Browsing Category "photography"
12 Feb
2017
Posted in: photography, travel
By    Comments Off on Different Side of Las Vegas: Valley of Fire State Park

Different Side of Las Vegas: Valley of Fire State Park

road into valley of fire state park

Valley of Fire State Park Nevada red rocks

Quite a few people in our circle of friends will be spending Spring Break in Las Vegas. I’ve replied to a few inquiries about family-friendly ideas in Vegas on the cheap and outdoor activities that don’t include sitting poolside. We’ve been through Las Vegas numerous times one our way to and from other adventures like Disneyland, Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley National Park. My go-to suggestion for people staying in Vegas who want an outdoor adventure is Valley of Fire State Park.

White Dome Trail - Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Red sandstone formations at Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

The park is located about one hour northeast of Las Vegas and its eastern edge is six miles from Lake Mead. As we neared the entrance to the park last spring, I couldn’t believe we had driven on Interstate 15 countless times and had no idea the magnificent red sandstone formations of Valley of Fire were hidden a short distance from the busy highway. Ancient people lived in the area from 300 B.C.E. to 1150 C.E. and left many petroglyphs in the region from their occupation.

Valley of Fire State Park petroglyphs

The weather in the spring was perfect for Wyomingites who deal with bitter wind and snow until May some years. The temperatures were in the high 60s during our day visit. We are rock people. We happily wander for hours through rock landscapes with unique formations. Valley of Fire did not disappoint. A bonus for us is the presence of petrified wood logs and stumps from an ancient forest.

White Dome hiking trail - Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park slot canyon

The fire red sandstone gives way to contrasting colors of pink, white, tan and purple. The colors are layered in a rock rainbow in various parts of the park. The White Domes Trail is a relatively easy trek of 1¼ miles through sandstone in various and beautifully varying colors. The trail also contains a short slot canyon, and we hold a true love for all things slot canyon. Keep your eyes open for smalls caves and indentations in the rocks around you.  There has been serious upheaval and erosion over thousands of year in this part of Nevada.

White Dome hiking trail - Valley of Fire State Park

Fire Wave in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Fire Wave Trail takes you through barren rock landscape dotted with barrel cactus and ending in the spectacular Fire Wave formation. We lingered in the area with several serious photographers enjoying a Nevada sunset. The setting sun intensified the colors of the wave before mellowing the vibrancy of the area as dusk settled in. It was beautiful and the reason why we travel and hike. Finding that place that’s like no other. Discovering yet another unique wonderful landscape is what keeps me traveling. Valley of Fire met that criteria and rates much higher on my list of things to do in the Las Vegas area over casinos and shows.

 


 
Take a Trip: Theodore Roosevelt National Park
By     |    Apr 22, 2015
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Take a Trip: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

In honor of National Parks week and because I have a crazy passion for the National Park Service, here’s another flashback vacation memory. Most vacation destination lists don’t have North Dakota on them. I’m a collector of states. I want to visit as many as possible. We hadn’t visited North Dakota and were looking for a vacation destination there. The answer was Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We could add another state and a national park. Honestly, I didn’t have high... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Craters of the Moon
By     |    Apr 16, 2015
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Take a Trip: Craters of the Moon

I’ve been sorting through the thousands of photos I’ve taken over the past few years for a photo project and have become nostalgic for past road trips. I’m asked quite often for travel ideas by people who want to add to their adventure list or start down the road of family road trips. We’re heavy users of National Park Service entities and most travel inquiries I receive have to do with whether or not we’ve been to a certain national... [Read More]

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Close Encounters of the Wildlife Kind
By     |    Aug 14, 2014
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Close Encounters of the Wildlife Kind

Last week, we were hiking in Glacier National Park and a grizzly bear trotted across the trail about 50 feet in front of us. My thoughts were convoluted in that 40-second encounter. I wanted to take a photo, but self-preservation took top priority. The six of us were clumped together as we watched the bear trot across the path and wander up a brush-covered hillside. It wasn’t until the bear was out of sight that I realized I was holding... [Read More]

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Checking Fossil Butte National Monument off the List
By     |    Jul 1, 2014
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Checking Fossil Butte National Monument off the List

If there’s one thing I like more than the act of making a list, it’s crossing items off the list. We’ve purchased an annual U.S. National Park Service pass for several years in a row now and have steadily crossed places off the list by collecting “passport” stamps at places visited. This weekend we visited our sixth and final location in Wyoming and our 46th place overall in the National Park Service system. Our final Wyoming destination was Fossil Butte National... [Read More]

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Photo Shoot Jitters Proven Unnecessary
By     |    Apr 28, 2014
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Photo Shoot Jitters Proven Unnecessary

Our local state-wide newspaper runs a health and lifestyle magazine insert a few times a year, Live Well Wyoming. An article was being written about bloggers in my state. I was asked if my family would be willing to have some photos taken to accompany the article. I said yes, hung up the phone and immediately regretted my agreement. There were so many uncontrollable variables, namely my children. They are people prone to bad days, illness, poor listening and questionable... [Read More]

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Touring Las Vegas with Kids
By     |    Mar 21, 2014
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Touring Las Vegas with Kids

We finished our spring break trip in Las Vegas. Yes, we took our kids specifically to Las Vegas Boulevard…aka The Strip. Go ahead and judge. We were originally going to watch college basketball while in Las Vegas, then decided not to once we were there. We kept our kids out late  one night, soaking in the neon lights and Bellagio fountains show. The next day we spent primarily on the Strip, again partaking in a scavenger hunt for squished penny machines.... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Death Valley National Park
By     |    Mar 20, 2014
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Take a Trip: Death Valley National Park

When I say we went to Death Valley National Park for spring break, people seem perplexed by the choice. I’ve been asked numerous times why we chose that park for a vacation. We’ve been to loads of destinations run by the National Park Service. It has yet to lead us wrong. The places the park service has set aside and protected for the enjoyment of people are varied and stunning in their own right. Death Valley is no exception. The... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Joshua Tree National Park
By     |    Mar 19, 2014
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Take a Trip: Joshua Tree National Park

The landscape of Joshua Tree National Park is comprised of geologically odd rock piles and misshapen trees. No two Joshua trees look alike. Despite the muted colors, the park looks as if Dr. Seuss’ Lorax would be at home in this forest reminiscent of Truffula trees. The top of the Joshua trees may branch out a couple of times or dozens with green, prickly tufts at the end of the branches. Massive rock piles dominate large areas of the park,... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Mojave National Preserve
By     |    Mar 18, 2014
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Take a Trip: Mojave National Preserve

All I’ve ever known is living in the shadow of mountains. The parched, cracked desert with its muted colors always seems otherworldly to me. The first stop on our 2014 spring break vacation was the Mojave National Preserve in California. The varying degrees of yellow land marked by cactus, creosote bush scrub and Joshua trees is starkly different from the dark green pine and spruce trees of the Rocky Mountains. The Mojave National Preserve contains 1.6 million acres of land... [Read More]

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Disneyland Character Autograph Book
By     |    Jan 20, 2014
Posted in: photography, projects, travel     |    9 Comments

Disneyland Character Autograph Book

One of my favorite photography projects is the Disneyland autograph book I made after our second trip to Disneyland in March of 2012. The first time we went to Disneyland in 2008, our boys weren’t interested in getting close enough to the characters. If they did get close enough for a photograph, they weren’t interested in sticking around long enough to get autographs. On the second trip, our children were 9, 7, 4, and 2. In addition to the main... [Read More]

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Organizing Kids’ Artwork
By     |    Jan 13, 2014
Posted in: photography, projects     |    2 Comments

Organizing Kids’ Artwork

Organizing kids’ artwork was a huge dilemma for me when our oldest started preschool. I didn’t want to forget what he created, while at the same time, I didn’t want to keep it all either. There isn’t space for all the artwork my children make, and it’s just not necessary to have every scrap of creativity stored away in a storage container. It took me quite awhile to decide what was an acceptable compromise between saving memories and doing away with... [Read More]

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