Friday, March 25, 2022

RonnieAdventure #0509 - 2022 Valley of Fire State Park Part II

Picture by Darryn Epp

Not far from the Valley of Fire Visitor Caner we encountered a number of Desert Bighorn Sheep standing by the side of the road. One ram could not tell the difference between a Nissan Xterra and a Dodge Ram and wanted to butt heads with us. Maybe he needed glasses!

Picture by Kolohe
After our encounter with the Desert Bighorn Sheep, we stopped by the Visitor Center to pick up some Park information and found a number of birds scurrying around looking for food that tourists may have dropped. I recognized the Gambel's quail, but I could not identify some of the other birds. 

Picture by Kolohe

Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe

Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe

Atlata Rock is one of the main landmarks in the Park and is covered with petroglyphs. For safety reasons, the Park Service has constricted a metal viewing platform up the side of the rock so that visitors can get a closer look at the petroglyphs without falling off of one of the ledges. Unfortunately, over the years a number of petroglyph panels have been defaced by vandals. 

As I was descending the steps, I noticed some "bat caves" and an arch on the side of Atlatl Rock that I missed on the way up. 

After Atlatl Rock, the road continues past a number of other rock formations and arches and then reconnects to the main highway.

Piano Rock received its name because it looks like a grand piano!

Across the road from Piano Rock are two formations that I named "Ninga Warrior" and "Praying Monk."


And just down the road was a formation I called "Eagle Head."

Picture by Kolohe
There was a "No Climbing" sign on "Arch Rock," so I had to settle for some pictures from the parking area. 

Picture by Kolohe

A short distance from Arch Rock was a formation that I named "Flying Dragon Arch." 

To reach Windstone Arch required some climbing, so I settled for a picture from the Scenic Loop Road. However, I made an addition to my Bucket List to return someday and climb up to the arch. The arch is larger than what it appears to be from the road.

After reaching the main highway, there area a number of petrified trees located along a well-marked hiking trail that winds out through the desert. 

Before leaving the Park, we stopped by the "Beehives," which are so named because early visitors thought the formations resembled "beehives." 


The following pictures were taken in September 1990 at Wileta's 80th Birthday party. This wonderful woman lived to be 97-years old. 

South Dakota Governor George S. Nickelson issued an Executive Proclamation naming September 20, 1990 as Wileta Hawkins Day. Her birthday celebration was attended by over 100 people. She even had a professional hair stylist do her hair before the party. 

In attendance were her brother Kenneth ("Jack") Welty and sister-in-law Elnora Welty; 

three sons, Merl, Ronnie and Jerry; 

seven grandchildren, Risa, Amy, Kim, Sara, Mike, Heather, Nikki (not in attendance: Randall, Kristin, Wendy);

and four great-grandchildren, Jessica, Tyson (standing), Jenna, and Blake.