Inspired by Johnny Patience's Death Valley blog post back in April I jumped on the opportunity of a short trip to Las Vegas at the end of July. I am not into gambling at all, so I planned a couple of short roadtrips to places "relatively" close to Las Vegas. In total I only spent, hold your breath, a full $1 on gambling. I figured, rather than blowing my money at the casino it would be more fun to rent a car and head out to explore nature and some of the state parks. Las Vegas for me is a "been there, done that, don't need to do it again" place. I can see why people like it, but it is not for me.
I arrived in Las Vegas late Tuesday night and picked up my rental car early Wednesday morning at our hotel (Aria). On day 1, Wednesday, I ventured out to Death Valley. As part of the trip I stopped by Rhyolite Ghost Town, Badwater Basin, Artitst's Drive and the Amargosa Opera House. In total I drove about 300 miles and was on the road all day. The distance may seem excessive, but the drive was quite nice and there is lots of nature to see along the way. I spent every day of the week working in New York City, so it was quite a nice change in scenery.
The only mishap I had happen to me on day 1 was that my Hasseblad gave up after my stop at the Badwater Basin. The heat, 120 degrees, must have been too much. I bought a couple of screwdrivers later in the day and was able to fix it. However, it meant that I was only able to capture half the day in colour (Kodak Portra 400). Before I was able to fix it I also bought a couple of 35mm colour film as backup. It's getting more and more difficult to find film on the road.
On day 2, Thursday, I started my journey early in the day and first stopped at the Hoover Dam. I spent about an hour there and then continued towards the Grand Canyon South Rim. It's about a 4 1/2 hour straight drive from Las Vegas to the South Rim. Rather than heading straight to the South Rim I also took a detour along Route 66 from Kingman to Seligman. I arrived at the South Rim late in the afternoon and spent the night close by in Tuscyan, Arizona.
On day 3 I explored the Grand Canyon early in the morning and went on a helicopter ride exploring the East side of the Grand Canyon, before heading back to Las Vegas.
The photos that follow were taken with the Leica M-A / Summicron 35 and Hasselblad 500c / Carl Zeiss 80. All photos were developed (Kodak XTol and Tetenal C-41 press kit developer) and scanned at home (Kodak Pakon and Epson V600). The photos were taken on Kodak Tri-X 400, Kodak Ultramax 400, Kodak Portra 400 and Kodak Portra 800. I am comfortable with developing and scanning black and white photos, however, I still have to get the hang of scanning and developing color.
Day 1 // Rhyolite Ghost Town and Death Valley
Days 2 and 3 // Hoover Dam, Route 66 and Grand Canyon