If you come to a fork in the road, take it!
Thursday, January 2, 2014: Up to bright sunny skies (of course) and a temperature of 65 degrees which is quickly rising. Today we reluctantly depart Oasis RV Park and once again hit the lonely road to wherever we may wander.
Since checkout time is 1200 and since the rates at this park average over two dollars an hour we lounge about to take advantage of every penny we have invested!
Hey, just noticed on weather.com that it is verrrry cold back home in Maine!
The above map shows the temperatures at mid-day. Last night’s lows dropped to minus 17 degrees below zero…..yikes! You know, I have a theory about what’s causing this Polar Vortex. It’s all due to our congressional representatives being on their undeserved Christmas holiday break and therefore absent from Washington. So my theory is that all the usual hot air emanating from DC has now been spread about the country so the temperatures in the northeast have dropped dramatically!
And speaking of Washington, I’ve recently read on The CNN that our political representatives have accomplished practically nothing this past year. Now, I don’t know about you but I see that bit of news as a real positive! Whenever our elected body does pass a bunch of bills, our collective lives get more difficult and it ends up costing the average citizen a lot more money…..so I’m thinking a do-nothing congress is a good thing!
One more thing while on my political soapbox…..why is it that over half our political leaders are millionaires? And many of them have acquired their fortunes while in office!?!? Looks as if the 1% has over 50% of the representation……just saying!
Enough of that! So, we hit the road at 1145 hours and hopped on “The 15” heading easterly. Later, after an arduous day of travel, we eventually pull into the Desert Oasis RV Park at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada at 1215. OK, we only drove 17 miles…..I just had to make it all sound a bit more dramatic than it was.
Why did we go to all the trouble and move our rolling home such a short distance? Well for one thing, the grandkids are heading back to school on Monday so their overnight stays with us will be limited to the weekends. And for the other, Desert Eagle RV Park is less than half the cost of Oasis RV Park. True that the 34 mile round trip to pick up the kids will eat up $7.00 of fuel, but we will still be ahead of the financial game and for we pensioners, that’s a real factor!
When we arrived at Desert Eagle we received a very pleasant surprise. As you may remember we very rarely make advanced reservations at campgrounds, primarily because we very rarely know exactly where we are headed or when we might feel like stopping. However, on an occasion such as this I called to make reservations a week ago and was told their full hookup sites were, well…..full! Desert Eagle is a snowbird favorite and as such gets a lot of pressure from the fulltime RV’ing homesteader. This is a person with no regular home but does have a very nice monster RV that they only move between two geographic locations depending on the season. However, when we arrived at the office I discovered that they were able to find a full hookup site and it was located in the newer and much nicer area of the park! Road magic at work once again!!
Desert Eagle RV Park is very well laid out facility and possesses the usual facilities which are quite modern and kept very clean.
Our home for the next few weeks is site #75 which is within walking distance of all the amenities such as a real nice resilient walking/jogging path which allows our Fit Bit’s to rack up some serious mileage.
And there is a kid’s play area that received a lot of attention from Jack and Tucker.
As well as a convenience store with ice cream and candy…..this also received a lot of attention from Jack and Tucker! All in all, Desert Eagle RV Park is a great place to stay in the Las Vegas area.
For the most part, we basically hung around the campground. However we did investigate various nearby areas that seemed in need of investigation……more on that later.
Generally, Guma (the General) was the cook and the designated responsible adult. She made sure all were well fed and, for the most part, kept everyone out of trouble.
And I had the chore of keeping the boys on the go. Must have done OK as at the end of the day we all slept very well!!
Friday, January 3, 2014 through Friday, January 17, 2014-Desesrt Eagle RV Park, Nellis AFB, Nevada: While here, we spent some time getting reacquainted with area in addition to discovering new places. On one of our trips away from the campground I spotted this rather exclusive “grocery hauler” sitting in a parking lot.
That is an $180,000.00 Lamborghini Gallardo folks…..a really nice ride!
Las Vegas airport is one busy facility serving over thirty one million passengers a year. And due to the relatively flat terrain and clear skies, the aircraft can be seen stacked up for miles while on final approach. All this air traffic creates some unusual “sky art” due to the planes contrails.
As you may have deduced, Las Vegas, as well as Tucson and San Diego, are the Maine (pun intended) anchorages for our winter trips. All three give us the opportunity to visit with family, enjoy the warm weather and take care of any needed truck and trailer maintenance as well as other chores.
An additional advantage of dropping anchor for a few weeks is that it gives our mail an opportunity to catch up. Also with Amazon Prime we can order those items that we forgot, or possibly need, or think we need, or maybe just want.
One order we placed and received in two days was a couple of very nice camp chairs. Kit and I enjoyed sitting in them while watching Jack and Tucker enjoy re-purposing the box they came in!
Kit wants a new RV……and that is no secret! She has repeatedly said this is the last year she is snow birding in this camper! Gosh I’m gonna miss her. Actually, I have to agree…..after six years and close to 70,000 miles our trusty Arctic Fox trailer is getting a bit long in the tooth. In addition, the available interior space seems to be shrinking. So while in Vegas we spent some time visiting local RV dealers. Since we have owned our current rig there have been some major improvements and enhancements in the RV world. It seems that the Baby Boomer generation has discovered traveling by RV and is driving the market for lighter and higher quality units that contain far more amenities.
At one of the dealership in particular there was this rather unique RV.
Yep, that’s a fully functioning aquarium you see in the front and side windows which contains live tropical fish. The trailer was not for sale, but was created for the dealer by the reality TV show “Tanked” which is on the Animal Planet cable network. Not very practical but pretty neat nonetheless.
While at the same RV dealership, Kit and I decided to pose for a goofy selfie because, well…..we’re just plain goofy.
I think that’s Dick Cheney in the middle with the rifle slung over his shoulder…..hope he doesn’t shoot off his mouth as usual. Come to think of it, we are probably safe as I hear he only hunts attorneys from Texas.
One morning as Kit was gathering the news on Facebook, she was pleasantly surprised to discover that some friends from Maine who winter in Florida were on vacation in Las Vegas. Did you follow all that? Anyway an online conversation ensued and plans were made to host them at our palatial estate.
Glen and Yvette own a camp on Sebago Lake just down the road from ours. We had a great time catching up with each other’s lives before taking a short drive to a very nice brewpub for a late lunch.
An area we have wanted to explore for a few years is Valley of Fire State Park, approximately 60 miles to the northeast. So on a bright sunny morning off we went.
Valley of Fire is the first official state park in Nevada…..however it wasn’t supposed to be. Back in 1935 the state legislature proposed the adoption of four culturally significant areas within the state as worthy of preservation. All four were concurrently approved and the official commissioning date was set. However, being near Las Vegas with its need for flamboyance, the locals decided to preempt the legislature and officially dedicated their park a week early, much to the chagrin of the elected bureaucrats.
The drive through the park is magnificent, with many stretches being bordered by brilliant red sandstone formations. As we were enjoying the drive we were also going fairly slowly. Soon a white BMW convertible flew past, followed a few minutes later by another, then another. Rounding a bend in the road we came to a police car blocking the way with its light flashing so we pulled off at the adjacent parking area. It was then that we noticed a half dozen identical BMW’s queued up near the patrol car. Curiosity getting the best of me I approached the nearest car and inquired as to what was going on. With a thick German accent, the driver informed me that this was the release day for a new car, the BMW 435i and they were filming and videotaping an advertisement. In addition, they were allowing various Automotive Journalist a first test drive on the picturesque and sinuous roads of Valley of Fire State Park which were being closed by the police during the high speed portions of the event.
You may notice in the photo above that the blue BMW SUV has its rear hatch open and contains a film crew.
The BMW representative further stated that there were to be 30 identical white BMW 435i’s in and around the state park some driven by professional racers and others by journalist. A fact we can testify as we noticed a number of them whiz by us all day…..man, what a nice gig!
At the visitors center we gathered up information about the park and a map to some of the more interesting features. Kit humored me by climbing into a natural depression in the sandstone so I could snap the below photo. It’s not often Kit allows me to pigeonhole her……what a sport!
One of the parks prominent features are a series of Petroglyphs etched into the rock by the ancient peoples that came to this valley hundreds of years ago.
It is easy to decipher these etchings if one starts from the upper left. This particular story is about a young Indian brave who tries to explain to his squaw where he was last night and what that gross animal is doing in their teepee. Notice the hand in the circle to the right with the extended middle finger…..pretty much tells how this all turned out as we see the poor brave dangling from a cliff in the bottom image.
On a side road we found a nice shady place to enjoy the picnic lunch we brought along. After dining and as Kit relaxed I hiked a short loop trail that led into the desert.
The path followed a naturally occurring wash and was very easy to follow.
Soon I came to a small slot canyon called “The Narrows”.
Being in the shade, the temperature dropped a good twenty degrees in this canyon and it got pretty dark as well.
I enjoyed a fantastic hike into and through some beautiful terrain.
Within an hour I had returned to the truck and we made our way out of the park by way of Lake Mead National Park……an area we explored extensively on previous trips.
As the sun sets on a fantastic day and a great couple of weeks in the Las Vegas area it is time to close this chapter of Bill and Kit’s 2014 Excellent Adventure.
What’s next? Stay tuned!
Kit’s Bit’s: We are thoroughly enjoying our stay in Las Vegas this year. The weather has been near perfect, warm days and cool nights. With the boys back in school, we don’t see quite as much of them but we seem to fill our days with the mundane chores of regular home life, such as trailer and truck maintenance, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. Weekends are more exciting! We’ve been picking up Jack & Tucker late Friday afternoons and bringing them home Sunday afternoons. They keep us hopping! What a joy it is to be able to spend quality time with them now, since they are growing up so fast. We’re constantly looking for things to keep them occupied, some simple, like playing in boxes, some not quite as simple, like going to museums, etc. Thanks Suzie & Kevin for sharing the kids with us during this time!