Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blog Update - 3 Days of travel Southbound and one of my favorite Parks - Valley of Fire State Park

I left Salt Lake City on Monday morning the 28th of October with a wind warning in effect and knew it would be a slow go, but figured if it got bad, I had plenty of water and would just pull over and wait for better weather. My goal for the day was to reach Mesquite Nevada. Well quite frankly there were a couple times just North of St George Utah where I almost called it quits and pulled over. Went through some driving rain and wind and some small hail...but the clincher was when a micro-burst hit the tractor trailer in front of me and I saw the trailer tip and his right side rear wheels left the ground...going 60 plus miles per hour, I gripped the wheel and figured when it hit me, I was going over...but somehow it did not effect me other than slowing my ass down with the headwind to about 45...I pressed on and the weather got better and made Mesquite easily by about 4:00 pm. Thank Goodness there was a $9.99 piece of prime rib waiting and a cocktail or two and some quiet time in front of a slot luck there, won a few times, but amazingly it ended back up in the friggin machine!!

Good nights rest in the casino RV Park and an early morning departure for one of my most favorite State Parks in the country. I made the short 50 mile drive to Valley of Fire State Park. To get there you drive through the small town of Overton and then just at the entrance to Lake Mead National Recreation area you turn off and into the State Park. If you love the red rock country and the desert this park is a DO NOT MISS! I have been here 4 times now and still have things left to see. I was lucky the skies were a brilliant blue with some nice clouds and of course the wonderful bright red rock!

Enough of my rambling...on with the pictures!

My little home at the entrance to Lake Mead!

At the entrance to Valley of Fire.

In the State Park!

Drove out to Fire Canyon and went on a nice walk! This is a 6 shot panorama


Went to the campground and got set up in the new RV Section which offers electric and water hook-ups. For you RV'ers they offer both 50 amp and 30 amp and 20 amp hookups! Very nicely done. You will need a water pressure reducing valve I measure 120 pounds of pressure!

How nice is this set-up!

After setting up camp I took a long walk around the campground with my camera and came upon a very photogenic Harris Antelope Squirrel (Yes I know it looks like a chipmunk, but it isn't, there are no chipmunks in the desert) This guy really cooperated and allowed me to get pretty close. Enjoy.

The rest of the evening was just enjoying the view from the campground, processing some pictures and relaxing with my neighbors who were from Australia. Needless to say it was a very enjoyable day and serves to remind me why I am doing what I am doing. The quiet solitude of camping in such a glorious place more than makes up for the small living quarters and drive time to get where I am going.

Then this for dinner! Life is good!

As I post this I am on the highway well past in Las Vegas sitting in the camper outside of a McDonalds having a good cup of coffee and planning the rest of my route to Twentynine Palms my winter location which is about a 140 miles down the road. There are several ways to get there and I am trying to pic the most scenic route and arguing with the GPS's selected route!

Hopefully I will choose the correct route, but right now the GPS route seems to be the best choice.

Stay tuned for some pics of my new winter home tomorrow. I am anxious to get there!!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

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