Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 2 at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada

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 driving 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 light highlighted different areas.

Lee is standing at Rainbow Vista overlooking the park

King of the Hill
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, however, we were really fortunate today.  We spotted this guy near Rainbow Vista but he was quickly heading out of the area and we couldn't get pictures.  I ran down the road and followed his progress.  He finally crossed the road and went down the road to Fire Canyon where we had not gone before.  I was just about to turn around and give us the chase when a guy that followed me in his car, saw the whole herd and yelled at me to keep coming.  By that time Lee had joined me and we managed to get some good pictures.  The guy with the car had stopped in the middle of the road and a ranger shooed him away.

He's up here watching his herd

The sentry finally must have gotten tired of us taking pictures and he made a noise.  Then the herd started up toward him and finally disappeared behind the rocks.

There they go up the hill

Starting up the rocks

And they are gone
After the Big Horns left us, we hiked back up the hill to the truck and decided to take the road the Big Horns led us to which took us to Fire Canyon.

Fire Canyon

Fire Canyon

Panorama of Fire Canyon

Mary at Fire Canyon

Bee Hive

Then we got back int he truck and headed down the Rainbow Vista Road again.

What a view it is!

Then 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, we decided we would stop in tomorrow before we leave.  

We didn't see this guy!
The Visitor Center didn't provide food for birds but they did have water available for them so we managed to get a picture of a Rock Wren and this is the first time we've seen one so that was a pleasant surprise.

Rock Wren

White Tailed Antelope Ground Squirrel
These little squirrels were playing outside the Visitor Center.  We had a ton of these guys at our campsite!  They are fun to watch!

When we left the Visitor Center, we took the Scenic Loop Road which starts out paved but turns into poorly maintained and very bumpy gravel.  

Piano Rock

Bee Hives

Another short road takes you into another small canyon.  The Civilian Conservation Corps built these cabins in the 20's.  I don't think anyone uses them now.

The view from the cabins

Someone is coming to visit me!

They all have a fire place and that is about all

Looks like a good place for some critter to live

Elephant Rock
We left Valley of Fire State Park which butts up to the Lake Mead Recreational Area so we continued on down the road for awhile.  We stopped at Echo Bay and took some pictures.  

There isn't much going on here.  You can see how far the water is down on the cliffs in the background.  

Then we headed back to the park as we wanted to see the petroglyphs before it got dark. 

Atlatl Rock
Atlatl Rock is right by our campground which is the 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.

These were interesting and we wondered what lived in them!

Views from the top of Atlatl Rock

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