Into The Desert, Part Four

Words by Matt Willis

There was a point in time this past spring where all of us felt that there was a lot going on in the automotive world, and (remembering back) there was an open weekend available for us to take a little escape around mid-April. Las Vegas is our normal go-to when we need to leave things behind or just get away for a while, so we planned to take the usual 4-some-odd-hour venture through the Mojave and eventually to Sin City.

However, having the cameras with us, we had to make a point to visit somewhere new or intriguing to go and shoot. One such place that came to mind was the Valley of Fire State Park about an hour north of Las Vegas. I had asked a fellow photographer beforehand about the park and he described it as “like being on Mars”. In a sense, he was right…

We arrived in Las Vegas around 2:00 pm and ate a quick lunch at our go-to Holstein’s in the Cosmopolitan. After that, we grabbed fuel and got back on the 15 North. Upon our arrival at the park, we were immediately taken by all sorts of deep orange canyons and rock formations. I’ve decided to include this as part of the Into the Desert series, being among the few deserts I’ve explored outside of California and because of the very picturesque scenery. If you have not been to the Valley of Fire State Park, I highly recommend making the trip out next time you’re in Vegas…

_MG_6731

_MG_0338

_MG_0349

With daylight time working against us, we got right to the exploring and shooting…

_MG_0354

Erosion…

_MG_0362-Edit

_MG_0393

Even the sand was orange…

_MG_0394

Mel drawing us into the sand…

_MG_6730

_MG_6737

Aside from a 25 mph speed limit, many of the roads through the Valley of Fire seem to be fun to drive on…

_MG_0402

We continued on to some other parts of the park…

_MG_0405

_MG_0434

_MG_0436

_MG_6741

Dodge Challenger cruising against the setting sun…

_MG_0448

_MG_0453

_MG_0457

_MG_6805

_MG_0457

_MG_0478

_MG_0488

Many other photographers take note of the impressive scenery…

_MG_6820

_MG_6822

Towards the end of the day, the winds began to pick up…

_MG_6823

_MG_6828

_MG_0610

_MG_0607

_MG_0622

_MG_0616

Sun setting behind the rocks…

_MG_6847

_MG_6837

_MG_6836

_MG_6830

_MG_0576

_MG_6850

After sunset, we tried to make a venture down to Lake Mead, but found it was closed — so we turned around and headed back to Vegas.

_MG_6854

_MG_6855

_MG_6860

_MG_6862

I was very tired, but still managed to look up in the Cosmopolitan elevator for a group selfie.

_MG_6864

We tried out the Wicked Spoon buffet, which was decent – but hit or miss, like most buffets in Vegas…

_MG_6865

_MG_6866

_MG_6870

_MG_6877

Slightly unnerving…

_MG_6879

_MG_6898

Even on the road, we never escape the cars. In fact, one of our pass-times while walking through Vegas is car spotting. We found this McLaren MP4-12C on display at the Cosmo.

_MG_6903

_MG_6905

_MG_6906

_MG_6915

In the Aria valet, we found a Lamborghini Aventador.

_MG_6917

_MG_6921

Lamborghini Gallardo at the Mandarin Oriental…

_MG_6919

_MG_6937

SL and S class as well.

_MG_6752

That’s it! For more shots from the Valley of Fire and our most recent trip to Vegas, visit our sister site Photomonogatari

Thanks for reading!