So as many people know I am in Vegas with some of the Media Junkyard boys (Chris, Rob and Cory) specifically. It was a great time and something I desperately needed. While there I did two hikes, both at Red Rock Canyon. The first was a trail up to the Calico Tanks on perfect day. The temp was in the high in the 70′s when I arrived, not a cloud to be seen. It isn’t the most difficult trail but it’s generally quiet and beautiful. I reached the top and made my way up higher to get a view and just think. I posted the photos from this hike the other day on here. I spent about an hour at the top and made friends with two squirrels at different elevations. One basically sat on my lap. Yes I realize I shouldn’t have given them granola, but I did.
After being there awhile, and just reflecting on where I am at in life as well as enjoying the peace, I was rudely interrupted by a herd of cacklers. I could hear the screeching voices echoing through the canyon from a half a mile away. Basically, these five inconsiderate fools ruined everyone’s tranquility because they did not understand how to shut the fuck up. I decided to leave and as I was heading out a couple I came across had the exact feelings I did about the cackling masses. All in all it was a great 2 – 3 hours of enjoying the outdoors and reflecting on life.
Two days later I awoke and decided to tackle Turtle Head Peak which was quite difficult for me. I am a complete novice and live in a flat area, so this was a challenge. The trail (if you can call it that) is about a five-mile round trip and climbs over 2000 feet. The first mile of the trail isn’t bad. There are some steep climbs and loose gravel but it is very manageable. After that however, the trail splinters into 20 different directions at times, and disappears completely at others. There are steep climbs over loose rock and the trail becomes very steep. I was very close to turning around a few times.
I pushed myself to continue and made it around the backside of the peak, where I met up with a fellow solo hiker from the Netherlands. We were able to push each other to make it to the peak. We would move up 75 five feet or so at a shot and then break for a few minutes. This last little bit took about twenty minutes. As I came up the ridge nearing the peak I could begin to see the entire Las Vegas valley below me. At that moment I had this warmth run over me, it was almost spiritual (but not really). Pushed on the last little bit to the top and it was a spectacular sight, to be sure. The I could see as far as Lake Mead, more than 40 miles away. I was awed. We took in the view and logged our names (and a few very special thoughts ) into the journal at the top. While there another gentleman, who my counterpart had already met earlier joined us. We sat and talked, first about hiking and then about life in general. This was an experience that completely moved me, in a way I wouldn’t have dreamed.
After about 45 minutes on the peak, resting up, eating and enjoying the company, I headed down with the man from the Netherlands. Going down was much faster and we only took one or two breaks at most. The terrain was still treacherous but the adrenaline was still flowing. Every so often, I would look back up at the peak and was just filled with a sense of completion. Once we reached the parking area we just shook hands and I thanked him for helping me get there. After that we went our separate ways never to cross paths again.
The whole experience inspired me to look into more hiking trips, locally and in other areas of the country. My preference is the desert areas; there is just something that draws me to the desert. I’m going to do a second post with photos of the hike, I’m on a plane and the WiFi isnt the best for large uploads.
I recently returned from a trip to Disney World in Orlando, and while there ended up watching far too much Disney Channel. I have a two year-old, so the morning shows, such as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, are great. Unfortunately, after about 10 AM it’s all tween garbage, except Phineas and Ferb. There is nothing on either The Disney Channel or Disney XD for younger children after the early morning.
Having two networks you would think they could devote one to the under 10 crowd and the other to the tweens, but this is not the case. The young kids are thrown to the wayside for nauseating tween programs like The Suite Life On Deck and Hannah Montana. I’m sure these are fine shows for certain ages, but why is the under ten crowd completely abandoned? It’s more likely that a 3 -4 year-old will be home at 11am than a 12-year-old, isn’t it? So why not show cartoons until early afternoon? Seventy-five episodes of The Suite Life, each day, are just not necessary.
At home we don’t have The Disney Channel, so I never really notice until vacation. After experiencing the programming, I have no interest in adding it for my son. I can buy a few DVD’s of the shows he likes, and avoid hours of Hannah. I would like to see Disney add a network for younger kids, that minimizes tween comedies and focuses more on cartoons. I don’t know if this will happen, since even in the Magic Kingdom they are abandoning young kids by ripping out Mickey’s Toon Town Fair to put in Pixie Hollow. I’m sure Pixie Hollow will generate more money by selling things to 10 – 12 year-old girls, but if you keep pushing the youngest kids away eventually you will begin to lose them.
Here are a few photos I took back in November 2004 in Paris. They aren’t the greatest quality but I wanted to share them anyway.
First off I will give a few places to escape the heat for a few moments, especially in the summer:
Morocco: If you enter the Morocco complex and look to the left you will see a set of double doors. Inside of those doors is an exhibit and best of all, cold AC. There is also a bench with an electrical outlet behind it if you need to charge your phone.
Journey to Imagination: Generally, there is a short line for Journey to Imagination and it is air conditioned. Also after the ride there is an area for kids to explore as well as a shop.
Carousel of Progress: This attraction has seen better days and is never crowded. Hop on in and enjoy the air and a quaint look back at the 20th century while you cool down.
Pirates of the Caribbean: While Pirates can have a bit of a line mostly it is inside and is dark as well as cool.
The Great Movie Ride: Another out of date attraction that can be used to cool off while little wait on a steamy summer day.
I don’t have any for here so if you do feel free to chime in.
Here is a list of attractions I would make minor changes to to bring them up to date or make them more comfortable for guests:
Tomorrowland Speedway: All they really need to do here is get new fiberglass bodies for the cars that look like Lightning McQueen, Doc Hudson, Chick Hicks, etc and change the name to Motor Speedway of the South. Those things along with other minor theming tweaks would completely change the experience of this ride. Cars is Disney’s biggest cash cow for merchandise and to have such a small presence in the parks is disappointing.
Country Bear Jamboree: The sound is so poor in the theater that if the audience claps along you can’t hear the performance. Re-record the entire show, exactly as it is, with current artists or no-names and add a better sound system. You don’t need to rip the whole thing down just some minor changes and upgrades. the attraction is almost forty years old and needs some help.
Fantasyland: Add fans (a lot of fans) to the lines for Peter Pan, Snow White and Winnie the Pooh. While these lines are under cover they can be stifling because so many bodies a jammed together and there is no airflow. This upgrade cannot cost enough to not do it.
The Great Movie Ride: It has been twenty-one years and only a few new scenes have been added to the ending montage, its time to add more clips of more recent “classics”. Leave all of the stuff inside but change the trailers shown in the queue and the clips shown at the end. It would at least breathe some life into a dead ride.
Overall I still enjoy WDW quite a bit but these are a few of the things I noticed while there on a recent trip. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions for these lists.