Benfield's 2013 Travels travel blog

Valley of Fire State Park Day 2

 

Big Horn Sheep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Canyon panorama

 

 

 

 

Beehive formation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visitors Center

 

 

We didn't see one of these guys - except in a Visitors...

Rock Wren

White-tailed Antelope Ground Squirrel

Piano Rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beehive

Beehives

We're at the Beehive Area

Three rock cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps

 

 

 

View from a cabin window

Expecting someone perhaps

Coming to visit

Typical fireplace in the cabins

 

Who lives here?

Elephant Rock

Echo Bay on Lake Mead

 

Echo Bay boat ramp

 

Atlatl Rock - Formation our campground is named after

Short explanation

 

 

Petroglyphs on Atlatl Rock

 

 

 

 

 

Panorama across from Atlatl Rock

 

 

 

Large rock overhead


We did a little more exploring in Valley of Fire State Park today. We first drove down the main park road again as we've always driven the road in the afternoon so we decided to drive it in the morning light and see what a difference that made. It was just as beautiful but the sunlight highlighted different areas.

We have been wanting to see some Big Horn Sheep but we arrived in the Grand Tetons too late and they had moved up the mountains but we were really fortunate today. We spotted one Big Horn near Rainbow Vista but he was quickly heading out of the area and we couldn't get good pictures. I ran down the road and followed his progress. He finally crossed the road and went down a sideroad we had not gone down before. As I was just about to turn around a guy following me in his car said the whole herd was just a few feet ahead of where I'd stopped. By that time Lee had come down and we managed to get some good pictures. The guy with the car stopped in the middle of the road to get his pictures but a ranger came through and shooed him off.

The Big Horn that I chased finally must have gotten tired of us taking pictures and he made a noise. Then the herd started up toward him and they all finally disappeared behind the rocks. Then we had the nice hike back to the truck straight uphill!

We then drove the truck down the sideroad where we watched the Big Horns until we came to Fire Canyon where we took a bunch of pictures. Then we got back in the truck finished our drive to White Domes. On the way back we stopped at the Visitor Center and took in the exhibits and a short video about the park. Wouldn't you know the Gift Shop was closed today for inventory but since we don't have to check out until 2 PM tomorrow, we decided we would stop in tomorrow morning before we leave. We then drove the Scenic Loop Road.

We left Valley of Fire State Park which adjoins the Lake Mead National Recreational Area so we continued on down the road for awhile. We stopped at Echo Bay and took some pictures. There wasn't much going on there. You can see from our pictures how far the water is down on the cliffs in the background as it has been for several years.

Then we headed back to the park as we wanted to see the petroglyphs before it got dark. Atlatl Rock is right by our campground and is the feature that the campground is named for - Atlatl Rock Campground. We just haven't walked up the steps to see the petroglyphs before but we did want to do that. They are really well preserved here and are just amazing. There isn't too much that we can figure out from these ancient stories but the Big Horns are shown quite a bit in their pictures. They were probably an important part of their diet.

It was getting dark so we decided to head back to our campsite. We used several online news sources to check on Congressional budget progress (or lack thereof). As you might expect from a bunch of spoiled brats who can't have their own way, no progress was made toward resolution of the matter. So our plans to go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon tomorrow were all shot to blazes. We spent the rest of the night discussing our options.



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