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…

Friday, November 06, 2009


We left Salt Lake City on Tuesday at our usual time 0f 10:00.  We weren’t really sure how far we were driving.  Since it was Rod’s birthday he kinda wanted to go all the way to Mesquite which is just over the Nevada line.  We’ve stayed there before in the parking lot of a casino but this time we wanted hookups.  The last time we took this route I was driving so I wasn’t able to take pictures of these amazing canyons we went through.  This time I was like Dortha (Shutterbug Suzy) and took TONS of pictures.  Some people may think this kind of countryside is ugly but I think it’s gorgeous.




We got to Mesquite and saw a RV Park on the frontage road so we headed in that direction.  They had LOTS of empty pull through sites.  We got set up and headed for the casino in Mesquite.  We found out the RV Park is actually in Arizona but it’s only about 2 miles to the casino.  Since we changed our clocks back an hour last Sunday and left on Monday, entered Arizona and then Nevada, then back to Arizona we had no idea what the heck time it was.  Now we’re in Las Vegas which is Pacific time.



My brother, George and his wife, Jolene are here to race with the NHRA.  We’re hoping to see them race but so far we haven’t.  Two of their daughters are arriving today and also my sister Joyce and her husband Rick.  We’re having a mini family get together.

Yesterday Rod and I took the free shuttle to downtown Vegas.  We are staying at Sam’s Town which is out on the Boulder Highway east of town.  It’s been several years since we’ve been here and have never seen the renovated Fremont area.  It’s pretty cool and pretty cleaned up but they still have all the degenerates there that have always been there.  We did notice a strong police presence though.  The main reason I wanted to go there was to get the 99 cent shrimp cocktail ( click on it for more info) at the Golden Gate Casino.  They were 99 cents up until 2008 and now the price is $1.99.  Still a good deal for a shrimp cocktail.  If you get a players club membership though, it’s still only 99 cents.



Long line to get some




From there we wandered around Fremont Street going through some of the casinos.  Of course Rod noticed this one with the stripper pole


We were waiting for the show that comes on the ceiling over the street.  I had been wanting to see this for some time and it did not disappoint.  It was a music video that was pretty awesome.  They do a new show every hour on the hour after 6:00 pm every night.



Tonight we’re waiting for the rest of the family to show up and then meeting for dinner at the Cannery Casino  Should be a fun weekend!