Saturday, March 5, 2011

4 March 2011 (Friday) Valley of Fire (State Park)

The weather forecast was for mild winds and lots of sunshine se we headed for the Valley of Fire Sate Park.  We made a quick run through last year but didn't get to see everything we wanted to so we decided to make the trip again.  We had a great time but were a little disappointed witht he visitor's center.  They'd taken a lot of stuff out of it.  It was still a nice place to visit though.

We began the morning with some "Mormon Tea"  (ephedra).  It's supposed to cure what ails ya'.

It looked kind of uhm ... interesting when we first poured the hot water int he cup.  It's supposed to be god for colds and their symptoms.  Susan has been fighting a cold the last week or so.  I just got over mine but allergies are a way of life for me so I tried some too.  It's actually pretty good tea.

Susan started another set of sprouts to growing.  These are alfalfa sprouts.  (Notice the duct tape patch for her shirt?  It's been through several washings!)

We brought a "real" solar powered battery charger for our small batteries but it doesn't appear to be working.  I'm going to have to run some tests on it but left my multi-tester at home.  I had it out but it was forgotten somewhere along the line when packing ... or else I haven't found it yet!  At any rate, I needed one so I bought one at the local hardware store.  My other one was getting old and banged up and needed replaced anyway!  This time I got a "large print" tester.

At any rate, these are solar powered driveway/patio lights.  We've used them to charge AA batteries for several years now.  It usually takes two days to get a full charge but they are fully charged.  We've also recharged regular "non-rechargeable" alkaline batteries using them with good results but we're not recommending it.  They say they'll explode if you try to recharge them so we set the "chargers" away from the house the first few times we tried.  You don't get many cycles out of them before they're finished and I wouldn't try it on a plug-in fast charger in the house but if you're out in the woods and have nothing else what have you got to lose?  You can get a Ham radio or GPS back in operation if you have one with you.  Just don't try it where someone can get hurt.  Incidentally, once you take the plastic bulb protectors off the tops will fit in a pocket on your shirt or backpack and they're very light weight.  Susan straps them on her bike panniers when bicycle touring to charge batteries while she's riding. 

These are some type of Antelope Squirrel (or gopher or something!).  These little guys were residing at a picninc area and were obviously used to handouts.  They kept getting closer and closer and I finally gave them some of the crust off my bread.  Then their numbers magically quadrupled.

I named this one the Gieco Lizard because he had huge eyes compared to the size of his head and he stood on his back legs like his famous namesake.

Hieroglyphics on the trail to Mouse's Spring.  He was an Indain that got in trouble a long time ago and hid out from the law for awhile there. 

More hieroglyphics.  We decide they were probably stone age gang graffiti back before they invented spray paint and railroad cars.

Some of the little side canyons.

The main trail...

Mouse's Spring.  Hopefully it was a little clearer when he drank from it.

We climbed over the rocks and down behind the spring and went exploring among the rock formations.

There were so many draws, caves and arches to explore that we may plan a backpack excursion next year.

A lizard stuck to the side of the rock.  He blends in pretty good.

Cool stuff everywhere!  We need to get our grandchildren here to play.  Us grandparents need some playmates.  Too many of our kids have forgotten how to have fun unless they're in front of a computer screen.

This is another location known as Atlatl Rock.  There are some very clear pictures of atlatls in the upper left corner.

More rocks...

Another cistern.

Interesting rock formation.

Susan pretending to be a turtle in her shell.

Darth Vader rock!

Too many pictures to post, too much to see ... you'll just have to go look for yourself!

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