Death Valley is about a two hour drive west from Las Vegas. We got a late start and we were meeting Dan’s cousin who lives in Pahrump, so we had a very short amount of time. The park covers 5262 square miles! You would need several days there to really appreciate its beauty. The power of Mother Earth is beyond imagination. These are just a few photos made on my phone!
The lowest elevation in North America at 282 feet.
That white stuff is salt, not snow!
We met Dan’s cousin Dickie Hooper who lives in Pahrump. He insisted we eat lunch at the famous Sheri’s Ranch Brothel. He knows the bartender and apparently everyone else there! That was not on my bucket list but I can say it was a unique experience. They greeted us at the door of the bar and asked if any of us had an appointment! We said no we just want lunch!
Didn’t have time to see Red Rock Canyon so back to MGM. Later we had appetizers at Greek Sneek complete with Greek wine and Mythos beer. Ah, memories of Greece!
Wears Valley, Tennessee
Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains
Sunlight through the trees
Warm gentle breeze
copyright Toni Hooper 2018
Today we worked on glow in the dark rocks. Pretty cool art. Robin bought the glowin the dark paint and Ashley fished rocks from Newfound Gap. Deliah painted and they turned out great. Then we had activities and all worked on collage. Robin created her first artist trading card. Again we had a wonderfully creative day. The Smoky Mountain muse was generous once more.
We awoke to the wind shaking our luxury tent. The wind we were told, can get pretty fierce. They told us when we checked in and signed a waiver stating that we would not hold Moab Under Canvas responsible for anything, that the wind could get so bad that they would ask us to leave the tent and ride out the storm in our car! It didn’t! The sky was cloudy as we packed up to head out for Salt Lake. Last stop on our list was Canyonlands National Park. It is a vast park about 30 minutes from Moab. It is divided into three sections and is considered very primitive. Our plan was to only see the area we could drive to because our trip to Salt Lake would take us four hours. We did stop at Dead Horse State Park and were not disappointed with the breathtaking views.
The drive to Salt Lake was along state highway 191/6. I did remember something about Soldier Summit being a mountain pass. I actually lived in Dugway, Utah forty or so years ago. The landscape changed again and memories flooded in. Why did I not appreciate this spectacular and surreal land then? Oh, right, I was 19 years old!
So here we are at the Hilton Garden Inn, five blocks from the Mormon Temple, savoring the last day of our adventure. Tomorrow, “Thelma and Louise” head back to Tennessee. We will see what the city has to offer. I know it will be informative and fun.
View from our desert tent, a few clouds or rain won’t stop us.
Dead Horse State Park was cold and windy.
The view went on for miles! They call this a “mini Grand Canyon” ….
The weather changes at the drop of a hat. Here comes the rain. You should’ve seen the people scatter!
Canyonlands is next. The visitors center is called Islands in the Sky. We realized the road was actually on top of the Mesa with the canyon on both sides. Lynn does not like heights but she was amazing and drove us through.
We were fascinated with the clouds. You can see forever out here.
Photo taken from the car while approaching Soldier Summit, yes that is snow!
Ok, this was taken from the car on the interstate, but the sun was shining through the clouds in the most ethereal way. Too bad we were on the interstate because my best friend will always stop for a photo if we can. She’s the best!
For all the food freaks, Peggy invited us to brunch with some of her friends. There was ham, hash brown casserole, asparagus, the jello cottage salad, and fresh grapefruit that Peggy brought from California. We needed power food for the day ahead.
By the way, the Mormons call hash brown casserole, “funeral potatoes.”
Peggy told us about some lesser know canyons so off we went. Dry river bed and lots of rocks!
Found my comfort rock. The energy here is magical!
Next stop after we carried 30 pounds of rocks out, was Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon. The beauty there needs no words. Wonder how long it took God to create this masterpiece?
I hiked down into the canyon on one of the trails. Nice steep walk but the view left me speechless. I can’t even count how many photos I have taken. Talk about a kodak moment!
This spot was called Wall Street. When you got to the bottom and looked up you knew why. Lynn walked over to Sunrise Point and meditated. We both just sat and watched as the light and shadows changed. We tried to figure out what the rock formations reminded us of. And we just sat in silence and listened to the wind.
We are staying at a beautiful bed and breakfast in Panguitch, Utah. It was the first hospital in southern Utah. It is owned by Brett and Peggy. The rooms are beautiful, the food is fabulous and Peggy is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. She also knows the best places to find the coolest rocks!
After breakfast we headed out to see the Pink Coral Sand Dunes. Then it was off to Zion National Park. The landscape is so surreal! I think we may go back tomorrow. Unfortunately the beautiful slot canyons are not on the beaten path and require climbing gear and difficult hikes. Guess we will just have to enjoy the beauty at hand. Hope you enjoy our Saturday!
Along with home made yogurt, fresh fruit and fabulous bread with home made crab apple jam, Peggy made this protein bowl. It has baby spinach, roasted peppers, turkey, fresh pesto, and an egg.
The pink coral sand dunes are a popular place for ATV enthusiasts. Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park
You can see how different each rock formation really is. I know it sounds so cliche, but you really cannot get the full impact of this place from a photo! Zion National Park