VALLEY OF FIRE

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East of Las Vegas. West of Lake Mead. North of the Hoover Dam.

A Day in Valley of Fire State Park.

 

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We start our tour of the Valley of Fire in and amongst the Beehives, wonderfully fabulous red rock formations, sculpted by the wind and the (occasional) rain over thousands of years.

 

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It looks like some fabulously alien metropolis.

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Valley of Fire, burning burning

I’m at the point of no returning

Valley of Fire, rock formations

Caught in a landslide of creation

 

 

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A “natural bridge”.  How many more years will it stand before it finally is so eroded it collapses under its own weight?

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This rock above which looks like a duck-billed gorilla boasts petroglyphs carved into the stone by the ancient inhabitants of this land between 1000 – 2500 years ago.

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Nearby the Beehives are petrified logs, fossils of trees that lived 150 million years.

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Next stop, the visitor’s center…

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… which, among other things, features Fred, the center’s own chuckwalla lizard.

Chuckwalla is his species’ name, but I couldn’t help imagining Fred serving meat snacks at an Indian call center…

 

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Fred’s ready for his close-up, Mr. Danny.

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Also seen from the Visitor Center while we munched on our lunch, Big Horn Sheep:

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Now would be a good time to share the map of the Valley of Fire, as we push on to the next attraction.

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Next we went to the rock formations called the Seven Sisters.

Here are four of them:

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And the other three:

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I like how the one at the right looks like a bust.

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Valley of Fire, burning, burning…

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Next stop, Mouse’s Tank.

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Mouse’s Tank is a basin where rain water collects and is naturally stored.  We will see it in a bit, but first we go along the trail to its location, a trail with many spots where the ancient natives carved petroglyphs into the rock.

 

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The water basins where secret to the European settlers.  But the Paiute Indians knew of them.

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Mouse’s Tank is named after a Paiute Indian, Mouse, who in 1897 got into trouble with the law and had to flee.  He disappeared into the Valley of Fire and was thought perished.

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But Mouse knew where there was a secret basin that could supply him with water.  For three months he stayed hidden in the desert, sustained by the water from the tank.

 

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Eventually however he did leave the Valley of Fire, and was spotted and killed.

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This is Mouse’s Tank; remarkably, even in the depth of August, there is still water in the basin, although the level is likely lower than during the months Mouse drank from it:

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Now before you accuse me of playing carelessly with heatstroke, I only ever took my cap (and sunglasses) off for Ed’s photos, and that’s a big water canister you see in my pocket (with extra water supplies ever ready in the car).  We kept well hydrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driving up past the Rainbow Vista…

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… and the Fire Canyon Road…

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… and further up the White Domes Road …

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Yes, somehow water and wind made this rock look like a blob of silly string.

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And finally at the White Domes:

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Taking the White Domes Trail…

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… past the ruins of a movie set.  A lot of features and TV shows (including Star Trek: TNG were filmed here).

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… past a rock that has looks like Neapolitan ice cream.

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… through a narrow canyon.

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… past an unheralded but quite photogenic natural bridge (or natural peep hole).

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… and always past that distinct Valley of Fire beauty.

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About dannyashkenasi

I'm a composer with over 30 years experience creating music theater. I'm also an actor, writer, director, producer, teacher and general enthusiast for the arts.
This entry was posted in Arts-a-Poppin', Melodies Linger On, Two-fisted Touristing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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