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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

California-Nevada Desert Road Trip, Part 3: March 2021

Petroglyph symbolizing spirit figures (left) holding hands with humans (right)

We spent an entire day at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada departing for a late lunch and returning for the late afternoon light. The park is about 1 hour northeast of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, we were here on a Spring Break weekend and day trips to the park run from Las Vegas. It was a little busy on the more popular trails. 

Valley of Fire is named for the red sandstone (called Aztec Sandstone) formations "formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs 150 million years ago."

We began exploring at the Mouse's Tank trail which runs through a petroglyph canyon. There are no signs pointing out the location of petroglyphs, but looking carefully we found them on swaths of black covered rocks. The black (desert varnish) was like an ancient blackboard for these ancient people. The glyphs are made by pecking the designs into the black desert varnish on the rocks. "The span of approximate occupation has been dated from 300 BCE to 1150 CE." These rock art designs would have been created within that approximate period. They have suffered from centuries of erosion and in some places only fragments remain.

The next hike was the Fire Wave Trail and Seven Wonders. All hikes at this park are on the AllTrails app. That made hiking easier because this trail is not well marked. 

As we walked along the striped rock on the Fire Wave Trail, I noticed to my right that a group of big-horn sheep were walking parallel to us at a lower level. We tiptoed over and were rewarded with a chance for photos. They didn't seem too concerned about the nearby human animals.

Continuing beyond Fire Wave Trail to the Seven Wonders we first walked through the very narrow, smooth rock Pink Canyon.

Leaving the Pink Canyon the colors returned to vibrant oranges. (NOTE: I did not add vibrance or saturation to these photos.)

Toward the end of the hike, we found Crazy Hill which looks like someone poured pastel colored paint on its slope.

We took a break from hiking and stopped by the visitor center where we found more Bighorn Sheep voraciously eating and mostly ignoring us human animals. Even though the sheep were sandwiched between the road and a crowd of people, they continued to eat. 

There is no food in the park so we drove back to Overton to have a late lunch. Back again in Valley of Fire, we went in search for Atlatl Rock. The petroglyphs there are of the atlatl and show how it was used. An atlatl (spear thrower) is a stick used by early peoples to propel a spear farther.

Later in the afternoon now and with better light, we headed back to Fire Wave Trail. On the way, we stopped with the other cars because there were once again a group of Bighorn Sheep on the rocks above the road.

The beautiful formations and striated rock along the Fire Wave trail.

There were still quite a few people here mostly taking selfies. I noticed the bighorn sheep were working their way toward us so we sat and waited and hoped they'd come near, and they certainly did.

A Heavily Pregnant Bighorn Sheep

The park's literature states that it is rare to see bighorn sheep in the park. New babies, beautiful light, four sightings of bighorn sheep, petroglyphs, and a full moon. Amazing day!

Until next time ....

Next stop: Cathedral Gorge State Park, NV