Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Valley of Fire

I’m so glad there is only a month left of our journey. April Fools!
The day before yesterday it was really blustery with an exhilarating rain storm by afternoon when I last blogged in the library. We decided to take advantage of the cheap stateline casino motel prices and take an evening out for luxury and a TV marathon.
Then yesterday, leaving that Oasis, we went to the Lost City Museum which contained information and artifacts on the Moapa Valley’s long habitation. The impetus for the Conservation Corps to build the museum (on a ruin) and collect the artifacts back in the 1930s was to save as much as possible before Hoover Dam went in and inundated ancient human history for hundreds of miles.
Outside the museum we went bonkers over the pink flowering beaver tail cactus that speckled the rolling desert landscape. The flowers are so bright they just pulse with vitality. Desert flowers are blooming along the roadsides too and under bushes and in unlikely places where they contrast from or seem to absorb the colors around them.
A bit down the road, toward Lake Mead, we went into the Valley of Fire State Park, the oldest state park in Nevada and certainly understaffed. Everything was on the honor system and there was little or no posting about petroglyphs other than some interpretive information. We went up a fascinating wash to a place called Mouse’s Tank that was rich in symbols from the ancestors. Teenagers were walking up on them and kids touching them with grandparents taking photos. (After a bit of a blow up conversation with a family I wrote a letter and slid it under the door of the Visitor’s Center requesting protection for the treasures which are disappearing with the rock varnish.)
The last amazing part of the park were the colored domes that we visited at the end of the day—pinks and ochre and dun colored domes curved and layered in subtle, exquisite smooth sandstone. This incredible Valley of Fire Park is a miniature Utah that’s a worthwhile driving distance to Las Vegas, she said, sounding like a tour guide.


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