Thursday, February 10, 2011


Red Rock Canyon lies twenty miles west of Las Vegas. You drive through gray desert and suddenly this huge outcropping pops out of the desert floor. Its on BLM land and is preserved for all to enjoy. The way to see it best is stop at the visitors center first. Great paintings and a video of wild life, wild flowers shows and critters run on a continuous loop. You pay seven dollars a car load to get into the gate. Its a thirteen mile drive with many pullouts for photo opportunities and entrances to marked hiking trails. People come here to hike, bike, ride horses and rock climb. The other alternative is to take a Fifty-nine dollar tour bus into the site.
The first area, called calico, we hiked a bit. I have to be careful because my right arm is in a sling and I can't take a chance on falling. We enjoyed watching the climbers practice on an easy perpendicular wall.
Jim enjoys taking photos and he is very good at it. Here the rocks look like pudding has puddled into great flat pancakes.
Well, maybe that isn't such a good shot of the pancakes.
Just add syrup.
The colors are incredible. One moment you are looking at white or beige and immediately next to it is deep red rock.
It appears as though a giant paint brush swabbed on the red.
The drive takes you on a loop that rises to 4,447 feet where other formations appear.
 We only spent a couple hours here, but I could easily have spent the whole day and hiked in to some of the interesting canyon sights, like petroglyphs.
When I spotted this rock from a distance, I thought it was petroglyphs, but it wasn't. The natural coloring is interesting even so.
The textures etched by sand and wind; the plants that survive severe climate, amaze.
This land is occupied by a host of animals, most likely visible by chance when hiking in the wilderness. And, wild burros are common here, though obviously not native. Signs on the road warn you to watch for burros crossing. The visitor center warns you not to feed them and how to avoid encounters with them.
The day was windy and cold. We strained to see mountain goats where grazing plants were obvious.
The sky was a stunning blue, the rocks will stand for centuries, and we can return another day.

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