Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Valley of Fire State Park and Death Valley...Our second side trip from Vegas!
Our morning started the same as the day before except we didn’t need a shuttle to get to our car. We grabbed some Starbuck’s to go and retrieved our car from the hotel valet. Unfortunately, it was still too cold to put the top down. We got directions to the Valley of Fire Sate Park from our hotel’s front desk and made our way there without bothering to set the GPS this time. We arrived at our first destination with no problems and without getting lost. We spent about two hours in The Valley of Fire, driving around, taking pictures and staring in awe at the stark color contrast between the rocks in the park and the ones everywhere else. The bright red made our white car stick out like a sore thumb! Before leaving the park, we stopped at the visitor’s center to get directions to our next destination, Death Valley. It was late morning by time we got on the right route. After narrowly escaping death after a wrong turn onto the 16-lane I-95, we got back on the right track and it was smooth sailing for the rest of the way. We wanted to be back in the city before nightfall and we were told that Death Valley was about 2 hours away. That meant we would not have much time to spend there. Mid-afternoon, we finally arrived. We drove for a while until we found a suitable place to pull over and stretch our legs. We stopped at a look-off with a fantastic view. Expecting it to be as cold as it was everywhere else, we put on some sweaters and exited the car only to be nearly knocked out by the heat! Back into the car we went to trade our sweaters in for sunhats and sunscreen! We drove around the park for a few hours taking more pictures and stopping at various rest stops to walk around. We wanted to spend more time there but before we knew it, it was starting to get dark. So much for getting back to Vegas early. It was almost 10PM by time we returned the car to the airport terminal and shuttled back to our hotel. We grabbed a snack and headed to bed early, looking forward to the big adventure that awaited us the next morning; Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon!