Category: Off The Beaten Path

On This Date: January 27, 1951 First Nuclear Bomb Detonated at Nevada Test Site

January 27, 2016
Able- First Nuclear Test At the Nevada Test Site January 27, 1951

Able- First Nuclear Test At the Nevada Test Site January 27, 1951

The first nuclear bomb was tested at the Nevada Test Site on January 27, 1951. The Nevada Test Site is located 65 mi northwest of Las Vegas. The series of test was called Operation Ranger it was the fourth American nuclear test. The nuke shot was called  ‘Able’ and it was the first air-dropped nuclear device to be exploded on American soil. The test took place on Frenchman Flat, a dry lakebed in the Nevada Test Site (site 5). The .5-kiloton explosion was the first series to be carried out at the Nevada Test Site. The bomb was dropped by B-50 bombers and exploded in the open air over Frenchman Flat (Area 5).

Photo:  Department of Defense

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

January 16, 2016

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

July 21, 2015

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: Wikipedia.com – Public Domain

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

July 3, 2015
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: LasVegas360.com
Date Taken: November 26, 2011

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Mount Charleston On Fire – Carpenter 1 Wildfire: Update 7:22 pm 7/8/2013

July 1, 2015
Carpenter 1 Fire in Mount Charleston

Carpenter 1 Fire in Mount Charleston as Seen From Summerlin on July 5, 2013

The Carpenter 1 Fire which started on Monday July 1, 2013 by a lighting strike has expanded to over 11000 acres, the fire started on the west side of the Spring Mountains or as we call it, the Pahrump side of the mountain. The Fire has been burning for over six days and has crossed over the ridge and has descended on to the Kyle Canyon side of the mountain. Over 400 firefighters, five helicopters and four heavy air tankers are currently assaulting the fast burning fire.

The Red Cross has set up two shelters, one at Hafen Elementary in Pahrump on the south and west side of the fire and the other at James Bilbray Elementary at 9370 Brent Lane in Las Vegas on the east side of the fire.

The shelters are open 24 hours a day. Local governmental partners are making animal sheltering available for animals and pets of all types. Red Cross also delivering food and water to residents gathering at the perimeter of the evacuation areas.

Road closures include: Lee Canyon Road. (State Route 156) is closed at U.S. 95., Kyle Canyon Road (State Route 57) is closed at U.S. Route 95, Trout Canyon Road is closed at State Route 160, Lovell Canyon Road is closed at Trout Canyon Road. Mt. Charleston is located 40 mins Northwest of Las Vegas.

Photo By: LasVegas360.com

Update: Burn Area or Hot Spots

Orange – Area of Satellite Indicated Hotspots, Red – the Original Carpenter 1 Fire

carpenter-fire-mt-charleston

Red Carpenter Fire, Orange is Satellite Hot spot Areas – click to view larger

MODIS hot spot from satellite sensor, estimated location (1km).

Source: ESRI http://www.esri.com/services/disaster-response/wildlandfire/user-maps

New Large Map as  July 7, 2013 9:30 pm PDT

Hot Spot Map Carpenter Fire 1- Mt Charleston July 6, 2013 4:15 pm PST

Hot Spot Map Carpenter Fire 1- Mt Charleston July 6, 2013 4:15 pm PST – Click to view Large Map

 

Hot Spot Map Carpenter Fire 1- Mt Charleston July 6, 2013 10:15 pm PST - Click to view Large Map

Hot Spot Map Carpenter Fire 1- Mt Charleston July 6, 2013 10:15 pm PST – Click to view Large Map

Update: July 7, 2013 9:30 pm PDT – now 14,458 acres now burned

Hot Spot Map Carpenter Fire 1- Mt Charleston July 7, 2013 9:00 pm PST - Click to view Large Map

Hot Spot Map Carpenter Fire 1- Mt Charleston July 7 2013 9:00 pm PST – Click to view Large Map

Carpenter Fire 1 7/8/2013 7:20 am

Hot Spot Map Carpenter Fire 1- Mt Charleston 7/8/2013 7:20 am – Click to view Large Map

Basic Information

Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Monday July 01st, 2013 approx. 12:00 PM
Location Fire location is one mile from Kyle Canyon
Incident Commander Rich Harvey

Current Situation

Total Personnel 753
Size 14,458 acres
Percent Contained 15%
Fuels Involved Pinyon Juniper
Fire Behavior Running fire behavior with short crown runs. Group tree torching and spotting.
Significant Events The Great Basin Incident Management Team #2 assumed command of the Carpenter 1 Fire at 0600 on Sunday, July 7.

Outlook

Planned Actions Crews continue to do structure protection. Assess possible containment strategies.
Growth Potential High
Terrain Difficulty Extreme
Remarks PROJECTED FIRE MOVEMENT: North into Kyle and Lee Canyons, southwest toward Trout Creek and east to Lovell Canyon and Harris Springs Canyon. During the next 24 hours, it may hook north into the lower end of Kyle Canyon.

Info As of 7:22 pm PST July 8, 2013 : http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3481/

 

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Fletcher Canyon Trail, Mt Charleston, Nevada

June 5, 2015

Hiking in Mt. Charleston, Fletcher Canyon.

Fletcher Canyon Trailhead in the Spring Mountains National Recreational Area

This is a great hike, 1.8-2 miles one way, this is a relative easy hike. The starting elevation is at 6,822 ft and goes up to 7,610 ft to the narrow canyon.  This hike is frequented by lots of hikers with their dogs. On one visit we saw over 20 different dogs with their owners. (If you bring your dog, make sure you pick up after your pets, thank you!) On the trail, you may cross a stream of cold mountain water (seasonal). Follow the foot path climbing up as the canyon walls narrow and you enter a slot canyon filled with living trees, ferns, wild roses; as well as debris (logs, rocks) washed down by flash floods. You will eventually dead end at an obstacle rock. This is the turn around point for most hikers.  More adventurous hikers tell us you can get around the rock and continue on to Stanley B. Springs.

Time on Hike: 2-3 hours depending on your resting/downtime.

SR 157 at Fletcher Canyon Trailhead- looking up towards Kyle Canyon

Driving directions: 15 N from Las Vegas to 95 N toward Reno, W on SR 157 (Mt. Charleston – Kyle Canyon) 18.1 miles (which is 1/2 mile past junction with SR 158); look for small parking area and trailhead on R (N) side of road just before reaching the USFS Visitors Center. There is very limited parking

In Fletcher Canyon looking down

Looking up at Fletcher Peak 10,319 ft / 3,145 m

GPS track of our hike, covered 4 miles up and back on the trail.

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