Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The Valley of Fire

I drove on the I-15 Interstate on day 122. This was one of those times where there was little option but to use the "slab" as I have heard it referred to. I crossed into a new state, Nevada and I could notice the difference immediately due to the mass of casinos near the city of Mesquite. I had forgotten Nevada allowed gambling.

Every now and then, I have discovered something that has really surprised me. This happened on my way near Lake Mead, when I found the Valley of Fire State Park. Just 50 miles from the centre of Las Vegas, this place is a gem! I had seen it on a map and only decided at the last minute to go see what was there.

Located in the Mojave Desert, the park is named after the red sandstone rocks that are found throughout the park.



















On the day I was there, a 200 mile relay running event was taking place. Teams of 12 runners switched places to cover the 200 miles in 24 hours. The runners each do three legs of between 3 and 8 miles depending on their ability. There were people of all shapes and sizes taking part in this fun event and I suspect they raised quite a lot of money for charity.



















I think the event started in the Valley of Fire, but with about 200 teams, it doesn’t involve a huge amount of people, so the roads remained opened. Each team has two support vans that carry the 11 other runners, food, drink and probably a few bandages. One team van stopped right next to me to cheer on their teams runner at that time, so I took a photo of them....






















The Valley of Fire was a great place to go see, even on a cloudy day. This next picture shows the deep colour of the rocks and the clouds rolling in. I stopped here and chatted to a group travelling the country by car and before I had realised it, the lovely blue sky had disappeared....



















I loved this part of the road through the rocks....



















The sand was a similar colour to the rocks. I was pleased that there was enough light to capture the colours, even with a darkening sky....



























More terrific riding roads, set in glorious scenery....
































































One of the runners spotted this spider walking across the road and onto some gravel. Is it a tarantula?....




















In the end I was pleased to part company with the runners. Their 2 vans per teams kept slowing to talk to and encourage the runners which was great fun at first, but after about 40 miles of stooping and starting, it became a bit tiresome. I was pleased I saw them though.

I soon reached Lake Mead, which is man-made by the Hoover Dam. Despite the now murky day, it was a great thing to see....






































There are two vehicle ralted things to finish this post. My regular readers of this blog will know I have a soft spot for classic car shows. I saw another today near Hoover Dam, so I stopped and took a peek....






















I have seen a number of these three unit trucks recently, but only in this area. On the interstate I reluctantly had to travel on this day, I spotted quite a few belonging to Fedex. I saw then heading in the opposite direction about every 10 minutes! That is some logistics operation. I stood by the side of the road waiting for the next Fedex 3-truck unit to come along, but captured this one instead....




















I would hate to have to reverse one of these!

4 comments:

motoroz said...

That is a long piece of slab to ride, but at least the landscape is interesting.

George F said...

You cannot take a bad picture in the Valley of Fire :-) I drove in a car a few years ago and loved the colors, it's just beautiful. I also saw a roadrunner for the first time in my life near the water in Lake Mead, did you see any? I had always though they were big birds but I was surprised to see how small they were, running around pretty fast though :-)

Stu said...

Valley of Fire is one of Donna and mine's favorite State Parks. We stayed there for 2 days last year. We will always stop for a few days when in the area.

Gary France said...

Oz – I agree, it was a long way, but sometimes as you say, the landscape is interesting and it was on this stretch.

George – I would loved to have seen the Valley of Fire in bright sunlight, or even better at sunrise or sunset. I didn’t and have never seen a roadrunner. I don’t know what they look like, so I am about to open Google to find out....!

Stu – It was beautiful and while I am not sure, I don’t think it is well known. It was very quiet with only a few cars on the day I was there.