Southwest Exploration—USnomads: FEB 2020 — part2


SOUTHWEST EXPLORATION: DAY 2 — VALLEY OF FIRE


Valley of Fire, NV — 10 February 2020: We woke up early for our first real day at Valley of Fire. It was still dark out and the moon was just setting behind the red rocks. It had been really cold and windy in the night, and we used the Mr. Buddy heater in the early morning chill before we could get out of the tent and get our morning fire going …

Valley of Fire, NV — 10 February 2020: It was still early when we got a headstart on the day, heading to Mouse’s Tank trail before the crowds …

Valley of Fire, NV — 10 February 2020: After the hike we started a scenic drive, stopping to walk around the “Beehive” rocks for a little while…

Valley of Fire, NV — 10 February 2020: Then as we were driving we spotted some Bighorn Sheep grazing in the field. One of the males seemed like he was battle scarred and his horn tips were broken slightly. It seemed like maybe he was the “leader” of the herd…

Valley of Fire, NV — 10 February 2020: We made a “lunch stop” near the Big Rock day use area, and as soon as we pulled in I saw motion and spotted a tiny ground squirrel on a small rock in the landscape. He quickly moved but we spotted him again and I went over to investigate and see if I could find where he went. I saw tracks and burrows, but not the squirrel. Then I noticed some petroglyphs on a bolder just across from the lunch spot. It was worn and cracked but clear and right in front of us. Eventually the squirrel got curious and came closer to where we were and I was able to get some photos of it. In exchange it got some crumbs from our lunch …

Valley of Fire, NV — 10 February 2020: Tracks from the little antelope ground squirrels. We can see by the rain marks in the sand that some of them are fresh, having been made after the rain…

Valley of Fire, NV — 10 February 2020: There were these petroglyphs on the rock right across from our lunch spot. They were not marked or noted on any guide map, they were just right there in front of us, as if we had “discovered” them…

Valley of Fire, NV — 10 February 2020: After lunch we drove down the “scenic” White Dome road and stopped at one of the parking areas along the way and just got out and wandered in the desert for a little while. Wandering with no specific place to go, just taking it all in and appreciating the incredible space we are in…

Back at camp we made our fire despite the wind kicking in again. We enjoyed a toast to our first full day in the desert and watched the moon rise behind our camp…