Denise Goldberg's blog

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Fire in rocks

I was going to let Denise write today but she said that her brain is thinking in circles. Taking over for her is fine with me; I really like playing with words!

Valley of Fire was today's wandering spot. At first Denise was thinking about leaving very early, by 7 AM, but then she realized how cold it was going to be and she decided an extra hour of sleep might give us a little more warmth when we arrived in the park. We were in the park by 9:30, leaving us plenty of time for exploring.

There were a lot of other people in the park. We still had our alone with the environment time though; as soon as we started walking we were alone, sharing space with the birds and other local creatures. We only saw birds although Denise took a quick look at a close-to-the-ground twisted looking cactus and thought it was a snake. Yikes! Even if it had been a snake we weren't close enough for it to be a problem.

From the park's web site: "Valley of Fire is Nevada's oldest and largest state park, dedicated 1935. The valley derives its name from the red sandstone formations and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert."

Valley of Fire is really amazing. There are very red rocks, and there are other colors too, yellows, greens, whites, and...

We stopped a lot as we drove through the park, jumping out of the car so Denise could play with her camera. We walked in a few spots too. The trail at the White Domes is a favorite of Denise's, so of course we walked there. The start of the loop heads down, deep sand covering the trail, sand on top of sandstone in a canyon. It was a good place for bouncing; I bounced down and back up a bit to check on Denise. She walks slower than I do sometimes, especially when she thinks she might slip. At the bottom, we turned to the right and went through a narrow slot canyon. Wow! It was really chilly in there. I was happy to come back out into the sunshine to warm up again.

When we drove to the end of the road Denise noticed a small sign labeled "wave" with an arrow pointing to a faint trail. We passed it again on the way out, then we turned around and went back to the small parking area just before the sign. It started as a dirt trail, then continued on hard rock. There was an occasional trail marker, a pile of rocks. Denise looked back to make sure the little trail was findable, and then we continued on walking on rock (no footprints to follow back!). The colors were just amazing. Hopefully some of Denise's photos will give you an idea of the colors. We stopped walking when we came to a smooth rock striped in orange and white. Cool!

--- Rover