the un-casino


Today went out to Red Rock Canyon…..I pretty quickly needed an antidote to casino action yesterday…..and you won’t don’t better than this, and it’s a short drive west of Vegas, maybe 20 minutes.
The park is grand in scale, with beautiful rock formations in varying shades of red, gold and tan. As you drive the 13 mile loop, there are plenty of spots to park, get out and gawk, and a number of hikes ranging from easy (me) to difficult(not me, plus I didn’t have hiking shoes)….and take pictures, of course. Truly, truly beautiful, though suburbs of Vegas are slowly encroaching. A guide told me they have to mount a big fight every few years, to keep developers from really moving in.
Stopped in at Spring Valley Ranch, almost went on by, because from the road, it doesn’t look like much, but it’s fascinating. The ranch was owned by a series of fascinating over the years, including German movie star Vera Krup, who kept cattle there and rode the range every day. She was married seven times, and one of her husbands (Krup), gave here the famous Krup diamond….30 karats! Vera and the ranch foreman who had dinner together every night (??), were tied up and robbed one night…though the diamond was recovered later…imagine trying to fence that thing! The diamond was later sold to Richard Burton who gave it to la Liz Taylor, of course….and the ranch was subsequently sold to Howard Hughes…though no one is sure he ever visited. His loss..gorgeous place….and don’t miss Vera’s closet with many of her costumes and evening outfits. Super glam.
Have dinner reservatons tonight at Bouchon, in the Venetian. It’s a Thomas Keller restaurant of French Laundry fame…more later. Supposed to be very good without spending an arm and a leg, and let me tell you, you can do that in a heartbeat here…..entrees that are 50, 60 70, 90 dollars? Come on, that is crazy!! And even if I did want to spend that much, which I don’t, it would have to be beyond perfect, or I would really be one unhappy customer.

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