Padinago's trip to the USA in 2010

Day 19 - From Springdale to Las Vegas, Nevada and Devil's Fire, Valley of Fire SP and Hoover Dam

At 7am we have breakfast at Oscar’s Cafe and around 8am we check out of our nice hotel. We drive to “Quail Creek State Park” but there is not a lot to see here.

We continue our drive and in Mosquite we take the exit to “Devil’s Fire” where suddenly we are in an extremely hot and deserted landscape. After driving for about an hour it gets very quiet in the car... as we want Patrick to be concentrated on his driving on this difficult road and because we are thinking of what could go wrong. We have now been driving about 40km on this territory and did not see any other car. We stop and discuss the situation. Our final destination (Devil’s Fire) is about 7km from where we are now but we do not want to risk it and turn around and hope not to have any car trouble because the rocks on the road look very edgy.

Finally it was better than expected but because of the bumpy road we really need to look for a nearby tank station in order to find the restrooms... Afterwards we continue to the “Valley of Fire State Park”. Around 1.15pm we arrive at the entrance of the park where we see a “self pay booth”. Here we have to put our dollars in an envelope, tear off the slip and put it in the car and drop the envelope in the mailbox. Further on we make our first stop at the "petrified log” (a petrified tree of about 225 million years old) of which we take a picture. Patrick walks up the steep hill and take some pictures of what is behind the hill. Getting back down is less stylish but faster than foreseen... There is a lot of wind which created this park. We see a picnic area under a huge rock and drive towards it. We have tried to have our lunch there but because of the very strong wind we got more sand in our mouth than food so we decide to continue our lunch in the car.

We stop at the Visitor Center and have a look inside. Here we see all kinds of stuffed animals who live in the area. We drive on and stop at different nice places. At the “Rainbow Vista” Patrick discovers something nice... he sees a "Gecko", the same kind as we saw earlier at the Visitor Center. He follows him until he has a nice view to take a picture of it. We continue and stop at “Atlatl Rock” with nice drawings on it (and a big lizard next to it) and also stop at “Beehives”. Around 3.30pm we leave the park and drive towards the Las Vegas Freeway.

Around 5pm we arrive at the dam and have to identify ourselves at the security checkpoint. Looking around we see police patrols everywhere around the dam and on the hills watching everything. We drive to the parking lot just across the dam and walk back to the dam. It is extremely hot here. After a while we have enough of this heath and want to go back to get the car and pick up LuSo here so they can wait for us in the shade. As, for security reasons, it is not allowed to stop on the dam Nathalie asks nicely to a police officer if she can pick up her parents here because it is too hot for them to walk all the way back. The nice officer gives us his authorization. PaNa head back to pick up the car and just across the dam, at the spot indicated by the police officer, who is watching us, we pick up LuSo and drive to Las Vegas.

Around 7pm we drive on the strip to our hotel but where is the parking? Patrick drives around the block and there we find the parking but... we wonder if we will be able to enter this with our large car? Slowly Patrick drives up into the parking and Lucien is watching everything. We only have about 15cm between the roof and the concrete roof. As the driver behind us gets impatient he starts honking on which Lucien steps aside and makes him clear that he has to keep quiet. We park our car and look, while pulling our luggage with us, where we need to check in. We have to cross the entire hotel and even the casino to reach the check-in desk. We go to our rooms and have a nice shower and look for a place to have dinner. Lucien informs at the information desk and they advise us “Lombardi’s” so we go there for dinner but this will be the last time we eat there as it is expensive for small portions of pasta and the Sprite tastes like water, even when you ask for another glass the Sprite is still bad.

After dinner we go for a small walk and LuSo goes to bed. PaNa goes on and goes to see the “Volcano Show” at the “Mirage”. Wow! This is just spectacular! Afterwards we go back to the hotel and go to sleep.

Daytrip approx. 554 km

Route to Devil's Fire Valley Of Fire State Park Petrified Log Picnic @ Lone Rock @ Rainbow Vista A Gecko @ Rainbow Vista Petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock Beehive West Entrance Hoover Dam