We had been to Valley of Fire at least three previous times since '99, which was the first year of our—on-again off-again, can't-make-up-our-minds, come-and-go-from-sticks and bricks, semi-persuaded, back-to-work-cause-we've-run-out-of-money-again—RV lifestyle. But this time felt different. It must have been me, because I'm pretty sure the rocks haven't moved or changed all that much in 14 years.
A stubborn run of below zero temps, snow and clouds had me by the balls back in Lovely Ouray; they were as blue as my mood, or vice versa. Suffice it to say, all three of us needed a change of scene. Reader Teri suggested that my disposition might have something to do with it being "Blue Monday." Well I'll be damned... they have an official day? It wasn't just in my head after all? In the good old "treadmill" days there were fifty two Blue Mondays... back to back to back. Even the Monday I was on vacation was Blue, because I was dreading the next one at work.
But there's nothing that un-wads my panties better than winter warmth, sun, and stumbling around in pretty rocks that come in no less than five shades of red—orange, umber, yellow, green, lavender... and my new favorite, mustard... Grey Poupon, of course.
Eons ago, volcanic activity littered Valley of Fire with cool Rock Art. Thank to "tips" from Wise Ones, Susan and Maikel, we found and explored a few new "unmarked" areas. I remembered hiking washes on previous trips, but nothing comparable to "number five." My oh my.
I have always had a fascination with rocks. As a young Arizona Geo-cowboy, I'd gather the prettiest ones and shove them in the pant's pockets of my "Chubby" sized Yellow Front blue jeans. Bigger rocks got loaded in the trunk of our Oldsmobile, much to parental dismay. Some rocks had veins of gold; I could see it, all sparkly. Dad called it "Iron Pyrite Gold." I guess he didn't have the heart to crush his little Geo-cowboy's dreams of wealth.
Collecting rocks kept my Pentecostal Mom on the "line" with her Lord and Savior, Jesus... praying that I be protected from rattlesnakes, scorpions, and other venomous critters that like to hide underneath. She'd often rebuke Satan for putting doubt in her mind that she was getting through to Jesus. In fact, it seemed like Mom had running day and night conversations with Jesus and Satan, as if they were in the room. She'd praise one and curse the other. I grew up thinking it perfectly normal for mom's to intercede with the "powers of Good and evil" on behalf of their offspring... even though it never seemed to work for me. Once, I messed up big time and called Mom "selfish" for not allowing any more rocks to be brought home. She grasp my Chubby head in her powerful hands and proceeded to cast a out a devil! It kinda scared me straight for a while. But it doesn't take long for old Satan to reoccupy the fertile ground of a mischievous mind :).
Now let's wander through some fire and brimstone, shall we?
My Favorite "Swirl..."
This one reminds me of Fruit Cake
Yes, the camera was held level, it's just that these spires are at odds with the Universe.
Do you see the Lizard?
You know you've gone beyond "window shoppers" when your's are the only tracks...
I will have better photos... a series, actually, of these "seams" in the next post. They were everywhere and at all angles... too closely spaced together to represent "sedimentary" layers (in my humble "right-brained" opinion).
The smoothness with which wind and waterborne sand wears the wash walls in some places makes me want to Hug a Rock! Just lay down on it and soak up the energy it has accumulated over millions and millions of years...