As part of the CLSUIAG Reunion in Las Vegas, several tours were organized to have an opportunity for CLSU alumni to visit some tourist destinations close to Las Vegas.
Grand Canyon West Rim Tour
The first tour was the Grand Canyon West Rim Tour conducted on Monday, September 25, the day after the conclusion of the CLSUIAG 2012 Grand Reunion in Las Vegas. The tour included travel through the rugged desert wilderness en route to Americas’ most spectacular natural wonder, the Grand Canyon.
Six alumni signed up for the tour that included Drs. Edison and Nenita Cabacungan, Val and Beulah Pascual, and Gerry and Leticia Galinato. The members of the Group also participated in the Grand Canyon South Rim Tour in 2010 which was a different stretch of the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon West tour took the participants through 21miles of spectacular site of one of the world’s largest and oldest Joshua Tree Forests and enjoyed viewing the 3,500-foot cliffs cut by the mighty Colorado River snaking through the bottom of these cliffs.
There were also special viewing of magnificent sights of the Eagle Point and Guano Point. The Eagle Point is a natural rock formation resembling that of a huge eagle.
The designated viewing areas are located at the Hualapai Indian Reservation where the Native Americans presented their traditional dances. Various displays of their traditional dwellings and teepees were also exhibited in various places of the reservation. Of course the big treat was being served with an authentic Indian Barbecue lunch. (Sorry, it was not a wild buffalo barbecue).
While only six alumni joined the Grand Canyon West Tour, the tour bus was full of more than 50 other tourists who came from various parts of the world. Dr. Ed says “I am very pleased this tour was set up by the Reunion Committee. It was another opportunity to enjoy the vast natural beauty and spectacle of one of the Seven Wonders of the World located very close to Las Vegas. It is truly awesome.”
Red Rock Canyon Caravan Tour
The second was a group tour of the Red Rock Canyon west of Las Vegas with a side trip to Silverton Casino in South Las Vegas. This was a local tour organized by the Reunion Committee with volunteer local tour leaders namely, Cesar Caindec of Henderson, NV and Engr. Pablo Baldazo, of Las Vegas. The tour was conducted on
Tuesday, September 27.
Ten alumni joined the tour that included Val Pascual, Gerry and Lettie Galinato, Cesar and Norma Caindec, Pablo Baldazo, Dr. Eliseo Ruiz, Dr. Zenaida Serna, Dr. Firma Viray and Dr. Fanny Kollin. Beulah Pascual was not able to join the tour because she needed a rest after the Grand Canyon West Tour a day before. One van and a SUV, owned and driven by Pablo and Cesar, respectively, were used to transport the participants during the tour.
The Group first visited the Red Rock Visitor Center where various educational items about the canyon were displayed including the desert tortoise and huge lizard. Due to scheduling issues, the Group was not able to view the slides show and film normally presented to tourists.
The Group viewed the famous Red Rock Canyon’s Aztec sandstone escarpment, the limestone outcrops and cliffs thousands of feet high that have been exposed to weathering and erosion. Cement deposits of iron oxide and calcium carbonate are very evident which resemble a rainbow of colors from a vantage viewpoint. Various fauna and flora at the area were also observed. The Group enjoyed the 13-mile scenic tour drive stopping at various high point overlooks to take photographs and make closer observations.
After visiting the Red Rock Canyon, the Group proceeded to the Silverton Casino in South Las Vegas to view the “Best Free Attraction” in Las Vegas �#34; the huge Silverton Salt Water Aquarium. The size of the reef aquarium is approximately 117,000 gallons which contains more than 4,000 tropical fish, and three species each of stingrays and sharks. The Group took a lot of photographs of these interesting creatures of the sea.
Before proceeding to the Red Rock Canyon tour, the Group had a hearty breakfast at the Port O’Call Restaurant in Gold Coast Casino. Then after the Silverton Salt Water Aquarium Tour, the Group proceeded to the Garden Restaurant in Southpoint Casino for late but heavy lunch. Both the breakfast and lunch for the Group were hosted by Cesar and Norma Caindec. It was indeed a very nice and bounty treat. (Thank you very much Cesar and Norma).
Dr. Serna adds “Red Rock Canyon is a great tour. It certainly offers another view of what Las Vegas has to offer in addition to the glittering shows at the Strip.”