Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hikes with Joan and Steve in Valley of Fire

 This past Sunday Joe and I met Joan and Steve ( ) at Valley of Fire. This marks the first time we have met fellow bloggers and the first time for us to have an up close and personal experience with the rocks...I get it Pam! 

I snapped the picture of the hawk through the Jeep window on Valley of Fire Road as we were driving to the visitor center.

Heading to the top of the ridge...
  We were on the road that leads to White Domes when Steve suggested we pull over and take a hike. It was great for Joe and I as first time hikers because Joan and Steve know the area and have done a lot of exploring on their own. 

...and the beautiful view!

After lunch, we hit the trail at White Domes. It is a 1.25 mile loop of absolute rock splendor.

The contrasting colors in these rock formations were so beautiful when viewed from a close distance.

 Along the dry wash, the path enters a short section of slot canyon. The passageways are cool...really... a nice reprieve from the warm sunshine. From here the trail turns right onto a slight slope.

Joan's view...
Joan and I stopped to admire this Chuckwalla... at least I think that is what it is. Chuckwallas eat leaves, fruit, flowers, and insects. They like rocky terrain and canhide in tight rock spaces, inflating themselves with air to protect from enemies. view.

We found this arch just before reaching the end of the trail.

And then... a spectacular panarama view of the desert and mountains!

Our last stop of the day was Atlatl Rock.  Steve gave us a knowledgeable overview ot the significance of these drawings.  One detail he shared is how drawings of the atlatl, a hunting tool used before the bow and arrow helped date the petroglyphs.  It took a few centuries to replace the atlatl with the bow and arrow. Studies show that some of the petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock are 1,500 years old or more. NOTE: I wish I had recorded Steve as he explained this to us.  I hope we at least correctly passed on these few details.

Desert varnish is a black coating found on exposed rock surfaces that are no longer subject to frequent rain and high winds or abrasion.

Another Chuckwalla sunning in the rocks...
That was our day...and what a day it was!  Many thanks to Joan and Steve for sharing their time and knowledge with us and for properly introducing us to the desert and rocks.  As spectacular as views are from the drive through and at various designated overlook points, these short hikes provided an entirely new perspective.  We will never again think of the Mojave Desert and surrounding mountains as desolate landscapes.  We had another great hike and picnic lunch with them on Tuesday that also involved some fun Jeep off roading. 
Thanks again for visiting.
Isn't life grand?
(Taken at the visitor center)
Y'all come back!


  1. So glad to you had a "guide" for your hiking in Valley of Fire. I'm sure you can understand why we ended up moving there to spend a week after a day visit. It is such an easy place to hike, and oh, so beautiful.

    Love you photos! How great to meet fellow bloggers! I started them, also.

    Enjoy your time!

  2. Your posts are great! So sorry we will miss you at the Grand Canyon. We hope to see the Valley of Fire on our way West. Your pictures are a good preview. I love this kind of landscape if it is not too hot.

  3. The Chuckwalla looks like a big toad from the front. I envy you getting to meet fellow bloggers, I hope to do that some day too.
    Great pictures.

  4. Excellent pictures thanks for taking along on the hike. Sure is fun meeting fellow bloggers too.

  5. It's always nice to meet fellow bloggers.