When you’ve had enough of the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas, a short drive will take you back to nature. We spent the day at Valley of Fire State Park, the first state park in Nevada. To get there we drove through miles of ugly flatness that even bight blue skies and sunshine couldn’t improve. But as we neared the park, huge red rock formations called beehives, took our breaths away. The name of the park comes from these sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs 150 million years ago. Uplifting and faulting followed by extensive erosion created the awesome landscape. It’s hard to believe that this huge desert region once was an enormous inland sea, but the evidence written in the rocks is incontrovertible.
At times Ken the photographer was frustrated when we would come to an especially dramatic formation and find a picnic table beneath it. If you want some scenic picnicking, go to Valley of Fire. Nevertheless it was easy to take many too many photographs today. It would have been fun to photograph with the drone here, but signs warned us to not to try. That would have been an even better way to convey the beauty of the place.
Hollywood often comes to the valley to take advantage of the dramatic scenery. Geezers like us expected to see John Wayne come galloping around the corner, but this area has also been used as an alien planet in science fiction films.
Usually park administrators work hard to keep their area as natural as possible. Valley of Fire is located in such a remote area, great efforts had to be made to bring electricity and water into the park. Although advance press lead us to believe that we could buy something to eat for a scenic picnic of our own, there was nothing to eat for sale except popcorn. That’s why we always travel with emergency trail mix.