Holiday Roadtrip: December 2019 – Day 07


HOLIDAY ROADTRIP: DECEMBER 2019 – DAY 07


Richfield UT to Valley of Fire NV — 24 December 2019: I was up by first light and anxious about the weather conditions though there was not any precipitation happening in Richfield. I decided to go ahead with my plan as the weather forecast for Valley of Fire said rain would stop by 2pm. As I picked up the I-70 and got a start on the drive the sky overhead was blue, but there were some strange clouds ahead…

Richfield UT to Valley of Fire NV — 24 December 2019: I stopped for gas in St. George and got some firewood too. I saw my first palm trees of the journey, usually a good sign that I am entering a zone of warm weather and sun, but the overcast sky was still threatening…

Richfield UT to Valley of Fire NV — 24 December 2019: The I-70 makes a cut through the corner of Arizona before entering Nevada, probably skirting around the North Rim of the Grand Canyon somehow, and the skies were very dark and I hit some rain…

Richfield UT to Valley of Fire NV — 24 December 2019: The GPS was a buzz with weather advisories but the radar looked as if the storm was passing Las Vegas heading east, and with Valley of Fire being so near to Las Vegas, the rain should in theory be stopping there. I decided to “believe” in the weather forecasts and press on towards camp…

Richfield UT to Valley of Fire NV — 24 December 2019: As I entered the Valley of Fire the rain itself seemed to be halting, but the skies looked very troubled and the red rocks seemed more of a foreboding grey…

Valley of Fire NV — 24 December 2019: Surprisingly enough when I reached the Visitors Center at the park, it was jam packed with tourists despite the fact that it was cold and raining and Christmas eve. When I spoke to the ranger to try to pay my fee, he suggested I check out the camp sites first to make sure I could find room. I was really shocked to see it was that crowded given the weather, the holiday and the forecast. But many of the tourists were travelers from China and India on vacation in Las Vegas and this was a “day trip” for them. I made my way to Atalatl campground, where I found a spot that was kind of behind its own rock. The ranger had told me that the overhangs were actually just sunshades, and they had little holes in the top for air, so they would not be a waterproof shelter as I imagined. Luckily the rain had stopped and I was able to set up my tent in dry conditions and so proceeded to organize my camp site and just relax after all the stress of getting here…

Valley of Fire NV — 24 December 2019: A very special Christmas treat was seeing these Big Horn sheep on the butte just across from my campsite. After they left the area I went and checked out their tracks so I would be able to recognize them in the future…

Valley of Fire NV — 24 December 2019: I made my Christmas Eve fire and enjoyed sitting outside even though it was cold, and I was so very thankful that there was no rain. I set up the Mr. Buddy Heater in the tent at night and settled into my winter sleeping bag and was just happy to be here…