Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Valley of Fire, Baby!

I just got back from a trip to Las Vegas. I'd never been and Connor had a business trip, so I tagged along for a few days. The day we landed, we saw the Cirque Du Soleil show "O". I'd always wanted to see a show, but hadn't had a chance until now. I highly recommend it. I also learned a bit more about myself while in Vegas. Here's the thing: Vegas is full of bright lights, loud sounds, and lots of people. More people than Disneyland in summer. (There are also lots of stairs you have to climb in order to get anywhere... but that makes sense. Vegas is about an overindulgence in many things.) It was fun for a day, but that was enough for me. It got overwhelming to be in packs of people for hours all while trying to get to food, or see a show, or to just look around.
This was the line to check-in at the Luxor. It was this long from 2pm to well past 11pm. The only time it wasn't this long was at 7am.

Luckily Connor and I had planned to see other things on the one full free day he had. So we rented a car and headed out to the Valley of Fire. I had wanted to see the Elephant Rock and the Fire Wave, but after getting a map, I saw "Petroglyph Trail" and we had to go there instead. It's a there and back again trail that comes in under a mile. We walked all the way there without seeing one petroglyph. I was disgusted... until we walked back and realized that we were idiots. There are petroglyphs along the entire trail. We had been looking to our right and down (in case of Rattlesnakes) on our way out. The petroglyphs are on your left on the way out. 

It was quite hot. And even though we had brought lots of water, we were still overheating. We drove a little ways more towards the Fire Wave trail, still deciding what to do, when we saw a bunch of people on the side of the road pointing. This has happened to me before and it always pays to pull over. This time we got to see a Desert Bighorn Sheep family. So cool! And unusual, I'm sure. It was the middle of the day.

At this point we decided that it really was too hot to do the 1.5 mile trail to the Fire Wave. I was a little disappointed because that isn't a long trail, but heat exhaustion can be quite dangerous. We decided that we now have a reason to come back. So rather than hike more, we headed to our second destination: the Hoover Dam.

I didn't ever think I'd get a chance to see it in person, but the opportunity presented itself. A fun fact that I didn't know about the Hoover Dam is that it straddles two states as well as two time zones. We experienced Mountain Time in Arizona before walking back to Pacific Time in Nevada.

And in case you ever wondered, in the evening, Arizona is the hotter state. The Nevada side was quite shady by evening and it tricked Connor into leaving his hat in the car when we walked across the dam.

I got a nice collection of doodads from this trip. I've casually collected patches during trips in the past, but I've invented a new blanket project that would incorporate them better. It is our new treasure hunt. The hardest one to find this time was the Las Vegas one. We found it at the World's Largest Giftshop, despite talking to employees who didn't think they carried it. And who could blame them? It was a really big shop. The shop is divided into several different shops. We found it in the rightmost shop in the leftmost room. We've also taken to adding the occasional magnet to our fridge, but we are pickier about what gets added there.

Overall, it was a fun trip. I've love to go to the Valley of Fire again. But in the case of Las Vegas, I'd only want to stop overnight to see a show before continuing on our way.

Does anyone else collect patches? Are there any places in particular I should try to visit? In regards to the USA, I'm more familiar with Western states. What should I look for in Eastern states, like Rhode Island, or North Carolina (etc)?

4 comments :

Jennifer said...

Looks like a great trip! And I see that you were able to go forward and backward in time without any disruption to the space-time continuum.

Andi G said...

How fantastic that you experienced all that you did in that short amount of time. :)
The bighorn sighting is wonderful. Yep, Arizona is hot even at night...it is like having the oven on 24 hours.
Hope you have had some time to cool down. While lovely, you look like the heat if affecting you a bit.

Alicia said...

Oh boy, Las Vegas sounds like it would be hellish for me... I googled 'RI souvenir patch' and it looks like it would just be a patch of our state, lame! Nothing fun like Route 66. The kitschiest souvenirs I've seen usually say stuff like "The Ocean State" on them. Or once I found candy claiming to be lobster poop.

michael whalen said...

Where did you find the Valley of Fire patch? I really need one for my son

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