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…




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





Even the sand was orange…


Mel drawing us into the sand…



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


We continued on to some other parts of the park…





Dodge Challenger cruising against the setting sun…








Many other photographers take note of the impressive scenery…



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







Sun setting behind the rocks…







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.





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


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





Slightly unnerving…



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.





In the Aria valet, we found a Lamborghini Aventador.



Lamborghini Gallardo at the Mandarin Oriental…



SL and S class as well.


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!