Red Rock Canyon

After visiting Valley of Fire State Park I drove through the city of Las Vegas (on the interstate) and headed west towards my destination of Pahrump, NV.  I made a side trip to drive on one of my “primary” scenic roads, which is what I base my trips on.

This Canyon is not to be confused with the Red Rock Casino, which is also west of Las Vegas, or the Red Rocks Amphitheater which is outside of Denver, Colorado.  This Red Rock Canyon is about 40 minutes southwest of Las Vegas off of Route 160.  It is a federal BLM (Bureau of Land Management) managed property which, in addition to many hiking trails, has a beautiful scenic roadway (newly paved, I might add) which meanders through it.  There were many overlooks where I could stop and take photos.

This is the view of one of the main formations from the Visitor Center:


Here is a three-photo panorama, looking left to right, once I got closer to it:




The colors and patterns, especially in the middle photo, were quite detailed.  There was a slight overcast and I have already learned that my new digital camera doesn’t do very well with closeups unless there is full sun.  This place is only about an hour away from where I am staying for a few nights and, depending on what progress I make visiting Death Valley, I may come back here one morning when there is full sun to get some good closeup shots.

Here is an unusual color combo:


And in another part of the Canyon the mountains looked very different from what I have seen most places:



And getting back to the Visitor Center for a moment, in addition to information about the Canyon they had a photography exhibit featuring the winners of a recent contest.  I found this photo especially appealing:


(Photo credit: James Resch, winner of the blue ribbon in his category)

Valley of Fire State Park

After taking my scenic roads from Cedar City, Utah towards Las Vegas I went to revisit Valley of Fire, which I had been to several years ago. This incredible Park is located about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, 32 miles north on the dreaded interstate and the rest of the way on a two-lane road with a ridiculously low speed limit.

While there are many interesting formations at the Park which I will post photos of in the near future, I want to show you some other colors than the reds, browns and beige’s you have been seeing at many of the places I have been visiting recently.

This rock was laying in the sand in a sandy path to an overlook. It is about twice the size of my shoe. I hope the pictures do the colors justice.





Here is a colorful portion of a mainly light-brown formation:


And I zoomed in on some sections of this multi-colored formation:




Here is another very large formation, and I zoomed in on various spots on it:






The colors and textures are really amazing. And this is all nature at work – not man-made art.

One final photo to tease you for future posts. This looks like chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Or, dare I say, rocky road…. Get it?….. Rocky?


Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m here all week. Remember to tip your waitresses.

Livin’ high in the desert

Saturday I drove west and south on some scenic roads from where I had been staying in southwest Utah towards Las Vegas.  At one point, in little Alamo NV, I stopped at a convenience store before driving through approximately 75 miles of desert where there were no gas stations or other services.

I normally don’t make a habit of posting food pictures but this is an exception.  To my surprise, that little convenience store has a Crab Louie salad!!



Ok, ok… so it was crab with a K.  Imitation crabmeat.  But hey, this was in the middle of the freakin’ desert.  I figured I would have been lucky to have found a decent chef salad.

Now let’s see… which aisle is the shrimp cocktail and Proseco in?….

But it’s a dry heat…


Back home, in Durham NC, they have been experiencing a late-spring heat wave, with highs in the 90’s and humidity at or near 100%. I can tell you from experience that is NOT pleasant.

Yesterday, as I drove through Las Vegas on my way to my destination in Pahrump NV, it was 98 degrees in town and the humidity was only 7 percent!

My late aunt, who lived in Tucson AZ, always said “yes, but it’s still pretty darn hot when you get in your car and touch the steering wheel…”.


The photo (which I realize isn’t that great) is of the as Vegas skyline in the distance, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (with the main grandstand facing away from you) in the foreground.  This photo was taken from the side of I-15 in the breaks between vehicles zipping by.