Las Vegas

Valley of Fire State Park

Friday, February 18, 2011S.V. CAMBRIA

Our campsite at The Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.

The road had been calling for several weeks and we were feeling the pressure to get moving but, as usual, the weather wouldn't cooperate.  After dealing with sub-freezing temperatures and blizzard conditions a couple of weeks ago, another system moved through the area and dropped eight inches of snow postponing our departure another few days while ruining our chances for a weekend arrival in Las Vegas so, with nothing to do but sit and wait, we decided to go camping.

We left Wichita Monday morning and arrived in Henderson Tuesday where we bought the rest of our gear before driving the last 50 miles north to The Valley of Fire State Park.  Our campsite was beautiful – as they all are here – but it'd been a long day, so we skipped the site-seeing and quickly set up the tent, ate dinner and sat by the fire before cuddling up to watch a movie and going to bed.

Sleep was short.  At two in the morning, the wind came crashing through the canyons and howled the rest of the night blowing sand directly into the tent covering everything, ourselves included, in a fine orange powder.   Hoping things would die down on Wednesday, we stuck it out only to be rewarded with a very long day of being beaten by a steady flow of wind that only seemed to increase as the day went on.   It was blowing too much for a camp fire, so we went to bed early all the while wondering where this front had come from – it wasn't in the forecast!

Wednesday night turned out to be even worse than Tuesday.  The tent was collapsing in all around us and making an ungodly racket.  The approaching gusts, clocked at 50 mph, sounded like the roar from a jet engine giving us enough time to brace ourselves in case it was the one that broke the poles or split the seams which, fortunately, never happened.  We did, however, manage to get covered in sand again, but it's all an adventure and our persistence finally paid off – the weather on Thursday was gorgeous.   By late-morning, the wind had died down and we were treated to a lovely afternoon and evening.  We drove around the park, had dinner, and enjoyed a campfire – the past two nights already a distant memory and somewhat funny (if not unbelievable).

Today, we woke up to another beautiful morning after an uneventful, but cold, night.  Clouds are beginning to move into the area again signalling the next front from California – this one we had seen coming in the forecast – so we broke down camp after a late breakfast and made our way back to Henderson to see Chris, Stacia and the girls with a view to do it all again next week in Death Valley.

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