July 1st, 2016 – Loa, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada ~ 310 miles.
Missed Day 14? Vy and I get some off-roading in (but in a Jeep, not the GS) and finally get out of Arches.
Our accommodations the night before were at the adorably-named Snuggle Inn. It’s a very cute place run by a Mr. Davis. He’s now getting up in years and is actually looking to sell the inn and retire. I found his way of doing business quite charming. Yesterday, when I called to book the room on the phone, he said that we would be getting in too late so he’d leave the key to our room on the front desk. When we left, there was a piece of paper on the front desk just saying “Welcome to the Snuggle Inn. I have gone to the 4th of July Celebration in Torrey. I will be back about 2 o’clock, call me on my cell if you want to book a room.” That’s it! We never got to meet Mr. Davis but I appreciated how easy he made it to check in and out.
We left our key in the key drop and went out to load up the GS, which was parked next to a classic Willys Jeep.
I have no idea how long it’s been parked there, but the tags were current so I’m hoping it still gets driven around. This set a precedent for the rest of town, which is oddly full of classic cars…
…and classic car junkyards:
Tucked away in the corner was this motorcycle without an engine. Can you identify what it is?
This was the first day where I really felt like the trip was coming to a close. It was basically just a long slog on the freeway, without anything new to see. We considered stopping by Zion but Vy and I had just been there a few weeks before for her birthday. So we continued on, trying to find some dirt trails to break up the monotony.
Then you’re right back in Nevada:
One of the reasons I didn’t feel bad about skipping Zion in the morning was that I was going to take Vy to see Valley of Fire State Park, which is one of my favorite things in Nevada. At the exit for Route 169, we were supposed to head south but I thought I saw something worth exploring just to the north. Detour time!
Turns out it’s where the Nevada DOT practices painting lines on the road. Here’s the Street Map view if you want to check it out yourself.
The MSF never told me what to do in this situation:
Valley of Fire was designated a State Park on March 26, 1935 – making it the first one in Nevada. Technically, four state parks were established at the same time with a piece of legislation but Valley of Fire had its ceremony first.
Lots of car commercials are filmed here because the roads have some curves to them and the scenery is beautiful.
Baby Jack enjoyed the sights as well:
Like most parks, Valley of Fire is best explored on foot. One of my favorite features of the park is Elephant Rock:
Vy and I hiked around for a few hours so we could check out some cliffs, rocks, and wildlife:
Vy found a patch of fresh sand so she left her hand prints:
Then Baby Jack decided to do the same with his entire body:
My other personal highlight of Valley of Fire is the petroglyphs. There are several walls of petroglyphs from the Anasazi, who lived in the area approximately between 300BC to 1150AD:
As the sun started to set, we began to make our way into Las Vegas for our last night of the trip. The iconic Welcome sign needed alittle work:
As I’ve mentioned many times before, Vy really enjoys health-oriented restaurants. We decided to try a place called Vegenation, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong – I’d rather have had a burger and a beer, but it was pretty good! Vy’s become so enamored with it that whenever I go to Vegas without her, I have to bring some food back from this restaurant. This is their take on sushi, called “Save the Tuna.”
We found a casino to sleep in and then got settled in for our last night on the road.