Category: Off The Beaten Path

On This Date: January 16, 1942, Carole Lombard Dies in Plane Crash Near Las Vegas

January 16, 2017

On this date, January 16, 1942, a Douglas DC-3 Propliner left Las Vegas and crashed in to nearby Potosi Mountain.

TWA Flight 3

TWA Flight 3 Crashed in to Mount Potosi on January 16, 1942 near Las Vegas

After taking off from now named Nellis Air Force base, TWA Flight 3 flew for 15 minutes and slammed into a sheer cliff on Potosi Mountain, 32 miles southwest of the airport, at an elevation of 7,770 ft. and was destroyed.

All nineteen passengers on board, including movie star Carole Lombard, who was married to husband Clark Gable, her mother, and all three crew members, died in the crash.

Potosi Mountain can be seen from the Las Vegas valley and has a elevation of 8,517 ft.

GPS: 35° 57′ 3.71″ N, 115° 29′ 25″ W
Photo by: Wikipedia

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On This Date: September 30, 1935 Hoover Dam Was Dedicated by President FDR

September 30, 2016
Hoover Dam Dedicated by President Roosevelt

Boulder Dam/Hoover Dam Dedicated by President Roosevelt Sept. 30, 1935

Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. The cost of the construction was $49 million dollars and was completed two years ahead of schedule. The dam was controversially named after President Herbert Hoover.

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On This Date: July 21, 1948 B-29 Superfortress Bomber Crashed into Lake Mead

July 21, 2016
A Modified B-29 (F-13) crashed in to Lake Mead on July 21, 1948

A Modified B-29 (F-13) crashed in to Lake Mead on July 21, 1948

On July 21, 1948 a Boeing B-29 Superfortress (F-13)  crashed in to Lake Mead. The Bomber was modified from a B-29 into a F-13. The “F” meant that it was modified for photo reconnaissance. It was on a special mission to conduct atmospheric research using an instrument called the “Sun Tracker”.  Painted on the nose of the plane was the words “Cosmic Ray Research”.  The plane operated as high as 30,000 feet down to just about as low as you can fly.

While on mission, the plane was making a very low pass over the Lake Mead surface with what is described, “glass like” when it hit the water.  The plane was traveling at about 250 mph as it crashed and skipping across the surface for over a quarter of a mile.  Five men on-board escaped via life rafts before the plane sank in water over 170 feet deep.  The crew was rescued from the lake six hours later and was instructed not to disclose any details of the flight, its mission or its loss. As the mission was classified, these details were not released until fifty years later.

In 2001, a private dive team searching for the B-29 using side-scan sonar found the wreckage in the northern arm of Lake Mead. Because the bomber lay inside a National Recreation Area, responsibility for the site fell to the National Park Service. Due to the cold deep water, the plane  has been well preserved. Currently the site is off limits to divers.

Photo By: – Public Domain

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On This Date: July 3, 1930 Appropriation Bill for the Boulder Dam Was Signed

July 3, 2016
hoover dam

Hoover Dam on the Nevada – Arizona Border Built Starting in 1931

On July 3, 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the appropriation bill for the Boulder Dam.  Work started on the dam in 1931 and Las Vegas’ population swelled from around 5,000 citizens to 25,000, with most of the newcomers looking for a job building the dam. The casinos and showgirl theaters first appeared in Las Vegas to entertain the largely male-majority dam construction workers. The name of the dam was later changed from Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam.

Photo By:
Date Taken: November 26, 2011

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Raintree – Mummy Springs Hike (Mt. Charleston)

June 6, 2016

Raintree is a 3,000-year-old Bristlecone Pine Tree

One of the Oldest living things in the State of Nevada is a 3,000 year+ Bristlecone Pine Tree called “Raintree”.  This 6 mile round trip hike  has about 1700 ft. elevation gain and altitudes over 10,000 ft. It takes about 3.5 hours. Once you make it to the “Raintree” it is about 1/3 mile to  Mummy Springs veering right on the trail.

The trailhead is located up in the Spring Mountains on Deer Creek Road between Kyle and Lee Canyons, about 1 hour northwest of Las Vegas.

From town, drive north on Highway 95 to Highway 157 (Kyle Canyon Road). Turn left onto Highway 157 and drive west for 17.1 miles to Highway 158 (Deer Creek Road), which is just past the Mt. Charleston Hotel. Turn right onto Highway 158 and drive north for another 4.8 miles to the second turnout past Hilltop Campground. Watch for a paved parking area on the west (left) side of the road with a large sign. Trailhead starts here.

North Loop Trailhead for Raintree/ Mummy Springs

North Loop Trailhead for Raintree/ Mummy Springs

Raintree Mummy Springs

Raintree / Mummy Springs Hike in Mt. Charleston

Tree that looks like an Elephant

Tree that looks like an Elephant on the trail

Please respect the Bristlecones, as well as the other trees and do NOT remove or deface them in anyway.

Photos by:

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Sunday Drive: Summerlin – Red Rock to Blue Diamond Nevada

June 5, 2016

A quick drive from Summerlin throught Red Rock to Blue Diamond.

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