And now, a Canadian Analysis of the Holidome

Talking about Holiday Inn Holidomes: The Holidome was a one-stop vacation destination. Why couldn’t it keep up with the times?

Only two photos, of unidentified Holidomes, but includes this analysis:

At many Holidomes, the humidity from the indoor pools would damage the domed ceiling and make the inner-courtyard-facing rooms damp and stuffy… “While the maintenance of these domed structures is really costly, they’re very easy to demolish, and you still can keep the hotel”

David Israelson/Drew Sinclair

More on the Holidome:

Ode to the Holidome

Topeka West Holidome

A Week in Southern Maine

Wells Reserve at Laudholm
Laudholm Beach
Ferns galore at Wells Reserve at Laudholm
Tide out, Ogunquit Beach
From the Pedestrian Drawbridge at Perkins Cove
The Eastern Promenade, Portland

The View, with clouds, from Mount Agamenticus

Featured image: Ogunquit Beach from the Marginal Way.

Topeka West Holidome

We talked about the Holidomes before. Now, the former Holiday Inn Holidome in Topeka, Kansas, will be torn down and replaced with apartments. This Holidome, located on the west side of town just off I-70, appears to have been built in the early 80s. It eventually became a Ramada Inn but kept much of the Holidome architecture, including the interior courtyard and pool. It permanently closed about four years ago. Photos of the shut-down hotel are at the Topeka Courier-Journal online. Some photos of the hotel in happier times (when it may have already transitioned into a Ramada) are below, by way of Google.

Source: Google/Steve Barton
Source: Google/Rod Bagley

Source: Google/alisarodriguez

Featured Image: Holiday Inn Topeka West Postcard may predate the Holidome expansion.

Now That’s A Rallye

Tales from a short-lived road Rallye of the 1950s: A Classic New England Rally is Revived, Minus the Mud (New York Times article). Here’s the link to the resurrected rally: Great American Mountain Rally Revival.

“We were boggled they felt they could handle it without chains and backwards at a fairly high speed”

Peter Bullard

Night Hike at Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

I’m falling behind, so here are some photos from a nighttime hike along the Rainbow Vista trail to the Fire Canyon overlook in Valley of Fire State Park.

Moonlight on the rocks. iPhone Night mode at work.
The sun sets early in December.
Hoped to do some stargazing, but these clouds came in after the sun went down.

A Distant View of the St. Thomas Ghost Town

An unintentionally spooky-looking photo of the Gentry Hotel in St. Thomas, NV. Source: Photo from the Gladys Gentry Collection, Lost City Museum/Lake Mead NRA Public Affairs. CC BY-SA 2.0.

The town of St. Thomas, Nevada, was settled by Mormons in 1865. On August 31, 1869, John Wesley Powell’s First Colorado River Expedition, which culminated in the first recorded passage by raft through the Grand Canyon, came to an end about twenty miles from here. Bishop Leithead of St. Thomas, informed that Powell had, in fact, survived his expedition, rode to meet him. “Bishop Leithhead,” Powell wrote, “brings in his wagon two or three dozen melons, and many other little luxuries, and we are comfortable once more.”

Only two years later, most of the original settlers left due to a dispute over taxes. Other people later moved in and at its peak, the town had over 500 citizens. When Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s, the government bought out the residents. The last person left in 1938 as the town was inundated by the rising waters of the newly-created Lake Mead.

In wetter times, the site lay under 60 feet of water. As lake levels receded with the ongoing drought of the 21st century, the remains of the town have been exposed again.

The view from St. Thomas Point.

To get to St. Thomas, you turn off of Northshore Road and drive 3.5 miles down a rocky dirt road. There’s a parking area, from which you can head down hill to a 2.5 mile hiking trail. We arrived late on a December afternoon and had someplace else to get to before nightfall, so only had time to view the building foundations from a distance.

Foundations of St. Thomas
The foundations of St. Thomas.
The current (decades-long) drought is not the first time St. Thomas has re-emerged from the water. These two cars were abandoned by their owners when Lake Mead’s waters covered the town of St. Thomas in 1938. They were revealed when the lake receded in 1945. Source: Lake Mead NRA Public Affairs. CC BY-SA 2.0.
Jeep Compass Trailhawk
That trusty Jeep Compass again.

Reference:

John Wesley Powell, 1875. Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and its tributaries. Explored in 1869, 1870, 1871, and 1872, under the direction of the secretary of the Smithsonian institution. Government Printing Office, Washington.

Driving Northshore Road along Lake Mead

Northshore Road runs along, yes, the north shore of Lake Mead. The shoreline itself is now far east of the road because of long-term drought in the region. Coming west from Hoover Dam, we turned onto it near Lake Las Vegas and drove it up to Valley of Fire, stopping several times along the way.

Palm tree and spring
Rogers Spring
Jeep Compass Trailhawk on desert road
Our ride: Jeep Compass Trailhawk, courtesy of National Car Rental