When I agreed to go to Las Vegas with three of my closest girlfriends, I knew that I would want to get away from the glitz and glamour for a little while and see the Mohave Desert but would the others agree? I know that they would do almost anything for me but would they enjoy it?
See for yourself. Do they look like they’re having fun?
At first, we considered a tour. In fact, we almost booked a 4 hour Pink Jeep tour. After all, one of the girls loves all things pink and frou frou. Look carefully and you’ll see her pink iPhone in the photo! What could be better than a pink Jeep?
Practicality led the way, however, and we decided that renting a vehicle would be a better option. We wanted a small SUV so we reserved a Toyota Rav4. Sadly, when we went to pick it up early Tuesday morning, that model was unavailable and we were offered an “upgrade” to a minivan. A minivan… are you kidding? Our kids are grown and we’re past our Minivan Mom days! We wanted something sporty! In fact, we’d even considered renting a convertible but again, our practical sides and our purse strings said otherwise. A minivan was what was available though, so minivan it was. No problem, we’re flexible. We simply decided that we were the Rav4 and a group nickname was born!
Renting was definitely the right choice as it allowed us to go at our own pace, spending as much time as we wanted wherever we wanted. The half hour drive out to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area was an easy one. Our first stop was the Visitor Center where we were given a map, some great advice about where to stop and hike, and some valuable tips such as “Watch where you put your hands and feet. Rattlesnakes, scorpions or venomous spiders may be sheltered behind boulders or under rocks and shrubs.” Fortunately, though we saw lots of holes where they may have been hiding, we didn’t see any of those creatures!
We were a bit disappointed that we didn’t see any of these ones either!
The 13 mile one-way scenic drive gave us ample opportunity to see the area from the vehicle but we were there to hike and explore. Our first stop was the Calico Hills where we were allowed to climb and clamber wherever we wanted. The sights were spectacular and the red rock against the brilliant blue sky was absolutely stunning.
It was November 11, Remembrance Day or Veteran’s Day as it is known in the US, so we stopped and built a small inukshuk, a Canadian symbol adopted from the Inuit people of our far northern region, and pinned a poppy to his lapel.
Throughout the Commonwealth, the poppy is a familiar Remembrance Day symbol and people on the streets of Las Vegas recognized us as Canadians because we were wearing them.
On our second hike, in the Willow Springs area, we saw the remnants of an ancient agave roasting pit as well as one of the “Hands Across Time” pictographs waving to us from the canyon wall, reminders of those who made their home in the desert centuries ago.
There was abundant and interesting plant life in the area, much of it looking like something out of a a Dr. Seuss storybook!
As much as I enjoyed Las Vegas itself, it was when we drove away from Red Rock Canyon that I truly felt like I’d had a holiday!