I got distracted before I got out of sight of Las Vegas. I could tell that Red Rock Canyon was to my right. Then I spotted some trails going up into some hills by the road. I thought I might be able to get some good views of Red Rock Canyon from up there, so off I went.
As it turned out, I couldn't see much of Red Rock Canyon. The views weren't that spectacular. If I hadn't gone, though, it would have bugged me until I went back. I found out the trails are used mostly by people riding mountain bikes. I saw several out there.
I used my GPS datalogger on that hike. When I got back in the van, I thought that I remembered forgetting to erase the data from the previous day's hike, so I didn't turn it back on the rest of the day. Silly me. I'll never figure out where I was when I took some of the pictures I took that day. I think I made pretty good guesses on a lot of them, though.
Again, there were a lot of things that I wanted pictures of, but couldn't pull off the road in the van. Traffic was just a little too heavy to stop in the middle of the road, too. I did pull off the road a few times. A guy in a red car and I played leapfrog for a while, stopping to take pictures.
I finally got out to the refuge. It's all dirt roads out there. They are well-maintained and smooth, but dusty. I knew Suzanne wasn't going to like the coating of dust I was going to pick up that day.
I had no idea what to expect in the refuge, so I was pleasantly surprised by just about everything. I suppose a lot of money and effort has gone towards habitat restoration out there. It looks like they are just recently getting around to making accommodations for visitors.
I didn't expect to be lucky enough to see the rare Desert Pupfish, but they were all over the place. Well, all the places that were under water, that is. It looked like the males were spending all day chasing each other off from their territory.
I made some short videos of the Pupfish, too. Here's the best one, except for the noise. I think it's the image stabilization. I forgot to turn it off.
I went to Devils Hole next. It's a large hole in the ground on the side of a hill. It's fenced off to keep knuckleheads out. The water is geothermally heated to about 92F.
The next stop was Crystal Reservoir. It's a large body of water that must be filled by the springs. I don't know what kind of fish, if any, are in there. I didn't see any. After walking around in the heat for a few hours, the water looked very inviting. I didn't have a swim suit but I had seen only 4 other people out here, and they were gone now. I could go skinny dipping if I wanted to. The trouble with that is that I would probably get a bad burn on areas of my body that had never seen the sun. I decided to see what the water felt like before I got in. I couldn't get to it, though. Other people had been swimming and had left 6 inch deep footprints in the soft banks. The mud stuck. I got some on my fingers and it stayed there until I got back to Vegas. It looked like the bottom had a very gradual slope; I didn't know if I would ever get to water deep enough to float. Then there were all the things that could poke a hole in my feet. I chickened out.
The last place I visited was Crystal Spring. There's a boardwalk that follows a stream to the spring that feeds it. I got a picture of a hawk there. Saw lots of other critters but they wouldn't pose for me.
Click below to see all of the pictures. There's a lot of them.