Valley of Fire State Park 2

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Arch Rock, Valley of Fire State Park (NV.)

Imagine being inside a Star Trek movie, then you’re pretty close to the experience of Valley of Fire. In fact Star Trek Generations was filmed in Valley of Fire, the notorious Captain Kirk died here. It does feel like you enter another world when you enter this state park.

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I may not be a huge Star Trek fans, forgive me, (I have seen all the  movies,) but I do understand why this location would be perfect. Numerous other movies, and commercials, have also been filmed here.  The park is easy to access, and less than an hour from Las Vegas. If you want to visit, but don’t feel like driving out to the desert all by yourself, there’s companies that have guided tours in the park, that happily pick you up in Vegas, and take you to Valley of Fire State Park.

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Sandstone

These amazing monuments are fragile, and protected. You are not allowed to climb up on top of them (we did see people doing that.)

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There is hundreds of natural caves in the park, and some formations have what looks like huge balconies. With so much housing/protection from the elements already there, it’s easy to see why early human beings choose this place for their home, despite the scarcity of water.

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With every turn of the road, new totally awe-inspiring vistas opens up.

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I think the highest sandstone formation, in the above photo, looks like a huge bird of prey. Can you see the open beak?

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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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I hope you enjoyed the second visit to this incredible park. If you missed the first one, or simply want to re-visit, you can find the first post here. There will be two more posts from Valley of Fire State Park in a near future. To be continued..

 

Love,

Ms Zen

The Big Move 2

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Yesterday’s sunrise. I left Reno at 5 am yesterday. This is outside Yerington (NV.) By coincidence only minutes from a ranch I worked at 3 years ago.

Good morning, I’m right outside Vegas, about to start my new job in a couple hours. This is just a short note, to tell you that the drive has been super smooth. It was a thrill to see my amazing daughter yesterday. I’m very excited about everything!

Here’s some photos from yesterday.

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Walker Lake (NV.)

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Stretching our legs a little.

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While getting gas in Pahrump (NV,) there was a big fire very close to the gas station….those fires…

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Seeing my daughter, holding her close, laughing with her, and hearing her stories makes everything worth while. The light of my universe ❤

Have an awesome day! I can’t wait to catch up with all of you 🙂

Love,

Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share

Wow it’s already Sunday afternoon! I apologize for being so late with the coffee this weekend. How is your weekend?

Everything is good here. I admit that I am a little tired. There’s a lot of things to process inside my head right now. Everything is ready for tomorrow. THE BIG MOVE! In fact after posting this, I’m going to give my dog a bath, and start organizing everything in the car. Phew. It is dawning on me that this is it. I am ready, but still, it is going to be a big change.

I figure that a big change like this requires a new haircut. Don’t you think?

Speaking of new…I bought a new camera yesterday, a Canon EOS 6D Mark ii. (The Instagram selfie above, is only a cellphone pic.) I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a full frame, ever since mine was stolen, four years ago. That camera wasn’t insured, so it was a hard hit for a single mom. The first camera I could afford after it happened was a $79, point and shoot camera from Walmart. I worked it as well as I could, and I’ve been able to do smaller upgrades, every year since then. Yesterday I was finally able to get a full frame camera again. It’s big for me.

I only have one lens that fits this camera, but I will make the very best use of it, until I can compliment it with a good telephoto zoom lens. The lens I have is a fixed 50mm lens, so I’m going to become the new 50mm expert..LOL. I’m very excited. I was happy with my last camera, which was a good camera, a Canon EOS 80D. I bought it when it came out and I’ve been very happy with it. It didn’t take very long before it paid for itself. I was actually considering purchasing the same camera again (I had used up most of the shutter counts on the one I had.) If you’re in the market for a good camera under $1000, I can recommend investing in a Canon EOS 80D. (I’m telling you this as a friend, I’m not an affiliate..there is nothing in it for me other than the pleasure of seeing my friends being happy with a good camera.) It’s a lot of camera for the money. However, I went with my full frame dream yesterday. I’ve waited a long time for this. Now it’s the perfect time, with a long road trip, and plenty of new, exciting vistas to explore. When you print/sell photos, there is a big difference between a camera with a cropped sensor, and a full frame camera. Which is the most significant difference between the Canon EOS 80D, and the Canon EOS 6D Mark ii.

I took my new camera out for some test shooting today, of course I had too.. I was so excited that I skipped going through all the menu settings before I started. I only used the manual settings on the top of the camera, as I took the pictures. When I came back home I discovered that I’ve only shot everything in RAW format. Which basically means that the files are HUGE. When you’re shooting RAW, the camera saves every little ounce of information in the photo. Later you can edit the photo in any way you want, and it will look more natural, and not take any quality away from he photo. However that takes a long time. I think this is only for special occasions, like weddings, or exotic vacations etc. Once in a lifetime things. For every day photos it’s more practical to shoot JPEG, where the camera do some processing by itself, and the photos comes out looking good, and in reasonable file sizes.

When I came back from my photo excursion today, I read (part of) the manual to the camera, and experimented more with the camera. Now I know how to switch between JPEG, and RAW easily. You can even choose to shoot in both modes at the same time, having the camera save two files of every photo you take. Naturally it would eat up a lot of space on your memory card. I’m so excited about being able to move forward with my photography again. I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures, no matter the camera, but it is a thrill to take it to the next level. I might even start up my photography business again. Not as a full time thing, but maybe part time, (a few months, and a few more lenses, from now.) Maybe. Either way,  I am super happy and excited. And slightly tired..

I’m going to go to bed early tonight, heading to my last day at work tomorrow morning, and then hitting the road to Reno. I’m not driving the whole distance in one day. No need to rush. Gretchen (my dog,) and I are going to enjoy this.

I hope your weekend is fabulous! If you don’t want another cup of coffee, I have some delicious Pomegranate Ice Tea. I promise to share the first photos from the new camera somewhere along the way to Las Vegas. See you soon my friend ❤

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! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday August 17 th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday August 21 st at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

Love,

Ms Zen