Valley of Fire, NV
Our visit to Death Valley National Park was the beginning of one era and the end of another. This leg of our journey has become the era of rock. The southwest is a land where the rocks rule and defy gravity and chromatic expectation. They are huge, they are fluid, they are red, they crumble and they stand. Carved by water and magma, made of sand and ash, they are our titans.
We began the morning with a short trek through jagged, shipwrecked sandstone with gypsum hulls, lining a path to “The Red Cathedral”, a wall of endless red sandstone labia of great height and length.
We stopped at one of many Badlands on our way out. I wouldn’t describe the Death Valley Badlands as the baddest of the baddy Badlands. But they’re bad. We enjoyed them immensely and briefly, like many good relationships.
In search of more stones, we sped through Las Vegas and tried not to look. The things we did see were sad.
To Red Rocks. If you’ve heard of Red Rocks, you’re probably thinking of the concert venue in Colorado that’s 7/10. The Red rocks outside of Las Vegas is 10/10 and 10 times better (not mathematically sound you say?).
Red Rocks is where I began climbing outside, a primo, world-renowned sport climbing destination. We didn’t have ropes or harnesses or shoes, but we scrambled and reached great heights regardless (the iron and wine cover, not the postal service). Even if scrambling and scaling aren’t your vibe, I highly recommend the scenic loop drive, stellar visitor center, and stupendous and small gift store. Their sticker selection is near unbeatable.
We departed red rocks to sleep outside redder rocks, also known as the Valley of Fire State Park. on our way, we got stuck in a jam. The jam was two-fold, traffic was stop-n-go, and everyone was bumping tunes.
Specifically, every car in our school of fish was bumping EDM. And wearing pigtails, and neon, and snapbacks, and hawaiians. After we’d seen enough bedazzled faces and glitter, we realized what was happening. We were on our way, to Electric Daisy Carnival, the renowned EDM concert. We were the only one in the school not on acid, besides the odd dad or two. Naturally, we wanted to jam so, we rolled down our windows, pigtailed up, and played death metal. Loudly. We hoped to frighten or confuse our flock but they were dazed and didn’t notice. We were disappointed but left without regret and slept among stones, our new family. EDC glowed in the distance.