“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” ~ Aaron Rose
Are we there yet? Almost. Almost. We’re nearing the end of the road for a bit, the bright lights of Vegas beckon. But before then we take a little side-trip to a breathtaking sliver of light and color. A fantastic landscape of glowing rocks, stunning sandstone and other-worldly formations. Most aptly named Valley of Fire. In our last road-trip installment we were hurtling down the ET highway, with Rachel in the dust. No alien encounters to speak of, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be back for more. SOON. The drive from Rachel was largely uneventful even though a storm was brewing. We checked into a little motel somewhere near the park entrance and while I dealt with my overflowing inbox the others went off in search of this lesser known but most incredible State Park. I would join in the next day. And here it is. A photo essay of sorts. My words are on a budget at the moment as we are firmly in editing overload, with another 30+ sessions this coming weekend. Underneath the ethereal blossoms, a world away from molten rocks and this most marvelous Marscape…
Sunset in Valley of Fire came quickly. So Trace and the gang scrambled to the top of a lookout and had a 360 degree view of the surroundings. Strange colours in the sky. Something is out there. We believe. However in this case it was partly because of an intense sunset and partly the remnants of the storm. Mix it all together it was eerily beautiful.
And on to the next morning. We were up well before the sun to watch it explode over the horizon. We found ourselves at the Beehives, not sure of the best place to set-up but we figured we would make it work. Hello day.
And then as the blazing sun peeked over the mountains it hit the rocks behind us like a…Valley of Fire. And so it was “The literal sunrise”. And it blew us away with the intensity and passion of its color.
The morning was brimming with life. Birds were up and little creatures scampering here and there across the desert floor. Couldn’t catch them with the cameras though as all our settings were set for landscapes. So we just caught endless blurs in motion. And this one we call Bunny Art.
Sunrise done we went for a scenic drive through the park. You know, windows down, ready for some good old-fashioned drive-bying…And it was stunning. From nature’s expansive pallet to the textures, curves and contours of the Mojave. There was a surprise and an intake of breath around every corner.
We took a little detour down to Lake Mead because of course we wanted to find Celine Dion’s house. Maybe hang out with her and all that… have a water ski on the lake. Clearly we must have been on the wrong side of the Mead (which wouldn’t be the first time)…it was just kind of desolate. No worries – our hearts will go on…
Then we headed back to the hotel for a little break and a refuel. We had received a PDF from a very nice photographer to add to all Em’s info about the park which had some fabulous tips for the best places to be at the best times of day. But we didn’t have any mornings left in the park so we’ll definitely be re-visiting those shots another time. The info talked about how a lot of Valley of Fire is unnamed and therefore difficult for photographers to pinpoint places of photographic interest. But on the other hand, we could explore, find new scenery and…. name things ourselves! How us! Soooooo…without much encouragement, in the afternoon we decided that the desert was going to be our base. We would explore, name some stuff after ourselves and at the same time multi-task – yes, it would be the very best place for us to practice our Ignite speech. And have a meltdown if necessary. There’s something about the desert that always gives us inspiration and strength. And space enough for yelling. So we set off on a hike that the photographer had outlined for us… once again across the open desert. GPS in hand.
Looking for Pretzel Arch, and someotherwackilynamedrock. Couldn’t find that Pretzel but we had a ball looking. And around this time searching for pretzels were making us thirsty…sorry.
After our tramp and not too unsuccessful Ignite practice across the desert we headed back to the car and trucked on down the road to famous Arch Rock… Would so love to do some portraits here… but those signs everywhere declaring not to climb on the rock just made us sigh… I think it was around here that we passed another car. A car full of aliens or at least Trekkies out for the day on a possible photo-shoot somewhere nearby…Oh, the beings you meet.
We were on a mission. Time for another hike. This time down to the Valley of Fire Wave (not the OTHER one way, way back at the beginning of the trip, on a completely different scale) for sunset. And it was magic. The twists and turns of a deliciously inspiring landscape.
And that was the end of Valley of Fire. All we had time for. We can absolutely see an encore in the future. But for now it was time to get on the road again…there were places to go and people to see. The next morning we were on our way to Vegas and WPPI. We did toss-up whether to do one more sunrise or just get to town and start on our multitude of jobs. We eventually opted for the sensible route having just been completely spoilt by nature’s most spectacular finale. So Vegas, we’re on our way.