We are still camped at Virgin River, AZ. A couple of days ago we decided to backtrack and visit Valley of Fire state park in Nevada, on the recommendation of an older couple we had met the night before that.
The Valley of Fire is a fascinating playground of otherworldly bizarre rock formations which are great fun to hike (see pics). Undulating striated rock faces, giant monoliths, spiraling formations and all manner of holes, cavelettes and crannies - not recommended for those with tryptophobia! - in a variety of deep hues (reds, oranges, yellows). There was a high wind warning in effect and about half-way through the day a sandstorm began to pommel the area. The haze caused by the sand in the distance accentuated the landscape's otherworldly appearance... save for the vegetation in some places it looked like we were on Mars. Very cool.
We braved the winds for a few hours, then decided to leave due to the escalating storm as it's violence was increasingly detracting from the fun at hand. By the time we got back on the road the winds had become wild and ferocious - the car was rocked frequently and we were nearly hit several times by miscellaneous debris, large tumbleweeds, a plastic crate flying through the air, etc. On the highway we saw an accident, a semi truck which had been overturned by the gale. It didn't look like anyone was hurt. The sky was dark and ominous and as we headed into the mountains to return to our camp it had also started to rain. Though the day had been hot (30+ degrees) the temperature plummeted to about 10 degrees in a few hours.
So it was a cold, wet and windy night. We spent much of yesterday in the tent, which remained surprisingly warm. By late afternoon the sun had returned and everything dried quickly. Last night was pleasant, though it is still a bit cold. Last time we had internet the forecast said it was cold and snowy where we are headed, Kanab. We'll likely hang out here today and maybe tomorrow, hiking and hanging out - our next destination are the pink coral sand dunes.
I do miss my family and friends. Unfortunately they weren't able or willing to come with us!