Noticed at 4 this morning that Bayfield’s temperature back home was 5 degrees warmer than it was here in Nevada east of Las Vegas. And just the night before it was so warm I didn’t need a shirt!!
Some readers have suggested we check out Utah on our way home but we feel it is too early in the season & there will be snow & cold stormy weather in the Colorado mountain passes. Utah is one of my favorite States & has some of the greatest scenery anywhere. We did swing through southern Utah back in 2007 on our way south hitting places like the Arches, Zion Canyon & Bryce Canyon. If you type any of those spots into our ‘Search’ box you can find our travel posts & photos from those areas.
From my chair in the darkened wee hours this morning I kept a wary eye on the Eastern horizon directly out our windshield. I first saw a faint mountain horizon line as the distant sky began to lighten. Then, after a bit there it was. Old Sol was back in the sky & we were finally going to have fire in the Valley:))
THIS MORNING’S SUNRISE
Egg salad sandwiches were made, warm clothes put on & with hot coffee in the thermos we were out the door by 7:30 into the Jeep & on our way back to the Valley Of Fire. Well, what a difference a day & a little morning sun makes. So glad we waited.
We knew exactly where we were headed this morning. The Mouse’s Tank. There were several places we didn’t stop while in the Park Thursday because the parking lots were jammed with cars & flocks of noisy people. The Mouse Tank was the busiest Thursday so we headed there right off the bat & sure enough, we beat the hordes. We had the whole hike to ourselves without one single person to shatter the peaceful mornings silence by yelling & yammering into a cell phone on the trail. Is it any wonder I have a chip on my shoulder about the insensitive use of cell phones!!
NUMEROUS INDIAN PETROGLYPHS HIGH ON THE ROCK WALLS ALONG THE MOUSE’S TANK TRAIL
We just could not believe our luck at having this whole trail to ourselves. Again I cannot describe to you the serenity of a quiet canyon path leading through towering rock formations aflame with the morning sun’s rays . The beauty all around was incredible as we walked the distance through soft sand amid ancient Indian Petroglyphs high on the surrounding rock face walls. Half a mile in we came across what is called the Mouse’s Tank. Rain water collected in a hollowed rock formation. And due to recent rains the Mouse had lots of water in it’s tank. Standing there amid the towering rock formations I was reminded again of how fortunate we are to be in the great American Southwest.
ALONG THE MOUSE TANK TRAIL TO THE WATER FILLED ‘MOUSE TANK’
Made our way slowly back down the trail with me just going bonkers snapping photos all over the place. Again, I was in a photographer’s paradise. I was in my element as a human being. Only the sounds of some canyon Wrens blended with the silence. Only our soft voices challenged the Wrens & only our own footprints in the sand to remind us we were really there.
Our next destination in the Park was also one we had been to the previous day but it too had been heavy with people traffic so we had left. We refuse to do a trail under those circumstances. We prefer to enjoy nature in it’s own quiet way & that means no people to destroy nature’s peaceful ambience.
THE SEVEN SISTERS
THE VISITORS CENTER BLENDS RIGHT INTO THE ROCKS
The Valley Of Fire Gods were smiling on us this morning once again when we reached the White Dome parking area & trail head. Unbelievably, we could not get over our good fortune. We were the only one’s there. Now, how absolutely great was that for us. Minutes later we were on the trail which began with a steep decent down through jumble of rocks. Fortunately, Park personnel at some point had laboriously engineered heavy stone steps down through some of the rougher stretches. Remains of an old Hollywood movie set are still there further down with an information Cairn telling about filming done in the Park. Following that we entered into a short slot canyon with many fascinating rock patterns & structures along the way. I just love those slot canyons. Upon exiting the narrow canyon I noticed the trail hooked back in the general direction of where we had started from. As we emerged into the sunlight we both began to realize this was probably one of the nicer hikes we have ever done. The many rock formations along the path had us stopping & looking again & again at things. From cactus, yucca plants, Brittle Bushes & tiny purple flowers along the trail to jagged mountain peaks on the sundrenched fiery horizon we took our time to take it all in. Amidst the towering rock splendor & fields of greenish blue shrubbery stretching across great expanses of sand we talked quietly of future plans & how important it is for us to never lose our enthusiasm, desire or ways & means for returning to these beautifully quiet lands. Nevada’s Valley Of Fire will go down in our travel books as one of the most intriguingly picturesque places we have ever been too.
I was also reminded again while walking the trail this morning how right our decision was years ago to take a chance & step into the RV Lifestyle when we did instead of waiting. How right it was for us to invest money in a vehicle that would take us away from the cold Canadian winters to far away warm & beautiful destinations in a comfort style we preferred. How right it was to do it while we still had our health to hike the mountain trails, drive the winding canyon roads & camp by the many valley streams. Neither Kelly or I take our good fortune for granted & we are so happy we made the decisions we did years ago. No regrets:))
By the time we began heading out of the Park this morning, cars & buses were pouring in. A big thank you to the Valley of Fire Gods for granting us the quiet & peaceful few hours on the trails this morning. Very, very, much appreciated:))
We were back to the rig before noon which was great because we avoided hiking in the heat of the day. It was 65F on the trail this morning & for us that is totally perfect for hiking. I also prefer morning light for photos as opposed to mid day too. With the rigs doors & windows open & gentle breezes wafting through the coach we spent a totally relaxing afternoon getting caught up computer stuff etc. Thought we might head into Overton late this afternoon to an eating place some reader’s had suggested but we never made it.
Saturday morning we will have the big wheels rolling again heading for a destination not yet totally decided upon but I do have a feeling we may be driving over one very large bridge spanning the Colorado River in the morning:))
Took a record number of photos today (278) & I hope to get them all into a photo album this summer.
GROANER’S CORNER:(( Ok, trying saying this one fast….
Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager
imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.
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