Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Return To The Valley Of Fire In Nevada

Tuesday, May 16
I had forgotten the splendor of east Zion. We drove through in the early morning and I wanted to stop and look, but that can not be done in MH. We continued on promising to return and stay at one of the private CG’s on that side of the park so we could enjoy the morning sun in that area. 

We perched on one the mesa’s east of Hurricane for the evening. We watched several showers on the features of Zion. Little moisture reached us. But, every few hours we heard a few drops on the roof.

Wednesday, May 17
We spent the morning shopping at Walmart, Costco and Harbor Freight in Washington.  We proceeded west a few miles and stopped at a delightful BLM CG in the Virgin River Gorge. I think it rivals the gorge the Colorado carved on I70. Many of the spots are pull through and the cost is $4.

Dorothy got this one while we were transiting Zion

 Roadside BLM Campground in Virgin River Gorge

Thursday, May 18
We decided on a whim to spend the weekend at the Valley Of Fire SP, which is near Los Vegas. We did not get OUR site, it was taken by a rental. In fact, most of the sites are taken by rentals as we are so close to Vegas.

I was planning to leave around 3 and find a place to photograph. However, around 2 the blue skies disappeared behind 100% gray clouds and a brisk wind. So we spent some of our free time removing some of the accumulated pink dust from both vehicles.

The big surprise is the temperature. At 4 pm, it’s 68.

Friday, May 19
Not a cloud in the sky. We got out at 7 for early light. We saw no one else, except for the rentals illegally parked on the roadside. We say ban rentals. Even better ban all foreigners from vacationing in the USA. Dorothy read that 85,000 Europeans enter the USA every day. That’s over 300 plane loads. OK, they can come, but we should charge a stiff entry fee. They dress funny. They clutter the place up. They pretty much ignore the rules and do as they please and feign ignorance when caught. 

Saturday, May 20
A month or so back, I thought we would have been to Lone Pine and headed north. The weather there was perfect. Then I got a wake-up call. Thanks, MJ! North of Bishop is 3,000 feet higher, around 8,000 feet. Which means it will always be colder. All of the western mountains got snow recently. Now it’s much warmer in Lone Pine and the northern Sierra Nevada is defrosting. Time to go. 

We lucked out with the cold front we have enjoyed the last week. It was not cold for us, it just made the lower elevations tolerable for this time of year. It’s over. High today is 87. Tomorrow is 93 -  more seasonable. Time for our exit. Tomorrow we will seek relief in the mountains west of Vegas. Then we will make our final drive to Lone Pine through Death Valley. We don’t care much for DV, but it’s the shortest route. I can’t recall if we have to summit two or three ranges before the final ascent to Lone Pine. There are more named ranges in Nevada than any other state. And a few of them extend into California.

We will “hole-up” in Lone Pine for the holiday weekend.

We closed out our stay here taking more photographs in the late afternoon. I concentrated on places I did not go two years ago.

 Valley Of Fire

  Valley Of Fire

  Valley Of Fire

  Valley Of Fire - All The Colors

  Valley Of Fire

 Valley Of Fire - Looks Like A Shrine

 A Mini Slot In Valley Of Fire - The Effect Is Called Alpenglow I Am Informed

Sunday, May 21
We stopped and did four loads of laundry while crossing North Las Vegas. Our destination was Mt. Charleston which is just west of the city. It’s Nevada’s highest. Many others in the city thought it was a great day to escape the heat and hike or picnic in the cooler mountains as the traffic up the grade was always backed up behind slow us. There are a dozen hiking trails in the area. They looked punishing to me, as they go about straight up. There is a lodge with a jammed packed parking lot and hundreds of homes, mostly new, in the million dollar price range. It seemed that about a third of them are for sale.

Monday, May 22
We made ourselves lazy, cleaned the windows and did not much else. When I sat down outside to read I noticed a puddle under the passenger rear wheel. I checked and found it was brake fluid. Nothing to do but go back to Las Vegas and get it repaired. 

Tuesday, May 23. We left the campground at 6:10 and got to the repair shop at 7:20. It was already rush hour traffic in LV. The caliper was leaking. I had them all replaced last year. So much for PM. They say it will be ready about noon. So we will go somewhere north this afternoon. Tune in next week to find out where. It will be in the high 90’s everywhere in the area.

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