Sunday, November 10, 2013

Valley of Fire

November 6 - 10, 2013:

It's been getting quite cold at night and it's tough boondocking when you can't run the furnace all night.  Also with the time change I'm getting up with the sunrise at 6 AM.  Sometimes with this RV lifestyle it's a bit like going back to the old days.  I kind of like it, appeals to my cave man mentality !  

Anyhow, Tuesday November 6th we packed up to move to another Red Rock scenic wonder, the "Valley of Fire" State Park near Overton, Nevada. We left early for us, 8:30 AM, because we wan't to be at the State Park campground early to get a first come, first served campsite.  The traffic on route 95 near our exit onto route 15 in Las Vegas was crazy, but we made it through without incident and it was smooth sailing the rest of the trip. We arrived at the Valley of Fire and there were many nice campsites available nestled right amongst the beautiful red rocks.  This is a great spot for outdoors activities, hiking, nature study and scenic wonders, but far from urban amenities; unlike Red Rocks which was on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

Campsite at Valley of Fire
First stop was the visitors center, where we saw the Balanced Rock, then a short hike to "Mouse's Tank", where an indian renegade named "Mouse" had hid out from the US Army.  It is a fantastic red Sandstone canyon with lots and lots of ancient indian Petroglyphs visible in the canyon walls.  At the end of the trail is a rock basin where a body of water is trapped, referred to as a Tank.  
Balanced Rock

Indian Petroglyphs at Mouse's Tank

Mouse's Tank

Tuesday was another lost hiking trail for us, we thought we were on the Pinnacle Trail but ended up on the Prospect Trail as a sign at the trail junction was missing.  Once again, possibly for the best as the Prospect Trail was fantastic although we didn't do the whole 11 miles.  We turned around for about a 6 miles total.  That about did in Twinkles, it's been a few tough trails in a row and the girl just can't keep up with the old man, that would be me.  We also stopped right around the corner from our campground at Atlatl Rock where they have a stairway 40 feet or so up the rock face to view the indian Petroglyphs. 

Prospect Trail view

Prospect Trail view

Prospect Trail view

Atlatl Rock view

Indian Petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock
Time for some RV cleaning and maintenance again, Twinkles cleans inside while I get a propane tank refilled, then some cleaning and lubrication on the Slides and rear Stabilizer Jacks. I hate to even look under this vehicle, everything is put together so crappy, so flimsy, I'm amazed (knock on wood) it has held together this long.  

This campground is one of the most scenic we have ever stayed in, but is very busy with lots RV's in and out and it should be totally full on the weekend.  A group of young boys has been running around playing on the rocks, making so much noise, kind of wish they would go home.  One has been yelling, "Fire in the hole" over and over and I just heard a mom say "Don't throw anything".  Twinkles says boys are like that, you should know, you have the same equipment ???

CCC built cabins that were available for tourists

Twinkles mesmerized by the view

Road to Elephant Rock

Arch Rock view

Beehive Rock formation

Saturday was a ride to Overton, Nevada to the "Lost City Museum" which was having a Native American Day.  This area was home to Anasazi indians from 300 B.C. to 1150 A.D. and then from 1000 A.D. to the present by the the Paiute Indian tribe.  The Moapa band of the Paiutes have a reservation in the area and operate a travel plaza at the route 15 exit for "Valley of Fire".   The Lost City Museum was built by the National Park Service to house artifacts that were excavated from the "Pueblo Grande de Nevada" that were to be flooded by Lake Mead with the construction of the Hoover Dam.  The news media of the day sensationalized the site calling it the "Lost City" and a train was even operated to take tourist to the site before it was flooded.  The museum is now operated by the State of Nevada.  The museum was excellent and they had two native dance groups performing that were really great along with very good Fry Bread Taco's.

A Lost City excursion train Ad

Lost City Museum

Dancer at Museum

Museum exhibit

In memory of my buddy,  Orie Tuck, RIP, who once  bought
a WPA shovel just like this one at an antique shop

Reconstructed Pueblo's at the Museum

Male dancers, father and son, at Museum

He gave an impressive, inspirational talk as a part of the show,
sounding like a real chief should
After the museum, we stopped in downtown Overton at the "Rooster Bar" for a beer, which has a great sign, a big Rooster and interesting doorway. A few colorful locals were having much fun inside, but the topper was the old dude with a cowboy hat who parked his scooter out front, hung his walking cane on the handlebar and shuffled inside to the bar with his jeans almost falling off his butt and ordered a beer.  Overton has many Trailer Parks and Campgrounds and seems to have a large sunbird population.  Also a few miles south of Overton, on a Mesa top is a huge BLM Boondocking area that looks like a great, easy place to set up.

The Red Rooster's doorway

The Red Rooster Bar
Sunday a couple more short hikes on the Rainbow Vista Trail and the White Domes Trail.  The White Domes Trail was really special due to the multi colored rocks and a Slot Canyon.  The area of the Park from the Rainbow Vista to White Domes is really scenic with an incredible rainbow coloration to the rocks.
Beautiful flowers against the Rainbow Vista rocks

Rainbow Vista Trail

Road view in Rainbow Vista area

Twinkles coming down the White Domes Trail

View on the White Domes Trail

View on the White Domes Trail

View on the White Domes Trail
Slot Canyon view

The Red Rock tour continues, we have a reservation for the next week at the Watchman Campground in Zion National Park.  Hard to image it can get any better than this ???

Keep rocking on,
Twinkles & Slick

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