Saturday, June 9, 2007

Mother's Day Weekend Recap, Part III

On Monday, I took the day off to spend with Mom. We packed a lunch and headed to Red Rock Canyon. It is a conservation area west of the valley where the rocks and mountains have an incredible red color caused by rust. It is breathtaking to see, and it's my favorite place to go hiking.

We started at the visitor's center, where they had displays on the geography and history of the area. They also had some critters indigenous to the area, including this cute iguana.
Out by the car, the sweet ground squirrel posed for me.
There's a 13 mile one-way loop around Red Rock, with many spots to pull off and explore. Here is Mom at Calico Hills, where I often go hiking. Clearly, she was not here to hike in her white pants!
We stopped at Willow Springs and ate our lunch in a nice picnic area. It was very hot (near 100-degrees), but we were shaded by trees. We watched several squirrels and birds scamper around during lunch.
After finishing the drive, we went to Ethel's Chocolate in Henderson. That is Ethel M as in the Mars chocolate family. We went on a tour through the factory, sampled some chocolates, and Mom picked out some gifts to bring back to friends (sure beats a T-shirt!). Then we walked through the cactus garden outside. This is such a neat collection of cactus and other plants that can survive in the desert climate. In the winter, they decorate the plants with Christmas lights.

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