Valley of Fire, NV… cooking with heat!

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

How do you like this camping spot?… not bad! I am calling it my “rock condo”. Lat 36.25 Long 114.33. We are in Arch Rock campground. Free camping has become an issue around here, but, what is the sense getting into it, $14 a night to be amongst this unbelievable setting is worth much more.

None of the colors are what they are suppose to be, at least not what we are use to and I started thinking about this place as a Foreign Planet! As in Red Rock Canyon it is all red sandstone formation, formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago. It is overwhelming as the eyes have suddenly so much to see.

 Every square foot has crevices, odds formations, erosion lines. Every sight of vision is a picture!

I must have taken about 200 of them today and how can one decides which one to post when they are all so interesting to the senses. We walked a lot also today and hikes at least gives us a chance to stop every few feet and truly look, touch and think. I say think because this Valley must have been heaven when the Native Indians lived here.


This campground itself must have been a village protected from the elements and I might be camping right where previous life was in full harmony with Mother nature. This might awaken your curiosity, the pictures might show the beauty of it, but I cannot translate the feelings these rocks are emanating. You need to come and visit, you need to come and experience what words and pictures cannot express. From horses to helicopters… what happened?


We took off toward the White Domes which has a turn off at the visitor center. A narrow and twisty road, carved in the red sandstone, barely enough for two vehicles to pass. Nowhere to stop and take some shots… I have a mechanical cruise control on the throttle… no one behind me, first gear and cruise control on, camera in right hand I was able to take a lot of blurred pictures… but a couple came out alright!



As you approach the white domes the colors start changing. From vibrant red, to pink, orange, yellow, purple and even white. Some of the photos you might say do not even look real… those are the colors the rocks are. Over the years a complex ebb and groundwater, faulting and raising of mountains and even the presence of now absent hydrocarbons are the results of these complex patterns. Hydrocarbons acted in the flowing waters like bleach would, changing the red sandstone’s color to all those different hues.


I will take some close up pictures of all the different colors next time out! There is a 1.5 mile hike going passed the white domes… and dogs are allowed, on a leash, and what a pleasure it is not to have to sneak on some trails as we have been doing. It is a State Park… in case you are wondering.

 There is no off road riding, besides a couple loops, so my rear knobby is taking a beating! Will probably switch it soon, very soon… It did not help in Anza Borrego anyhow, and as Death Valley might be our next destination, I don’t think there is much sand there, it will not make much difference.

I had to add this!!! 

There is no off road riding, besides a couple loops, so my rear knobby is taking a beating! Will probably switch it soon, very soon… It did not help in Anza Borrego anyhow, and as Death Valley might be our next destination, I don’t think there is much sand there, it will not make much difference.


 Next was the dirt road (maintained!) to the Fire Canyon/Silica Dome. Vibrant colors, it is all “WOW”… and as I sit here I cannot wait till tomorrow to go back out there!

 Today I counted… 18 pictures of Spirit taken… It has become a routine? A road attraction? Hasn’t anyone seen a dog in a sidecar?… I am going to try the “can”. What can? A donation can…

Well, I don’t quite like the idea, I prefer to give the person taking a picture a card and let them actually read the Blog… so they can see more pictures of him! Can? = tacky?… and then again, I could call it a “fuel fund” or… “dog food fund” for my poor undernourished Spirit!… and still give them what I call “my leisure card”…

 Which reminds me, food! After 4 months on the road, I finally have been getting the urge to cook something as I call it “nice”. I had stopped at a “Whole Food” store in Vegas on our way out, always nice to have Spirit secure in the truck and shop, and bought all the items that I craved for that day! Nice scallops, four 8/12 shrimp, prosciuto, horseradish, black beans, roasted peppers, Ghee (clarified butter in a jar that does not require refrigeration), green onions and ginger.

 I am trying to come up with a name for this kind of cooking that I did with such small space!

Where everything has to be in its own little area, using one paper plate for all the prep and cooking it all in one pan. Micro Cooking?… maybe. The scallops were grilled, an incision made for the also grilled shrimp to rest tail up, all wrapped with a barely cooked folded slice of prosciuto. The diced ginger, garlic and green onions also slightly cooked with the black beans.

Lemon juice and a real nice Australian cold pressed olive oil drizzled did the trick… and yes, I ate the whole plate!…” The tunes of XM watercolors” was my friend while Spirit was asleep…

Was it good?… delicious!… so much that I decided to do this more often!

You can always join me!… and trust me that you can duplicate this… absolutely.


Much more to see and feel around here. Outside right now the moon is almost full and throwing its glow on all te rocks surrounding me. Ritz Carlton?… you don’t stand a chance!

Till later… you be well and start planning your own trip, you deserve it.

Ara & Spirit

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7 Responses to “Valley of Fire, NV… cooking with heat!”

  1. Kristina Hall Says:

    Valley of Fire! Wow~~~ I have not heard of this beautiful place. It is amazing to me to see such wonderful formations and colors, and I live in a beautiful place in the Southwest!!

    Food looks awesome! Does Spirit ever get any??

  2. Bob Z. Says:

    Dude, you sure can cook.Hope to run across your camp at dinner time some day.I was camping there last year at this time it sure is a great place. You are goimg to love Death Valley. Hope there are some wild flower for you. Be sure to stock up on supplies because it is a long ways to town and when you get there the small stores do not very much on the shelf. Happy travels. Bob

  3. Jerry Feldner Says:

    I was going to ask the same thing. I have felt bad, ever since we met in Gila Bend, that I did not bring a chew or toy for Spirit. Oh, well. Next time!
    I loved your pix and take on Valley of Fire. I took my family there years ago but I didn’t get the same aspects you did. Congrats, mon cher ami.

  4. Linda Says:

    Your photo’s are absolutely awesome today. Stay safe

  5. Don Van Zandt Says:

    Ara; Just wanted to take a moment to say “Thank You”! I have been following along with you for the past few weeks, and your stories, and your pictures have become the high
    -light of my evenings. Please keep on keeping on… you (and Sprit) are much appreciated. I hope you are able to find whatever it is that you seek. Go with God, my friend.

  6. Steve Williams Says:

    Hello Ara,

    Another fantastic location to travel through. I just love the campsite. I won’t try and describe what $14 would get you around here….

    I think you could elegantly display a little donation can on the sidecar. Spirit needs to earn a living too right?

    Your photography is great. Those long ribbons of road cutting through the rocky landscape are so alluring. I keep telling my wife we have to get out there.

    I have a question about Spirit’s goggles. How long did it take for him to accept or adjust to them. I can’t imagine my dog not trying to get them off.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  7. Steve Williams Says:

    I forgot one thing Ara. Check out this link:

    Beemerchef on 2 Stroke Buzz

    You are become more widely known all the time!

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

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