This Thursday's hike was another power scrambler in the Valley of Fire State Park of Nevada. The writer did not attend, however, the "boys" stepped up and sent photos and narration on what was apparently a wonderfully challenging hike on an overcast day with temperatures in the 40's & 50's. The words below were written by Mike O'C. and the photos were contributed by Larry Dunn and Richard James Natale.
It was a no-nonsense trek, a Thursday hike with a Tuesday pace. The Valley of Fire Peak. Nine hikers going hard right out of the gate, much like a pack of feisty thoroughbreds on a six-furlong dash. Recent rains had softened the terrain, muting the sound of our footsteps, the only audible noise being sharp intakes of breath. Conversation came to a halt.
Over the desert, across the sandstone and up the crevices we went, intent on reaching the highest point in the Valley of Fire. At the difficult spots, queues inevitably formed as individuals slowly made their way up the steep sandstone.
And then on a plateau high above the valley floor, just before the summit, were a set of picnic tables. Picnic tables??!! Think helicopter, as there was no other way these tables got to that spot on the mountain. Brian Dodd said that it took him three years to find this particular route to the pinnacle. So after a thousand days of futility, we managed to summit in under two hours. Brian was ecstatic; so was everyone else. Big smiles all around.