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The next day we hopped aboard one of Papilion's helicopters for a flight over the Grand Canyon, including a brief landing for snacks and snaps!

     

"A Little Wanderabouting the West"

On final approach to Las Vegas!

Our excellent pilot allowed a few extra minutes for a close-up inspection of Boulder Dam.

On our two-day side trip to Lone Pine, California we stopped to explore the lowest and hottest place in North America, Death Valley's Badwatter Basin!  I'm pretty sure Adrien found the exact spot that is 282 feet below sea level!

Next was Lone Pine, where we saw Roy Rogers guns in the Western Movie Museum, searched the dusty roads of the Alabama Hills for a particularly special rock, introduced ourselves to a genuine Graboid, drove high enough up Mt. Witney that we had to turn around because of the ice on the road, and were constantly fascinated by the rugged horizon etched by the jagged Sierra Nevada range.  

We made our return to Las Vegas via a very twisted, narrow obscure state highway (of which at its highest point a sign proclaimed "One Lane Road Ahead" just as the pavement disappeared into a barely-a-car-width's wide notch in a solid rock cliff face), but before doing so we visited the site of one of America's greatest moral failures, the Manzanar "War Relocation" Center [read that: "Concentration Camp"].

In Las Vegas we flew through Iceland's glaciers, fjiords, and steep-sidded valleys, learned about "Duck and Cover" at the Atomic Testing Museum, played around with some of the many one-armed bandits ('cept, it seems, few have such anymore), dropped a handful of quarters in the Pinball Museum, and made sure to visit some of Las Vegas' famous icons!  Also, we joined in an informative tour of the Shelby factory and museum, where, of course, we did not purchase a car!

We visited a rather unusual sculpture way out in the desert, and Adrien served as my tour guide to Red Rock Canyon and The Valley of Fire. While for all of these places I found skillmwith words and lens completely inadequate, nor did this lacking in any way diminish my appreciation and enjoyment!

Be still and the earth will speak to you.

Be still and the earth will speak to you.

Navajo Proverb