The Mighty Six. Day 2: Valley of Fire.

I woke up in the middle of the night. It felt like 3am. I looked at my watch. 10.50pm… I woke up a few more times and then woke up properly at around 3.30am, after which I struggled to sleep. I tried everything – left side, right side, lying on my back, repeat – but it wasn’t to be. Andrew made the mistake of sounding awake at 0630, so I made sure of it by talking to him. This meant I could get up, make coffee and start completely repacking the suitcases. This was done by 0730, after which we had showers and went to breakfast as the sun rose.

After some good food we were ready to leave, with our first stop being Subway just across the street to buy sandwiches for lunch. We then got on to the interstate to head north out of Vegas. Andrew said I ought to take photos of the hotels to prove we were actually in Las Vegas, so here they are.

After 40 miles we turned off and were soon entering The Valley of Fire State Park. Our first stop was The Beehives, some cross bedded rocks that look like, yes, beehives. Although the temperature was 70F, the wind was far stronger than anticipated and we had to dig the cases back out in order to put on an extra layer.

Next we called in at the visitor centre, where the notice board provided some interesting advice!

We then drove up to parking area 3 and managed to find one remaining suitable spot to park the car. The park was surprisingly (to us) busy. The main destination for our hike today is The Firewave. The rocks here reminded us very much of Arches (for those new to the blog, stick around and we may visit there in a week or so!). The towering sandstone cliffs, with their desert varnish were very impressive.

The end point of the hike is the Firewave itself, swirling red and white streaked sandstone, curling up like a flame.

After that it was a return hike to the car along the same route. In total, 1.7 miles, but there were definitely Canyon miles – they felt a lot further!

We moved the car to a less busy parking area and had our lunch and then drove back towards the visitor centre. There was congestion in the road which we soon realised was caused by big horn sheep.

We stopped at a couple of other view points as we made our way to the east entrance of the park to exit east and north.

The road back to the interstate went through some nice towns, with some interesting and big houses.

After that, we followed I-15 north through the Arizona strip which had roadworks. Our direction was no problem, but we were glad we were not heading south which had long queues. We made it to Hurricane at about 1739, having lost an hour by moving into Mountain Time zone.

Hurricane by name, hurricane by nature… the wind was gusting 30 mph (at least) and the temperature was just 10C, which made unloading the car quite cool! After getting to our room and relaxing (aka uploading photos) for a bit we decided to go for food first. We walked so we could have a beer, despite it being cold and very windy. (Look closely at the pool in the photo, I’ve had calmer water swimming in the lakes than that!). We went to a Chinese restaurant, Hunan City, which had good reviews, and I can confirm that it is good. Sadly though, no beer, so we could have driven..!

A brisk walk back then some blogging while watching the Grand Prix replays on TV, before showers and bed. It is forecast to be freezing (quite literally) tomorrow… may need to unpack even more clothes!

(Editor’s note: slow upload, so if there doesn’t appear to be a full complement of photos please check again tomorrow!).

Photos taken: 119

Videos made: 1 (still in production!)

Distance hiked: 1.7 miles

Steps taken: 12,204

Distance travelled: tbc (forgot to look and there’s no way I’m going back out to the car now!) (Editor’s note: 185 miles)

(Editor’s note: Video now available at The Firewave Trail )

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