Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monida Pass

Life is full of ups and downs. We know this because on April 17 we crossed Monida Pass. (It gets its name from "Mon"tana and "Ida"ho). Yes, it is on the state line.

After sitting it out for three days in Pocatello, Idaho waiting for a late spring snowstorm to pass thru north of us, we left and drove north on I-15.

We reached the summit with no problems. The elevation was almost 7000 feet at the top. Some of the grades were 6% and 7% but mostly the ascent was a gradual climb. Same with the descent.

This beautiful mountain lake was crystal clear.

Nan took these pics through the truck window at a speed of about 50 mph. Thank goodness for the 1000 shutter speed.

It seemed like it took forever to get to the other side of the mountain.

The scenery was just awesome. The roads were clear and dry and the weather was sunny and warm.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Valley of Fire

After leaving the Las Vegas area we traveled east towards Utah. Since we had some extra time we stopped at a campground in Overton, Nevada, on the northern tip of Lake Mead. The other day we drove over to the Valley of Fire State Park, about 8 miles west of town. After stopping at the Visitors Center we headed out into the park, stopping along the way to stare at the beautiful scenery. Pretty awesome, huh? Thousands of years ago these rock formations were under water. As the water receded, some of the rock eroded away, leaving the present formations.

Now we know why it is called the Valley of Fire. The colors bouncing off the unusual rock formations are a rainbow of orange, red, purple, yellow and brown, changing with the direction of the sunlight and shadows.


At one of the roadside turnouts, we hiked a short distance to view the petroglyphs. Pretty amazing! These are thousands of years old! To this day, archeologists have not been able to decipher all of them. Much of it is still a mystery.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Desert Life

While we were viewing the petroglyphs we spotted this big green lizard (or is it a gecko?) He posed for pictures much to the delight of the tourists, while sunning himself on the rock.