Sunday, April 18, 2004

Valley of Fire

We thought we’d play tourist yesterday and drove up to the Valley of Fire. That’s a state park located about 40 miles north of LV. It borders the north end of Lake Mead.
First comes a drive up Interstate 15, then sixteen miles down a two lane road to the park. This is a pleasant drive, after the spring rains there are many wild flowers and cactus in bloom.

You can see how green the desert is in the above picture, everything is really brown in the summer when it gets hot – really makes you glad to live in tree country, doesn’t it? A lot different than upstate New York where I went to school.
The park is full of odd rock formations, many of them are red sandstone, put down when a big lake covered the western US. Near the west entrance where we drove in are the beehive formations.
These are about forty feet high, and make nice backgrounds for photographs.
A short while later there are more rock formations – except for the desert vegetation that’s all that’s out here. Really, except for Las Vegas that’s about all there is in Nevada. OK – don’t get mad, Lake Tahoe has some great ski slopes and tall trees, but it still is no tropical oasis.

You really have to like rocks and big vistas to like it here.
I could put in lots more photos of rocks, but you get the picture – lots of red rocks.
Driving back the same roads, I stopped in the middle of the road, blocking all kinds of traffic, to get this picture.

You can see all of the disturbed drivers whizzing past in the above shot. This is what most of the back roads of Nevada look like – flat nothing with mountains in the background. Again, the desert is really green, or at least that’s what I’m told. I’ll try some photos in the summertime for comparison, when it gets hot and everything gets brown. You can’t read the signs at this resolution, but the speed limit is 45. That is the standard back road speed – and Nevada police do have radar and laser guns, speeding tickets now cost several hundred dollars for the simple ones, more if you are going really fast. Just ‘cause you don’t see him, doesn’t mean you are not being measured – planes are used to measure your speed also, so having a radar/laser detector doesn’t mean much if it’s just a visual observation.
No political thoughts today, at least none I want to put down. Let’s just pretend this is a blog on Nevada, and how pretty it is around here.

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