Desert Big Horn Sheep

It was Memorial Day weekend and my first activity at the park was a rafting trip down the Colorado River the morning after I arrived to Las Vegas.  I was extremely excited and full of energy to have such an adventurous start to my internship. For the first time in 22 years, I had the opportunity to explore the outdoors during a holiday weekend. Growing up, my family unfortunately did not have the time or money to afford outdoor trips with the entire family. The moment we began driving down into Lake Mead from Boulder City, the breathtaking scenery just left me in awe. I had previously seen pictures of the park but the beauty of it is nothing compared with experiencing it with your very own eyes and having nature’s presence all around you. I took as many pictures as possible to share the experience with my family and friends but I still wished they could have been with me. Heading down below the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge I was very concerned if I would be able to survive the hot and sunny day. I followed all of the tour guides instructions to stay cool and it all worked out. However, throughout the raft trip the heat and the entire environment became such a soothing and relaxed experience. Never had I encountered the desert like that before. Rafting down the Colorado River, observing both sides of the desert beauty (Nevada and Arizona) while admiring the nature and the historical landmarks left behind from the Great Depression. The combination of the historical value and natural beauty that these lands and park preserve makes anybody’s experience extremely wealthy. When the ride was about to end we spotted an entire herd of Desert Bighorn Sheep dashing through the cliffs. They were so high up and walking so quickly that I just felt scared for them to slip and fall into the river. However, they really did prove to all of us that they are expert climbers and hikers. They made it all seem so easy as if, they were walking down a smooth and firm surface, although they were walking on an angle the entire time. At first I thought climbing was hard enough. But the day I went out to visit Lake Mead Visitor Center I picked up a ewe’s (female sheep) bighorn that they had there as a display and was super heavy. Without a doubt, they are amazing animals if they are able to climb so carefully and quickly especially, with so much weight on their head. Experiences like this really help us appreciate the power of nature in our National Parks. -Janelly Corona IMG_0233IMG_0110

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