Another month, another opportunity for a great hike and exploring outdoors!
The kids had a 4 day weekend, and now that we are in November and the temperatures have cooled off a little bit, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to go check out Valley of Fire. This has been on my list for the longest time. But as the name implies, this is a place you DO NOT want to visit in the summer. It is hot, hot, hot! I missed my chance in the winter/spring and I have waited for the summer months to tick by and the temperatures to drop before attempting the day trip.
And let me tell you, Valley of Fire did not disappoint.
And I have over 200 pictures to prove it. Ha!
Whittling it down for this post was hard, but I'll do my best. First stop of the day,
As soon as we parked the car the kids bolted out to play. Running, climbing, scaling, shimmying, proclaiming "I'm the kind of the world!", and having the best time.
This area is called the Beehives because the sandstone formations look like, well, beehives.
After walking up a giant metal staircase you are rewarded with some amazing petroglyphs. What a sight!
So amazing! And this was just the first of many petroglyphs we would see throughout the park.
Soooo, I'm not sure what we were expecting but the Arch Rock was a little underwhelming. It was pretty tiny. We probably need to visit Arches National Park to get our fix in the arch category! But we took a photo with it anyway and laughed on our way back to the car.
I didn't take any photos at the Visitor's Center but it was nice. There were many displays that were interesting to the kids - they took their time reading the placards and studying the history of the ancient inhabitants, the different types of rocks, etc.. There were also a few live desert animals in display cases - snake, tarantula, scorpion, lizards - and that's always fun.
As we climbed down the kids begged me to take their picture in this position - as if they are falling down a cliff . . . and their predicament has somehow made it necessary for Conner to eat Payton. ??
As I read up on the Valley of Fire before our day trip I came across many reviews comparing it to Mars. Although I have never personally been to Mars, from what I've seen of the Mars rover and sci-fi movies, I would have to agree. Super fine red sand and red other-worldly rocks spread across the landscape. A pretty great place for exploring and pretending that you are on another planet.
Mouse's Tank was our first "hike" of the day. A short 3/4 mile round trip trail. It doesn't sound that long, but walking through sand the entire way makes it feel longer than it actually is. You can see that Anna is trying to get her footing. The kids were a little nervous about getting all that sand in their shoes, but it was so fine that it never really bothered anyone.
The trail was also called Petroglyph Canyon.
This canyon also reminded us all of The Three Amigos, when they are traveling through a canyon in search of the singing bush and the invisible swordsman. And so we decided that that should also be our quest. Faaaar-ley, farley, farley, farley, far-ley!
And then I saw this rock and I said, "hey guys it's the USS Starship Enterprise!" To which Scott corrected me by pointing out that it was actually a Romulon vessel, and Payton responded immediately by jumping up on an adjacent rock and acting out a battle sequence as if he was at the helm of the Enterprise.
We are super nerdy / awesome.
Anna was obsessed with all the little caves and niches, declaring each one her "home!" And then she would go on to point out where she would sleep, where the kitchen was, where she would sit, etc.
Even kissing her "Home" goodbye when it was time to move on. What a silly girl.
I loved all the lines and textures in the sandstone. Isn't this beautiful?
We came across another "home" for Anna and after proper inspection she determined that this was her favorite.
I love seeing the kids play together and enjoy being outdoors so much! Not an electronic device in sight!
Well, I think that is more than enough photos for one post. I'll share the rest of our day in another post!