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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Valley of Fire and Stratosphere

Good Tuesday morning from Vegas!  Yep, we're still here, but hope looms on the horizon!  I just talked to Shane at Findlay Chevrolet who told me everything is going as scheduled, and they hope to finish up the truck either this afternoon or first thing in the morning. Sure hope so, as we're ready to move on and get back on the road. Our tentative plan is to travel to Kanab, Utah tomorrow for 3 or 4 days and while there explore Bryce Canyon, Zion National Parks and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and from there, move on to Page, Arizona. 

Sunday, we traveled about 50 miles northeast to check out the Valley of Fire State Park.  This is the oldest state park in Nevada and derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs some 150 million years ago. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. The park is very diverse with different size and shape formations and even Indian petroglyphs, but we were unable to locate any.

We decided to go back uptown last night and check out the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower. The Stratosphere is widely known as the tall tower overlooking Vegas and can be seen for miles.  In addition to the hotel and casino on the ground, there's a large structure at the top of the tower that includes a restaurant, observation area, and wild thrill rides. The view from the top is awesome and is particularly impressive at night. The structure is similar to the Seattle Space Needle, but is about twice as high. The rides are on the roof and are insane, with swings and roller coasters that actually go over the edge of the structure some 800 ft above the ground. There is a freefall attraction where one can jump off a ledge of the Stratosphere and free fall most of the distance to the ground before a harness and cable system gradually stop you just feet from the ground. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Made me queasy just watching it, and the other rides as well. These people actually paid good money for this craziness! While uptown, we rode through the strip to observe the beautiful lights and ride to the south end of the strip and get a night shot of the iconic Welcome to Las Vegas sign.

Entrance to Valley of Fire SP. $10 per vehicle. Old farts pass not accepted here!

Colorful and interesting rock formations throughout the park.

This one resembles a human head.

Visitor's Center

The park is very popular with hikers and has miles of trails.

This formation is named the bee hive.

Well known Welcome to Las Vegas Sign. There are actually multiple signs like this, but the one on S. Las Vegas Blvd is the original and most recognized one. We actually saw a wedding party here earlier in our visit.
The Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower.

View of the large structure on top of the tower. The blue ledge in the upper left of the sphere is where they jump on the free fall. The object on the right top of the sphere is the swinging ride that swings out over the edge.
Spectacular view of the old section of Vegas.

It's a long way down!

The strip

Inside the observation area looking right.

Same location looking left.
Glassed in area where the free fall takes place. The young lady in the blue harness is being prepared for the leap.

Here she's out on the ledge

There she goes!

Signs at the elevator area. The elevator goes from the ground to the top at over 800 ft in about 25 seconds. Your ears pop multiple times on the way up and down.


  1. Love the night shots! Great Photography! Whatever camera you're using works well. Of course, I love the red rock also. Ya'll are certainly making good use of your "stranded" time! Might as well.

  2. The Big question, did you all win any money? And as Betty said great picture's