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Voyages on Two Wheels – 17 July 2011 – 190 Miles and Valley of Fire in the Desert Heat

The posting from the weekend’s rides continues :D

I got more pics from Sunday’s ride than from Saturday’s and did a few more miles, too :)  Sunday was a bit more of an adventure due to the route I took.  I’m perfectly fine on surface streets and two lane highways, but I’m not really that experienced or used to the bigger roads like I-15.  Well, if I want to go touring I’m going to have to hit the “super slab” as some riders call it so I figured what the heck and headed out :twisted1:

My route took me north on Durango, east on the 215 Beltway, and then north a ways on the I-15.  Once at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza I turned east and headed to Valley of Fire State Park.  After transiting the park with a bit of a detour, it was south along Lake Mead until I reached Henderson where I took a few surface streets to get to Highway 160 for the final part of the trip through Red Rock Canyon.  For those of you who’d like to see something fairly close to my route, I’ve prepared a Google Map with a close approximation of where I went – click here :wink:

This was not an easy ride all the way by my standards.  First there was the traffic on the interstate to deal with, then the heat, wind, and general hostility of the desert in the summer.  Add to that a good long stretch of twisty road in the middle of nowhere with many corners not endowed with guardrails… You get the idea.  It’s mentally stressing at times and physically stressing at others.  Anyone who tells you it’s easy to do trips like this because you just sit on a bike is full of Bravo Sierra.

But that’s all good stuff.  I figure there’s no better way to prepare for longer trips than to work up to them.  Sunday was 190 or so miles which isn’t too far, but the heat and all the rest above made it a good training run for some of the trips I have planned like Utah, Arizona, California, and possibly much further :thumb:

Enough blathering about all the stresses and trials of the ride (even as fun as they were) – let’s get to the pics :cool:

17 July 2011- Panorama - View from the entrance to Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011- Panorama - View from the entrance to Valley of Fire State Park

 As I said, the blast up the I-15 raceway was necessary to get me up to Valley of Fire State Park.  Sure, there was some training value in it, but I probably wouldn’t have done it except to get to this place.

17 July 2011 - My V-Star at the entrance to Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011 - My V-Star at the entrance to Valley of Fire State Park

 You didn’t think I’d go somewhere like this without a gratuitous bike pic now did ya :P ?

17 July 2011 - Panorama - Petroglyphs on Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011 - Panorama - Petroglyphs on Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

 I’ve been to Atlatl Rock before, but I didn’t have any really good pics.  I figured I’d take this opportunity to remedy that :)

17 July 2011 - Panorama - Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011 - Panorama - Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011 - Panorama - Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011 - Panorama - Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

 Those stairs may not look like much, but they seem longer and more difficult after continued exposure to high temperatures  :wink1:

17 July 2011- Information about Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011- Information about Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011- Information about Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011- Information about Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

 Petroglyphs and pictographs are all over the rocks in Valley of Fire, but this is one of the most easily accessible panels.  I think this is a cool panel though because of the atlatl which is one of the only tools or man made objects I’ve seen in any of these glyphs :cool:

17 July 2011- Panorama - View from Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011- Panorama - View from Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

 There was other thing to share from the platform at Atlatl Rock – the view in the other direction :D

17 July 2011- Local wildlife near Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011- Local wildlife near Atlatl Rock in Valley of Fire State Park

 Back down at ground level, I took the chance to get into drink a quart of Powerade Zero, get into some shade, and douse myself with water.  There were a few of these little critters who came out to drink from the pool that collected on the concrete under a water spigot :)

17 July 2011- My V-Star near Rainbow Overlook in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011- My V-Star near Rainbow Vista in Valley of Fire State Park

 I learned something else about my V-Star on this ride.  It will do gravel and dirt, but not exactly well :wink:  This pic was taken at Rainbow Vista and the rocks really are rather colorful, but the lighting just wouldn’t cooperate.  I wasn’t going to complain about shadows at this point with the sun and the heat being what they were :cool:  And yes, I do plan on going back sometime when it’s cooler for more pics :thumb:

17 July 2011- View from the bike near Mouse's Tank in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011- View from the bike near Mouse's Tank in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011- My V-Star near Mouse's Tank in Valley of Fire State Park

17 July 2011- My V-Star near Mouse's Tank in Valley of Fire State Park

This section of road goes off the main thoroughfare through the park a ways and I’ve always liked the rock for its color and visual texture :cool:  There’s a point of interest a short distance from this place called Mouse’s Tank that’s pretty interesting.  From the park’s website:

Mouse’s Tank: Named for a renegade Indian who used the area as a hideout in the 1890′s. Mouse’s Tank is a natural basin in the rock where water collects after rainfalls, sometimes remaining for months. A half-mile round trip trail leads to Mouse’s Tank from the trail head parking area, passing numerous examples of prehistoric Indian petroglyphs.

Again, I’ll go back for more pics when it’s not over 110° in the shade :)

I’m going to call it a night as it’s getting rather late, but I hope you’ve enjoyed the pics!  Have a great day everyone :mrgreen:

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2 comments to Voyages on Two Wheels – 17 July 2011 – 190 Miles and Valley of Fire in the Desert Heat

  • Kath

    Yeah, if I climbed those stairs, it would be very slowly!

    The drawings — hmm. These must be the ones the kids did, don’t you think? Or cavemen had a better sense of humor than I was giving them credit for!

    Cute little prairie dog! :)

    So looks like you had an enjoyable ride. And you’re right, getting ready for further travels this was a good start!

    • Yep, those stairs seem tall when it’s hot out :P

      Don’t rightly know what they were thinking when they drew the glyphs – we can only speculate.

      What you don’t see in the pic of that little critter are the bees that were buzzing around and getting to the water :shock: They were pretty laid back and stayed away for the most part :wink:

      It was a great ride :D

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