Not being a gambler, Las Vegas has never been high on my list of places to go, but when my husband offered to take me along on a business trip, I went. We were only there for a few days, and it was not at all as I had imagined.
While he was at his conference, I took a tour to Valley of Fire State Park. It was really interesting. Since I'm a life-long East Coast resident, the landscape fascinated me. The color palette is so different, and there are no trees to speak of. There were some palm trees around the resort/casinos, but I don't think they are native species. Here are some photos I took in Valley of Fire.
This is what the landscape looked like.
There are lots of petroglyphs in the park, and this boulder fell off a high cliff, so it's more accessible than some of the other petroglyph sites.
Here is a close up. If you look closely, you can see the various animals depicted: a snake, a sheep, and a mountain goat.
This is another site, higher up. It's been defaced with spray paint (WHAT are people thinking?), but I don't think any of that is in the photo.
I like the places in the sandstone where the wind has created holes, or little caves. Once a hole gets to a certain size, the wind whips the sand around inside it and carves out a circle in the side of the hill. This cave is big enough to stand up in, and it curves around inside to a point where the wind has carved a window looking out over the landscape. Pretty cool.
This arch is tall enough for a person to walk through. I'd guess it's about 7 feet high.
We stopped by a hot spring, and this sign was by the water. Eeewwww!
Here is another petroglyph site. I loved the way the blue sky contrasted with the red of the sandstone.
And this is what the sky really looked like. I've never seen such a blue and cloudless sky.