Valley of Fire - Nevada

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Zion National Park - Utah

About 20-25 miles northeast of Las Vegas is the site of the very first State Park in Nevada, The Valley of Fire. Once you drive across a low mountain range you emerge into an area where the rock formations are basically red, hence the name, Valley of Fire.

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I had been to visit this park with Pam, my boss, during a conference trip to Vegas in 2001. Jeff had mentioned Zion Park as a place he thought we might like to go see and this place is on the way, so we stopped to play on the rocks.

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The area was the home of Paiute Indians and in the 1800s a renegade Indian who was known as Mouse, got drunk and rowdy and shot some people in his stupor. He ran into the rocks and hid for 6 months, probably not given away by his fellow tribe. The place where Venus is bridging a small gap in the rocks is a natural water catcher and is nicknamed "The Mouse Trap" after the renegade who probably knew about and used this collection of water to help him survive. Eventually he came out of the red rock mountains and was captured.

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There are many petroglyphs in these mountains from the Indian tribes that lived here. Many are in great shape. We wondered about the blackness on the rocks where the glyphs are present. Did the indians create a base of black to make their glyphs more visible or were certain rocks weathered this way and hence chosen because of this fact. I simply do not know.

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I do know that his place is great for climbing around and the views are spectacular. JJ, Jeff and Baylee had a lot of fun doing this and I know I would have enjoyed this place in my younger years for the same reason. Venus even said to me at one point, how come I never brought her here when we traveled to Vegas when she was 8. I told her simply, I didn't know about it then.

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There are lots of nooks, crannies, cubbie holes, tunnels, rock formations galore just meant for climbing around, into and over. Hard to imagine that this area was once 10,000 feet below sea level! What a wonderful world we live in.

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Zion National Park - Utah

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