After driving through California, it was time to head north to Las Vegas! The palm trees and breezy Pacific Ocean quickly turned to cactus and expansive desert. The car arrived in Vegas and was able to drive down the brightly lit Las Vegas strip, home to many world-famous casinos.
We took a helicopter ride over the city that evening, excited to see the city from above. Las Vegas is built in the middle of a desert, meaning that the city is the center of the action, surrounded by the suburbs where thousands of people live, and then nothing; just desert. To see Vegas from a bird’s eye view was pretty overwhelming. While in the helicopter we wore noise canceling head-phones to protect our ears from the loud noise of the propellers. The head-phones featured a narration of our ride, which included many facts and interesting tidbits about the city below. From this guided tour we learned that there are over 300 weddings a day in Las Vegas, including the weddings of many celebrities who chose the infamous strip as their wedding destination. The Luxor hotel (shaped like a pyramid) has a light beam that shines into the sky and can even be seen from space. Most interestingly, we learned that there are more hotel rooms in Vegas than all of Europe. To give an example of the magnitude of these hotels and casinos, our hotel alone had 4,000 rooms.
From Las Vegas, it was off 190 kilometres to one of the Seven Wonders of the World; The Grand Canyon. We took a bus tour that dropped us off at two locations, the first being the Sky Walk which, was opened in 2007 by the Hualapai Tribe, a recognized tribe of Native Americans, originally from the mountains of northwestern Arizona. The Sky Walk consists of a horseshoe shaped steel frame with a glass floor that extends almost about 21 meters from the canyon’s edge, allowing visitors to look straight down to the canyon floor, a somewhat terrifying experience, as nothing but a sheet of glass separates you from the long fall to the bottom.
A second viewpoint from the canyon gave a scenic overlook of the canyon. As the sun set behind the mountains, the sky turned a bright orange, lighting the canyon in a breathtaking way, which no photo can do justice.
From there, it was onto the next stop for iglidur® on tour, Salt Lake City, the capital and largest city in Utah. The drive was unbelievable; the iglidur® car journeyed through kilometres of canyons, taking a pit stop at Zion National Park. Driving through a 8 kilometres stretch of road, wrapping around mountains and canyons to reach…
…Cairns, which are rock towers that mark trails for hikers.
We made our own cairn with an iglidur® R bearing to match the red rocks of Zion.
We’ve also had some amazing customer visits in the recent days that show the variety of industries that use igus. One visit was to a company that specializes in equipment to aid in the mobility of people with disabilities, including a new hydraulic ankle joint in a prosthetic leg. Modern prosthetics allow patients to walk more naturally and comfortably than those with traditional prosthetics, partially because of new materials used in their development and manufacture. iglidur® bearings are used in many prosthetic limbs for several reasons, like their light weight, immunity against water, dirt, and other environmental factors, quiet operation, and their ability to dampen vibrations.
Because they are made from plastic, rather than traditional metals, iglidur® bearings are very light in weight, which can drastically reduce the weight of prosthetics, making them more comfortable to wear, and allow for a more natural gait, as the patient isn’t compensating for the excess weight of a prosthetic device.
Bearings used in these sorts of devices are made of iglidur® plastic materials like iglidur® Q, which a great choice because it is extremely resilient under high loads and exceptionally shock absorbing, making it an excellent buffer for impact load, like those that occur from walking or running. These are also very quiet, eliminating excess noise – no squeaking or creaking from the bearings with every step!
Possibly the most important, these plastic bearings are used in these devices because they are not affected by the dirt, dust, pet hair, rainwater, and other external factors that can be deadly to a traditional lubricating bearing. When using a metal lubricated bearing, this dirt and dust is attracted to sticky grease, clogging the bearing and causing the bearing to seize up, or freeze in place. Similarly, water can wash away this lubricant, leaving the bearing unable to move properly. In a prosthetic leg, for example, a bearing seizure can cause the joint to lock up, and could even cause the user to fall and get hurt. Self-lubricating plastics, on the other hand can work perfectly in even the dirtiest, rainiest environments, keeping prosthetics running!
After visiting customers, iglidur® on tour took to the road again, on the way to Salt Lake City, with a sightseeing stop at Salt Lake Temple, one of the largest Mormon Temples in the world. Traveling through the city, it was surprisingly calm, as winter is the busy time of year with tourists traveling from everywhere to ski the area’s beautiful mountains.
Traveling just outside the city, there are a number of small ski communities, such as Park City, home to the Sundance Festival, an annual celebration of independent films from all over the world. Park City is also full of ski lodges andshops, with an adorable main street lined with restaurants that all looked delicious. There is even a ski lift that picks up residents in the old city and brings them to the mountains. It runs in the off season as well, bringing people up to the mountains, which have water slides and other recreational activities.
One of the many restaurants lining Main Street
Banksy, a famous artist, has left his mark on a wall in town.
From Salt Lake City, iglidur® on tour is heading to Denver Colorado, through the Moab Desert
Thanks for reading,