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We were a little reluctant to give up our beautiful campsite in the Atlatl Campground at Valley of Fire State Park this morning, but after 12-days it was time to move on.

We only moved 70-miles southwest to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area campground that is run by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). It may have a Las Vegas address, but were are a solid 15-miles west of The Strip here.

And I think you'll agree after looking at our campsite photos, we're nowhere near the bright neon lights of Las Vegas.

I'm going to share one more photo with you, and if you've ever backed up a sizeable trailer into a campsite you'll immediately see the problem. I know I did when I first drove up.

That's not THE POD in the photo, but you can see ROVER's nose in our driveway.

Someone has set up a small travel trailer in the roadway in front of their "TENT ONLY" site. Sure there is enough room if you just need to squeeze by them with a trailer, but they are right were I need to be in order to back a trailer into our Site #47. If they would have just setup their trailer with the back bumper next to their campsite post there would have been no problem, except for the fact they're still on a "TENT ONLY" site with a trailer.

ROVER and THE POD's total length is 50-feet, so I need to be 50-feet beyond my driveway before I can start to turn the wheel to back into our space. That's right where he is! To make matters worse there is no one around their site, so they must be out sightseeing or something.

What should have been an everyday back-in maneuver (like I've done hundreds of times before) turned into a 30-minute/15-point turn. I'd had to back up 2-feet, turn the wheel all the way to the other side, then pull forward 2-feet and repeat that over and over. Each time I had to be careful because I was within inches of hitting their trailer with ROVER's right front fender.

To make matters worse there is only one level spot in our driveway, so once I did have it clear of their trailer I still had to make several adjustments, back and forth again, to postion ourselves in "the sweet spot" of our site.

After we were all set up and I had calmed back down you bet I went back up to the check-in office to register my complaints, because if that trailer is still there on Wednesday morning when we leave, I'm going to have an unnecessarily difficult time getting out of this spot.

I guess I'm still "the grumpy old man".

TUESDAY - Today we have a 10:00AM "timed entry" reservation to go and check out the 13-mile long one-way scenic drive that winds it's way through the conservation area.

Normally it's $10 per car plus a $2 reservation fee, but with my Lifetime Senior Pass we only had to pay the $2 fee.

We arrived an hour early which gave us time to check out their very informative Visitor Center. We started with a 20-minute film explaining why this area is so important to protect and conserve.

Outside the Visitor Center there were many story boards explaining the different geology that created this place and what kind of plant and animal life we could expect to find.

Now that we are well informed about today's activities it's time to "hit the road" and go see some of the things they've been talking about!


The 13-mile long scenic drive will only expose us to a very small percentage of the nearly 200,000 acres here.
We were told the differences between the red, white and grey rock here, but damn if I can remember.
At the end of our first hiking trail we saw a small collection of petroglyphs.
This one looks like a fish skeleton to me! How about you?
A zoomed in shot of the wall of petroglyphs that were scratched into the wall thousands of years ago.
There were even a few samples of pictrographs which are painted onto the walls.
Even from the end of the trail at the petroglyph wall we can still see ROVER waiting in the parking lot.
The next hike we did was a little longer and more challenging.
Some sections of the trail were easier than others.
Some resembled rock climbing instead of hiking.
My only complaint was they need more comfortable seating at the end of the trail.
Here's Tricia emerging from the rock tunnel.
Here we see three different kinds of rock, white with red stripes, red with white stripes and white with red polkadots.
This is the top of a johsua tree, complete with seed pods. With proper care you can grow your very own joshua tree from one of these seedlings.

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