The Vacation Part 1

20140524_124940It’s been five years since I had an actual vacation. I’ve had my time off work, and the whole wondering where my next paycheck would come from, but as for an actual vacation, I haven’t had one for the better part of five years. Finally I could have a vacation that was free of worrying about whether I would have a paycheck or if I would have a job afterwards.

Pulling in at 1AM to find this is a bit disconcerting.

So we set off on the Friday before Memorial day. I got off early because my bosses are great, and I actually work for a great company. That gave me the time to finish loading food and hook the truck up.  Our destination: Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. It took us the better part of six hours to get there, and when we did, we arrived in time to see the emergency crews rescuing someone. Actually they spent most of the time waiting to figure out how they were going to save the guy. Eventually they allowed us to go into the campgrounds to make room for the helicopter.

The pilot managed to maintain that exact position seemingly not moving an inch.

That show lasted until at least three in the morning. Normally this would make a person feel that this was a bad omen to the trip. I’m not really a normal kinda guy though. So I refused to let that completely ruin the vacation. Actually it was kind of an interesting look into how a rescue is done without being the rescuee. Something most people would rather not try.

I felt bad for the guy. He got lost, and was trying to find his way back in the dark. Not a very good idea when there are cracks and crevices. He ended up falling and spent several hours on the rocks.

The view from our RV steps

The next morning(ish) we were greeted with the stunning sights of the Valley of Fire campground. Atlatl campground is the RV park side of it. It’s actually a gorgeous site. It’s kinda funny. We tend to pull into our sites so late at night we don’t really get to see the site. So each morning after we pull in, we get to unwrap the camp-site like a Christmas present. And this one was the shiney kind. I gotta admit, after the night-morning-whatever-it-was that we had, this was a welcome sight.

More shots of the site:

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If you want to see a ground squirrel, head out to the Valley of Fire. I mean it’s insane. They are literally inches from your RV. One crossed under the dog bed and hopped up onto the curb. It’s kinda grainy, but here’s a pic of that:

Antelope Squirrel in his not so native environment

After a breakfast, we set out on foot to explore the park. Those that have been there are probably laughing about now, because as we learned, the idea of seeing the whole park on foot is not exactly a one day adventure. We made it to Atlatl rock. Which has a gorgeous example of early graffiti. Sadly in order to preserve these ancient artworks they have to stick it behind Plexiglas that has become yellow and cloudy, so you have to bend and stretch to see it. I’m thinking up stories to go with the ancient drawing. I’m guessing something like “Me and Littlefoot were on a hunting trip when all of the sudden….”

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Later after we gathered our senses, we used the truck to drive the miles of state park. Much better on my feet. And significantly less time to travel the great distances. I’d make a horrible early Native American.

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20140524_144538We eventually made it out to the visitor’s center. There we saw a hummingbird. Well actually it was two hummingbirds. They were feeding from the hummingbird feeder(imagine that). The better half was taking pictures of other birds when they flew above her head. I was a bit amused. When she backed away to take pictures of them at the feeder, they took off and stayed away until she went back to taking pictures of the other birds again.


This would all be underwater… and we’d be needing a new camera…

Having had our time at the park filled with extraordinary sights, we figured we would check out Lake Mead which is fairly close by. Sadly Lake Mead is extremely low. Like so low that it could hide a cruise liner in between the level it is now and where it was. I felt somewhat disappointed. There was nothing exciting about Lake Mead. I was hoping to see a future camping spot. It really didn’t materialize as a place I’d want to stay. At least on in the summer. Maybe it would be great for the winter, but it just didn’t excite me.

New thing… I decided to post the whole album of stuff that I was frankly too lazy to post.


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