Janene and I were on a slow, meandering route to Las Vegas to pick up daughter Katie for a spring break rendezvous in Death Valley. Departing Bunkerville (see Moby Goes to Bunkerville ), we headed for Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park east of LasVegas.
The highway toward the park clearly is heading for red rock geology.
We were too late to get a spot in the already full state park campgrounds. So as the sun set we staked out a lovely free spot next to the pit toilet at the park entrance. Just our kind of place.
But we had time for a quick walk at sunset. The sun was still shining on “Elephant Rock”.
There are plenty of shades of red available here at Valley of Fire State Park.
Rocks on fire.
The fires go out as the sun sets.
But the moonlight reignited the rocks.
Early the next morning we drove into the park and took a series of short hikes through beautiful canyons.
Slot canyons never cease to amaze.
These bands of colored sandstone are really this color. I never digitally enhance photos on this blog. I hate seeing photos that are obviously colorized. I want to see the world as it really exists, not as art.
But just for fun, here is the same photo after one click of the “enhance” button.
Kids love to play in the rock formations here.
The sandstone formations appear to have had pinstripe paint jobs added.
An entire gallery of such art.
Building stacks of rocks, or cairns, and leaving them behind has become popular out in natural areas. I can see the fun of building them, but leaving them behind mars the natural landscape. It violates the “leave no trace” ethic of visiting natural areas. For years I have been on a personal mission to destroy cairns I come across. So now I am glad to see it has come up on the radar of natural resource agencies such as the USFS and BLM, and now obviously the Nevada State Parks Department as well.
As per the previous sign, I considered reporting this cairn to the park rangers.
But being in the rugged West, I took vigilante action and took care of the crime myself.
There’s more than just rocks here. Like lizards.
And petroglyphs. There were extensive panels of this Native Americans art. I did digitally enhance the contrast in the photos so the artwork would stand out better. Sometimes digital enhancement brings out things the naked eye or camera doesn’t detect.
Sheep seem to be listed on the menu at this Hard Rock Cafe.
Plus elk, deer, and more.
The perfect picture frame for my view of nature.