Burning up in the Valley of Fire
I didn’t do what most people in their 20’s do when in Vegas: drink, party, stay out late. In fact, the latest I got to bed was 10 pm, which is even earlier than at home. It may have had something to do with the fact that I was with my mom. I’m fun, I swear! This was just not one of “those” trips.
We stayed at the Excalibur on the strip. The rooms were clean but had no frills; all we needed was a place to shower and sleep so we really didn’t need anything else. I’ve done the walking in the heat up and down the strip before, so my mom and I were pretty content to keep it close to the colorful castle we called home. We had other things in mind though: we were trying out for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Crazy and nerdy, I know, but I need a chunk of money for Semester at Sea, and I know way too much random trivia to let it go to waste. Don’t judge, k?
The auditions were held at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, so it wasn’t a long drive. We stood in line for a while, clutching our cleverly filled-out applications, and then were escorted upstairs to take a written test of random multiple-choice questions. I passed, unfortunately my mom didn’t. I got interviewed on camera and now I have to wait for a little postcard that says I might be a contestant, so we’ll see, wish me luck!
After that, we pointed our car towards the nearest state park, as is my custom. I can’t resist a recreational park within an hour’s drive, sometimes even further away than that. That is definitely one of the criteria my future husband must meet: extreme tolerance to my wandering. We headed to the Valley of Fire State Park, braving the isolation and 108 degree heat to see awesome awesomeness. Let me tell you, it was awesome. In an unending landscape of dry, brown dirt and brush, up rise vibrant orange rock formations, looking as if it was once flowing lava that never lost its color. I know that they were once ancient sand dunes, but the color is reminiscent of molten rock. The rocks looked like they belonged in the middle of the Utah national parks, and I thoroughly enjoyed the desert-ness of it all. We saw natural arches and balancing rocks, flowing formations and many small caverns. I recommend it to anyone that has a few hours to kill and wants to get away from the constant bombardment of sex that is the Las Vegas Strip. I’m a true desert rat and will always appreciate the harsh, dry heat and unexpected and amazing things the different deserts have to offer, and hope to share that enthusiasm with everyone who will listen.
I’ve also decide to add a YouTube element to my posts, and maybe from time to time I’ll just have videos instead of written posts. Bear with me, it’s just a small Sony Cybershot camera and it’s my first video. Hopefully I’ll get better as I go. Any video tips are highly encouraged!