Thursday, December 10, 2009

Catching up AGAIN

I’ve been remiss again in my blog posting.  No excuses either.  Sometimes I just have to be in the mood.  I’m sitting here in the back lot of a RV dealer in Ft Mohave, Arizona waiting on a new fresh water tank but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me get caught up on what we’ve been doing.

The last post had us still in Laughlin.  We took a day trip down to Lake Havasu looking for a spot to spend Christmas.  We were looking for a park with cabins but didn’t find any.  We did find the London Bridge (click to read) which has a really amazing story.  The bridge was actually built in London in 1824 and finished in 1831.  It was sold to an American by the name of Robert McColloch in 1968 for $2,460,000 who had it taken apart and shipped to Lake Havasu where it was reassembled.  There is a little London style shopping center by the bridge but most of the shops were closed up.  Another example of our economy I guess.


The London Bridge


Driving across it


We even found another In-N-Out Burger for lunch while we were there.


Our stay in Laughlin came to an end and we moved 30 miles south to Needles, CA to a KOA.  We don’t usually like to stay at KOA’s but they do have cabins and the price for a campsite was very reasonable.  Plus, each site has a large oleander bush in between so we really do have some privacy.

Sometime last week I was in my RV chatroom when my friend Dortha was talking about how she and Mark were going to fly to San Diego to visit Jim & Ellie.  I jokingly said she could have flown to see us and she said, “Well, you could drive to San Diego.”  I mentioned it to Rod and he said we should do it.  It was a 5 hour drive from Needles to San Diego through the desert and over the mountains.  Being from San Diego I had made this trip more times than I can remember.  Nothing in the desert or the mountains had changed except for the addition of a casino or two.  We had camped many, many times in the desert in my younger days.  I just think the desert is so beautiful in it’s own way.




We spent a GREAT few days in San Diego with Mark, Dortha, Jim & Ellie catching up.  These are the same people we traveled with in Washington and Oregon.  We had really crappy weather one day while there so we thought it would be a good day to visit the museums in Balboa Park.  Come to find out there are actually eighteen museums there.  We had to pick one and go with that.  We chose the Museum of Natural History where there was a Darwin exhibit.  They didn’t allow photography of any kind so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was really interesting.  There were a lot of other exhibits as well as the museum is 5 floors.



The Botanical Gardens



After we left the museum we just had to find a Mexican restaurant for some lunch


On Tuesday we made plans to meet up with my niece, Karianne for lunch at another one of my favorite places in San Diego called Rubios.  The story is that he was the one who invented fish tacos and the margarita at Hussongs Cantina in Ensenada and brought them to San Diego.  There are so many legends of the fish taco you don’t know who to believe but all I know is that they are delicious!


Uncle Rod and Karianne at Rubio’s


We left San Diego (reluctantly) on Wednesday and headed back to Needles.  Actually, we were heading back to Fort Mohave where we had left our RV for repairs.  We dropped it off there on our way to San Diego to find out why we were leaking water out of the bottom when we traveled.  They found a large gash on the top of the fresh water tank.  How in the world you get a gash there, I have no idea.

Mark & Dortha heading to the airport for their flight back to Dallas


Back across the desert


When we bought our RV we also bought an extended warranty because we didn’t know how long it would take to sell our house and we wanted to be protected in case it took a long time.  Well, it took 20 months to sell our house so most of our factory warranty was LONG gone.  So, this is being covered by our extended warranty.  Thank goodness.

As I write this I’m sitting inside our rig at the dealer’s lot while they install the new tank.  Our rig is also equipped with what they call the Arctic Package which means LOTS of insulation underneath.  Well, it was ruined when the tank was leaking so that has to be replaced also.  Insulation looks really weird when it gets wet.  It compresses to almost paper thin.

Lovely, isn’t it??



Well, they said it will  be done today so as soon as they’re finished we’ll head out and go back to our campground.  I need to get out all the Christmas stuff and get everything decorated.  We’re only about 15 miles from the campground so again, it won’t be a long drive.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


We took a drive to the north side of the lake because we had seen people over there boondocking (dry camping) and wanted to see how it was.  Not that we were going to do it, we just wanted to see it.  LOL.  Most of the roads coming off the main highway are washboard type roads and there is no way we would take our RV on them.  It’s amazing how low the water level is in the lake.  Most of the boat ramps are closed and unusable.  One of them even said “Use at Your own Risk”.  Here’s one the boat ramps to nowhere.


These were the roads going down to the lake


We hear these guys every single night.  It’s so cool…


We really wanted to spend more time here at this RV park but they told us there is a 2 week limit for lake front sites.  I have no idea why they would make us leave when the park is so empty.  We were willing to pay the extra they charge but they said no.  Here’s a picture of our site


And here’s a picture of the other lake front sites EMPTY


This is how we spent most evenings


Sooooo after running a few shopping errands in town and going to my second most favorite fast food stop we left our great spot at Lake Mead and headed out of town.


We drove a whole 83 miles and are now set up in Laughlin, Nevada for a week.  We are being charged extra for being here during Thanksgiving.  I asked the guy who was checking us in what we got extra for the extra price.  “Nothing” was his reply.  Hmmm, this place is half empty also.  I’m sure places will start filling up after Thanksgiving and Christmas though.

Yesterday we drove over to Needles, CA looking for a place to stay during Christmas.  Since we’re having company we needed to find a place that also has cabins.  We found a really nice KOA there.  I was surprised at how nice this place was.  Usually KOA’s are just gravel parking lots and everybody is right on top of each other.  This place actually had tall bushes between each site and the manager gave us a map with available sites and told us we could go look at them.  This may be where we’re headed when we leave here on the 1st of December.  We still want to check out Lake Havasu though.  I think we’ll do that on Friday.  Don’t want to miss the Saturday football games…

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lake Mojave

Monday we took a drive down to Lake Mojave to check out a place we might want to stay during the holidays.  On the way down we stopped at a Wal-Mart to pick up a new Food Saver.  The Food Saver is our vacuum sealer that we used for just about all the food in our freezer.  We’ve had the same one for quite awhile and it finally quit sealing.  This Wal-Mart wasn’t a SUPER Wal-Mart and they weren’t as well stocked so they didn’t have any.  We continued on our way down to Lake Mojave.  The RV park we were looking for was off the main highway outside of Searchlight called Cottonwood Cove.  It was right on the lake and had a beautiful marina FULL of houseboats.  The RV park was really bad though.  The sites were SO close to each other that it would have been really tough opening the slides.  Some of the sites were set up so that you were end to end so if two 5th wheels were backed up to each other your view out the back window would be the living room of the rig behind you.  Uggghhhh.  I don’t think so.  It’s really too bad because it would have been a beautiful place to stay right on the lake.


The Marina


On the way home we stopped at a Super Wal-Mart in Henderson which is suburb of Las Vegas and found the Food Saver we were looking for.  If you’ve ever owned one of these you know what I mean when I say I couldn’t have gone very long without one.  I also found a new one they have come out with that is handheld and can be a lot more convenient than having to get the big one out all the time.


After that we headed for Sam’s Club for a few things and then to Trader Joe’s for a pre-brined turkey for Thanksgiving and then home.   It’s a great shopping day when you can find everything you’re looking for!

The other day Rod wrote a “Status Update” on Facebook that was totally tongue in cheek.  Some people actually thought he was serious.  For those of you who either don’t have Facebook or just missed it he asked me to post it here.

Rod’s Post

RETIREMENT!!!!!!! It's definitely not what it's cracked up to be. An example: the other day I got up at 9:30 and went for a walk. After that I got some projects done on the rig and truck. After that, Deb and I sat out by the fence and looked at Lake Mead and the hills across the way as the sun set behind us.While sitting out there in shorts and t-shirts, we watched quail scurry around, hummingbirds fluttering around us and listened to the coyotes barking and howling. I also had a cigar and glass of red wine (heart medicine) while doing this. After that had dinner, Salad, fresh corn on the cob and salmon. After that I went back outside and started a fire. Still in shorts and t-shirt. Had another cigar and wine while enjoying the quietness. If days like this don't make you wish you were back working, I don't know what will…

Ahhhh, life is good….

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lake Mead & Hoover Dam

Yesterday we had some errands to run in Boulder City so we decided it would be a good day to visit Hoover Dam.  We’re only about 5 miles from there.  First stop was the Visitor’s Center so I could get a stamp in my National Parks Passport.  Then we stopped at the Post Office to mail off a few things and then on to the grocery store (I was out of garlic).  When we walked up to the door we saw a sign that said the Pharmacy had flu shots so we decided to check that out.  They did indeed have them.  Just the regular flu shot not the H1N1 (swine flu).  After she made a quick call to our health insurance company we found out we only had to pay $8 each out of the $30 each that they charge.  Nice.

From there we headed to Hoover Dam.  It actually used to be called Boulder dam but was renamed in 1947 after President Hoover.  The road to get there is very narrow in spots with some hairpin curves so they are building a nice four lane highway and a new bridge which will be called the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge across the canyon so you won’t have to actually drive across the dam anymore.  The bridge is scheduled to open Sept 2010.  Click here for more info

Since 9/11 they have put in security measures which meant since the back of our truck is covered we had to go to the inspection station.  All they did was lift up a corner of the cover and peak inside before sending us on our way.


Security check point


He peaked under the cover


The new highway (not yet being used)


The new bridge under construction



This is what the bridge will look like when completed


Looking down at the spillway from the top of the dam


The middle of the dam is the dividing line between Nevada and Arizona




The water level in Lake Mead is WAY low right now.  It’s pretty amazing to see the old water line and how far down it is.  I’m not really sure why it’s that way.  I do know that Lake Mead is a man made lake that was created when they built the Hoover Dam so maybe they’re not letting any water into it right now.  It’s at a 44 year low.  Click here to read more about it.  When we were driving along the lakefront the Garmin showed us actually driving in the lake.  Even the boat launch is way up on shore.

Look at the water line!!



Since we have a cold weekend coming up we’re just going to lay low and watch football.  Laundry is all done for awhile so nothing else left to do…

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Vegas

Friday night my sister Joyce and brother-in-law Rick arrived from San Diego to spend the weekend with us.  We visited with them for a little bit then joined my brother George and sister-in-law  Jolene, Dana, Deanna, Marissa and Mark for dinner.  It was hard catching up with everybody because there were so many of us.  LOL. 

Saturday George & Jolene were racing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  This was on the 1/4 mile track.  They had to qualify in order to race on Sunday.  Both qualified in their respective classes but we weren’t able to see Jolene’s race because it was at 7:30 in the morning.  That would have made for an incredibly LONG day as George didn’t race until 4:00 in the afternoon (which really ended up being 7:00).

First we had to stop for lunch on our way to the track




Jolene’s car


George’s car


George’s race


Sunday we went to the Flamingo Hotel & Casino on the strip to join Joyce & Rick for breakfast and a day of football watching.  Chargers won!!!  I got a phone call from Jolene that she lost her race but George was still in it.  He lost later in the day in the third round.  Oh well, there’s more races down the road.

Looking down the Las Vegas strip


Joyce & Rick




George & Jolene had been dry camping in their motorhome at the track and were heading to Pomona, CA for another race but since they didn’t need to be there until Wednesday they decided to come and park at Sam’s Town with us for a few days.  We ended up going to downtown Vegas again which I think is better than the strip anyway.  I’m not sure how we did between us with our gambling on this trip.  Some days we won, some days we lost.  It was part of our entertainment budget anyway.

More of the Fremont Street Experience.  Click here for more info.  This was done to the music of Don McLean’s American Pie.




Ashley, George and Jolene


Everybody kept asking us where we were going from here and we honestly had no idea.  Since we had never stayed at Lake Mead we decided that would be it. Lake Mead was formed when the Hoover Dam was built on the Colorado River.  Our drive was only 30 miles but what a difference in scenery.  You go 10 miles outside of Vegas and you’re in the desert.  We’re not into dry camping so we looked for a RV park and there were LOTS of them.  Most are deserted now as summer is their high season.  It’s still nice and warm here too.  Our temps are in the upper 70’s but there is a storm coming in this weekend.  No snow but cooler temps and some wind.  That’s okay with us because we are perfectly happy watching football all weekend.  After this busy week we had it’ll be nice to just rest and relax for a few days.

This was our drive along the lake


Our view out the back window


Lots of quail running around and LOTS of coyotes howling at night


We even have a fire pit!!!  We are definitely happy “campers”


We only paid for a week when we got here but decided we liked it so much that we went to the office and paid for another week.  Then we saw they were running a special for Thanksgiving where if you pay for 2 nights they’ll give you one more free night AND a free turkey!!  I think we’ll be staying here for Thanksgiving…