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Adventures in the Villa

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Nevada

2021-06-25 – Heading Home from Springtime in the Rockies caravan… Day 30 – Leaving Las Vegas

We had a leisurely morning with time to walk around the park. It is a huge park, with a variety of types of sites and amenities…

We left Las Vegas about 9:30 and headed south through Nevada…

We continues south through Nevada…

Outside Las Vegas there were these very impressive solar farms…

We are headed down through the tiny southern point of Nevada. We stopped in Searchlight to stretch our legs…

And we continued south through Nevada…

We briefly re-entered California at the 40, as we continued on to Needles…

And we continued southeast through California…

There is an exit at Needles to drive along the historic Route 66…

And then we crossed the Colorado River once again and entered Arizona…

California and Arizona have plenty of interesting mountains…

As we headed south on AZ 95 towards Parker we saw smoke ahead…

We never figured out what this was – how does the desert burn like this? But we did hear later that Arizona did close all their State-owned public lands due to the many fires…

We eventually found the Colorado River again…

We found this nice little enclave of vacation homes in the middle of nowhere…

We suffered through the traffic that is Lake Havasu City, and finally arrived at the Pirates Den RV Resort. This place has seen better days… as have all the “resorts” and trailer parks and campgrounds along the river…

When we tried to check in to our site the manager told us that it was not yet available. The current occupants had truck trouble, and were just now started to pack up. We went into the restaurant to wait – it was 110 degrees outside – and, since we finally had internet access we could check our phones…

The resort has many waterfront sites, with private beach cabanas. We didn’t have one of these…

But it is great fun to watch the boat traffic in the river…

Because of the heat we turned in early.

An enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-06-24 – Heading Home from Springtime in the Rockies caravan… Day 29 – Las Vegas, Nevada

We were up early again. We think. In this part of the world it is difficult to tell time. Our watches, phones, computers, and dashboard clocks kept switching back and forth between Pacific Daylight Time and Mountain Daylight time, depending on which satellite or cell tower it found…

We headed south across Nevada…

We continued south across Nevada…

We continued south across Nevada…

Then we continued south across Nevada…

And we continued south across Nevada…

And we continued south across Nevada…

We stopped to stretch our legs, in Nevada…

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Finally we came across some interesting features alongside the road…

There was even a lake!

We pulled into the Oasis RV Resort just after noon…

We had a brief dip in the pool…

We had happy hours and dinner in the Villa, watching old movies on TCM.

An enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-06-23 – Heading Home from Springtime in the Rockies caravan… Day 28 – Ely, Nevada

We started out today by leaving the RV Park at 7:50. We headed out to buy fuel. However, the phone app that told us where it was was wrong, so we had to back track. On our way we were stopped by a train crossing.

We sat there for over 20 minutes… While some people might be annoyed while a freight train moved back and forth for 20 minutes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The train was off-loading cars into a freight yard. It would pull forward, a worker threw a switch, the train backed up a bit, the worker disconnected a car or two, and the train would stop. The loose car(s) would continue to roll onto the siding.

Fascinating!

The train finally pulled away, and we crossed over; we quickly found the truck stop, where we refilled the diesel and the DEF. And we were off!

We traveled south, and then we jogged west at Salt Lake City. The freeways on the 15 and 215 in SLC were some of the worst roads we have seen on this trip, and we have seen MANY bad roads. Finally we came to the shores of the Great Salt Lake.

I’m not sure we ever saw any clear water in the lake – only the salt flats…

We passed this huge plant of some kind. We could not figure why this “smoke stack” was so large, but it was a fascinating thing to see…

There a Mosque, too…

And on we drove. Salt everywhere…

And a salt processing plant…

We stopped to stretch our legs at Delle. Nothing here except a small gas station and a very large gravel parking area with outhouses…

We continued west. Salt…

A we neared the Nevada border we noticed that cars stopped along the road had been driving onto the salt… Weird!

Then it dawned on me…

This is the Bonneville Salt Flats!

The Bonneville Salt Flats are a densely packed salt pan in Tooele County in northwestern Utah. The area is a remnant of the Pleistocene Lake Bonneville and is the largest of many salt flats located west of the Great Salt Lake. The property is public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and is known for land speed records at the “Bonneville Speedway”. Access to the flats is open to the public.

Motorcar racing has taken place at the salt flats since 1914. Racing takes place at part of the Bonneville Salt Flats known as the Bonneville Speedway. There are five major land speed events that take place at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Bonneville “Speed Week” takes place mid-August followed by “World of Speed” in September and the “World Finals” take place early October.

Just west of the salt flats we went through Wendover, Utah. We crossed the border and entered West Wendover, Nevada…

We stopped… where else? At a casino parking lot…

We enjoyed a nice lunch and a short nap… Then we headed south. The road looked like this for 110 miles!

And then we arrived at the “booming” town of Ely, NV, and we easily found the KOA campground…

We settled in, walked our required 30 minutes, enjoyed Happy Hours and dinner…

An enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-06-07 – Springtime in the Rockies caravan… Day 12 – Fruita, CO

Today we return to the Colorado National Monument to see more of its beauty…

On our way to the entrance we crossed the mighty Colorado River…

The Colorado River is the major river of the southwestern United States and northwest Mexico. Its headwaters are in Rocky Mountain National Park where La Poudre Pass Lake is its source. It flows southwest through the Colorado Plateau country of western Colorado, southeastern Utah and northwestern Arizona, where it flows through the Grand Canyon. It turns south near Las Vegas, Nevada, forming the Arizona–Nevada border in Lake Mead and the Arizona–California border a few miles below Davis Dam between Laughlin, Nevada and Needles, California, before entering Mexico in the Colorado Desert. Most of its waters are diverted into the Imperial Valley of Southern California. In Mexico its course forms the boundary between Sonora and Baja California before entering the Gulf of California.

We re-entered the Colorado National Monument.

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the “Organic Act” creating the National Park Service, a federal bureau in the Department of the Interior responsible for maintaining national parks and monuments that were then managed by the department. The National Park System has since expanded to 423 units (often referred to as parks), more than 150 related areas, and numerous programs that assist in conserving the nation’s natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of current and future generations.

The National Park Service manages all of the various “units” – Parks, Forests, Monuments, Historic Sites, Lakeshores, Recreation Areas, Scenic Trails, and several other designations. The first parks were Yellowstone (1872), Sequoia (1890), Yosemite (1890), Mt. Rainier (1899), Crater Lake (1902), Wind Cave (1903), Mesa Verde (1906), Glacier (1910), Rocky Mountain (1915). Colorado National Monument was established in 1911. The different desinations have to do with how they are created. National Parks are created by acts of Congress. National Monuments and most other designations are created by the President via Executive Order. Thirty States have National Parks; the States with the most parks are: California (9), Alaska (8), Utah (5), and Colorado (4).

We began our visit with a ranger talk in the picnic area where we had had dinner last night…

We learned about the geology of these magnificent cliffs and canyons, plus a little of the park history. The man behind the creation of the Colorado National Monument was John Otto, who settled in Grand Junction in the early 20th century. Otto was the first white man to explore the area.

Prior to Otto’s arrival, many area residents believed the canyons to be inaccessible to humans. Otto began building trails on the plateau and into the canyons.  As word spread about his work, the Chamber of Commerce of Grand Junction sent a delegation to investigate. The delegation returned praising both Otto’s work and the scenic beauty of the wilderness area, and the local newspaper began lobbying to make it a National Park. A bill was introduced and carried by the local Representatives to the U.S. Congress and Senate but a Congressional slowdown in the final months threatened the process. To ensure protection of the canyons President William Howard Taft (who had visited the area) stepped in and used the highest powers available to him via the Antiquities Act and presidential proclamation to declare the canyons as a national monument

John Otto was hired as the first park ranger, drawing a salary of $1 per month. For the next 16 years, he continued building and maintaining trails while living in a tent in the park.

For many years during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps. built roads, tunnels, trails, and other features of the park. The CCC left in 1941; the major Rim drive was completed in the 1950s.

Following the Ranger talk we visited the Visitor Center. I liked the fact that it is built from the native sandstone…

After we had seen a few exhibits in the Visitor Center we drove the Rim drive for 23 miles, all the way to Grand Junction. We saw 23 miles of rocks.

Here I liked the walls made from the natural sandstone… These walls are several hundred feet long, and they occur at many of the pull-outs along the Rim drive…

After we left the park we drove through Grand Junction again. We found truck fuel and DEF. Tomorrow we will return to Fruita for some final grocery shopping before we enter the wilderness of Dinosaur National Monument, Flaming Gorge Dam, and the Grand Tetons National Park…

It was 97 degrees again, but we have good, clean power, so both AC units are running in the Airstream… At 5:00 we took a walk around the lake in the park.

We also saw the Colorado River again, adjacent to the park…

Unfortunately, we walked out of the park and around the outside of the park, and finally had to go totally around the park and walk in the maim entrance…

After a short break we joined other caravaners for happy hours. We returned to the Villa, and an enjoyable time was had by all…,

2021-05-24 – Springtime in the Rockies caravan…Traveling to Fillmore, Utah

So this is what you see when you head north on the 15 out of Las Vegas… We left a little before 9:00 am, fueled up at the Loves truck stop, and hit the road. We will stay on the 15 for 270 miles today…

After an hour or so we entered Arizona. We were in Arizona for less than an hour, making a diagonal across a corner of the Arizona Strip. We had learned about the Arizona Strip in 2018 while we were on the Southwest Adventure caravan. The Arizona Strip is the part of Arizona lying north of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. The difficulty of crossing the Grand Canyon causes this region to have more physical and cultural connections with southern Utah and Nevada than with the rest of Arizona. It really ought to be part of Utah. It covers almost 8,000 square miles, and it is virtually uninhabited, with absolutely no cellular service. If you want to drive some of the few wilderness roads you are advised to bring a tent, firewood, and food and water for 3 days. If you breakdown, you won’t be found for 3 days…

And then we were in Utah. One of the few cities in southern Utah is St. George. We stopped for lunch at a “Culvers”, a first for us… We were able to stretch our legs and have a nice break… Parking was a little rough…

After lunch we continued north and northeast…

We are traveling with fellow Airstreamers and fellow Caravaners from Nebraska, Gordon and Debbie Opp. Today was their turn to lead… We are driving through these small hills on the valley floor. The topography is constantly changing, from meadows and grass to hills and rocks…

Here’s a new sight for us:

We actually saw a sign warning of a curve ahead, saying, “Slow 70″…

Best part is that there is no special 55 MPH limit for vehicles towing trailers! We stopped for a mid-afternoon leg stretch at a rest stop…

We arrived in the outskirts of Fillmore, and easily found the KOA. Beautiful, quiet park, lovely trees; it is is surrounded by grassy meadows overlooking the surrounding hills…

Along with us and the Opps, there was another Airstream in the park, but we were unable to meet them.

We enjoyed happy hours (with my signature Old Fashioneds) and a nice dinner of chicken Caesar salad…

But we are continuing on tomorrow, and we just realized that Utah is in Mountain Time Zone! We lost an hour somewhere along the road. So we turned in early. And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-05-23 – Springtime in the Rockies caravan…Traveling to Las Vegas

This is an exciting day! We are leaving for our first caravan in two years! Our last caravan was Springtime in Kentucky, which was completed on May 16, 2019. Today we head towards Estes Park, Colorado; the Springtime in the Rockies caravan will begin on May 27, 2021.

Yesterday I brought the Airstream home, and parked it in front of our house. We don’t do this often, because the street is narrow, and it curves. And the trees! They have been trimmed up over the street to a height of 10′, so I know we clear. But it is always a challenge to get parked close to the curb and avoid parked cars. But it’s a real convenience to be able to load for a long trip such as this. We will be on the road for 36 days, returning home late June.

Springtime in the Rockies will bring us to all the scenic points in the Rockies, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Pike’s Peak, and Yellowstone National Park, among many others. We will do some hiking, some white water rafting, and we will ride bicycles on Pike’s Peak – down, not up! They will bus us to the top, we will have breakfast, we will climb on bikes and coast down 26 miles, and then they serve us lunch. Sounds like fun to me!

So we left home at about 10:5 am today. Our destination is Las Vegas – a cheap RV park in North Las Vegas. No casino hopping for us!

Quite by chance we “met” on Facebook another couple traveling to the caravan. They are from Nebraska, but they were spending a week or so in SoCal, visiting family; we are traveling with them. We met up in a rest stop just outside Baker, CA. We traveled along with them to Las Vegas.

The Mohave Desert is quite am amazingly stark place! Note to people who thing Eastern Oregon is a desert: This is what a desert looks like…

We found the unique crossroad of Zzyzx:

We drove the freeway past Las Vegas. ‘Nuff said…

We found the Hitchen’ Post RV Park, and set up quickly. We met our new friends for Happy Hours and turned in for the night.

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-20 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 33 – The Arizona Strip

2017-10-08 Westbound; California and a mountain pass at 8,574 feet elevation!

We once again started the day by walking to Mom and Pops for breakfast.  Then we joined other LTAC members in a hike to a local waterfall!

Yes!  It’s up there!

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It was a short hike, and pretty easy.  Carson City sits at about 4,800 feet elevation, and this was about a 200 feet climb (after a drive up the foothills…); we were almost a mile high!

Waterfalls never disappoint:

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Along the way we were treated to views of the valley, fall colors, and unusual rock formations:

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After the hike we returned to the Villa.  It was time to go…

We hit the road at about 1:00 pm.  We were shortly back in California.  We are headed to Jackson, CA, to attend the WBCCI Region 12 Rally.  We will be arriving early, so we will have some quiet time before the other 100 Airstreams arrive.

I didn’t think much about the drive; I just set the GPS in the truck and followed its directions.  As we wound our way through foothills, I casually asked Lynda to look on the map and see what the elevation of the pass was that we were driving through.  She said, “8,754′”.  What?  This may not be Rocky Mountain high, but it’s higher than we had ever been before.  Some people get altitude sickness at elevations like this.

Anyway, we drove around and around, and up and up.  We enjoyed the scenery:

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The roads were very busy with tourists stopping alongside the road to photograph the fall colors, along with hunters, parked along the road and heading out across the open fields with their dogs…

We scaled the summit at 8,754′, and we headed downhill.  Then we were heading up again, and scaled two other passes at about 8,000′.  It was an exciting drive.  And then we headed down and down and down.  Jackson is at 1,200’…

It was not an easy drive.  Steep downhills, sharp curves, lots of cars going both ways… But we made it to Rancheria RV Resort, at the Rancheria Casino… It is a beautiful RV park!  Large spaces, nice concrete pads, lots of grass:

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We set up, met a few of our neighbors (there are about 30 Airstreams in the park…), and Happy Hours ensued.  An enjoyable time was had by all…

PS:  In the middle of the night strong winds erupted suddenly.  Other than having to run outside to pull down the awnings, we had nothing much more than a lot of noise and a shaking Airstream.  However, this was the night that Napa and Sonoma counties caught on fire… We are glad it didn’t happen here…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-10-07 Westbound; Urban Rally in Carson City…

Saturday morning in Carson City dawned bright and clear.  We walked down Carson St. and went to Mom and Pops Diner for breakfast.  As we walked down the street we saw all the Airstreams that were parked along the street:

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After breakfast we returned to the Villa and prepared it for the Open House.  The local papers had advertised that all are welcome to see the Airstreams.  So we cleaned up, put away stuff, and made the Villa look as nice as possible… We were told to be available from 10:00 am to Noon.

People started arriving at 10:00 am.  They were still coming through at 6:00 pm.  Apparently the newspapers said “all day”… But we don’t mind…

We did sneak away for a few minutes in the afternoon to do the “Wine Walk”.  Downtown Carson City does this the first Saturday every month. (On the third Saturday they do a beer crawl…)

We signed up, paid our $15.00, and received our wrist bands and our glasses.  There were over 60 merchants pouring wine throughout the downtown district.

Some had set up tables on the sidewalk, others had you come into their stores.  Note that this wasn’t some delicate wine tasting with good wines and tiny pours.  These were fairly average wines with full glass pours.  Ant no one was keeping count on how many times you asked for a glass of wine…  Between stores, there were throngs of people, carrying and drinking glasses of wine, and walking along the sidewalk… We’re not in California anymore!

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Some places had entertainment: Irish music, similar to what we heard at the Ceilidhs in Nova Scotia…

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Our final wine stop was at the local Elks Lodge.  After drinking our wine, and enjoying some of the food they had set out, we sat at the bar and watched college football.  And, since the bar was open, we were allowed to order drinks.  Let me tell you, if you like to drink and have the opportunity to drink in an Elks Club bar, you are in heaven!!!

We made our way back to the Villa and fixed a quick dinner; lookieloos were still coming through…  We left and walked to see an outdoor concert put on by some local musicians:

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An added benefit of the concert was the ice cream store right there on the square:

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We had a nice time hanging out in Carson City.  It is a friendly, nice little town.  They have just spent a ton of money redoing their streets, curbs, and sidewalks.  Now they just need to get a few more upscale businesses and fill in the “missing teeth” of the storefronts along the street.

We started to return to the Villa, but were distracted by a casino bar that had both the CAL game and the Dodgers game on the TVs just above the bar.  Drinks ensued and an enjoyable time was had by all.

 

PS:  The Dodgers had a better night than CAL…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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