Exploring Red Rock Canyon

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It is true that I live in a big city for the first time in my life, and I’m NOT a city girl. Luckily we’re only minutes from a really cool place, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

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It offers a fascinating desert landscape. It’s an amazing place to explore now, during fall/winter. I’m thrilled that I am able to do that. The desert offers both solitude, and an excitement that is hard to match.

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My daughter found an open, sandy spot that she declared was perfect for a dance party. So we danced. Without music. In the middle of the desert. By ourselves. Laughing our hearts out.

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To me, the fact that she initiated this, is a victory. I love how her brain works. I pray she’ll stay this free spirited.

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She is not my little girl anymore. She is her own person, and I am so proud of her.

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Red Rock Canyon is amazing, and I’ve only just scratch on the surface. I’m looking forward to do a lot more exploring.

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My dog thoroughly enjoyed some off leash time. When we got closer to the trail head I attached the leash again, and worked through some obedience sequences we do several times a day. To keep her tuned in.

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While I was doing that, my daughter borrowed my camera and took tons of pictures. I kind of liked this one, that she took of Gretchen and me.

We saw signs of horses and burros, lots of poop, and hoofprints, but no animals. Hopefully we’ll see some next time. I love watching wild horses play. It’s one of my favorite things. From a distance, of course.

I hope your new week is awesome.

Love,

Ms Zen

 

Las Vegas, From Exploration Peak Park

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I realize that I haven’t shared one single photo of Las Vegas, even though I’ve lived here for 6 weeks now. Oppps. Here’s a few from tonight. There’s a short, but beautiful hike, in Exploration Peak Park, that lets you see the whole city. It’s about ten minutes from the strip. I’ve done it several times. It only takes a few minutes, even though it is pretty steep uphill.

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The last photo is taken on the way home, and show the actual park, where this hike starts. It’s an awesome little park. Some green areas, walkways, a playground, picnic tables, restrooms, and even a small waterpark for the kids. The play ground is awesome. It is big, and has a western theme. Adjacent to the playground is a climbing wall for kids.

I hope you enjoyed the photos. (I can’t say that I am 100% satisfied with my new computer, when it comes to colors, and clarity of the photos. I feel that I can not see the details, as well as I could with my MacBook Pro. Eventually this is going to be my backup computer/my daughter’s.)

I hope you’re having an awesome day!

Love,

Ms Zen

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.

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

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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! ❤

 

Love,

Ms Zen