We entered the high country of Zion NP from the east, and then descended through the tunnels to the valley floor. The campground was full. We had thoughtlessly chosen to visit this part of the Southwest when it is full of people and still pretty hot.
The Virgin River was full and running hard. We continued past St. George, down through the Virgin River Gorge, and into low-elevation Nevada.
Our destination for the night was Valley of Fires State Park, just this side of Las Vegas. I was put on to this place by a friend who had photographed there, with admirable results. As we approached, we discovered that a portion of I-15 west of Las Vegas had gotten flash-flooded and destroyed. The detour via the Moapa Valley, however, took us right to our destination.
Wow, was it ever hot at Valley of Fires! 105 -110 degrees?. The temps moderated that night, but come the morning we were ready to get back on the road and put on some miles in the comfort of our air-conditioned van. The scenery at Valley of Fires was superlative, as I’m sure you’ll agree, and I’m ready for a return visit – just at a cooler time of year! That afternoon we pulled in to my mother-in-law’s ranchette, to discover that it was pretty darn hot there too!
Part 4 takes us to the beach (where it is always cooler than inland). First to Gaviota, and then to Carpinteria, for the family reunion. Stay tuned!