Southwest Exploration—USnomads: FEB 2020 — part3


SOUTHWEST EXPLORATION: Day 3 — VALLEY OF FIRE TO LOGANDALE TO PAHRUMP


Valley of Fire, NV — 11 February 2020: Last night the wind roared, flapping the tent all over the place. It was cold. We were very thankful for Mr. Buddy in the morning. Truthfully it had been a rough night because of the 25mph winds that gusted all night. When we got out of the tent in the morning, we could see how it had been blown around so roughly as we’d slept. If was disfigured and disheveled. We set to fixing it up a bit and tying it down more strongly before we did anything else. We both agreed that if the forecast was for the same kinds of winds again and around the freezing mark we would be better to break camp today and find a better place to sleep — somewhere warmer and with less wind…

Valley of Fire, NV — 11 February 2020: Then we headed down to the White Dome trail to try to do that walk before it started to get crowded. We were really lucky and no one else was there yet. It was cold and windy and not ideal weather for hiking, but once again we bundled up and decided to “go for it” — and it turned out to be amazing. The trail has a very steep descent and a few uphill sections and I remember the last time I tried to hike it, I did not go all the way as it had been very crowded with people everywhere and that kind of ambiance irks me a lot when I am in the outdoors, and I remember I made some photos and then turned back and ended up going to my favorite desert area to wander. So this time I told Niki I might not do the whole hike, but for her to go ahead at her own pace and we would catch up afterwards. It is supposed to be a magnificent hike, and I didn’t want her to have to miss anything or go at my slow and often distracted pace. We set off up through the first section which goes between some tall sandstone fins, and has some soft sand in between…

Valley of Fire, NV — 11 February 2020: When we got to the spot where there is a steep descent, I decided I would take my time and use my beaver stick and just go as far as I could go. Niki went ahead but kept an eye back on me as I slowly made my way down to the canyon floor, where the movie set detail is located. I surprised myself and made it all the way down. This is the view down from about mid way…

Valley of Fire, NV — 11 February 2020: And this is the view back up from there…

Valley of Fire, NV — 11 February 2020: Worked my way further down and can kind of see the “movie set” remains…

Valley of Fire, NV — 11 February 2020: The park has done a really great job of “manicuring” the trail to make it easier to safely descend without making it LOOK like it is very “manicured” which lets us keep the sensation of being in a wilderness…

Valley of Fire, NV — 11 February 2020: At the bottom of the canyon descent …

Valley of Fire, NV — 11 February 2020: Once down into the canyon the trail leads into a wash that begins to narrow to a winding slot canyon that made my whole slow descending process well worth the effort. I love slot canyons and narrows and really appreciated having this one to myself at the moment. The wind was not bothering us down here, and I was able to have my Indiana Jones wilderness moment even if I was all bundled up more like an Artic explorer …

Valley of Fire, NV — 11 February 2020: We stopped by the big rock for lunch again with the Antelope Ground Squirrels and tried to make a few photos of the Jeep …

Logandale Trails, NV — 11 February 2020: Today we headed over to the Logandale Trails to see if we could do the loop trail, but ended up getting sidetracked and just explored a little instead …

Pahrump, NV — 11 February 2020: After talking to the Rangers at the Valley of Fire visitor center and getting the forecast for continued wind gusts, freezing temperatures and the chance of snow, we made the decision to break camp and hotel overnight in Pahrump. We packed up and drove to Pahrump arriving after dark, but still early enough for a good (and warm) night’s sleep …