Friday, May 28, 2021

RonnieAdventure #0466 - Old Spanish Trail Bike Ride & Calico Tanks Hike, Clark County, Nevada


One of the items on my bucket list was to follow the old Spanish Trail, and other connecting trails, around Blue Diamond Mountain. This would be a nice winter trip when the air temperature was more moderate, but I decided that if I rode my mountain bike fast enough the wind would keep me cool. Unfortunately, it did not work out that way. By the time we finished the trip we were really "toast." Plus, I forgot to bring my camera to document the trip. Fortunately, Kolohe had her cell phone along and provided me with the pictures for this RonnieAdventure.


Two of our grandchildren stopped by to see us while they were on their way to Illinois for the summer and while they were here they wanted to go on a RonnieAdventure. So, early one morning we hiked up to Calico Tanks in Red Rock Canyon NCA. Fortunately, the Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis) trees were in bloom; but, unfortunately, there was no water in the tanks. Over the past 20+ years I have made this hike numerous times, but this is the first time that I have ever been there when the tanks were dry. 

Historic Paiute Indian Agave Roasting Pit

Turtlehead Peak

Friday, May 21, 2021

RonnieAdventure - #0465 - Allegiant Stadium, Home of Las Vegas Raiders, Las Vegas, Nevada

At a cost of $2 billion, the newest Las Vegas attraction is Allegiant Stadium - Home of the Las Vegas Raiders! 

To construct the stadium required 28,000 tons of structural steel and 105,000 cubic yards of concrete. That is enough concrete to make a sidewalk from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, and have a few yards left over. 

Cost for the stadium included $78 million for land (62 acres), $31 million utilities & infrastructure, $1.5 billion building construction, and $123 million FF&E (furniture, fixtures, & equipment). Because of the stadium's black exterior color, it has been nicknamed "The Death Star." All of the opposing teams will probably be terrified when they have to play here. 

The 10-level domed stadium has a translucent ETFE roof that is not retractable, so the entire stadium is climate controlled. However, the translucent roof lets in natural sunlight, which gives the stadium an outdoor feel.

On the east side of the stadium there are gigantic glass doors facing "The Strip" that are 80-feet tall and 200-feet wide. Weather permitting, the doors can be opened giving people access to an outdoor patio. The doors are opened/closed with electric motors and it takes about 10 minutes to open each door. 

Inside of the stadium there is a large 93-foot tall eternal flame torch that honors former Raiders' owner Al Davis. Instead of an actual flame, the torch features a mixture of lights and special effects. Currently, the torch is the largest 3D printed object in the world. 

The stadium contains 44 escalators, 2,200 TVs, and 75,000 square feet of video boards. The largest media screen is 275-feet long.    

The stadium's natural-grass playing field is located on a 9,500-ton, 4-foot tall, retractable tray that is rolled in/out of the stadium. (The tray weighs approximately the same amount as the Eiffel Tower in Paris.) It takes 72 electric motors to move the tray at a top speed of 11 feet per minute, or about one hour to move the field in/out of the stadium. When not in use the grass is kept outside for watering and exposure to natural sunlight. 

University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) will also play their football games in the stadium, but they will play on artificial turf that will be laid directly on the stadium's concrete floor. 

Capacity of the stadium is 65,000, but can be expanded to over 72,000 for larger events. 

Construction bonds were sold to help finance the stadium and the bond demand was so high that they sold out in less than 90 minutes. 

Garth Brooks was scheduled to be the first event in the stadium in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the concert had to rescheduled until July 10, 2021. Ticket prices for the July concert start at $250 for the "nose-bleed" section and floor-level seats in front of the stage are $5,000 each.

In the fall of 2020 the Raiders played in the stadium for the first time, but no fans were allowed to attend the games. The first Rader's game with fans will be September 13, 2021 (Raiders vs Ravens) and the first UNLV game with fans will be September 2, 2021 (UNLV Rebels vs. Eastern Washington Eagles). Then, on September 4, 2021, in the Vegas Kickoff Classic, BYU Cougars will play the Arizona Wildcats. Get your tickets before they are all sold out!

There are beautiful, large chandeliers in the public areas.

The 93-foot Al Davis Memorial Torch is currently the largest 3D printed object in the world. 

The large glass doors open so that visitors can have an unobstructed view of "The Strip."

The grass playing field is typically kept outside for watering and sunlight, but on the day we visited the stadium they rolled the field in for us to view and photograph. 

In one hallway there was a long line of posters honoring the Raider players that have been inducted into the Football Hall of Fame. 

The player's dressing room was amazing. The coach even stopped by to visit with us. Well, maybe it was just a hologram of the coach, but he looked real. 

The Raiders have won three Super Bowls - XI. XV, XVIII. Now that the Raiders are in Las Vegas, it is time for another trophy - Just Win Baby!

We stopped in the Press Room where Howie Long visited with us. Well, actually, Howie was not really there; but we were able to watch a video that Howie had prepared us. 

The Raiderettes have their own dressing room and a museum that contains various awards that they have received over the years. There are also mannequins modeling historic Raiderette outfits. In the dressing room each Raiderette has her name and picture by her own prep area, so visitors can easily find their favorite Radierette.  

There is an amazing collection of original artwork in the stadium that contains over 400 paintings by 100 different artists.  

Elvis was not really a professional football player; but if he had been, he would have been a Raider. 

Marilyn Monroe was not really a cheer leader; but if she had been, she would have been a Raiderette. 

And, of course, there is a large gift shop where you can purchase Raider memorabilia.

P.S. Heather, thanks for arranging the tour for us! Also, thanks to Kolohe for her research contribution and pictures used in this blog. 


8-inch diameter stainless steel pipe for "Beer," 6-inch diameter pipe for "Soda."