In my last post, I shared pictures from my recent trip to Sedona, Arizona, for a Night Skies Photography Workshop. When one drives over 700 miles (one way) for something like this, one often plans little side trips to make the trip more worthwhile. This post is about the drive down and back. I hope you enjoy my trip as much as I did!
I left home on a nice Sunday morning and drove to Boulder City, Nevada. My goal was to get past Las Vegas and avoid the traffic on Monday morning. I got up early on Monday and drove south on US 95 to an ‘oasis in the desert’ named Nelson, Nevada. Situated about 21 miles from Boulder City (10 miles on US 95 and another 11 miles on SR 165) in the Eldorado Canyon, Nelson (http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/nv/nelson.html) is the home of the notorious Techatticup Mine, where millions of dollars in gold, silver, copper and lead were mined from about 1858 until 1945. The town is now host to cactus, snakes, tourists, and photographers wanting to see life in those times.
After spending some time taking pictures in Nelson, I continued south on US 95 to Laughlin, Nevada, where I made a quick stop at the Big Bend of the Colorado River State Park and stamped my Nevada State Parks Passport. Big Bend is at the southern tip of Nevada and I don’t expect to get back there anytime soon. From there, I headed for Grand Canyon National Park. I drove on I-40 to Williams, Arizona, and headed north on AZ Highway 64 to Mather Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
As I headed south from the Grand Canyon, I saw a band of Pronghorn Antelope hanging out by the side of the road. I pulled over and snapped a few pictures.
I arrived in Sedona in the dark of late evening, so I didn’t see the landscape until the next morning.
Since the Night Skies Workshop didn’t start until Tuesday afternoon, I made a quick trip to Clarkdale, Arizona, to visit the Tuzigoot National Monument. Tuzigoot is an Anasazi ruin, and was definitely worth the trip.
When the workshop was over mid-morning on Wednesday, I began my trip home. I had been fighting a cold or some type of crud from the time I left home, so my goal of getting to Las Vegas was fairly modest – only 250 miles or so. When I crossed the Tillman-O’Callahan Bridge into Nevada, I was feeling a little better and decided to drive up the west side of Lake Mead. I stopped in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Visitor Center, stamped my National Parks Passport, and headed north towards Overton, Nevada. I made a couple stops on the way to take some pictures, but the water level in Lake Mead is so low that I didn’t get near the water.
When I exited Lake Mead’s north entrance, I came on the Valley of Fire State Park East Entrance. The sun was going down, but I paid my entry fee, stamped my State Parks Passport, and ventured into the Park. The light was fading and my sinuses were regretting my decision to make this side trip, but I found some pretty rocks and stopped for a couple sets of pictures.
I got a good night’s rest that night, and made it home safe and sound. The trip was fast (5 days) and I put about 1,800 miles on my Expedition. I picked up 3 stamps in my National Parks Passport, 2 stamps in my State Parks Passport and, of course, lots of images of Nevada and Arizona.
Since I’ve been home, I’ve been in the field a couple times checking out the local Raptor scene. The Bald Eagles are starting to return to the area. I leave you with this image from Diamond Valley, south of the Carson Valley just over the California line, from a couple days ago. Thanks for reading my blog. Merry Christmas!
Enjoy – PHOTOROGR