Saturday, April 25, 2015

Valley of Fire State Park

Posted from TT-Las Vegas, NV     (Click on Pics to Enlarge)

On Thursday we took a drive north of Las Vegas to Valley of Fire State Park.  It was approximately 55 miles from TT and an easy drive up I-15, then a short drive to the western entrance of the park.

Just inside the entrance is a "warning" sign to anyone who might be thinking of taking their drone along to do some video work.

A plaque near the Visitor's Center reveals that the Valley of Fire State Park was Nevada's first state park and was dedicated on Easter Sunday in 1934.  The work of the CCC began construction projects here in 1933.

We chose Thursday as the weather was nice, temps only in the high 70s.  The park trails were not crowded at all.  Our first stop was in an area called Rainbow Vista

Because we haven't been hiking in some time now, we decided to only hike a few of the shorter trails.  Even the shorter trails reveal beautiful landscapes.  There have been quite a few movies produced in the park throughout the years.

This is all that remains of a set from the movie The Professionals filmed in 1965. 

The next couple of pictures are along the White Domes trail.  I love the striations and colors of the rocks in this park.

Does anyone else see "the face" in this rock, or had I been walking too long without taking a drink of water?

We next took a short hike down the Waves of Fire trail.  

These little guys were very prevalent along the trails.  They were actually fairly curious and would sit still watching us for a short while.

These formations near the end of the trail are one of the reasons the trail is named as such.

We stopped for lunch in this area.  

The last area we had time to visit today was named Mouse's Tank (Petroglyph Canyon).
The area got the name from an outlaw in the 1890s who used the area for a hideout.  A "tank" is a natural basin formed in the rocks where rainwater can be collected.  I will say that the "tank" area was completely dry and not very impressive to look at (thus no picture).

What was a lot more impressive were the petroglyphs observed in the canyon walls. Here's the wall from a distance and a bit of a closer shot. 

A closer view

 One more petroglyph for one of our readers who I know enjoys them.

Closer view again
It would take a couple of days to hike all of the trails and see all that is possible to see in this park.  There are also a couple of campgrounds within the park and one of them would be suitable for larger trailers and MHs.  Water and electric (plus a dump station) are available at the campground.

This blog's pictures only represent a small sampling of the pictures we took during our day in the park.  If interested in viewing some of the others please click on my Google+ link.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sin City Ahead!

Posted from Las Vegas TT    (Click on Pics to Enlarge)

Last Wednesday marked our last day for the winter stay in Palm Creek Golf and RV, Casa Grande, AZ.   I will say that we had a wonderful time this past winter season and will be returning again next October for the coming winter season.

With that said, it does feel good to be on the move again.  We're heading to the TT at Las Vegas, NV for a couple of weeks.  We've visited Las Vegas on several prior occasions, but never in an RV.  Casa Grande, AZ to Las Vegas, NV is about a 5-hour drive by car, but hey, we're fulltimers and we don't do a lot of things quickly anymore.

We decided to split the trip into two short days and overnighted in the little town of Wikieup, AZ. There are two CGs in town and I think both are about equal in amenities. Of course, we chose the more expensive one ($20 for FHUs),  but the other CG would have sufficed.  We spent the night at Hidden Oasis RV Park.  The sign by the office speaks volumes about the place.

 I guess we were lucky, however, to get a spot.  We arrived about 2 PM and got the last site available.  It worked out fine for us as we weren't here to see the sights(?) of Wikieup anyway.

We pulled into the TT Las Vegas just after noon on Thursday.  The place is still fairly busy, but we are parked near the rear of the park and have FHUs with 50-amp electrical service.  ($5 surcharge/night for the 50-amp service.) We've never been to this TT's park before, but aesthetically it certainly isn't one of my favorites. Close quarters in a gravel parking lot setting.  Enough said.  We're not in Las Vegas to "do" the Strip as we've knocked out that area in past visits.  We'll be looking for more adventures outside of the bright lights, casinos, and high-priced shows.  In all honesty, we have to watch our finances more than we did in the past when we traveled here for "mini vacations".

If anyone out there is familiar with the History Channel's Pawn Stars show, then you've heard reference made to the "beard of knowledge", also known as Mark Hall-Patton, the administrator of the Clark County Heritage Museum.  Mr. Hall-Patton appears on the show to give his opinion as to the authenticity of many of the items brought into the pawn shop.  We decided to look up the Clark County Heritage Museum as a place to visit.

This was a terrific find!  Admission is $2 or $1 for folks over 50.  I doubt that there is a better value in Las Vegas.  Actually, the museum is in Henderson, NV just off of Boulder Highway approximately 20 minutes south of our CG.

The museum is an eclectic mix of artifacts and complete buildings generally from the southern Nevada area.  The inside exhibits focus on the pre-historic period all the way up to modern day times. Here is Karen "posing" with the "beard of knowledge" himself (or just a cheesy cardboard cut-out of him).

Note:  To see MANY more pictures from the Clark County Museum, along with additional "data signs" about the exhibits please take a look at my Google+ Album at this link.

The outside exhibits show such items as mining equipment, a "ghost town" of re-assembled buildings, several railroad engines, cars, and the like, but the area I enjoyed most was called Heritage Street. This street was an assemblage of shops and houses dating from the late 1890s to the 1950s.  All of the structures are real and were moved at various points in time to their present location on Heritage Street.  The interiors are decorated with period furnishings.

Beckley House
Remember to look at my Google+ link above for many more pictures, but I'll include a few in this blog to whet your appetite.  The Beckley House dates from the 1920's era.  I've included a "data sheet" following each picture to give you a lot more information on that particular house.  Also, the Google+ link shows interiors of many of these homes.

Mobile America

An exhibit which I found interesting was entitled Mobile America. It showed an example of an early motor lodge cabin from the 1930s alongside a 1948 Spartan trailer.  This reminded of the Lucille Ball movie The Long, Long Trailer.

1931 Boulder City Train Depot
For train lovers, the 1931 Boulder City Depot is on display.  The inside is open to explore, along with a caboose and train car on the tracks outside.

1917 Holt Caterpillar

A vast collection of mining equipment is also on display outside.  This 1917 Holt Caterpillar appears to have seen better days.  The before mentioned "Ghost Town" is also located along the short trail near the mining equipment.

Candlelight Wedding Chapel

And last, but certainly not least, is the Candlelight Wedding Chapel.  Las Vegas is known for its many wedding chapels and quicky marriages.  This chapel opened in 1966 next to the Riviera Hotel.  It operated until 2003 when it closed.  The entire building was moved in 2007 to the Clark County Heritage Museum site and was opened again in 2009.

Hopefully, the few exhibits I chose to depict in this blog will whet your appetite and make you want to see more.  If so, please take a gander at my Google+ link. More importantly, if you ever get a chance to visit the Clark County Heritage Museum in person, I think you'll agree that it's the best $1.00 you ever spent.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

We've Been Invaded!

Posted from TT-Las Vegas, NV   (Click on Pics to Enlarge)

In my last post I talked about how folks were beginning to leave for the winter season and head back (or on) to wherever.  By early April our street was beginning to look pretty bare.

Well, around April 7th all of that began to change.  We're being invaded by "The Alfateers" and their Alfa MHs and 5th wheels.  The Alfa National Rally began April 11 and runs thru April 17th.
We couldn't nail down an accurate number, but there are supposed to be between 100 and 200 Alphas coming to the park.

The small tent is set up directly across from our rig and will be used by the group during the week.  They are due to have a number of seminars, dinners, and vendors attending the rally for service and product sales.

It was obvious that it was a signal for us to move on.  All of these Alfas have surrounded our lone Tiffin product.

Ok, before I start getting "comments" from Alfa owners,  I'M JUST KIDDING!  All of the Alfateers who we met around us were very nice folks.  They are very passionate about their choice of RV, but then again, aren't most of us.  

We have moved on, however.  Again, not because of the Alfas, but because our stay at Palm Creek is up for the season ending on April 15th.  We're heading up to the Thousand Trails in Las Vegas for a few weeks, then we'll start a slow journey eastward for the summer.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Where Has This Winter Season Gone?

Posted from Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort at Casa Grande, AZ (Click on pics to enlarge)

Wow!  Our time here in Casa Grande has truly flown by this winter.  We've been here since October 15th and we'll be moving on on April 15th.  The mass exit of the "snowbirds" has really gotten underway since April 1st.

Palm Creek had a record year for filling spaces this winter and all of these now empty spaces you see in this picture were filled with RVs not too long ago.  It's sad really as we've seen many of our friends leave, but console ourselves with the knowledge that we'll see them again next winter.

It also means that the pickleball tournament season is winding down in this area as well.  I had the opportunity to play in several tournaments this season with my two partners Ken Hague and Bill Pitzl.  Thank you to both of you guys for putting up with me.  Aside from the one medal Ken and I won in our resident tournament, Bill and I were  only able to say that we gained valuable tournament experience for the future.  (I guess that's a nice way of saying that we lost!)

The largest tournament that we played in was hosted by our own Palm Creek Pickleball Club.  The tournament was held in the first part of March and it called "The Duel in the Desert".  For comparison sake, it is the third largest tournament in the United States (behind The Nationals and the Huntsman Games) and it is the largest tournament put on by a club.  This year's tournament drew 479 players who competed in 672 matches.

These tournaments not only showcase some of the very best pickleball players around, but we had many vendors selling everything from paddles to jewelry to ice cream.

More vendors over on the adjoining outfield of the softball field.

(Photo Courtesy of Palm Creek FB Page)
This past Saturday the park held a farewell party and called it the "Aloha Party".  It was another beautiful day here and was well attended.

A group of Polynesian dancers performed, a fire dancer gave a demonstration, food was available, and a good time seemed to be had by those in attendance.

We will certainly miss all of our friends, both old and new, here in Palm Creek, but look forward to good times together again next winter season.

We've had some great times during the past six months and the sunsets never disappoint.

Thanks for dropping by to take a look!