Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

From my family to yours, "Merry Christmas"! This photo was taken on January 26, 2010 after a two day snowstorm.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rainbow over the Nevada Test Site!

It has been raining for the past few days and I guess it is supposed to continue for a few more days. This type of rain is somewhat rare for this part of the state. It does make for some pretty photos at times. This photo is of a rainbow over the airstrip in the Nevada Test Site just before Mercury. That is an interesting airstrip. I have seen the lights on before and have seen a few small planes land there. You can see it pretty well from the Highway!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Balloon Ride Near the Nevada Test Site

While driving to the Pahrump Nugget to cash in my winning parlay card (I had USC -6, Nevada -9, Washington -6, and Oregon -16), I noticed a very rare sight. In fact, this was the first time I had noticed a hot air balloon floating into the Pahrump Valley. It appeared to me that the balloon originated somewhere in the Armagosa Valley near Crystal. The thing that caught my eye was the extremely high altitude of the balloon. I usually see 2-3 balloons per morning on the way to work in Las Vegas. The balloons do low Las Vegas view tours. The balloons are quite low and that really made this sight stick out. I could not believe how high the balloon was. I am guessing that the balloon was high to get over the mountain range that is to the North of Pahrump between the NTS and Pahrump. With the balloon being that high, with the right equipment and even with the naked eye, the NTS and well beyond Mercury would be easily seen. I have read many times and thought about hot air ballooning near the NTS, Range or even Area 51, but I have never seen on this close to the Nellis Range. The photo is almost impossible to see the balloon. It was extremely high up and far away from downtown Pahrump. I guess there could be tours of the Armagosa or Pahrump Valley, but there is not doubt they could get a great view if they knew where to look! I continued the drive further North to see where the balloon was landing. It started to descend shortly after I took the photo. I landed inside the Pahrump Valley in front of the mountain range that separates Crystal from Pahrump. It landed approximately 20 miles from the restricted area of the Nellis Range! Interesting to me...

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Busy Las Vegas Morning!

With the weather change, the contrails over Las Vegas really develop high above the valley floor. Each morning driving to work in Las Vegas, it is really a show high in the sky. The amount of passenger and military jet activity is impressive. I am glad the air traffic controllers know what they are doing!