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The Neon Boneyard

Just outside of the old downtown Las Vegas lies a final resting place for the neon signs that were once shining bright, high along the strip.

The old signs; some restored, some in mere pieces, form a maze of dizzying lights under the dark desert sky.

We visited the boneyard on an icy February desert night. The bitter wind whipped around the signs, as they glowed eerily in the night.

We learned about the sign’s past lives, and how the neon is made.

As we turned the corner, under the remnants of the enormous Stardust sign, was a  cat that called the boneyard home.

The Neon Boneyard tour was an exciting little adventure during our short time in Las Vegas. 

There was another neon exhibit on display that we thought about visiting, but I didn’t feel up to it. My body felt like it was giving up.. 

Then I realized that between waking up at 4:00 AM that morning and the time difference, we had been awake nearly 24 hours. After that realization I felt almost dead! So it was then we decided to crawl back to the hotel to go to sleep. 

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Dark Nights on the Ambassador Bridge

The bridge between Detroit Michigan and Windsor Canada stood as an eerie beacon in the dark winter night, as we drove closer and closer towards it. 
About to embark on our Canada Adventure.

The teal and red lights illuminated the black sky.  
It felt a little retro. It felt a little like an alternate reality.

Then we stood on the other side.
 Staring at the same bridge from a different country. So similar, but so different. 

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Under the Neon Carnival Lights

When the sun sets, and the glowing lights flash on, the fair becomes an entirely different world..
..A strange neon sort of world, almost like stepping into an alternate reality.  With distorted colors and sounds, everywhere you turn.
A world where time seems to stand still. Full  of bizarre sights, illuminated by strange colored lights, little stands selling peculiar food, and dizzying rides towering high above.
The cheerful pastel land from the day, has become a little more sinister.
The neon lights flashing rainbow colors, illuminate the dark shadows where I stand, away from the crowd. Capturing the eerie atmosphere of the traveling carnival.
The crowds lessen as the night goes on. I’d like to stay until everyone goes home, and explore the vacant carnival grounds.
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Parking Lot Carnival


One late spring afternoon, a carnival came to town and began to set up in the parking lot of a mildly run down shopping center down the road. We waited until evening, and then ventured down to see what awaited us.


A few rides, and some food stalls stood clustered together in what was usually an empty area of the parking lot. But on this night, the shopping center was more packed than anyone had ever seen. People were walking towards the carnival from all directions, there was no admission and no one really seemed to be in charge.

It was a bizarre scene.  Across the way stood the Taco Bell, a Radio Shack that was going out of business, a Chinese Buffet we had been to a few times but regretted, our favorite Mexican restaurant and a number of strange stores we had never been too. On the other side stood the interstate.







Beneath the swirling clouds people lined up for the rides, waited for their food, and didn’t appear to think this parking lot carnival was a strange abnormality.



 I’ll never forget the time that a carnival inexplicably appeared in a shopping center near my house.

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Downtown in the Dark

I love the city, especially just after sunset.

The different lights from all the buildings cast an eerie glow along the crowded streets.

The newest addition; towers to serve as a monument to the city’s tobacco factory past, expel a spooky mist that fills the skies, and makes for a creepy atmosphere.

It’s fun to peer  in to the spooky dark shops, and see the wares back lit against a night light.

Murals can be found on many street corners. Some are quickly painted over, some last for years.

Lights from all over, reflect off of windows like Christmas lights.

Downtown Winston-Salem has a slightly eerie vibe to it. The ghosts of the tobacco factories that once ruled the land, cast a haunting feeling from their abandoned windows. 

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The Sunset From Pilot Mountain and Other Fun Stories

Since we recently discovered how cool Pilot Mountain is, we decided it would be neat to go up there to watch the sunset one night. It ended up being the prettiest sunset I have ever seen!

Standing on the main observatory is boring, plus it wasn’t facing the right way to see the sun. So we walked down a path that said “rock climbers only” and it led down to this area right on the edge of the mountain where we had the perfect view of the sunset.

(Hi Mom!)

In the distance you can see the Blue Ridge mountains, and it was really fun to zoom in on them.

I love how each ridge is a different shade.

 You can see mist rising up!

I took a whole bunch of panoramas! (I’m a little obsessed with them lately)

I messed up the horizon but I actually kind of like it!

Steven took this vertical one, I had never thought to do that before!

The main reason I really wanted to get up to pilot mountain was to see the fair. You can see  the mountain from the ferris wheel so I figured you could at least see the ferris wheel from the mountain. I was expecting to be able to see it so well, like it would be this huge bubble of light. But it wasn’t. 

This is all I saw

I searched and searched and finally saw a tiiiny pink light, so I used my 300 mm lens to zoom in.
(Is that what I think it is?!!)

I zoomed into the picture as far as I could without it getting pixelated and sure enough! There’s the ferris wheel!  I was so excited!  I LOVE seeing things from far away.. 

It was an awesome evening!

Funny story:

I was uploading my photos a couple days after this and as they were uploading I realized I didn’t see my mountain photos. I had been deleting older photos the day before so I just knew I had accidentally deleted these. I was SO mad at myself!  Fast forward three hours and I had downloaded about six different un-delete programs in hopes of finding my 250 lost photos. Most of the programs couldn’t find them, but one did!  But it was gonna cost me 40 bucks to get them back because the software wasn’t free. I was about to give up but then I decided to give one of the free programs another shot, and it found them!  I was soooo happy and proud of myself!  But that was short lived because as soon as I placed my memory card back in the camera I realized that I hadn’t deleted them after all… They just got placed in a weird folder and I didn’t see them. Which explains why the programs had such a hard time detecting them, because they were never actually deleted! But on the bright side, at least now I know how to get back photos should I actually accidentally delete them in the future! And on the even brighter side at least I realized that before I decided to spend 40 dollars on them! 

These photos now have a special place in my heart.  A rather annoying place.

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Night on the Blue Ridge Parkway, And More Good News!

You may remember me talking about my camera being messed up. I have a Nikon D5100 and I smacked the lens on the door frame coming in the door back in march and it started giving me an “Autoexposure Error”. I couldn’t use it on any mode except manual, I couldn’t use the flash, and when taking pictures in low light (Like indoors) it would come out pretty much black. I tried googling the error and a few other people with this camera had gotten this problem too, but no one really had an answer on how to fix it except to send it into Nikon and have them look at it, which is also what my user manual said.  I was pretty bummed out and kept putting it off, making up excuses as to why I couldn’t send it off that day: “Oh I need to get a picture of those shoes I wore so I can finish my outfit post…” “Oh I need to take a portrait of my cats first..” But I knew I had to do it eventually so I told myself I would send it off the day after we got back from our weekend trip to the mountains.

I love taking pictures in low light so I was pretty annoyed I couldn’t do that anymore, but during our trip I realized I could still take long exposure night shots, because it would be dark anyway. So on our way back from Steven’s aunt’s house we stopped at our favorite place on the blue ridge parkway, Craggy Gardens and I took these three shots.

I was pretty excited how they turned out and I as I was messing with the settings to take some more I accidentely made the flash go off and blinded myself. UG. 

But wait!  The flash?!  How did that happen?!  My camera was broken!  I looked at the screen and noticed the error was GONE. I tried putting it on the other settings and taking pictures and it worked just fine!

I don’t know how or why taking a 30 second exposure fixed whatever was wrong with it, I’m just glad it’s fixed. I was so happy that I may or may not have shed a few tears…..

Anyway, here are some more night shots I took on the trip. It was DARK out there. When I put my camera on the rock ledge to take those first few pictures, I couldn’t even see it once I stood up! Having what I thought was a broken camera  I wasn’t all that concerned with it falling 4000 feet off the side of the mountain, but once it fixed itself I found myself a walmart and bought a tripod.

The blue ridge parkway is a road that runs along the super tall blue ridge mountain range and there are many areas where there is a steep drop off the side of the road with NO guardrail. At night you can’t see the edge of the road or how high up you are, so it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Haha..

I had so much fun taking these pictures! Well until I freaked myself out thinking bears would come out and attack me. It’s interesting to see what colors the sky shows up as in these pictures. It looked completely black to us. It’s like the camera is showing us some hidden world.  I want to take so many more night shots!

We had a lot of fun on our trip and I have plenty of daytime photos to share soon!