Las Vegas and the Valley of Fire

Las Vegas… What can one say about Las Vegas. If you are not a gambler, an aspiring bride or groom, or don’t care for cheesy live shows…. Vegas may not be for you. It wasn’t for us. We rolled into Vegas passing Red Rock Canyon on I-15. The clouds were dark and ominous. Cate had found a free place to camp in a parking lot behind Balley’s casino one block off the strip. We cruised through the strip hauling our glorious tray-tray while all the tourists snapped photos of us with Maggie hanging out the window.



We had no luck with camping option number one, and went to the backup plan…. It was called “across the stratosphere”, because it was a parking lot across from the Stratosphere Casino. This place was astounding, a space needle like tower loomed 1149 feet over the vegas skyline. Every 20 minutes or so someone jumped from a platform high above, connected to a cable, and freefell most of the way down. All the while a crazy carnival ride swung people over the abyss…

We parked and walked to CircusCircus, checked out the wedding chapels, and got stopped up on an intersection while Papa Biden’s motorcade drove through. We stayed for two nights and I think it brought out the worst in me… The greed, the busyness, the superficiality. We did it though, a necessary evil. The positive? We can say we did it, and it took us to the Valley of Fire state park.

What a gem! Rife with red rock formations mixed with all colors of the rainbow. Blues, yellows, purples, oranges. Swirls and striations. We hiked through the landscape and I was ever vigilant for a Gila Monster sighting (always wanted to see one of those) and this was one of the few places in the world where they live…alas. We camped on a mesa, visited lake Mead, a warm spring oasis (yes we did soak),

and checked out the town of Overton. All in all, a neat spot! The morning after hanging with our new friend Todd who gave us fresh fish to cook, and wine, around a campfire, we pulled up stakes and headed towards Zion….and that’s a whole ‘nother story.


  1. We first read about your adventure in Trailer Life magazine and now have been reading your stories online…enjoy them very much…We live right out side Charlotte in Monroe,NC…It wa really interesting to see and read how you rebuilt your Airstream..Anyway keep the stories coming and “Happy Thanksgiving”.

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