Saturday, March 11
We sailed out of Death Valley on Saturday and spent a busy day in Pahrump, Nevada. We checked into a very pleasant rv park run by Best Western. Lots of palm trees and close to our shopping needs. I did 4 loads of laundry; Dave got 2 new tires installed on the RAV4. When he got back, I did two hours of grocery shopping, I really loaded up on wine. Not only is it cheaper in Nevada, it also is found in the supermarkets. In Utah, you still have to go to a separate “Package Store” for liquor, the selection is usually lousy, and it is expensive. Except for the separate store, the same is true for vegetables.
I came home with about 15 bags of groceries, made dinner and had a very pleasant evening. I relish the balmy warmth after the sun has descended. The moon was full (I think) and I eventually hauled myself outside to try a few shots. Several of our neighbors decorate their rigs so I took a few shots of that too.
Sunday, March 12
On Sunday, before we left, I sought out the rv park “library”. Almost every rv resort has a “take one-leave one” area. Over the 37 years that I’ve been camping, the selection has declined in numbers and variation. This large park with many semi-permanent tenants had one table. There were about 10 by James Patterson and a somewhat varied selection of other stuff. Nothing I was interested in.
We were headed for the Valley of Fire State Park, about 50 miles north of Las Vegas. Vegas is so huge now and traffic is always busy. It’s difficult to navigate the LD and toad onto and off of crowded freeways. I routed us through the southern part of town and then north through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, thus avoiding the central freeways.
Our America the Beautiful Senior card saved us another $20 entrance fee (good for 7 days). The road north was great: well-paved, winding through hills and mountains. There’s a fair amount of desert greenery and mountains of varying height, color and composition.
We eventually reached Valley of Fire and found that both campgrounds were full. I had forgotten how popular the park is. We ended up 25 miles southeast at Echo Bay by the waters of Lake Mead. That’s not exactly true. We were in a nice, quiet little campground that was more than a mile from the water because the water has receded so far due to protracted drought. For the first time this trip, we ate dinner outside, then enjoyed watching the stars come out.
Monday, March 13
Early again? Oh, yes. We arose early and headed 25 miles up to Valley of Fire. We were there for two things. The first was the Rainbow Vista. The colors in the rocks here are insane. I especially like the grape lines lined up on the rock.
After a while, we got back in the car, turned up the air conditioning and went to walk the 1.25-mile White Dome Trail. It’s short, but very, very sweet. So many different rock formations. We met a nice lady called Linda and exchanged life stories in ten minutes or so.
Tuesday, March 14
The next day was hot once again. We lazed around until mid-afternoon, then took off to explore Northshore Road, running north-south alongside Lake Mead. Only Lake Mead is rarely visible from the road. Redstone is a picnic area about 25 miles south of where we are camping. It’s quite beautiful, with deep red rock. We attempted a walk but cut it short with the sun blazing down. Some other time, I guess.
There were some lovely, soft-color scenes as we traversed the landscape.
And not so soft.
As always, I found some flowers.