|Valley of Fire|
On Christmas Eve we drove to Hoover Dam. Both John and I have been there previously (separately though) and really wanted the boys to see it. What none of us had seen before was the new bridge that takes you from Arizona to Nevada without going over the dam. It is quite a site. My photos didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked because of where the sun was but it will give you an idea of its size, I took the photo from the top of the dam. Now three of the four of us (Gabe being the exception) have a slight fear of heights, not to the point of stopping us from doing too many things but it makes us uncomfortable. Looking down from the top of the dam is one of those uncomfortable moments. For Mitch and I what makes us even more uncomfortable is when we see people sitting on the ledge or kids stretched out the railing to look down. We both have to look somewhere else when that happens. No one fell off so our fears are probably a little unreasonable but that is the thing about phobias - they usually aren’t reasonable.
|Lake Mead side of the dam|
Yesterday we headed to Valley of Fire State Park north of LV. Many people had recommended this park to us for both camping and hiking. With all the recent rains we weren’t sure what to expect. The park was open but it is a long drive in from I-15, about 18 miles. I think there is a town at the east entrance that is a little closer and had services but from either direction it is pretty isolated so if you camp here bring all your provisions. The evidence of the recent flash flooding was visible all the way to and through the park. They had been removing sand and mud from many areas of the roadway.
First we checked out the campground. The RV area has water and electric and the sites are good sized. Mainly back ins and the pull off type pull throughs. The campground sits at the base of a huge rock formation. I would definitely like to stay here for a few days. It gets you away from the craziness of the city. It is going on my list for future visits.
|Valley of Fire|
The park itself is gorgeous; these red rocks just pop up and are amazing. We drove the scenic byway to White Domes and had lunch. There is a hike there the Ranger recommended. It is a nice hike but the recent rains put too much water in the Narrows of the trail so you couldn’t complete the loop. Next we stopped at Rainbow Vista and took that trail. It will take you back to an overlook of Fire canyon. It is about 2 miles round trip with nice views of the red rock everywhere. Our last short hike was in the Mouse Tank, an easier hike through a canyon. The rocks here had many petroglyphs. It is amazing to see the writing of the ancients in this land. A great day of hiking. :)
|Valley of Fire|
Here are some things we do like about staying at Sam’s Town for this visit. It is a stones throw to the Casino, so when the boys are board with us they have somewhere to go. The bowing alley is great and very reasonably priced, it has a movie theater in house and Jose and Wiley’s is a great Mexican restaurant. They also have a pool and hot tub for the RV park which we took advantage of Christmas Eve. Though I can tell the boys will be ready to head back to Iowa, so far it has been a wonderful time together. Today we may check out the Ethel M chocolate factory and do a little shopping. Tomorrow I think we will check out Red Rock Canyon. They had some serious flooding and were closed for a while so we will have to check with the park before we leave. Mother Nature left very little untouched in that last set of storms.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all a Happy New Year.
|New Bridge over Hoover Dam|