Back in Civilization

So, did you miss me? We've spent the past three nights at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, and we had a wonderful time there. I have so much to tell you! There were only a few places in the park where we could get even the weakest of cell phone signals, and so obviously, there was no blogging for me. We did a lot of hiking and sight-seeing while there, and I have a ton of pictures to show. I'll have to break it up over a couple of posts to fit it all in. For now, I'll just say we're spending the next three nights in Boulder City, Nevada. We've been here before, way back in 2011, but only stayed one night. The original plan was to head to Death Valley after Valley of Fire, but the weather is turning very warm. It's too warm to be without hookups for the RV, and thus, air-conditioning. We still may go to Death Valley, but we'll be checking the forecast now that we have access to our weather apps again. Our next destination is to be determined.

So let's just back up several days and I'll tell you what's been going on. Many thanks go to my friend Darlene and my son Matthew for putting us onto the Valley of Fire. What an amazing place, both geologically and culturally. It was well worth the visit.

After leaving Pahrump, the landscape was a little more interesting than it was to the north. We followed I-15 for quite a while.

That took us around the outskirts of Las Vegas, the city built on bad math.

North of Las Vegas, the train shadowed us for a while.

Eventually, we turned off onto the road that would take us to the state park. It was a rather rough road, but fortunately, not a long one.

Just 11 miles, and we were there.

Right away, we started see the characteristic red rock that gives the park its name. This is Nevada's first state park.

There were plenty of sites open with water and electricity, but no sewer. We had to be careful how much water we drained into our tanks, but otherwise, we were very comfortable. The park was quiet and nice. Although it was sunny all day to that point, clouds started rolling in and the wind came up. That's our rig there in the middle of the image below. You can see the catio just to the left of the rear slide.

We were staying in the Atlatl Campground, named for the petroglyph "rock" that was within walking distance. With the storm clouds gathering, we decided to drive over and take a look. Here's what you need to know about it. The word is pronounced AHT-laht-le, although I liked pronouncing it so that it rhymed with "rattle-rattle". (My way is better, don't you think?)

The petroglyphs were high up on the rock face, and Mike and I marveled wondering how the ancient tribes manage to get up to where they were carved. We were also impressed at how well the park service had camouflaged the stairway leading up to the platform.

The wind was blowing so hard, it almost felt as if one could be blown over the railing. It was a steep climb up.

You can see the atlatl stick at the very top of the image below.

Also, Mike and I felt certain that there were quilters in this group. Look in the image below. Obviously, that is a rotary cutter right there in the middle. And surely, there is some zigzag stitching there too.

It was so windy, that our stay here was short, and then it was back down those stairs. Hang onto the railing, please.

With rain moving in and the visitor center scheduled to close within the hour, we headed there next. Here, we read this sign

about these rocks. They were formed just about the time I was born.

And, while there, we picked up our first shot glass of the trip. Have I mentioned my shot glass collection before? I keep them in egg cartons. So far, I have 28 shot glasses in the fifth wheel and about 8 in the truck camper. They're kind of fun because Mike and I like an occasional shot of tequila, and we reach in and grab a shot glass at random. They always evoke a good memory. Also, we picked up a refrigerator magnet...my other collection...less useful than the shot glass collection.

But the biggest reason for heading to the visitor center was to look for some sort of hiking book or map. There were no books, but we did pick up this great pictorial map of the area. As far as these hikers are concerned, a good hiking resource is worth its weight in gold.

It rained hard for about an hour, but then the skies cleared, and the weather was beautiful and warm for the rest of our stay. We got out and walked to the edge of the campground. As is almost always the case, the scale of these places can't be captured in photography, and so I resort to panoramas to try to give you a sense of it. Remember that you can always make the image larger by clicking on it. Here was our view from the edge of the campground.

And since our shadow selves were photobombing the panorama, we took their pictures too. Our shadow selves always head south for the winter when the rain starts in Oregon. We finally caught up to them here.

We thought this might be a place where Smitty and Sadie could get out of the trailer, but Smitty spotted something right away that caused him to grrrrrrr and take cover in his behind-the-couch bunker. For the next three days, he was on red alert. We have no idea what set him off, but we suspect it might have been a coyote. 

And when Smitty's on red alert, Sadie is too.

So, I'm going to write a series of posts about our hiking adventures, desert wildlife, and every blooming thing in the desert until I've caught up. Before I start in on that, however, I need to take care of a little blog housekeeping. For some reason, y'all are fascinated with the kitty potty box situation in the RV. Here's how it works for us. The collage below shows where the litterbox is located just down the hall from the living area and where the bedroom entrance is. It's the best place in this particular RV, but every RV will be different. (The truck camper is going to be a little more difficult, but I'll save that for another day.) The litterbox gets a little squished when we bring in the bedroom slide, but the kitties still have access, and fortunately, the plastic is flexible enough to bend without breaking.

Okay...are you satisfied now? I figured I'd leave that part for the tail end (Ha! Get it?) of this post.

As I'm writing this, we've just pulled into an RV park in Boulder City. We need to do laundry and also get to the grocery store. Then, we'll just be relaxing for the next couple of days. I have a meet and greet set up with Heidi of Red Letter Quilts tomorrow at the Quiltique quilt shop in Henderson, which is just a few miles down the road. I'll say more about that in a separate post. I'll keep writing until I get caught up on these. For now, I hope you're all doing well and getting lots of sewing done. I should have time to do some sewing myself over the next day or two.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kristin in Alaska said...

My collections from my travel are refrigerator magnets and either a Christmas ornament, or a keychain that I can turn into an ornament.

Sandra W said...

Looking at your RV--is this the type where you basically drive your living room? Or do you unload it from a truck and it becomes independent of your vehicle? Do you have to drive the whole thing to get a loaf of bread?
What is the camper that you've left behind? And how does that work? I gather it's for shorter trips?
I've never, never considered an RV before but I can see they offer a great advantage when going to state and national parks. You wouldn't be able to stay in these places if you just had a car.
Yes, I missed your blog. Look forward to the next few posts.

WoolenSails said...

Love petroglyphs, I can imagine seeing them in person and knowing how old they are, amazing.
My cats stink and theirs is in the basement, lol. What kind of litter do you use?


Kate said...

Such a cool park. Looking forward to seeing all your pictures from the hikes.

Dorothy Finley said...

Barbara, I just got back from the Bellevue Arts Museum for the Ann Johnston exhibit---pictorial quilts----WOW !!!! Some of your pictures in the post would be fabulous done this way. Her work is amazing.
And yes, I have missed my daily dose of you :-)

quiltzyx said...

Wow the red rocks are gorgeous! There is a lot of red dirt in Australia, and it stains everything it touches. Somewhere I have a baggie with red Ozzie dirt that I want to use to try & dye fabric with.

Amazing to see those rocks that are about as old as we are!!

Ioleen said...

Great post, thanks for sharing. I spent yesterday sewing with seven friends from 10:00 until 5:00. Great day with lots of laughs and we did manage to get sewing done.

gpc said...

How beautiful -- I had never heard of the valley of fire, although we traveled in that part of the country when I was a kid. I would love to see those petroglyphs! Clearly if they used a zig zag stitch they must have had stretch fabric, too, so some of those images are probably their favorite tshirt designs. I had a friend who kept a travel-shot-glass collection -- she eventually had a case made that held them on the wall, behind glass, but I like the egg carton idea better!

Brown Family said...

I have driven around or through Las Vegas several times but had never heard of Valley of fire. I wish now we had known about it. I am not a fan of open stairs, well any stairs, but I would have had to try those just to see the petroglyphs. I always pull up Google maps so I can see where in the world you are!

We are sure Smitty knew what was best for two little cats!