Part of any road trip are side trips, pullout photos, and maybe, even a map and a list of planned places to stay and eat. This is my wrap-up for our Valley of Fire photo trip and some of the photos I took on my return trip the following week. Up first, the images that I went back to get.
Below are some additional photos I took while moving from one specific site to another. Pretty amazing stuff.
Our side trip was to the pedestrian bridge that overlooks Hoover Dam. Not a good place to be if you are afraid of heights or hate photographing electrical power lines!! Tom's computer blew up as he kept trying to use content aware fill in Photoshop to get rid of all those lines!! Just kidding, of course. The lines are as much a part of the dam scene as the dam and lake. You can do some research about Lake Mead . . . a pretty impressive landscape. A note here: Depending on the route you take from Hoover Dam up to Valley of Fire, you will pass through the Lake Mead Recreation Area. Unless you have some sort of pass such as America the Beautiful, you will need to pay $10, even if just passing through.
One of the best parts about this particular trip was the many photo opportunities along the way. Tom took shots from the car, there were many pullouts, especially along Highway 166 in Nevada between Hoover Dam and the entrance to Valley of Fire.
The rest of the images are taken along Highway 166 between the dam and Valley of Fire.
We stayed at the North Shore Inn located on the main road in Overton, a peaceful little town with not even one traffic light. The Inn is owned by a couple and is not easily found when doing an internet search as it is not listed as some national chains. Its address is 520 North Moapa Valley Blvd. You can call 702-397-6000 for reservations. The rooms are spacious, clean and the hot free breakfasts are better than the average fare. They are accustomed to photographers from all over the world who come to shot at Valley of Fire. In fact we had breakfast listening to two other groups that were there. Prices are very reasonable. There is one other small hotel in Overton. I would not recommend it.
There is a McDonald's in town. We chose, instead to eat at Sugars, where the food is pretty dang good, very reasonably priced and we found that most every order would feed two people! There is an ice-cream restaurant that also serves sandwiches and breakfast, but I personally preferred Sugars. A Chinese restaurant about 5 miles from Overton was recommended and not bad for a break if you want one. One thing to think about ahead of time is lunch. We chose to take a break during the harsh light of midday and travel back to town for lunch.
I subscribe to a quarterly newsletter called Photograph America. Robert Hitchman travels extensively and puts the newsletters together to give photographers some great tips on the areas he has travelled. We used his newsletter on Valley of Fire to get the best shooting times and ideas for how to approach a particular rock formation. You can check out his website at www.photographamerica.com. You can buy individual newsletters for $8, go for the annual subscription for $25 or get the whole collection for a whole bunch more $$.
I have three (maybe more) rock formations that I want to photograph. So, I will be going back. Will probably be in the fall.
This wraps it up. I loved Valley of Fire and I hope that you have come to love it as well. If you go you will not be disappointed.