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    • It sounds like most people that hang around the CAKE 'hood are very aware of the world around them. Maybe because my parents were unofficial isolationists from the 60's and 70's where the only interest they had was hanging out at home around the pool, but, the rebellious streak in me then was born to explore.

      Of ANYWHERE I have lived on the surface crust of this thing called earth, I have always made sure I explored my "backyard" with vigor, curiousity and passion. On my recent trip to Florida, I can almost guarantee you that of all the places I 'explored', NONE of my circle of friends that actually live in Florida had experienced any of those areas.

      Las Vegas is very transient and you can tell there are generally two types of people that move here: the ones that want to extend their vacation on the Strip with gambling, shows and debauchery and the other group that sort of has disdain for the 1% lifestyle that Vegas represents. I have a good buddy who moved from the San Fernando Valley and he "hates" Vegas but he has never gone or done anything outside the Strip. Free world for sure but there is so much to do around here.

      Growing up in the Bay area in the 60's and 70's, I remember riding my 10-speed bicycle up old 9 to Page Mill road and down to Foothill Expressway and back home to Saratoga way before spandex was cool. But, EVERYTIME I did a ride like that I always met someone like me that had to urge to get out and explore. Aka, stop/go and smell the roses.

      Willow Beach is about 50 miles south of where I live in the Summerlin area but it is the only place to put-in your kayak on the other side of the Hoover Dam which is about 15 miles north on the Colorado River. Yesterday, I was hoping to do a personal best and paddle up to the Arizona Hotsprings and back.

    • We are in the middle of a excessive heat warning and the Ranger at the gate told me that down on the river, don't be surpised if the ambient temps felt more like 115º -118º.

    • I have not really searched any satellite photos of the horrific California wildfires, but you can see the haze from those fires affecting our air quality.

    • Even though I had the goal in mind, you never know how the old body will feel. I have done the Goldstrike Hotsprings hike (a very popular but tough hike that I wrote about HERE)

    • I have also hiked to the Arizona Hotsprings from the highway and it was a super tough hike. My yogi pal and I thought for sure we were going to die from heat exhaustion and we had left the on the hike at 6am and returned around 3pm completely spent. Circa 2012.

    • I got on the water around 7:30am and the ambient temp was already 105º+. But, ANYONE with ANY kind of camera can grab a money shot.

    • This part of the Colorado River is called the Black Canyon Water Trail and the most popular kayaking destination for all paddlers is called Emerald Cove. If you google it, you will see there are some very compelling images. But, if you don't catch the afternoon sun, no big deal and most people are disappointed. I ran into these cool peeps and their Chevy Suburban canoe with EVERYTHING and maybe the kitchen sink loaded up. They also had their 3 y/o son and you could tell this was a big adventure for him. Fun stuff! Notice the platform towards the top. That was for miners back in the day. Very sketch looking.

    • Landing on the beach where I am hoping the trail for the Colorado Hotsprings are, (no markers), there is a split trail but since I grew up on the left coast, I go left. hahahahah It is probably 117º here and so seeing some water is a good sign.

    • Since I was solo and there was nobody around, and since I have already fallen off a cliff a few years ago, I opted to not hoist myself over the ladder. Mostly because on the downclimb it might be too sketch for me. But, it looks like a great place to strip off your clothes and relax.

    • I think statistically, more people die in mountainering downclimbing than on the upward climb. This was not technical, but, I am always super cautious on my downclimbs.

    • A nice feature of this portion of the river is that on Sunday's personal motorized watercraft are not allowed. I did see a couple of illegal users, but, no biggs. Just nice to see literally 100's of people "in church" on such a hot day.

      Do you explore your backyard with vigor and curiosity?

    • Air temp 113 - water temp was 53. Shouldn't be too hard to avoid hyperthermia then.

      Ameobic meningitis is no laughing matter though. Uncommon, but very deadly.

      I hear you about climbing down - I have learned to my chagrin, that I can frequently clamber up on the rock to places I really find kind of hard to get down from, especially if I didn't have the foresight to bring a length of rope along with me for security on the way down.

      Looks like you had a great day exploring. Great images.

      Could you discuss your type of kayak you use and why you chose it, please? I am shopping for a platform to photograph wildlife from, hence stability is a key feature for me.

    • Could you discuss your type of kayak you use and why you chose it,
      please? I am shopping for a platform to photograph wildlife from, hence
      stability is a key feature for me.

      This was my first kayak and at the last minute I changed my mind and bought a "SIT ON TOP" versus a SIT-IN mostly because of the ease of getting in the kayak. This is mostly intended to be used in CLASS ONE and at the most CLASS TWO. And, I bought it in February at Dick's because it was an ugly baby poop brown marked down from $595 to $125. LOL It tracks well and is stable.

      That being said this next winter I will buy a Jackson Karma RG (rock garden) that is good for expeditions, surfing and rock gardens.

      Sit-On-Tops are most popular for people that like to fish hence stability. The price ranges can be $200-$2000. Something to consider is a peddle version that would free up your hands to shoot but still get around.

    • Great write-up. I never knew about Goldstrike and Arizona hotsprings and I've been around there a bunch of times. I'm not into the strip, I wanna get out and see the wonders of the world.

      What is that last kayak you show!? It looks like a high-tech, hack-fishing and eavesdrop on the Navy kind of rig.

    • What is that last kayak you show!? It looks like a high-tech, hack-fishing and eavesdrop on the Navy kind of rig.

      I actually don't know....but, similar to ADV, I hang out in a kayakers FB group and there are some obsessive gear junkies. Safe to say this is probably about a $10k setup with electronics and expensive fishing gear. I guess you can spend upwards of $100/ea for a fishing lure/fly times x-amount. One point that is made abundantly clear of in that group is that for a married couple to purchase a tandem as their 1st kayak is the express route to divorce. hahahahah