Today, Larry, Keith, Lois & I packed a lunch and headed out for a day trip 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas to the Valley of Fire, Nevada's oldest state park. Dedicated in 1935, the Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. Complex uplifting & faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. Unique and unbelievable formations and colors of lavender, deep orange, white, yellow, brown and red in all different shades and combinations. Prehistoric users of the Valley of Fire included the Basket Maker people & later the Anasazi Pueblo farmers from the nearby fertile Moapa Valley. The span of approximate occupation has been dated from 300 B.C. To 1150 A.D. Their visits probably involved hunting, food gathering, and religious ceremonies, although scarcity of water would have limited the length of their stay. If you are capable of climbing 84 stairs, fine examples of rock art (petroglyphs) have been left by these ancient peoples for us to enjoy today.
We had a terrific day, stopping at the many signed points of interest, climbing rocks & just generally enjoying the solitude of the area. Our only encounter with more than a few folks was at the Atatl Rock area I mentioned earlier where you climb 84 stairs to view the art. There were two tour buses parked when we arrived but apparently they had been there for some time, as they were all finishing their lunch and beginning to depart. We were offered subs from one of the tour guides and we accepted her generous offer & saved our chicken sandwiches for later in the day. Good decision, they were very good!
At one point a limousine arrived, with a photographer and a bride & groom onboard. I got permission to take a couple of pics of the nice looking couple myself. Apparently they were married at Seven Sisters, one of the many rock formations in the valley. What a lovely spot to exchange vows and to capture amazing wedding photographs. At the same location there was an interesting 'motorhome' in the parking area. You'll see what I mean when you see today's pics. I'm sure they have to be very mindful of the roads they travel due to height. Our 5'er is 13'3" and this rig was considerably higher. We'd hoped to meet the owners and perhaps take a tour but apparently they were on a hike because they didn't return during the time we were there. And, we swung back by about 45 minutes later & it was still in the same spot.
As we made our way back to town we took a short detour to check out Echo Bay. We understand that Lake Mead is up over 30 feet since last year. When we stopped at Echo a couple of years ago the boat docks were on dry land & there were no boats in the area. Today the slips were full & there were several campers in the campgrounds. Good to see.
We arrived home in time to grab a quick bite to eat and then headed out to take in a movie. We decided on a new release 'One For The Money'. Keith requested "no chick flick please". I assured him it wasn't. Well, in all honesty it turned out to be a bit of comedy, a lot of chick flick & a little action. Larry, Lois & I really liked it & Keith said it was "ok". It was a nice way to end a great day though.
The following morning we met Keith & Lois for a leisurely breakfast before they headed out. Our three days together went by way too quickly but we are so glad they came to spend the time with us. Now I remember why we were so close as children! I think we've decided that we are going to head their way in March & do a bit of camping on the beach near them. They have a travel trailer & I think we've convinced them to join us for at least a few of those days. Looking forward to that!