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Published: December 14th 2009
Country meets the big city
Day 98 ; Miles Driven 6,662
Well, our time in Vegas showed us once again what hicks from the sticks we really are. The strip part of Vegas pretty much overwhelmed us the one day we went there. We literally walked in circles trying to get oriented. There was Christmas music playing in the background at the same time the slot machines were ringing out the winners; 'Little Drummer Boy' and ads for escort services. We felt much more comfortable at Sam's Town - a 'blue collar' casino and campground northeast of the strip.
Just an hour from Vegas but still in the Mojave desert was a Nevada State Park called Valley of Fire. This place is only 50+ miles away by distance, but worlds away in atmosphere. This is an area of red sandstone which was once ancient sand dunes. Wind and water have worked on the area until it has been changed into a remarkable landscape .There are hundreds of small arches and pillars and caves carved into the hillsides. The area also has many petroglyphs that are easily seen up close.
Our campsite was tucked right into the
100's of arches like this were all over
rock formations and scrambling over the rocks with Dave was a daily exercise for Ron. Temperatures during the day were in the high 50's to low 60's with a beautiful blue sky. Night time temps were in the 20 and 30's, but since we had electric hook-ups there was no problem running our electric heater. We strongly encourage anyone coming to Vegas to rent a car for a day and head over to Valley of Fire - you can see so much without even leaving the car. Eleven movies were filmed here - Star Trek Generations and also 1,000,000 Years B.C. are two of them. We loved the place and hope to come back to it again. You may have been hearing about all the snow in this area that stranded hunters and campers. We could see the snow blanketing the upper elevations from our campsite, but we only got rain at the 3,000 foot level.
Our next stop was Big Bend State Park -still in Nevada - on the Colorado River, about 5 miles from Laughlin. This is a fairly new park - 1996. The first day we got here Ron was checking the nearby
This is the same arch as in the first picture
hills with his binocs and spotted a big horn sheep - one of those with big curly horns. He watched him through the scope and I got up to the minute reports whenever he turned his head or chewed some grass. Laughlin is also a casino town, though not anywhere near as big as Vegas. The Arizona city of Bull Head is right across the river. On that side gas prices are considerably lower by about 30 cents. We're heading into Arizona this coming week.
Remember Mark's job offer when the rainbow appeared? He is now in Philadelphia and starting to get settled in. We're so glad we saw him in Seattle and now we're also glad he is closer to Michigan.
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