West Market

Las Vegas And The Old Spanish Trail

When most people plan a trip to Las Vegas, they’re planning on gambling, partying, or relaxing, but rarely a history lesson. For those looking to dig a little deeper into how Sin City came to be, pull up a chair and listen to the story of the Old Spanish Trail…


In 1829, Mexican explorer Antonio Armijo and his caravan of sixty men and one hundred mules set out from Abiquiú, New Mexico. Decades before Nevada was part of the Union, and with no maps to lead the way, Armijo and his team truly were heading into what was literally uncharted territory.


With the intention of travelling to California to engage in the wool trade, this expedition would ultimately become responsible for bringing widespread commerce to the Southwest through what came to be known as the Old Spanish Trail. But unlike today on one of our Las Vegas ATV tours the journey wasn’t easy…


The Long And Winding Road


Thanks to harsh desert conditions, Armijo and his group were forced to take a long, circuitous route that avoided the most inhospitable areas of the Mojave Desert and the aptly named Death Valley. By following water sources in the form of springs and streams throughout the region, the trail that Armijo created was winding, but provided future travellers with the best chances of survival. In the years that followed, the area of southern Nevada traversed by Armijo would become the hospitable setting of the future Las Vegas.


Las Vegas The Oasis


Doing their best to follow water sources, Armjio and his team went great distances between springs or streams. Entering what’s now Nevada near the Muddy River, the group went for the next fifty miles without encountering water, and it was in Las Vegas where springs were finally found. After leaving this area, water was still quite difficult to find until they’d reached California, making Vegas a true desert oasis.


An Ancient Trail


While Armijo and his caravan popularized this trail by using it to bring trade and commerce through the region, he wasn’t the first to use the path. Recorded history mentions Spanish explorers traversing the route as early as the late 16th century, while the Native American peoples of the region were using it for many centuries prior. In such unforgiving climate, ground that can now be easily covered by car or plane was a risky venture each time these travellers sought to take it.


Lasting Impact


Without Armijo and his part in charting this section of the Old Spanish Trail, the history of the Las Vegas area could have been very different. In not becoming part of the Southwest trade route, settlement of the region may have occurred much later, or not at all, with miners and pioneers being drawn elsewhere.


Of course, Las Vegas is now most known for something outside of mining and pioneering, but it’s fitting that the commerce-driven industries of gambling and tourism are the main attraction along the trail that Armijo blazed nearly two decades ago — all in the name of trade.




How To Keep Your Heating System From Freezing Your Bank Account This Weekend

Not surprisingly, anything in our homes that uses energy ends up costing us in monthly bills. While electronics and appliances certainly cost their share of money, the Department of Energy estimates that heating and cooling are responsible for about half of energy expenses. Some people choose to suffer through the summer heat without AC, but in many states spending the winter without heating your home simply isn’t an option.


Here are some of our favorite tips to keep the dipping temperature from freezing your bank account this winter:


Maintain Your Furnace


If you aren’t providing your furnace with regular care and attention, it can’t do it’s best to keep you warm and remain energy efficient. Simple maintenance can have a huge impact on the overall life of your unit, and how hard it has to work during those cold snaps.


The easiest thing you can do is to keep your unit’s filters clean. Dirty filters mean increased heating costs due to decreased energy efficiency, not to mention potential air quality concerns if you’ve got allergic or asthmatic family members.


Also consider that your furnace may be too old to remain efficient, even with regular maintenance. Manufacturers are constantly putting out more efficient models that are more environmentally friendly and can save you money.


You should contact a Portland HVAC technician to assist you with a regularly scheduled maintenance program. This will guarantee a well maintained system since we often tend to forget about our HVAC system.

Insulate Your Home

Just like insulating yourself with warm clothes means your body doesn’t have to work to keep itself warm, extra insulation will be appreciated by your home’s heating systems. Purchasing a pre-made heating blanket or insulation kit for your hot water heater will help your unit to regulate temperature and prevent heat loss. These blankets are available at most home goods and hardware stores, and are inexpensive enough that you’ll recoup your costs with fuel savings in one or two winters.

In addition to your hot water heater, non-insulated parts of your home like vents and windows let the heat that you’ve paid for escape into the cold winter air. Take steps to winterize your home before the cold temperatures hit, and you’ll notice your family reaches to the thermostat less often. Use caulk to seal cracks between windows, replace old weatherstripping around doors, and consider investing in heavier curtains that don’t let heat easily escape.


Manage Moisture In Your Home


While you may think moisture in your home will have you feeling cold all winter, it actually has the opposite effect. Adding a humidifier to help regulate moisture levels in your home will have you feeling warmer without having to turn the furnace up those extra few degrees.


In terms of home maintenance, the moisture provided by a humidifier can slow the process of cracking in the seals around doors and windows, which in turn leads to less heat loss.


Speaking of things that get dry and cracked in the winter, your skin and nose will thank you for the added moisture, too!


5 Steps to Follow for Web Design


  1. Flashy Pages: unwanted Distractions


Most of web designers feel the need to create stylish splash pages that do nothing but create a barrier which stops web users in their tracks and forces them to make the unnecessary decision of whether to push forward to the home page or to leave your website forever. These “website introductions” are typically short Flash-based movies that showcase the web designer’s flash design skill set, yet offer the web user nothing but a distraction. Flash animations are so common these days that it’s almost impossible to actually impress a web user with a Flashy page. The main goal of any website design should be to either deliver the web user what they want or to get the web user to perform an action. a flashy page only slows down this process and should be avoided at all time.


  1. Banner Advertisements: Less Is More


When it comes to the strategic placement of banner advertising, the old proverb “less is more” needs to be applied to web design. A single successful banner advertisement is more profitable and valuable then a whole bunch of banner advertisements that get minimal click-through. The harder it is to secure a single banner advertisement space, the more appealing it becomes to advertisers. it’s best to try and fill space with useful content. Another tip is to surround your banner advertisements with as much useful content as possible; this will also make the space more appealing to potential advertisers.


  1. Navigation: Is The Important Key


The fastest Bike in the world is useless if no-one knows to drive it. The same goes for websites. Website owners can choose to invest thousands in web design, logo design, flash design, splash pages, funky animations and a whole host of other aesthetic goodies to make the site look fantastic, but if web users cannot navigate around the site to consume the content or purchase products, then the whole website fails to achieve its goals. In web design when it comes to designing effective navigation it’s best to keep it as simple as possible. Once again, web designers will often go overboard and design navigation menus that include flash animations, multi-tiered dropdowns and a whole host of other unnecessary additions that only work to distract the user, instead of helping them navigate around the website. Navigation is the key that unlocks good website design


  1. Coding: Never Copy & Paste


Amateur web designers will often copy and paste code from various websites and compile their website like its Frankenstein. When an error occurs, the web designer doesn’t know how to fix it because they didn’t write the code. Web designers must then sit down and waste time working out what each piece of code does, before discovering the error and then rectifying it. During this time it’s the web users who suffer, as they sit through error after error. Although writing the code from scratch causes longer initial development stages and may cost more in the short term, it will save you a lot of time in the long run if any errors do happen to occur. As mentioned above, errors need to be avoided, whatever the cost. Before seeking professionals to do your website design or flash design, always run double-checks to see how much of the code they are actually writing. If the web design agency is copying code from within their own web design / flash design team, then there is nothing to worry about because someone in the agency will know what to do if a problem arises or they typically have an FAQ that can be easily referenced. The only time you should worry is if the code is copied from an external website.


  1. Consistency: Way To Success


Regardless of size, every website should remain consistent to ensure the web user knows exactly where they are and where to look at all times. This applies to everything from simple navigation links to the location of help menus. The goal should be to make the web user familiar with all aspects of your website, from the colours used in the design to the overall layout. Some web designers, who are often pressured by management to create a variety of web designs, feel the need to experiment with different colour schemes and website layouts within a single website, but this does nothing but confuse the web user by causing disorientation. Only break consistency when the website is receiving a complete overhaul.

Visit York web design for more information about web design. This is full service and best website design company located in York, London.