Day 3 - Valley of FireSeptember 13, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 44 °C
After a lovely night under the stars, we awoke to a clear sky: the morning light quickly erasing the brilliance of the stars. Donkeys continued to bray in the background. We took down our meagre camp while the sun slowly peeked over the mountains behind head Lake Mead, and on the road before 7am. Today we are off to the 'Valley of Fire' (VoF). Temperatures were certainly fiery and we hope to beat the heat! After hitting up the fee station, we drove over a short hill and staring us down on the road was our first bighorn sheep: nonplussed and quietly chewing the cud!
This week has an 'excessive heat' warning. Some of the longer hiking trails including two we were hoping to do were consequently closed. Too dangerous. Even the shorter hikes had posted signs: 'hiking not recommended'. We promptly ignored them, slathered on sunscreen and set off with our packs carrying a combined 8L of water in bladders to stay hydrated.
Our first hike was called Rainbow Vista. We couldn't find the pot of gold, but we did see some petrified wood, amazing bush cactii, valley views and an awful lot of red sand (still figuring out why sandals were named thus, they're no good for sand at all!) We tried to 'shade - hop' as much as possible, more than happy to pace ourselves and take in the sites in one piece. The most impressive thing on this hike was the view over the red boulders of the valley of fire.
Our second hike for the day was called white dome. More elevation with this one and a popular spot for commercials, TV shows and movies! Nomes quickly shot up the huge rock, practicing her ibex manoeuvres (Nomes' correction: yellow-footed rock wallaby). The main feature on this hike was aptly called the 'Narrows': our first slot canyon! Every angle was gorgeous, and even better, it was much cooler! Cilla couldn't put her camera down in this section: a photographers dream!
By this stage it was only 11am but we were hot and past ready for some AC. The rest of our VoF adventures consisted largely of driving tours around this spectacular park (while drying our T-shirts out the windows as we drove 😂). We stopped in at the visitor centre for a water refill and encountered a whole herd of bighorn sheep enjoying some shade. I found a VoF badge to add to my ever expanding collection (yet to choose the backpack I want to attach them all to!). There was a lot of info about early settlers, archeological digs and geological info that we again geeked out over, before we looped around the west end of the park - with strictly phones/ faces and cameras out windows and sun roof...the rest of us was done with heat for the day (yep, even the Aussies :)) Cilla and I did make an exception with an 84 stair climb to see some ancient petroglyphs carved into 'Atlatl Rock' (actually really cool!!). We spotted some other rock structures: arches (teency) and 'beehives' before driving onwards.
VoF was a truly wonderful and largely underrated park. I'd love to come back in cooler weather. A park ranger said they had hoped to open all hikes by Sept, but but it remained too stinkin' hot. This is the first year they have closed hikes, and also the first year they haven't had any fatalities... a coincidence? Methinks not!
Off to Kabab, South of Zion National Park for the next two evenings.
- BeckyRead more
Behold a wonder in heaven...🤣
This made me laugh so hard 😂
Yep I’m seeing Revelation 12 too 😂