Las Vegas Opportunity Risk Reward

Las Vegas, Nevada | Opportunity, Risk, and Reward


Approximately forty-two million visitors traveled from around the world for an opportunity to stay in Nevada’s most populous city in 2015, and I numbered into that statistic. Driving back last year on I-15 after my brief thirty-six hour trip’s end, I vehemently vowed to never return to that desert city. Yet, I just contributed to the grand total for 2016 and found myself reflecting on an amazing experience full of fun times with old and new friends. Had the city changed? Or had I? In truth, both.

As in travel as in life, change is truly constant. Like a river transporting water slowly shaping its environment, change creates new opportunities out of the familiar. A wise old Greek philosopher once typed wrote “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he is not the same man.” Although Heraclitus might frown at the lack of running water cutting through Las Vegas today, adopting this attitude underlines the importance of opportunity in revisiting familiar locations. Besides, with opportunity comes something more compelling than water that gushes throughout this arid desert city.


Coursing through shimmering pools towered by glass hotels that reach for the bright sky to neon lit streets bustling and capturing the night, Las Vegas flows with an undeniable frenetic energy. At the heart of the city one will not discover a casino, day pool, night club or restaurant that pumps such vitality to the body of Sin City—one will encounter risk. Risk embedded in these various institutions is equally exciting and terrifying. Will I win or lose money at the casino? Will he/she notice me at the day pool/night club? Will I be happy or sad with the cost of my buffet (Bacchanal!)?

Such conflicting thoughts surround risk. How, then, does one capitalize on the opportunity of risk and overwhelm its negative side? Take a leap in doing something meaningful outside one’s comfort zone while surrounding oneself with good friends old and new—go ahead and gamble. Take a risk that excites you and offers the potential of a positive experience. Overcoming risk while traveling, particularly with the support of close friends, infuses a sea of electric energy into every aspect of a trip. It also produces an incredible, individual present.


Letting the unknowns of tomorrow and the complexities of yesterday yield to the realities of today. Simply existing while dancing in the here and the now surrounded by many of my favorite people this past weekend truly was an incredible reward. The present of being present. Gained through overcoming risk inlaid in opportunity. Afforded to me by a desert city from which I was self-exiled. Purposeful in its shared quality and euphoric nature. Thanks Las Vegas.

Back Bay Hike Newport Beach

Back Bay Loop Trail | Back Bay Lookout to Muth Interpretive Center

Situated between Newport Harbor and the 73 Freeway, Back Bay provides runners, walkers, cyclists, hikers and many others trails to enjoy beautiful, scenic views at the heart of Newport Beach. 10.5 miles of trail wrap around the bay creating a wide range of possibilities for the frequent visitor. In this post, I highlight the Back Bay Lookout to Muth Interpretive Center trail.






1-1.5 hour(s)


Good. Plenty of street parking on Eastbluff Drive near Back Bay Lookout. Crowded on weekends, particularly in the morning.

Notable Features:
  • Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center features estuary history exhibits and interactive displays (open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.).
  • Cyclists galore! Keep eyes and ears open for speedy (and friendly) cyclists.
  • A diverse selection of fauna and flora. A beautiful and well-preserved wilderness area.

From the 73 freeway, take Jamboree Road (Exit 15). Continue on Jamboree Road for 1 mile and make a right onto Eastbluff Drive. Park along Eastbluff Drive near Back Bay Lookout. From P.C.H., take Jamboree Road for 3.2 miles to Eastbluff Drive. Make a left on Eastbluff Drive and find parking near Back Bay Lookout.

The Hike

Begin trekking slightly uphill to the Back Bay Lookout. From here, enjoy an expansive view of the Bay (truly an inland delta). After grasping the scale of the area, as well as its distinct odor, head down Eastbluff Drive to Jamboree Road and make a left while continuing on paved trail paths.

Cross the overpass which connects one side of Jamboree Road to the other and then make another left while enjoying a brief shady section of gravel trails. This section widens into an unprotected trail followed by a narrow wooden bridge. Give cyclists the concrete path while taking the wooden section of the bridge for yourself and your hiking companions.

Head slightly uphill after the rolling bridge and gaze upon the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. This center not only marks the turnaround location for your hike but also gives a different yet still expansive view of the Back Bay!

Check out the interactive displays and educational estuary historic exhibits located within the center. All are quite entertaining! Restrooms and water fountains are located within the center for public use. When done, simply hop back onto your path and return back to Back Bay Lookout to conclude the hike.

Hiker’s Hint #01:

Invite a friend and use F.O.I.L. to catch up from time apart.

Family, Occupation, Interests, Love. F.O.I.L.