Thursday, December 31, 2009

Desert plants, Valley of Fire

Here are some interesting desert plants from Rainbow Vista.  The lighting isn't very good as it was late in the day, and the plants are in an area that is usually shaded anyway:




Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rainbow Vista, Valley of Fire

This is another trail we hiked.  Here's a view of the area from the highway:

It's getting late in the day, so the shadows are getting dark and long:







Here we're heading into the little canyon, or valley, or whatever:


At the end of it, are views of Fire Canyon:


Here's the canyon floor:


Another view of the canyon:


On the walk back, we spotted another arch rock:


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nike Missile Base Hike

OK, let's take a break from Nevada pictures for today.  This past Sunday, I went with a hiking group for a hike in the Santa Monica mountains, to the old Nike Missile Base that was operational back in the 1960's.

Here's a view of Mandeville Canyon, where we started the hike.  This is just north of Brentwood, which is a neighborhood in west L.A.  When you're in the canyons, you wouldn't guess you were in the middle of a major city:

The group heading up the fire road which doubles as a hiking trail:


The fire road is a pretty easy hike, so hikers have made a secondary more difficult trail that parallels it in places:


Here's some of our group heading up the more difficult secondary trail:


View into the neighboring canyon from the trail:


Looking back on the trail:


A reservoir serving the San Fernando valley:


We're here.  This is the old guard hut:


From what is written on the plaques, I think this is the missile tower, with a viewing platform on top of it:





On the trail heading back:


Lots of deciduous trees still have their leaves on them, and they are dropping in other places:


The end of the hike, back at the road in the canyon.  I think these are oranges on this tree, or they could be grapefruits:


Monday, December 28, 2009

White Domes, Valley of Fire

Is anyone falling asleep yet from my endless Nevada photos?  I hope you're enjoying them.  These aren't quite the last of them, either!  This hike was one of the more interesting ones though, through a really cool (in both senses of the word) slot canyon.

This is at the start of the trail, descending down towards the canyon:




Here we're going into the canyon:



Does it ever get skinny!  I just loved it in there.



...and out the other side.  Here's the landscape on the way back to the trailhead:





Look, another arch rock off to the right...


I just love the landscape below, so surreal to my eastern Canadian eyes:


Stick around, there's still more Nevada to come...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Petrified logs, Valley of Fire

OK, back to Nevada.  There are petrified logs at the Valley of Fire, that washed into the valley 225 million years ago from an ancient forest.  I think they said these were from pines.

Here's me with one of them, to show the size.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

One of these things is not like the other

I first saw this west L.A. cellphone tower around 2 months ago, but it's so well disguised, I couldn't find it again to take a picture of it until yesterday!  When I first saw it, I thought, "Heyyyyy... that palm tree has a cellphone tower built into it... but wait, that doesn't make sense, that IS a cellphone tower!"  And so it is.  Try putting one like that up in Ottawa and see if it stands out...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Petroglyphs- Valley of Fire

There are several spots within the park with petroglyphs.  These date back between 1000-2000 years I think, going from memory of what was on the signs at the trailheads.

These were at Atlatl rock.  I didn't take a picture of the rock itself but these are way off the ground, they've built a staircase that's probably about 3 stories tall to view them.  Some are behind glass to decrease the chance of vandalism.

A closeup of the little animal ones:


These unfortunately have some graphiti over top of them:


Part of the rock itself, two large sections sit side by side and almost touch:


Around the corner is this arch rock, the arch is pretty small:


These are at a trail called Mouse's Tank that we visited later in the day.  They're carved into this black crud that lines portions of the red rocks in this canyon.  I don't know what the black stuff is.

Closeup of one of those horned animals again:



Just a cool rock formation.  Lots of them in this canyon:

This is the actual "Mouse's Tank", it's one of those natural tanks that fills up with water in wet seasons.  It was dry when we visited, I don't think the rain and snow that had fallen on Las Vegas and Red Rock Canyon had made it here.


I'll be back in a couple of days with some petrified logs and some more trails, so in the meantime, Merry Christmas, and stay tuned for more Nevada fun!