Weekend Coffee Share -Valley of Fire State Park

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Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)! Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about? All are welcome!

It’s been a great week, and I am settling in to some kind of routine with everything. I really enjoy my new nanny job, the children are wonderful, and the parents are great people that I like a lot. How was your week? How would you like your coffee today?

I realize that I have not been posting as much as I usually do on my blog. It’s definitely not because of lack of content. On the contrary. I work more hours now. Even though I feel that I’m starting to come into a new routine with most things, I have been working less on my blog. I’m going to do something about that, because it’s important to me, and I’m going to try to stick to the writing schedule I have. Do you experience that sticking to your writing schedule is more challenging when there’s lot of changes going on in your life? For me writing helps to keep me grounded, and stay in the zen. Writing, and photography goes hand in hand. When I write something on my blog, I often re-live a wonderful event. Both while sharing some of the details in writing, and posting the photos to go with the story. 

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Atlatl Rock, at Valley of Fire State Park

I spent yesterday exploring Valley of Fire State Park. It’s 42 000 acres of incredible sandstone formations. Located 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas (NV.) Basically in my (new) backyard! It was pure magic! It was close to a Grand Canyon experience, if you’ve been there, you know what that means! It was an emotional experience, to the degree of bringing me to tears at times.

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Petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock. The light conditions were very harsh. I will try to get some better photos of the petroglyphs during my next visit.

I went on several shorter (around 1 mile) hikes, to different points of interests in the park. I’ve only edited a few of the photos so far, and I’ll share the first ones with you today. I’ll post more during the coming week, as I have a chance to look at them. The light in the park, the colors, and the desert landscape was simply breath taking. It felt like something from another planet. The geology is most interesting. I saw hundreds of caves, and I’m sure there was thousands more hidden in the park. The rock formations are incredible, with the way the light plays on them, they sometimes look very harsh, and sometimes as they were soft to the touch.

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Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. 

– Valley of Fire State Park visitor brochure

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My dog Gretchen resting in the shade. 

Yesterday morning it was around 85 degrees when I arrived, and when I left it was 100+. There was extreme heat warning signs on some places (some of the longer hikes,) stating that hikes are not recommended at this time. I honored these signs, and only went for the shorter hikes. There will be plenty of times to go back, and explore to my hearts desire.


On some places the sand was deep, and it was quiet exhausting to hike. Still it was definitely worth it.


There’s natural caves everywhere.

The park has a couple campgrounds, and I am planning on trying them out. That’s the only way to experience the early morning, and late evening light, as the rest of the park is only open sunrise-sunset. Today, the day after, I still feel high on life after this incredible experience. If you get the chance, I can highly recommend a visit. If you have been there, I would love to hear about your experience 🙂

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I hope you’re having a wonderful, amazing weekend! ❤



Ms Zen

34 Comments on “Weekend Coffee Share -Valley of Fire State Park

  1. Great photos! It’s so beautiful isn’t it? And very easy to get to. You can take Lake Mead Boulevard East until you come to Frenchman Mountain, the road continues into Lake Mead National Recreation Area. From there you can drive North all the way to the other entrance to the Valley Of Fire State Park. Then return home of the fifteen freeway. Good to see your settling in!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The State Park looks beautiful-loved the rock drawings!
    I also loved your coffee cup too 😀 Are they Dala horses? Have I recalled the name correctly?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely photographs! Gretchen also seems content and enjoying life, as well as yourself, exploring and experiencing.

    I am finding (coping still with the ragweed and smoke fallout) that while I do not keep up with my routine writing schedule, as it is, I am more often waking up at night with words that need to be recorded before I sleep again. (The ‘nighttime’ URL on my coffee share post is one, and the “getting on” is another.) Having only the other of us for daily companionship, conversation with the puppies being of necessity only one-way talks, thoughts stack up and start rattling the windows. That is, not writing hurts, and it has to come out somewhere.

    I feel more inclined toward the tall trees than the rocks and high trails, but I admit to not having given them much of a chance throughout the decades. I’ve preferred, for example, to fly over the mountains or take the train through them, than to walk up ’em. The breathing problems having started in my late 20s, I guess that’s not too odd. Ah, well! Glad that you are enjoying your surroundings.

    Your trees and garden plot are more inviting to me as surroundings. Rivers, shade, lakes, pine trees and old growth forests such as Itasca in Minnesota, where my family camped when we were younger, and my sister and I visit when she returns from New England.

    Best wishes for the week! I look forward to your posts.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Lizl, I can relate to your night time ideas. I have idea lists on my phone, I always keep my phone close to my bed, the majority of those ideas comes to me at night. I’m looking forward to reading your “night inspired posts.” Have a wonderful new week.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Some beautiful photos here, Maria, thanks for that iced coffee! Glad to see you are busy but still making time for hikes–be careful of that heat though! Love your mug, I just ordered a sunflower mug!

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  5. Wow, the contrast between the azure sky and red stone is stunning! I imagine the petroglyphs were awe-inspiring. Glad you are settling in to your new environment. Looking forward to learning more. ❤

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  6. I love Valley of Fire. I visited, in much the same manner as you did, in January, 2015. See: “The Road to 65, Mile 37: Visions of Mars”, January 4, 2015 (www.peacefulwarrior9.com) I fully plan to visit there again, perhaps over Thanksgiving or the three-day weekend in January, 2019.

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  7. Hi Maria, It’s so good to know that you landed safely and are so quickly finding all the gems your new home has to offer. I could spend hours starring at petroglyphs. Did you ever see the small group jut northeast of Lava Beds in NE California – not far from your previous address? Were they a means of recording some important historical event, we they the idle scrapping of a bunch of teenage ancient campers exploring the idea of drawing what they see or perhaps thoughtful artwork that recalled important tribal concepts so they would pass from generation to generation? I wise we knew for sure.

    You mentioned last week and keeping to some sort of writing schedule. I had to laugh. My schedule; between demands of work and family and church are often unpredictable so writing slips in where I can squeeze it and last week, it worked very well. Please checkout my coffee share for details. I tried to stack up some of the details of what I accomplished. You will recall Jacquie’s Story. Well last week, I finally tracked down many of the the folks who did that story and shared it with them. Many I hadn’t spoken with in years, but many are still at the same company with me so I built a big email distribution and sent it out. I understand that even more tears of joy resulted and even some of precious painful memories. One good friend remained close to her right up to the end.

    Anyway – it was a great and busy week for me.
    I hope your week coming up will be wonderful.
    Warmest regards

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think the petroglyphs are important historic messages. There seem to be a lot of work, and thoughts behind them. I never had the chance to visit the lava beds. I really wanted to, and was on my way a couple times, but things came in the way. Unfortunately. Looking forward to checkout your stories. You are a good writer!


  8. Pingback: Valley of Fire State Park 2 – Sagittarius Viking

  9. Maria,
    These photos are breathtaking and thanks so much for sharing. We can’t get right around the globe so it’s great to be able to see places so far away from where I live.
    It looks like even Gretchen is getting stirred by these profound surroundings. Wonder what she was thinking…
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I really enjoy sharing, you know 🙂 Gretchen very much enjoyed the visit. I was so pleased to see that they allowed dogs on leash. Not all parks around here does. I did not see any other dogs there that day. Happy you enjoyed Valley of Fire with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. How I love that region!! So happy to hear all is still falling into place for you.. Loving your pics and missing out west so much.. Enjoy..

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    • Awe ❤ thank you Kathleen! I'll do my best to take you on a visit every week ❤ I really enjoy the photos and updates from your road trips, longer and shorter adventures.


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