The “Blue” Leg

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Las Vegas.  I very much wanted to leave what I got there behind…

….and I’m not talking about the STD!  (Jokes people.  Jokes.)

I knew I’d be sore after hiking the Angels Landing trail in Zion the day before but I figured having a room for the night would help minimize any lingering effects.  Woke up feeling pretty good and grabbed a nice breakfast at the cafe next to my hotel and was soon on my way to Las Vegas, just a few hours away.

While traveling throughout the west I’ve developed a fascination with industrial facilities in remote locations.  More than anything they bring up questions for me about the people they employ.  Perhaps a future personal project is born…

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

My plan was that after five nights camping a two-night stay in Vegas would be a great opportunity to recharge before heading on to Death Valley.

I’m not a big gambler.  At least with money.  So I really was looking forward to some relaxation while I was there.  I was up to check out a show if I found something interesting, but unfortunately Britney wasn’t playing for a few nights still 😉

I ended up finding probably the best exhibition of photography I’ve seen in a long time.  Yousuf Karsh’s amazing portraiture was on display across the street at the Bellagio Fine Art Gallery.  And it was the last day of the exhibition!  I was pretty stoked.  Karsh was a master who photographed a who’s who of power, art, and celebrity over the course of the 20th century.  I can’t explain how impressive this portrait of Georgia O’Keefe is to see with your own eyes…

roadtrip_to_reunion_0546

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Obviously, my shitty cell phone shot is doing it a huge disservice.  Just Google “Yousuf Karsh Georgia O’Keefe” to see some better digital versions.  NONE of them compare to seeing the real thing just so you know.  The exhibition brought me back to the original feeling that made me want to be a photographer in the first place.  Awesome.

Still dealing with some residual fatigue from Zion, I called my first night in Vegas pretty early.  Unfortunately, I woke up with a much more concerning problem- I was sick.  I never get sick!!  The only thing I can think of is the hike in Zion weakened my immune system enough so that I was susceptible to a cold bug floating around the tightly-packed buses carting visitors around the park.  It didn’t matter though.

I was bummed.  But the good thing about not being a gambler is that it wasn’t going to change my plans much, i.e., pooltime and relaxation became a required activity at this point.  I don’t think Bally’s is known for its pool scene like some of the other hotels and I was fine with that.  A little sun and some reading were all I wanted.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

But even the birds around here looked sick, too…

roadtrip_to_reunion_0566

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Not much else to say about Vegas.  My cold worsened over two days so much that I decided to stay a third night to get more rest as I didn’t think Furnace Creek in Death Valley would be very accommodating in my current condition (I eventually found out it still would’ve been a good stop).  So I tried to catch up on editing and stared at this thing a lot.  (FYI, each pod can hold up to 40 people.  And you can sign up for yoga classes that take place in them.)

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Instead of Death Valley and US 395, my extra night in Vegas forced me into a longer day up US 95 through Nevada to make my reservation for camping at Hodgdon Meadow in Yosemite.

You hear stuff, but I bet there really are some interesting things going on in the deserts of western Nevada…

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

I also saw a drone landing at a base nearby.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

What you can’t see in the photo below is the plume of dust covering the road in front of me.  I almost had to stop because it was so thick.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

I thought this guy was relieving himself right out there in the open, but I don’t think that was the case after all.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

I’m just chalking this up to the “blue” leg of the trip.  I was sick, still tired, and it was the longest drive yet.  The one thing I was looking forward to was entering Yosemite from the east through Lee Vining.  It’s been years, but I have the greatest vision of Tuolumne Meadows in full bloom, the glassy water and the lush landscape.  Unfortunately, this is how it looks now…

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Here’s a shot I tried to replicate from the last time I came through the east entrance…

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

And the original.  (Yeah, even this looked better back then.)

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

The drought is real in California.  And anyone living near  Yosemite should be grateful it hasn’t gone up in flames this summer.  It really is a tinderbox right now.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

I arrived to a very full campground and found my spot next to a huge family with several young (and loud) children.  Great.  I also noticed for the first time here how much some folks put into their camping experience.  The mobile “kitchen” setups are my favorite, complete with a foot pump for water in the sink.  Finally, to my great surprise, I actually woke up before the bratty kids the next morning.

I knew this “blue” leg would be temporary, though.  From here I was on my way to Sacramento to meet up with my old buddies for our weekend campout at Dillon Beach.  I was extremely happy about this, cold or not.

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3 responses to “The “Blue” Leg

  1. Thanks Marc, l enjoyed your pictures & comments. ❤️mom

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. Hi Marc – I really do love your photos and commentary. It definitely deserves a bigger audience. The site is really great. The only thing that’s missing from the blog though is the part after Yosemite in Claremont ha ha just kidding. But I did see the Claremont family Gothic portrait in there. -Anne

  3. Hi Anne! Thanks for stopping by and checking it out. I have a couple more posts coming from this trip so stay tuned!

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