Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share! Have a seat! These camping chairs are actually pretty comfortable.
I hope my camp wasn’t too difficult to find? I know…there was many miles of dirt roads to get here, but the view is worth it, don’t you think?
We left Las Vegas around noon Friday, hoping to get a camping spot in one of the camping areas at Valley of Fire State Park. They have two camping areas Altl Rock, and Arch campground, they are both first come first serve. I’ve tried so many times to get a spot there, without success. I had my doubts that we were going to get lucky this time, but I had to try. You see, there’s this picture that I have in my mind, its been there for about ten months. It is at a particular place in Valley of Fire, at sunrise. I’ve calculated how the light would be there at sunrise, and it’s just the perfect photo. To take a sunrise photo in Valley of Fire you have to camp there, the park isn’t open to the public until after sunrise. There is no dispersed camping in this park, so you have to get a spot at one of their camping areas. Well…the picture is still in my mind waiting to be taken. Even if it didn’t happen this weekend I’m not giving up.
We did see some Desert Bighorn Sheep while searching for a camping spot in Valley of Fire. Besides, if we had stayed in Valley of Fire we’ve missed out on this place. So where are we exactly? We drove about three hours from Las Vegas to get to this sweet spot.
Gold Butte National Monument is a United States national monument located in Clark County, Nevada, northeast of Las Vegas and south of Mesquite and Bunkerville. The monument protects nearly 300,000 acres of desert landscapes featuring a wide array of natural and cultural resources, including rock art, sandstone towers, and important wildlife habitat for species including the Mojave Desert tortoise (a threatened species), bighorn sheep, and mountain lion. The area also protects historic ranching and mining sites such as the ghost town of Gold Butte, although little but mine openings, cement foundations, and a few pieces of rusting equipment remains. The monument is managed by the Bureau of Land Management…..The monument consists of 296,937 acres (120,166 ha). The Gold Butte National Monument fills a gap between Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, creating a continuous swath of conserved land and establishing a wildlife corridor.
– From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It’s an interesting area, right next to the Virgin River. We passed several ranches along the river that looked unusually green, including the Bundy Ranch.
We agreed upon the perfect camping spot for the night a couple hours before the sun disappeared in the horizon. Just enough time to set up camp, make a simple dinner, and some smore’s, before enjoying the sunset.
Sunset over Gold Butte National Monument.
I have to admit that I am a big sucker for desert sunsets, and sunrises. I love experiencing the golden hour without the intrusion of man made structures, and honestly, since I became a mom the easiest way to fully enjoy them is on a camping trip (at least for now…)
How is your coffee? Would you like a refill? I don’t know why but coffee always taste SO good outdoors. I wouldn’t mind exploring some more when we finished up. Are you up for a little hike?
Watch out for the buckhorn chollas, their spines are so nasty, I’ve already taken out a dozen from my legs (they go through pants like you didn’t have them.) I suggest we keep to the dirt roads, and trails.
Ooo, I forgot to mention, I’m doing a little experiment this weekend, I’m traveling light. I only brought a 50mm fixed lens to my camera, and no other lenses. I realized that I barely used my 50mm lens this year. It used to be one of my favorite lenses. I have been able to invest in a couple “better” lenses this year, and my 50mm have been left at home for the most part. I did enjoy putting it to use this weekend.
Baby Barrel Cactus
These sandstone formations, and the beautiful cacti is something extra, don’t you think? I’ve really enjoyed the peace and tranquility of camping this weekend.
A few hours before leaving Las Vegas I found out about the passing of a photographer friend of mine. She was 5 years younger than me, and this was totally unexpected. We met 6 years ago through our love of the wild horses. Naturally that was on my mind. She was a very positive, passionate person living her dreams without regrets. Her joie de vivre will live on.
I sure do appreciate you taking the time to have coffee with me this week. I loved sharing this extraordinary place with you. As usual my personal favorites are available as prints in my gallery. My supporters will have free downloads before the end of the day. How is your week so far? Are you having a relaxing weekend?