Recently, my friend Marke come down from Northern California for a quick visit. He took Friday off and flew to Las Vegas on Thursday evening. After picking him up at the airport, we headed down to my house in Vock Canyon. Of course we stayed up late just catching up. We last had a visit together a few years back in Northern California.
The next morning we were off for Diamond Creek Road on the Hualapai Reservation about an hour east of Kingman. When we got to Kingman, we turned left on Route 66 and drove east. Diamond Creek Road is the only road within the Grand Canyon that cars can be driven down to the Colorado River. While not as majestic as the main part of the Grand Canyon, it a beautiful drive, especially the portion of the road which passes through a narrow, twisting canyon before reaching the river. After getting our permit to travel on Diamond Creek Road, I told Marke to be on the lookout for wild burros. There is a small herd of burros which generally hang out at the same place. We did not see them on the way down but luckily, on the way out, they were hanging out in a different area than is usual. Most times when I have stopped to check them out, they will approach my vehicle. This time they did not, choosing to simply stay in place and stare at us. We stayed at the river for a short time while Marke took some pcitures and a "selfie" of us standing beside the river. The river was pretty muddy due to recent rains. There is a video of our trip down Diamond Creek Road at the end of this blog.
Marke and I at the Colorado River at the end of Diamond Creek Road.
That evening we just sat around and shot the bull mostly talking about old friends, music and hanging out at honky-tonks in the middle 1970's.
The next day we got up early and took off for Valley of Fire State Park (VOF) north of Las Vegas, NV. Instead of going to Vegas and driving north on I15 we cut through Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The drive is much prettier and we saw a picnic area (Redstone) along the way that showed some potential for capturing images so we pulled into the parking lot. There were indeed some shooting opportunities.
When we arrived at the VOF we headed directly to the visitors center to get our day permit and then on to the Fire Wave. The hike down to the Fire Wave takes about an hour round trip and although an easy hike, seems to get more strenuous each time I revisit it. When we arrived at the Fire Wave there were only a few people milling about, so we were able to shoot photographs while working around them. I did have to wait a couple times while a group of young boys were scurrying on the rocks but it wasn't so bad. Later a group of students from Dixie College in St. George, Utah showed up. Luckily Marke and I had finished taking most of our pictures. It would have been impossible to get a decent shot after their arrival. We met a couple of guys our age and chatted with them for a while. They were long-time friends who met at a bar in Montana.
Our next stop was the White Dome's area of the park. We were there for only a short period of time. White Dome's is at the end of the Road so we turned back down the road and headed for Mouse's Tank. Mouse's Tank was once an outlaw's hideout. The hike out to the Tank (water hole) is short and sandy. There are several petroglyphs along side the trail but we did not see them until on our way out. Close to the end of the Mouse's Tank trail is another trail that ends at a rockfall. If a person were so inclined it would be a short scurry up the rockfall but Marke and I left that to others.
Here we are at the rockfall just off the trail to Mouse's Tank
Our next stop in the park was near the camping area. Marke took some shots there but I just sat down as I was not feeling well. For breakfast I had a doughnut that I bought at the Circle K in Kingman when we gassed up. Should have known better not to leave on the trip without having a good breakfast. Oh well.
It was now time to leave for Vock Canyon. On the way home we managed to take a wrong turn and were "lost" for a short period, ending up at a marina on Lake Mead. We decided to get supper at Boulder City. The first place we stopped at did not have a menu suitable for us so we asked if there was a barbeque joint in town. There was, and that is where we ate. It was not half-bad.
The next morning we just lulled around for a few hours after getting up as Marke did not have to arrive at the Vegas airport until 11:30 AM.
This visit with Marke great. Our discussions had the right mixture of nostalgia and catching up on what is currently going on. We spoke of things that cannot be properly talked about in an email exchange. We even talked about our favorite movies and actors. One I most regret is that we did not get to have coffee on my front porch while watching the light change in Vock Canyon. It was just too cold.
Below is a video of our trip down Diamond Creek road. It is about 10 minutes long. Most of it is displayed at 8X speed but the last portion as we wound through a canyon and finally to the river is 4X speed. It also has a sound track.
Trip Down Diamond Creek Road