Las Vegas, Nevada - April 5, 2000 - Images by: Mike Townsend
Mike is a business education teacher in Kamloops, British Columbia who taught much of his career here in Saskatchewan and his brother Bruce is an engineer in Saskatoon. Together they spent a week in Las Vegas and as part of their adventure they rented two Harley Davidson motorcycles to tour around the city and see the sites. Despite the imposing pictures on this page that make my mouth dry, Mike said he felt comfortable in the inspiring surroundings of this weathered and eroded valley called the Valley of Fire. To me it just looks like "hot stuff".

On Sunday Judy remarked that she was glad that we lived where we did where there are seasons and things change throughout the year. The temperatures in the Valley of Fire today are predicted to be in the 90sF so perhaps we can understand what she meant. All year long centuries after centuries the sun has been pouring down on these old rocks and the merciless wind has blown away crumbling bits leaving this pitted and red rockscape behind.

There are two obvious reasons for rocks to take on this red colour. The presence of iron in the soil and rock will lead to the formation of iron oxide which is a red colour. However, with the red in the rock formation as we see here a much more likely explanation is the presence of the mineral "cinnabar" which is mercury oxide and often signals prospectors of the possible presence of gold bearing ore.

Here is what Mike Townsend has to say about his visit to this unusal place. These comments were not available when the pictures were originally posted:

The 'valley of fire' was so very interesting. Being there I thought that the erosion was the result of sever heat and strong winds. But this is not the case. Most of the erosion was done while the rocks were under water millions of years ago. The heat was not that oppressive. I really enjoy heat, that dry heat of the desert, and the temperature when we were there was around 85. However in the summer time they recommend you stay away as the temps can reach 130. While the desert conditions in Nevada are much more severe than the area around Kamloops, the terrain is surprisingly similar. If I am not mistaken I believe we are at the northern edge of this same desert. When I spoke of being comfortable in this area I was not really referring the temperature and conditions. It was more of a feeling being in an environment that was like home. When I go to the coast and put my foot in the water I get that feeling of returning home (I suppose many people get this feeling of returning to ones origins.) Well, I get that feeling in the desert as well.

Mike Townsend

Click "Here" to go to Ensign Front page
Ensign, North Central Internet News, published daily by Faster Than Light Communications, FTLComm