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Valley of Fire, NV

And I thought I saw it all!

I am at a loss for words. I am sitting in a hotel lobby, using their Wi-Fi and to stay warm. I am attempting to capture in words my visit to Valley of Fire from two days ago, but I am stuck. Not because I have writer's block. I am still stunned by the beauty I was blessed to witness.

By midday, I arrived at the paying booth. After sitting behind a long line of cars waiting to enter the park, I am in! It feels like that little booth is the gate for God's most incredible creation.

It’s funny how I thought Red Rock Canyon was where you can find such a diverse landscape in one frame. Oh, how wrong I was!

This place needs to be on everyone's bucket list!

I am sure you can feel my excitement, but I am more in awe of the breathtaking view than anything. I am grateful for the privilege of seeing this beauty with my own eyes.

I am heading to hike the White Domes Loop. It is a short hike, only 1.1 miles. It is so hot today with the sun blasting her heat on this majestic land. After so many months of cold temperatures, my body forgot what to do in that kind of temperature.

I stopped along my route and hiked the Mouse Tank trail, a short hike (.75 miles out and back). The rocks here are rich in red color, and their texture fascinated me. I continued and stopped at Rainbow Vista, another short hike of one mile. I am enjoying my view, but I have already seen similar rocks in other parks in the past. I know I sound like a snob, but the next part of my day feels like magic as I drive and hike White Domes.

So far in my travels, I have yet to see such extensively diverse landscapes in one small (all relevant) area. I am most fascinated by the deep texture and colors of the giant rocks. Never before have I seen rock colors playing and intertwining in such a graceful dance—red, white, yellow, lavender, black, brown, tan, and mauve. The fact that colors are a deep passion of mine, makes me wonder if that is why I am so entranced with this place.

As I hike the White Domes loop, I know I will return in the early morning to hike it again, but this time in the other direction. I want to experience the colors here in different lighting.

It is already close to five, and it is too hot to hike the Fire Wave and the Seven Wonders Loop. That’s okay, because I need to find my spot for the night.

I know there are a few options for a BLM outside the park. I am closer to the west entrance, and the iOverlander app shows me a few options, so I checked the closer one. Only about five miles away, I find the entrance to the BLM.

It is a more rocky dirt road than I wished for, and I drive further to the second spot to avoid being near the road. The wind is starting to pick up, but it is a nice and warm evening to cook dinner and enjoy my personal view since I am pretty much by myself in this vast land.

I feel safe and content in the silence around me. Those are the moments in life that I feel I need to pinch myself for where I am and for what I am doing and being.

Good morning, glorious day! I am an early riser, just like the sun. By seven, I am back to hike White Domes Loop. What a fantastic choice to hike it again, this time I hike the loop clockwise. The trail belongs to me, and the silence is so delicious.

Many times, I have been asked what my favorite place is. I make sure not to pick a favorite. I find that by doing so, I am cheating myself away from each beautiful place. After all, they are all different and unique in their own way. However, the Valley of Fire and especially the hike at Fire Wave and the Seven Wonders Loop for sure stole my heart.

I know my pictures are far from what your eyes will see if you ever get here. So please give yourself this beautiful gift and come experience this place.

The hike is about three miles. I am glad I have AllTrails on because it is not always clear where the path is. Halfway into my hike, I reached another two hikers. Sandi and Casey are from Utah and are visiting Nevada. I see that Sandi is a photographer. I politely ask her if she can take my photo. Sandi is excited to help as we continue to hike together and get to know each other. 

Sandi and Casey are fun people to hike with as their energy is light and joyful. I am so thrilled to have a chance to help Sandi by giving her my professional opinion on her logo for her new business. Remember this name, "Bean Me Up" for your favorite chocolate. 

I don't want to leave this place, but I need to get to Kanab by Friday. I plan to take the next three days writing and running errands. 

Sometimes, I find writing overwhelming until I sit down and let my fingers dance on my keyboard.

I let Google Maps take me to the nearest library. That is how I found myself in the town of Mesquite. 

It is always a treasure to ask a local for information. I know Lee Ann used to live here a few years ago. I was glad when she picked up the phone. I desperately need a shower. I am unsure if I could have found this information without Lee Ann's guidance. The local recreation center showers are open to the public, and for $2, I get a nice hot shower. Of course, I laugh at myself at what I do to be able to support this lifestyle.

Now that I feel clean and wonderful, it is time to figure out where to park for the night. iOverlander showed me that there is a large dirt lot behind a casino for overnight parking. The lot is closed, a bummer. 

One of the main reasons I purchased a minivan is to blend in and create a "friendly" feel to my vehicle. I decided to find a quiet corner in the casino's parking lot. The chances that I will get a knock on my door are very slim. Eating dinner in my car is always an option, but tonight I am treating myself to the buffet at the casino and will search for the restroom.

I have a two hour drive to Kanab, Utah. I am heading to this charming little town to apply for the lottery to hike 'The Wave.' I am meeting with Betty, whom I met last year in the Smoky Mountains and then again in Zion National Park. Betty is always open to a new adventure! I love and appreciate our friendship.

Part of my drive today includes the scenic drive of the Virgin River Gorge, another stunning landscape movie for me to relish. Only after I passed this section did I realize that I drove here last year coming from the other direction. Virgin River Gorge Drive is considered among the most beautiful scenic drives. I can vouch for that!

When I arrived at the information center for The Wave, I realized that I needed to check my email at 7:15 to find out if we had won the lottery. That means driving in the dark to find the BLM for tonight (There is no cell service in that area), which makes me uncomfortable.

Alright, another night blending in. I found a local hotel with a large parking lot. Why is it important for me to find a large parking lot? I don't want to abuse my probably not-that-welcome stay. If the parking lot is big enough, I don't take a space from a paying guest. 

I find a far corner and keep warm as this is a freezing night. In the morning, I woke up to find my car covered with a thin layer of snow. Indeed, it was a cold night!

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