cocktails.  The music was deafening!

Another day, after a grocery stop we popped into a Pinkbox to grab a few donuts.  They had some really good ones.  I had to have the bacon and Steve had some Lemon and chocolate.
I also had to get a new computer as mine was dying quickly.  Now I just need to get used to it.  Our first 3 weeks were pretty boring.  Walks around our "compound" and short excursions and errands.
Towards the last few days Steve was doing well enough that he could go up a bit more in elevation.  So we thought we'd take a drive to check out where the Van Gogh exhibit is and stop by to take a walk around the Sphere.

We parked by a nearby McDonalds and walked.  While I'm sure it would've been fun to go INSIDE the Sphere, it would've been $300 each.  Crazy.  It really was nice just to walk to it and watch it from across the street by a park.  It is quite impressive up close. It is 366 feet tall and 516 feet across.

A really cool video of the Sphere outside.

We learned that the area is not very Hoss Friendly (what we call our dually truck).  It was very cumbersome to drive the big dually through the strip when we aren't familiar with it.  No parking could be found either.  We decided it would be better to just Uber to/from the Van Gogh exhibit. 
It was $30 each to see.  While it wasn't quite the walk through experience I had seen at other locations, it was still nice.  It reminded me of my art classes back in school.
There were a few benches to sit on while the artwork appeared on the walls and sometimes the floor.  It was really neat to watch his art come alive and change.

Afterward we walked a little of the strip then went to get something to eat.  We have been to Las Vegas a few times before so there wasn't really anything we wanted to see.  Las Vegas isn't my thing anyway.  We hoped for a buffet but they all seemed to be more of a breakfast/lunch thing.  We couldn't find one close to us for dinner so we stopped at Gordon Ramsay.
I had a Truffle Burger and Steve had a jalapeno burger.  We chose sweet potato fries and truffle fries.  Great food.  Pricey burgers at $30+ but very tasty!

Steve was doing well enough for us to leave after three weeks.  
So long Las Vegas, Hello Arizona!


  1. Happy you had somewhere to wait out the recovery period. Always a bummer to have to cancel plans, but at least this didn't happen during your upcoming Alaska trip.

    1. At least. Still a bummer. After this post he had another laser and another surgery which he is recovering from now. Ug. 4-8 more weeks. It’s all week by week now.

  2. $300 to go in the Sphere and people pay that?!?!? That really sucks about Steve's eye, hope all goes well and he recovers quickly. Wouldn't it be fun to hook into one of those carp? That thing would tow you around the lake!

    1. So many cool shows, etc but SO much money! Oh they pay it. Most of the Sphere “shows” were sold out!

  3. That Sphere is very cool but not $300 cool! As a side note…the interior and exterior screens were manufactured by Saco Technologies, a Canadian Company that specializes in LED video and lighting displays. Sure hope Steve has a speedy recovery and you guys can get on with your plans.

    1. Cool to know they were made in Canada! These eye surgeries are a drag and scary. I want him to enjoy his retirement!

  4. Sorry you got stuck! At least it wasn't during summer in Vegas! Miss you guys! Double D

    1. True! Hoping to see you when we get back but it’s going to be crazy busy!

  5. We lived in Las Vegas in the 90s and although it has changed a lot since then, we still have no desire to visit. That place has gotten really pricey as well. Bummer about Steve's eye. I too have been dealing with eye issues and it's scary. Cheers to getting back on schedule.

    1. I hope your eye gets better. We hope to stay somewhat on schedule

  6. I'm sorry I didn't reach out for a visit since you were so close especially when you were at Boulder Beach. John was having hip replacement surgery while you were here. He is now almost four weeks out and using a cane now so we are getting out a little more. Glad all went well with Steve's surgery. I didn't post anything about John's surgery. We just kept it quiet. John could barely walk in the weeks prior to the surgery. So we were home bound.

    1. No worries as it happened our first day and he was on his back the first week and some restrictions the rest of the time. Unfortunately he just had the surgery redone and we’re starting all over faith a longer recovery. No fun. I sure hope John is feeling better and us up and around soon!

  7. Here for you....sending love and hugs for complete recovery.


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