Warning - if you're tired of seeing pictures of rocks you may want to skip this post
We even stopped a beautiful hot spring oasis (Rogers Spring) in the middle of the desert. Of course, Dave had to put his finger in it to see if it was really warm.....it was.
Out of Lake Mead National Recreation Area and into the Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park. The landscape changed. Huge outcroppings of fire red rocks came into view as we headed into the park.
We stopped at the Visitor's Center and got a map but soon realized we didn't allow enough time in this fabulous park. We could only do one hike so we picked the White Domes, at the far end of the park.
It started out by going down a "natural" staircase from the parking lot down into a narrow wash.
|it's a long way down|
It was further down and steeper than I'd expected and my knee was singing by the time I got to the bottom.
Knee was soon forgotten, the landscape along this hike was fabulous. Shapes and colors of rocks we'd never seen. Rocks are rocks, right? Not here.
|pink stripe honeycomb|
About halfway along the trail we came to a short slot canyon. We welcomed the shade it provided. The weather here has been beautiful, but by the afternoon a bit hot to hike along in the sun.
Once through he slot we discovered a number of holes, niches and small arches along the trail.
|he's quietly hiding from me|
The path back to the Jeep was much more humane, the slope up to the top was long and gentile. I was glad of that, I was tired by then and the thought of a climb up and out like the one we took to get down was making me start to complain. Phew!
Before we left the park we took a quick swing through the campground loops and decided to make a point of staying there the next time we were through the area. The sites were scattered around among the huge red boulders and we could just imagine the silence and starlit skies that would greet us when we stepped out of Beluga in the evening. Besides, there is so much more to this park than we had time for. Staying inside would allow us to roam free and explore it carefully.
We opted to drive back through the Lake Mead National Recreational Area on our way home instead of picking up I-15 which was fairly close to the entrance station. The peaceful landscape and lack of traffic along that route would allow us to talk about our experience and relive the lovely hike we'd just had.
Tomorrow I'll tell you about our cool Jeep ride and hike on NP61, Crane's Nest Road. Perhaps I'll show you pictures of today's Jeep tour and hike to the river on NP62, Old Ranger Station Rd. Lewis has been having a ball these past few days. He's turning into a real mountain goat!
|Lew is through in a flash....Dave and I, not so fast|