Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

As is our family tradition, we took off on Wednesday November 21, 2018 for a Thanksgiving holiday camping trip with numerous members of our family. We all returned home on Sunday November 25. This year we went to Valley of Fire State Park near Overton, Nevada. We stayed in group site 3. There were approximately 45 of us with numerous RVs and tents. This is definitely not low impact camping, but we did our best to leave the site better than we found it.

Various adults were assigned to cook breakfasts and dinners for the entire group. Each family was on their own for lunches. On Thanksgiving we had a huge traditional meal with turkey, a turducken, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, and numerous pies! While camping for Thanksgiving is awesome, one of the best parts is scraping the waste into the fire pit and you’re done. Not quite this simple, but easier than at home.

The day time temperatures were in the mid 60’s and the lows were in the low to mid 40’s. During the days we played games, talked, worked on our RVs, and went on hikes. During the evenings we played board games and enjoyed the huge fires we built.

The geology and scenery are amazing in this part of Nevada. The slick rock is easy to hike on with great traction. It is simply a joy to hike to the top of peaks and ridges and enjoy the colorful views. It’s fun to watch the family grow over the years and watch grandchildren grow and out pace the aging grandparents, us!

I am thankful for a large and wonderful family that likes to be together. I am grateful for employment that gives me the opportunity to provide for this tribe of mine and enjoy time with them. Most of all, I am thankful for a great wife and mother who keeps us organized, gets us together, and sees to all of our emotional and physical needs, Thanks Beautiful!

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Wedge Overlook Campground, Utah

In this post two separate visits to the Wedge Overlook Campground in central Utah are described. Our first visit began on Friday November 2, 2018 and ended on Sunday November 4, 2018. A week later we decided to revisit the same location and take advantage of the dark skies for astrophotography.

While the location is called the Wedge Overlook Campground, there is nothing there but dirt roads and huge cul-de-sacs where RVs and tent campers may stay. There are 10 sites, but there are no restrooms, no water, and no other facilities. The sites are hundreds of feet apart providing ample privacy, each site has one or more rock fire circles, and best of all there is no cost!

The area is part of the San Rafael Swell and has many interesting geological points of interest. The landscape includes red cliffs, yellow formations, interesting hills, bluffs, drainages, and canyons. The most prominent local feature is the Little Grand Canyon of Utah. This deep gorge contains the San Rafael river and an abundance of trees showing their fall colors late into the season.

On our first visit we stayed in site 3 which is on the south side of the main road. The site has a long entrance road and a large area sufficient for several RVs. There are some trees that would provide privacy for tent campers. This site is close to a fork of the main attraction in the area, the Little Grand Canyon of Utah. This fork is fun to explore, and is sufficiently distant to make this site manageable with small children.

On our second excursion to this area, we stayed in site 4 which is across the road from site 3, is smaller, and has a spectacular view to the north. This trip was intended to provide dark skies so I could perform some astrophotography. The skies cooperated and we enjoyed two clear nights that were cold, but most importantly dark with no moon. I have wanted to photograph the Andromeda galaxy (M31) since I was a very young man, I finally got the chance.

The second image captured was from my favorite constellation Orion. The belt of Orion contains the Orion Nebula (M42). It is beautiful, easy to see, and I think the image turned out nicely. Having the chance to capture these two images, spend a couple of days with my dear wife, and enjoy this beautiful part of Utah was amazing. I can’t wait for spring to arrive so we can go camping again.

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