False Advertising In Regards To Waffles, and a Trip To The Valley of Fire.

First things first, some infrared pix from the Salt Flats and the Racetrack Playa. 

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Moving on to the following day...

After we left the Racetrack Playa, RR and I headed back to Las Vegas. I did a quick Expedia to find the cheapest motel, and it was Sam's Town. Another reason I wanted to stay there was because they had bowling lanes and salons, and I liked the idea of getting RR all dolled up and then throwing her in a corset and bowling shoes and taking some pics of her bowling. 

Unfortunately, by the time we got to Vegas and got settled, our main concerns were: Food. Sleep. But first I had to return the rental and pick up my Toyota. Fox Rent-a-Car helpfully expedited the process - when I dropped off the Jeep, a young man did a two-second three-sixty and said, "Yeah, OK." He ripped a form from a pad and handed it to me. "Go talk to that guy." he said and pointed to a booth. We were on our way.

It was late by the time we got to Sam's Town and room service was unavailable, so I headed down to TGI Fridays and got us some grub.

We were both pretty exhausted by this point because I have very little recollection of what, if anything, of interest happened. I have a vague recollection that funds were running low and I was starting to mooch off of Renee a little.

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Preparing for sleep at Sam's Town. Note the laptop, which never gave her a second's peace.

The next day we headed North, to the Valley of Fire. It was our last shoot, and then Renee was off to Palm Springs to catch a plane home.

On the way out of Vegas, we stopped at an IHOP. I have to take issue with their chicken and waffles, because the chicken came on one big waffle cut into quarters. So it's either chicken and waffLE (singular) or chicken and waffle sections. In any event, the food was good.

The Valley of Fire is on the Moapa Indian reservation about an hour Northeast of Vegas. You take a quick jaunt off of I15 and once you cross into the reservation there's a large convenience store and gas station. A few minutes more east and you see the fiery red rock faces. We got into the park and paid our entry - it's on the honour system, you put $10 into an envelope and then pop it into a slot on top of a wooden box.

It was getting late and we were tired. Renee had slept most of the trip, but when we entered into the valley itself, I nudged her thigh. I knew she wouldn't want to miss this. We stopped at the information centre and had a look at the map - we knew we only had a couple hours at most until the sun went down. We chose the White Domes as our destination. It was the furthest, so was most likely to have only very few visitors.

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We were mesmerized the whole drive. It was amazing. When we finally got to the domes, we headed down into a small gully and clicked away. Finally we found a good spot for pix and I shot a few of Renee. The last few days of hiking, driving, shooting, hiking, driving, shooting, then working into the night while I snored away had gotten her pretty worn down, but she still delivered.

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We both clicked cheerfully away.

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 After we were done shooting in the gully, she climbed a trail upwards, and we came out on top of a cliff next to an enormous rock face. Seeing an abutment out over the canyon, I suggested she climb up and model nude for some shots. She agreed. For best shooting position, I stood about a foot away from the edge of a cliff. My fear of heights is well known, and we joked after about who was most scared up there.

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I love these shots, but they do have a Wile E. Coyote thing happening.

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I reiterate: A magnificent butt.

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Quick snap of RR looking kind of intrepid. Little soft, sorry.

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On the way out as the sun started to descend.

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Some more IR.

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We decided to clear out. Sandpeople are easily startled, but they'll soon be back, and in greater numbers.

It's indicative of how wiped we both were that I have very little recollection of our drive to Palm Springs. I do recall that Palm Springs does that thing where they have quite a few similarly-named streets so that you can drive for several hours on Elm Grove Lane and then realize, nope, you want Elm Grove Street.

We finally found our Motel 6. I checked us in and saw a brochure for Disneyland. I went back to the car and handed to to Renee. "Look, Disney has a theme park now!" Groggy and exhausted, RR thumbed through it and replied, in all seriousness, "Yes, I know about this."

We got some wifi, did some internetting and hit the sack. Me long before here. As I drifted away, I heard her tapping away once again on her laptop.

The next morning, I set out early while Renee showered to explore a Palm Springs camera store. Closed. Not 'not open yet' but empty and vacant.

I went back to the motel to pick up Renee to deliver her to the Palm Springs airport. As we loaded up the car, a Cadillac the size of the USS Nimitz, bearing Texas plates, pulled into the lot. A squat, mean-looking old man wearing a Hawaiian shirt, and his wife, disembarked and headed to the office. He left the drivers-side door wide open. All I could think was, "As flaming gay couples are to San Francisco, so too is this to Palm Springs."

We had a quick breakfast at Elmers, where RR ordered German pancakes. She needed to get to the airport, so we ate quickly.

Here is a link, in case you want to know what Renee's opinion is of German pancakes. I can't find the video to embed it, sorry!


I dropped RR off at the airport, gave her a quick hug and said, "You travel very well. You should totally come to Mardi Gras next year."

All images under copyright.