Bill and Kit’s 2015 Excellent Adventure, Journal # 5

Bill and Kit's Woody and Airstream-201550th Logo

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

Saint Augustine

 

Monday, December 22, 2014 through Saturday, January 3, 2015-Las Vegas Nevada:  Kit and I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and are enjoying the happiest of New Years!

Warning:  The following material may be graphic in the overabundance of cute kids doing the cute things…..viewer discretion is advised.

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This is the second Excellent Adventure trip in a row that we have been in able to spend the holidays with our youngest daughter and her family.  There is nothing like enjoying the Christmas spirit with kids that truly believe!

Jack age 10…..

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…..and Tucker age 7 1/2.

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Yep, they once again spent a few days with us in the camper which is idle at Oasis RV Park and a short distance from their Las Vegas home.  This allowed Kit and I ample grandkid time while providing mom and dad a reprieve to enjoy a getaway.

This year we were introduced to a new Christmas tradition…..“The Elf on the Shelf”, which we renamed “The Scamp in the Camp”.  These little elves found various observation positions in and around the camper to keep an eye on everything.

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The Elf on the Shelf is a children’s picture book written and self-published by Carol Aebersold and her daughter a few years ago.  It has since become a wildly popular folk character and a part of many families Christmas tradition.

The Elf on the Shelf

 

As the story goes, Santa employs a team of Christmas Elves to visit children’s homes and listen to what the girls and boys desire for Christmas.  And, to really see who is naughty or nice…..it’s kinda like what the NSA does for grownups but without the gifts.

Christmas morning, Kit and I arose very early and made our way to the home of Jack and Tucker.  They had been anxiously awaiting our arrival and the official start of the Christmas morning chaos.

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Santa was very good to Jack and Tucker…..they must have been very good in 2014.  In addition there were gifts from the family including these perennial favorites that Aunt Kim sent from Maine.

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And these nifty traveling vests provided by Kit and I, which they rapidly filled with numerous treasures.

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As the chaos subsided, we sat down to a non-traditional Christmas meal.  Everyone preselects one entrée to contribute…..mine was spicy Buffalo wings and Kit’s choice was homemade popovers.

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Everything was excellent and we enjoyed a great family dinner.  The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting and watching Jack and Tucker enjoy their presents.

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Soon, the neighborhood kids were at the door…..seems that Nerf Guns were a popular gift this year.

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Foam missiles were flying everywhere!

All too soon, Christmas day came to a close for another year much to the chagrin of Jack.

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And following goodbyes…..

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….. Kit and I returned to our little camper at the RV Park.

Oasis RV Resort is just south of the strip and directly off Las Vegas Boulevard.  It is a bit pricey, and not really our favorite style of campground…..however, it is very convenient and well-appointed featuring a well-stocked store, natural grass mini golf course and a café.  In addition, there are two pools, a large hot tub and a well-appointed exercise room.

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And then there is Kit’s favorite feature…..comfy chairs in the lobby.

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The RV sites are closely spaced but nicely landscaped.

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And with over 660 sites this park is rarely full which allows spacing out of the RV’s.

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Which is nice, because it gives the Jack and Tucker plenty of run around and active play room.

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Many of the days during our stay it was unseasonably cold.  On these occasions, we would take Jack and Tucker shopping or to the movies…..or just spend some eTime in the camper.

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Where Guma introduced the kids to the unique game of Competition Solitaire…

The exterior of our camper was pretty nasty from our trek across country.  Since this area is still under a drought the only authorized way to get the camper looking good again was by contracting with an RV Detailing service.

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At $2.00 a foot, the old girl looked like new again…..which is a good thing as we need to get it appraised for trade-in value soon.

As mentioned, Las Vegas has been experiencing some unusual cold weather of late, much too cold to swim in the resorts pools.  So we kept jack and Tucker busy with other activities such as breakfast at poolside!

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Or learning the fine art of Beer Pong at the local arcade.

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On one particularly cold day we holed up inside and made Christmas decorations.  Jack and Tucker made cards for mom and dad and then took to decorating the camper.

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On yet another cold day, we went bowling at the South Point Casino. Upon arriving, Jack took the responsibility of logging us into the electronic scoreboard and intentionally misspelled our names.

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Kit’s name elicited little attention; however whenever my turn at the lane rolled around, the large screen above the foul line would read; ”Now Bowling, Poopy”.  Jack and Tucker would howl with laughter which would attract the attention of neighboring bowlers and scoring (no pun intended) many chuckles.

Jack and Tucker took to bowling like old pros…..even scoring a few strikes!

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Interspersed with the occasional gutter ball…

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We were bowling on Lane #7, and the sponsor of our lane was appropriate to our bowling prowess.

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And how did the spazmatics score?

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Yep, pretty spastic!

Returning to the camper, Jack and Tucker discovered what happens when one buckles their seatbelt before buttoning their jacket.

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Yep, this actually happened……a great life lesson.

Spent a rather quiet New Years, well except for this startling alert on the computer:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LAS VEGAS HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING.   SNOW COULD BE STEADIEST AND HEAVIEST IN THE LAS VEGAS VALLEY ON NEW YEAR’S EVE IN THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS.  IMPACTS: TRAVEL COULD BE DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE.

It turns out the “storm’ amounted to some wind and only a few flurries……much to the disappointment of Jack and Tucker.

One of the responsibilities we have while hanging out with our two grandchildren is to ensure their proper nutrition as evident by the breakfast I prepared for young Tucker one morning.

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Yep, that’s my job…..spoiling the grandkids…..and business is great!!

Jack and Tucker’s personalities have really developed over the past few years.  And it is getting increasingly apparent the direction their life is headed…..for example; Tucker will very likely be a musician.

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The kid has great taste in music…..one of his favorite artist is Stevie Ray Vaughan!

And Jack has a proclivity toward science or engineering.

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He is very resourceful and creative…..and desires to be a Lego Engineer!

Both kids are very bright, having been accepted in the local Academy of Science Charter School.  It will be really interesting to watch them mature into productive citizens.

Since it was so cold this year, we looked for indoor activities to entertain Jack and Tucker…..one of which is their favorite indoor amusement park called Bass Pro Shop.  Here they can try the various four wheelers on for size.

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And to select the boat they would like to own in a few years.

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After a great ten days in Las Vegas, our time was up at Oasis RV Park.  Our original thought was to head west and hopefully warmer weather.  However Suzie and Kevin offered us a spot in their driveway for a few days so we decided to extend our time in Vegas.

 

Thursday, January 1, 2015 through Saturday, January 3, 2015-Driveway Surfing with Suzie and Kevin in Las Vegas Nevada:

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We spent the final three days in Las Vegas enjoying time with the family.  One of our traditions when taking advantage of an opportunity to Driveway Surf is to treat the kind hosts to a nice meal at an area restaurant.  And there is none better in Vegas than Memphis Championship Barbecue!

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Where we ordered the famed Family Platter and all six of us dug in!

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Before we leave Vegas, a few words about our great Maine family!

Joe Balz-UMO Grad, Photo #5

Our oldest grandson, Joe graduated from the University of Maine this past summer, much to the delight of our oldest daughter, Kim and Joe’s adorable girlfriend, Abby.

Joe Balz-UMO Grad, Photo #2

Joe spent the summer on the Penobscot River working as a White Water Rafting guide.

Joe Guiding the Penobscot River

Yep, that’s him leaning off the stern of the raft and steering as they ricochet through the rapids.

And Abby’s love of animals is a natural fit for her job at the local Humane Society shelter.

Abby at Coastal Humane Society

Our son Joe and his family live about an hour away and also celebrated graduations.

Chris Graduation, Photo #6

Katie graduated with honors from High School, and as a four letter Varsity athlete was awarded a scholarship to play Lacrosse at an Eastern university.

Katie's Graduation (13)

Christopher graduated from Junior High School and is “enjoying” being the center of attention at home.

Katie's Graduation (21)

Then there is our great grand-dog, Mosey.

Thanksmas-2014

She is a beautiful girl and a joy to have around.  Notice the white patch on the tip of her left ear?  Yep, it forms the shape of a heart…..indicative of her loving and playful nature.

Well, it’s time to head for the coast so we say Adios to Las Vegas and Suzie, Kevin, Jack and Tucker.  Thanks for everything folks…..we will be back soon!

 

Sunday, January 4, 2015:  Leaving the kid’s driveway at 0910 under sunny skies and a temperature of 45 degrees.  As a side note, Weather.Com shows the temperature back home in Maine as 45 degrees.  Of course they are three hours later in the day…..but really!?!?

Kit and I decided to motor south on Las Vegas Boulevard until we connected with Interstate 10 near Sloan, Nevada.

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There is easy access to “The 15” from where the kids live but the morning drive down the boulevard has been shown to be far more pleasant.  Now, if we were headed East, then the interstate would have been preferable to dragging an RV through the heart of the Las Vegas Strip…..don’t ask how I know this!

Weather was absolutely perfect for traveling westerly…..at least until the sun starts to set later in the day.  As we merged onto I-15, Kit noticed there was a lot of traffic also heading west this morning…..then it hit us!  Um, not the actual traffic…..although the way some of those folks were driving it was a wonder there weren’t any mishaps.  Nope, what occurred to us is that today is the end of the Christmas holiday and that folks were heading home to California.

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Usually we avoid traveling on weekends or holidays, and especially holiday weekends.  However as retirees we occasionally lose track of what day it is and are perplexed why everyone is on the road the day we want to travel!?!?

Even though the speed limit is 70 MPH, I just sit in the right lane and plod along at 60……plenty fast with a 6000 pound tow astern and a speed where our fuel economy is still relatively sane.  However the long, mostly flat and straight freeway from Vegas to Barstow, California is notorious for speeding.  The police call it “The Vegas Itch”, as folks heading to and from Sin City challenge each other in bumping their speed ever higher.  According to the Nevada Highway patrol, A Lamborghini was clocked a few years back going 187 mph. The trooper who issued the ticket keeps a framed copy in his office.

At 1000, Kit and I stopped for breakfast in Primm, Nevada where we enjoyed cereal and coffee in the camper.  We parked within sight of a number of restaurants surrounding a large casino complex on the Nevada-California border.  With our deeply tinted windows, passersby’s had not a clue we were inside enjoying breakfast.  Within 30 minutes we were back on the road and immediately crossed over the California border.

As we motored west, I noticed that there was an additional Solar-Boiler tower that had come online at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating complex.

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This facility was chronicled in last year’s Excellent Adventure…..if you missed it, and want to know more, just click on:

https://bilnkit.com/2014/02/

The highway through the Mojave Desert of California is relatively uninspiring.  It’s almost but not quite as desolate as West Texas.  There are a few sights worth detouring for, Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley national Park to name two.  Both of which we have explored during earlier Excellent Adventure trips so we just continued on.

A fair distance into California, we came to one of the state’s Agricultural Inspection Stations.

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We have come to expect if you’re traveling in an RV you are subject to closer scrutiny whether here or at the Border Patrol Stations.  Following the usual questions about any possible fruits and vegetables onboard, and some lite banter with the very pleasant agent, we were allowed to proceed.

By midafternoon Kit and I were headed more southerly on I-215 through the town of Riverside before reconnecting with I-15.  We soon found ourselves in San Diego County and moved over to California State Highway 52 heading inland to the town of Santee, and our destination for the next few weeks.

Pulling into Santee Lakes Campground we noticed a string of unusual lakes shimmering in the waning daylight.

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Finding our pre-reserved campsite Kit and I set up for our stay and what is sure to be a very interesting and exciting time near our hometown of San Diego.

As night fell, we found our way to a friend’s house we had not seen in over 50 years!  Our friend JoAnne and her husband Ron are an incredible couple who have been dealing with some unbelievable challenges.  Kit and I were overjoyed to reconnect with JoAnne and meet Ron…..much more on them and their lives in an upcoming journal!

After some visiting and catching up, we all went to the nearby town of El Cajon.

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Where we enjoyed a celebratory reunion feast at one of their favorite Mexican restaurants.

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Then, following a great meal with great company and lubricated by a few very smooth celebratory Margaritas we meandered back onto the street which had taken on a whole new look!?!?

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Must have been the Patrón!

Wait until you hear the story of how Kit, JoAnne and I first met, our history together growing up in San Diego, and how we reconnected after all these years……stay tuned.

 

Kit’s Bit’s: Well, despite the unexpected cold snap in Las Vegas, we had a great time with our two youngest grandkids!  Since we only see them every six months or so, it’s always amazing to us how much they have grown and matured during such a short time.  In fact, since they have both grown so much, they had trouble sleeping in the small dinette, which makes into their sleeping area.  They were waking up in the middle of the night, each trying to recover some sleeping space.  Sometimes, they even fell out of bed; which felt like an authentic earthquake in our tiny trailer!  So, after a few of these unsettled nights, the kids decided they would rather sleep in their own beds at night and spend most of each day with us.  It worked out well since all of us was able to get a good night’s sleep!

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Bill and Kit’s 2015 Excellent Adventure, Journal # 4

Bill and Kit's Woody and Airstream-2015

50th Logo

 Travel brings power and love back into your life.

Rumi

 

Wednesday, December 17 through Saturday, December 20, 2014-Tucson, Arizona:  Kit and I enjoyed a very nice, but all too short visit, with our Tucson family.  The weather was great, well except for one afternoon when it rained…..really hard!

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When it rains in the desert, folks go bananas!  Kinda like New Englanders do when the crocuses push up through the snow and signal spring is forthcoming.  It’s a rare and welcome event!

The proprietors of the exclusive Doobie RV Resort are the consummate host, with the able assistance of their three staff members.

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Kali, Pillito, and Nile are the brains behind the organization, and can be counted on for handling any spill or dropped food…..anytime, anywhere!

Dooryard surfing is one of our favorite camping styles while on Excellent Adventure trips.  And staying in Dewey and Bea’s dooryard is a true pleasure!

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Not only is the price right, but we are basically their next door neighbor.  We can enjoy visiting when appropriate or give them some quiet time when needed.  Being fully self-contained we pride ourselves in being unobtrusive and low impact as possible.  Customarily we treat our dooryard host to a nice meal out so the entire stay is a true win-win situation for all.

Speaking of food, during our short visit in Tucson we were able to hit most of our favorite restaurants and experienced a new one as well.  Poco and Mom’s is located in the older part of the city and features original Mexican fare in the New Mexico style.  The portions are large, the prices are reasonable and the food is outstanding!

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In our opinion, no area of the country does Mexican as well as the folks in the Southwest….go figure!

While driving about this very large city of 589,000 souls, one is constantly reminded that even at 2,643 feet elevation, Tucson is in a valley and surrounded by five mountain ranges with summits over  9,000 feet!

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The city has a fair number of characters…..one of which has been an institution on a particular street corner for a number of years.  I’ve dubbed the old fellow “Newspaper Guy”.  Rain or shine, hot or cold, he dutifully sits on his bundled up possessions and sells the daily paper to drivers by.

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Gotta admire Newspaper Guys work ethic…..he could be sitting home collecting welfare, but would rather be out making his way on his own terms.  We never purchase a paper from him, but frequently hand Newspaper Guy a few bucks if the traffic signal timing allows.

Readers of this journal may remember that my mother passed into God’s hands last March.  The matriarch of our unconventional Tucson tribe was mother/step-mother and step mother-in-law…..Miriam Theresa Byrnes Herndon Russell.

Mom at 60 years old

Kit and I, along with many of mom’s family scattered about the US, have spent the past 9 months recognizing her life by way of celebrations in areas of the country she loved best.  Shortly after her passing, we ensured her place at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery which overlooks San Diego Bay and many US Navy installations.  An honor mom earned in service to her country during World War Two.  Then in May we returned her to Philadelphia, the place of her birth.  There we honored mom, her birth mother, and her infant brother at an old city catholic cemetery.  Now, she is returning to Tucson in order to be reunited with her favorite husband Dean.  At her request, mom and dean will now have a presence in the rose garden of Saint Rita’s of the Desert in Vail, Arizona.

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As the Tucson family gathered around, each spoke a few words of remembrance and shared stories of mom’s impact on their lives.

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Mom and Dean then found their way beneath the earth where they will be watched over by the Virgin Mary and many of the Lord’s beautiful flowers.

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After the service, brother Dan lit two votive candles in the chapel in remembrance of his mother and stepfather.

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As we pulled away from the church grounds, the sun peaked from behind the clouds.

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And everything was alright with our little corner of the world.

The final celebration of life, complete with military honors, will take place in a few months at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Back in town, we enjoyed a celebratory dinner in our mother’s memory at one of her favorite restaurants while toasting her with a favorite cocktail.

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As we were enjoying the meal and fellowship, I happened to notice old Saint Nick at the bar, enjoying an adult beverage.

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Soon, a family with young children entered the restaurant and the young’uns immediately ran up to the old guy yelling “Santa, Santa!”  The portly and white bearded Bar Stool Santa stayed in character and spoke kindly to the wide eyed children…..it was a touching, and somewhat bizarre, scene!

The day before we departed Tucson, Dewey and Bea held a Christmas Open House for their friends and neighbors.  Many of these folks we have met in the past and it was great seeing them all again.

As night descended on one of our favorite camping spots I took a walk around the grounds to experience the warm Arizona evening and enjoy the many Christmas lights and luminaries that Dewey and Bea had on display.

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Living in Maine for the past 30 years, it is still somewhat jarring to view Christmas decorations while dressed in shorts and sandals!

 

Sunday, December 21, 2014:  Woke to sunny skies and cooler temperatures.  While prepping our camper for departure I came across a large bag of freshly picked citrus hanging from a bracket on the trailer.

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This very welcome surprise has become an annual tradition.  The thoughtful gift was from Dewey and Bea’s friend and neighbor Manny, who has become one of our friends as well.  He is an avid gardener and tends to a nice grove of citrus trees in his backyard.  A generous man, Manny shares his bounty with folks throughout the growing season and we always look forward to his largess.

Following a great breakfast prepared by Dewey and Bea, Kit and I were back on the road heading north.  Once again we are on I-10, which in the part of Arizona heads more northerly and made tracks toward the state of Nevada.

Let’s face it; Interstate Highway driving can be boring and somewhat tedious.  Our preferred travel roads are US or State highways and secondary roads.  They historically provide the most diversity in terrain, roadside sights and quirky characters.  However the interstates do allow for relatively safe and rapid movement through an area that has little exploration value or an area one may have explored in the past.  In addition, there are occasionally some clever road-signs…..like this one spotted just south of Phoenix.

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Lucy had us staying on I-10, and then transferring to US-60 through the heart of Phoenix.  However Kit ever vigilant on her iPad noticed a new loop to the west that would bypass most of the congestion and join US-60 north of the city.  AZ-303 is still under construction but useable enough for our purposes.

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We just had to make sure we adhere to the “Road Closed” signs or the trip could come to an abrupt and rather startling end!

Joining US-60, we meandered north toward Wickenburg where we stopped for a lunch break and some walking about time.

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After a nice camper prepared meal, Kit and I strolled into the small downtown area.  As we passed the municipal office complex, there was a row of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations with a Tesla Model S tethered to one of them.

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These sites are starting to pop up all over the west as EV’s become more popular.  Many are being installed by Elon Musk and his company, Tesla Motors.  I find it somewhat ironic that the shape of the charging stations resemble gasoline fuel pump’s….by design or by coincidence, it strikes me as hilarious!

As I was photographing the Tesla, a woman came out of the municipal office and introduced herself as its owner.  Bonnie is a recently retired agent from the Department of Homeland Security and lives in Henderson, Nevada…..just a short distance from Las Vegas.

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She shared with us the logistical complications of taking a road trip in an all-electric automobile…..only one of which is replenishing the batteries every couple hundred miles.  The Tesla features a large touchscreen in the center stack that looks like an iPad.  This screen displays much of the information that a driver or passenger may need.  In addition it is wirelessly (um, obviously) connected to the internet and an app locates the nearest charging opportunity.  The stations that Tesla Motors has installed will recharge a partially depleted battery array in about 30 minutes…..enough time for an adequate rest break.  There are plans to install these Tesla Supercharging Stations throughout the US at appropriate distances.  Currently many of these stations are concentrated on the west and east coast as indicated on the following photo I took from my new drone.

Tesla Supercharging Stations

Other needs of the EV driver, such as restrooms, may not be as available as they would be for the rest of the motoring public.  So, Tesla has partnered with (read donated money to) various cities and towns to locate their charging stations in municipal parking lots as this provides access to the buildings restroom facilities.  Oh, and if you own a Tesla…..there is no charge for the electricity!

Yes, Bonnie and her Tesla was the most interesting thing in Wickenburg, Arizona so we continued on.  Once underway, we moved from US highway-60 onto US-93 and resumed heading north.  Soon we were passing through a very small no-horse town!

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Yep, Nothing, Arizona has, well…..nothing!  Last year there was a small outpost in that yellow building, but now even that is gone. The only sign of life was a Dingo scampering about.

As we watched the sun sink below the western horizon, it was clear that we would not make Las Vegas tonight.

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So we rolled past Kingman and made it to Chloride, Arizona for the evening.  Pulling in after dark we checked into the Chloride Western RV Ranch.

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Monday, December 22, 2014:  As the sun rose over the mountains, the campgrounds alarm sounded calling all lazy folks to wake up and get to work.

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One of the interesting things about pulling into a campground after dark, in addition to parking by braille, is to wake up and peek out the window.  This morning as Kit and I took in the view over coffee, we decided that Chloride demanded a closer look.  And since we were only 90 miles from our next destination we decided to delay our departure in order to poke around a bit.

For breakfast we enjoyed some eggs along with the homemade tamale’s Bea had presented us for our journey.

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Once again, Mexican food in the southwest is better than anywhere else in the US…..and if it’s homemade in the true Mexican tradition it is absolutely incredible!

Filling our bellies, we walked into town along the narrow two lane road in search of adventure.

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Chloride, founded in 1863, is nestled at 4,000 feet in a pocket of the Cerbat Mountain Range.  There is a population of about 150 folks living year round in this high desert environment.  The town derives its name from the mining of Silver Chloride, which is used in photograph developing and processing.

The residents are friendly and a bit quirky, many being refugees from the 1960’s Counterculture Movement.  Most delight in creating “Yard Art” on their property…..but unlike the yard art of rural Maine, these rusting castoffs are strewn about with artistic intent.

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The style of abode that folks around here live in are as unique as the residents themselves.

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The adobe home to the left has a roof made from prairie grasses, and the one to the right features cedar shakes.

And down the road a piece resides this antique service station that has been repurposed into someone’s home.

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Following precedent, the owner has filled his unkempt yard with relics from the days of motoring past.  And, as a nod to the regions mining past, has encircled his property with tracks from an abandoned mine’s railway.  There were a few ore railcars on the track but no sign of a locomotive……or of the owner for that matter.  My imagination did detect two beady eyes and a double barreled shotgun muzzle behind the dirty window pane however.

The Chloride Post Office is purported to be the oldest continuously operating post office in the state.

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Walking in we stumbled upon the very haggard post mistress trying to handle the large pre-Christmas volume of mail.  We chatted for a bit then left her to the task at hand.

The towns’ general store contained, as most rural stores do, anything and everything the folks who have dropped off the edge of civilization could want…..and if they don’t have it in stock, then you don’t need it.

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The shop mistress was sporting a pair of reindeer horns…..not wanting to insult her lineage, I tried not to stare.  Too late; I was caught…..she pointed to her nice rack she asked “know what this means?”  Afraid to utter a word I froze as the middle aged woman blurted out “I woke up a bit horny this morning!”  And for the first time in my life I was speechless.  That encounter helps illustrate the type of characters that inhabit the town of Chloride.  Even the tourists start acting like the locals, such as this bizarre looking derelict.

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Nearing noon, we made it back to the trailer, broke camp and headed for an old homestead that the horny shopkeeper had told us about.  Allowing our new truck to experience its first taste of travel on a dirt road we pulled off the two-lane and headed north through the tulles’.

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Meandering along in search of the abandoned home, we noticed a grove of the famed Joshua tree’s (J-tree) growing along the roadside.

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These Doctor Seuss looking trees primarily grow in the higher elevations of the Mojave Desert.  The J-tree was given that name by 19th century Mormons due to the tree’s unique shape which reminded them of the biblical Joshua raising his hands in prayer.  Growing in clusters, the J-tree features a root system that can travel over 35 feet in search of ground water.  Unlike many plants, the J-tree is pollinated by the Yucca Moth in much the same way bees pollinate more common plants.  Native Americans used the J-tree as a food source and as material for basket weaving.

A couple of miles further down the road we spotted the legendary house made of stone, which had celebrated an unusual and storied past.

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As the legend goes, this sturdily built home was constructed using local materials by a former sailor.  The seaman, after many years in the service of the early US Navy began having these reoccurring nightmares about drowning at sea.  Taking that as an omen, he resigned his commission and headed inland and far away from the ocean.

Settling in the new mining boomtown of Chloride, the old sailor filed a claim on a rather prosperous vein of silver and built this stone house to the envy of other less successful miners.  One day, while working the mine, a monsoon hit, a flash flood ensued, and yep…..you guessed it, he drowned!

Following the tenets of early western property inheritance, his land was up for grabs.  A local acquired the land by outgunning his opponent and opened a business on the site called The House of the Soiled Dove.  Within the stone walls, women of questionable virtue would entertain the wealthy miners and ranchers.  However, a few years later the mines had played out and the establishment was closed.

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Next the stone house was repurposed as a Christian Chapel to minister to the Native Peoples spiritual needs.  Yep, western history can be very interesting!

Continuing on the dirt road for a number of miles we eventually reconnected with US-93 and headed to the north paralleling the Cerbat Mountains.

2014-12-26, 1-Photo #39

As we approached the Pat Tillman Bridge that will take us high above the Colorado River, we began to descend out of the mountains.

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Crossing into Nevada and stopping for a rest break in Searchlight we discovered the only casualty of those miles on the rough dirt roads of Chloride.

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As back road RV’rs and ocean cruising sailors can attest, very little stays where you originally place it while traveling.  In the past, we’ve experienced total chaos on rough roads when every cabinet door has swung open and most of the contents spilled onto the floor……so, this was indeed very minor!

By early afternoon we were checked into Oasis RV in exciting Las Vegas, Nevada and looking forward to a great visit with our youngest grandchildren and their parents…..stay tuned!!

Kit’s Bit’s: For my always quick witted husband, this truly was a “speechless” moment for him!  I witnessed the whole thing and he was certainly taken aback, for a few seconds.  Even then, he couldn’t come up with a witty comment!  It was definitely a “first” for him.  On the positive side, his mom would have loved this incident, as they shared the same sort of humor!