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55 miles northeast of Las Vegas on Interstate 15, a sign indicates Exit 75, the turn off for the Valley of Fire, Nevada’s oldest & largest state park. We love coming to this preternatural marvel of nature, named for the amazing red sandstone formations left after immense, shifting sand dunes were formed during the age of the dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. The oldest rock in the park, though has been dated at about 600 million years old. Imagine! Once an ancient sea covered this desert, slowly receding to leave gigantic dunes of sand to be carved over the centuries by wind and rain into amazing sculptures in varying shades of red, ochre, gold and brilliant white. The presence of petrified wood gives evidence that once a vast forest must have existed, and my imagination runs riot as I think about what it must have looked like then, as the ground shook and the valleys echoed with the roars of these gigantic beasts. More recent 3,000 year old petroglyphs give evidence that this area once hosted an ancient Indian civilization. It is a humbling, grounding, & amazing experience. Approaching the Valley of Fire is like coming upon the rings of another planet in the vast sand-and-sage monochrome of the desert. The soft red sandstone rocks appear gradually, sparsely scattered on the bleached sand, a flame-coloured boulder here, and mottled brick-hued slab there, scatterings of ruddy pebbles that seem to appear from nowhere. Then a curve or two of the smooth blacktop brings you to your first real view of the Valley of Fire, each turn of the wheel bringing you closer to richly-hued escarpments, layers of cream and salmon, ochre and apricot, works of art borne of Mother Nature and weathered by the hallowed hands of Father Time.