Valley of Fire - Camping!
On Tuesday we started our camping adventure.
Those of you who know us know that camping is not something that we have done too often. Amy and Steve are the exact opposite and go camping many times a year. They have a camper trailer which sets up in minutes and also they have all the necessary equipment...... even the kithen sink,
So back to Tuesday...
There was setting up time. We were prepared with the sleeping bags we bought...... and the long underwear! The rest we borrowed from the Robinsons. They had the tent they used before they bought the trailer and some warmer outer garments. We were certainly going to be prepared for the cold nights.
There was some stops in Cedar City on the way out, fuel, firewood and ice were purchased - snow on the ground and we bought 11 bags of ice. There was also an important stop at Starbucks.
The drive to Valley of Fire is 260 kilmetres back down I15 towards Las Vegas. We followed Amy and Steve down much of the road we had travelled up just the day before. Nice drive and 7 Wal Mart trucks on the way to the camp site.
The Valley of Fire State Park is the oldest state park in Nevada. It covers an area of 34,880 acres (14,120 ha) and was dedicated in 1935. It derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park's attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays.
We got to the park around 2:00pm, we picked up another hour thanks to crossing the border into Nevada.
It took a while to sort ourselves out. Set up the trailer, the tent and all the 'kitchen' stuff. We did go for a walk around the camp area and admire some of the amazing rock displays.
The sun set at 4:37pm, It was pitch black not much later than 5:00pm. That was really weird. We had lanterns and Steve lit a camp fire. We had an early chicken dinner which was nice. I have to say that I bombed out early and was in my tent by not much later than 6:00m. The rest of the gang enjoyed S'mores before they retired. Sleeping was OK, it certainly wasn't as cold as it could have been. Maybe down to 5C. Thankfully I had my kindle which allowed me to read in the dark.
On Wednesday we were up early for a fantastic scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage breakfast.
During the day we checked out;
- Atlatl Rock which has examples of ancient Indian rock art or petroglyphs, including a depiction of the atlatl, a notched stick used to throw primitive spears. The atlatl was a predecessor to the bow and arrow.
- Petrified Logs which are logs and stumps washed into the area from an ancient forest about 225 million years ago are have turned from wood to stone.
- The Visitor's Centre.
- Mouse's Tank is named for a renegade Indian who used the area as a hideout in the 1890's. Mouse's Tank is a natural basin in the rock where water collects after rainfalls, sometimes remaining for months. We walked the kilometre round trip trail which leads to Mouse's Tank from the trail head parking area, passing numerous examples of prehistoric Indian petroglyphs.
- Rainbow Vista is a favourite photo point with a panoramic view of multicoloured sandstone. Due to this high location I was able to get mobile hone coverage and receive a message and my email.
- The White Domes are sandstone formations with brilliant contrasting colours.
So all in all it was a great day, we did some looking, some walking and some climbing.
Dinner was cheeseburgers and then I managed to stay awake a little longer to enjoy some S'mores tonight. Still asleep by 7:00m.
Thursday morning we were up early to a nice breakfast of muffins and then set to getting the camp site packed up -that took a couple of hours.
I had the challenge of lighting the camp fire on the last morning and having watched Steve and Amy light the previous fires I managed this challenge very successfully.
Amy took us on a climb of a nearby rock which was nice. Very peaceful. Often on our camping trip the silence was deafening. Just amazing. Midnight walks to the bathroom were interesting with a near full moon casting eerie shadows.
We called in at the Visitor's Centre on the way out but again the shop was closed.
On the way back to Cedar City we called into Lee's Liquor Store in Mesquite. Got Ryan his Jeremiah Weed Burboun.
The drive back to Cedar City was uneventful, most of the snow on the ground was gone.
Unloaded most of the stuff and had soup for dinner. Sadly another early night after watching Men In Black on TV.
15 Wal-Mart trucks on the way home, so 22 for the campint trip and 30 for the entire trip.
Thanks to Amy for all the photos on this page.