Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lake Mead and Valley of Fire

After an hour in traffic to cross over the dam (the new by-pass will be a godsend) I headed up the north side of Lake Mead. The winds were back up to gale force, so no kayaking again :(, but lots of nice scenic overlooks and short hikes. I camped my first night at Government Wash, perched on a little hill overlooking the lake.
The next day, I continued up the lake taking in short stops and hikes, making it all the way to Overton. I had been told of a town that was on the bottom of the lake having been exposed by the low water. It seems like this is a "locals" secret, and I had no luck in anyone acknowledging its existence.
Into Valley of Fire SP. Very nice!!!
I made my way into the heart of the park, stopping for a series of hikes to scenic overlooks. At elephant rock, a number of small planes flew over on tours. One of them somehow narrowly missed clipping the top of the nearest peak, but I don't know how. Perhaps it was my perspective of it, but if I had been a passenger, I would have croaked!
Mouses tank was a really neat hike and rock scrambling. Lots of petroglyths here too. Never did find the tank though.
Fire Canyon/rainbow vista trail was likewise a great hike. But, timing is everything and the lighting was wrong for the fire effect in the canyon.
White Domes is an absolutely awesome scenic hike! The colors in here are incredible. Halfway through and you go through a slot canyon. Just prior is a set (the producers) from one of a number of films that was located here.
I met a couple from Virginia on-trail, and it was so nice ot hear southernese that we spent a good half an hour standing around chatting. He was a near perfect image of Al Bundy, but a good guy none the less ;'). Highly recommended stop!
I made it up to the campgrounds late in the day, but they were full, so I was gonna have to leave here by days end :(. I stopped into a day use area, Atlatl. There are petroglyths here, incuding one of an Atlatl. Incredibly, an Atlatl organization was setup to do a weekend tournament here. When one of the organizers approached to talk about VW vans, I inquired about the sport, and he ended up taking me on to the range, walking me through the technique and allowed me to make a half dozen throws :). I actually even managed to hit the target with one spear... That was fun. If I could have stayed over to Saturday, they had foam targets of deer set up in the desert, and that was going to be the range for the main tournament.

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