Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tunnel Trail and the Strip

Hi all,
Just to recap a bit on our stay in the Lake Mead area, we had a good time and though the wind blew pretty hard a couple days.
 Wendy and I got a nice hike on the Historic Railroad Trail. The trail is part of the old rail line that was used to haul supplies to the construction of the Hoover Dam. It is a 3.5 mile trail that features 5 tunnels that begins near the visitor center and runs to a view of the dam. It is used by both bikers and walkers but high wind on the day we visited had most all walking.

 Lake Mead Recreation Area also maintains a super nice bike trail that runs through the park. We messed up a bit and were unable to ride it as the winds picked up the last few days and would have made biking unpleasant. Oh well we always save something for next time.
 If you were wondering if we made any pilgrimages to the famous Vegas I must admit we did. We found a place to park the dually and then just walked up and down the Strip ducking in and out of a few of the casinos.
 We play pretty tight to the vest hitting penny and nickel slots. We definitely lost a bit but did well stretching our dollars.
 Wow has this place changed, Wendy and I had made trips to Vegas before but it has been almost 20 years since our last.

 We were amazed at the fancy new casinos and so many other things that were new to us. And so many people, one trip there was enough for us.
 On the good side we did log in over 10 miles walking up and down the Strip.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Hi all,
Hope everyone had a great and joyous Easter.
We had made the move to Boulder City, Nevada staying at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. We are in the RV park which is run by concessionaires. The park service does run a campground which did have nice spacious sites but they do not have electric and do not take reservations. So knowing we were needing a site over Easter we wanted to make sure we had one reserved.
 We began checking the area out by heading down to check out the beach, well what there is of beach. The prolonged drought here has really put Lake Mead at critically low levels. How low you ask? How does 147 feet low sound? Pretty hard to maintain a nice beach with the water constantly receding.

 Lake Mead formed by the famous Hoover Dam and Lake Mohave created by the Davis Dam became part of the first national recreation area in 1964. Today 1.5 million acres draw in over six million visitors each year. Nine different wilderness areas create diverse hiking and exploring opportunities.
 We got in a couple nice drives the first along the North Shore Drive on the opposite lake shore. Along the way we stopped at many of the available pullouts admiring the ever changing scenery. We ended our drive as clouds came in and started to dull the views.

Wendy's keen eyes spotted these Big Horn Sheep
 Besides checking out the park our main reason for coming was to meet up with friends from Wisconsin who have moved to nearby Henderson. We met up with Rick and Rita for some fun catch up gabbing and then they took us to a nice small local casino for a little slot playing and a nice dinner.
  Another day we grabbed Rick and Rita to ride along to Valley Of Fire State Park. Valley of Fire lies at the north end of North Shore Drive. It is an amazing place of fire red colored rock. We again had a great time driving and stopping for short walks through the majestic scenery.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Parker and Lake Havasu

Hi all,
Our next stop was River Island State Park located about 12 miles north of Parker, AZ. We thought this location would give us a good stepping off point to check out the Parker and Lake Havasu areas.
 River Island is a small but pretty state park right on the Colorado River.

Colorado River and Buckskin Mountains

 Just a couple miles south is Buckskin State Park. Buckskin is a bit bigger and to us not as nice. Both parks have boat launches and the close proximity to California make this a mecca for river runners of all types. Thankfully we didn't hit to busy a time as the campground is in almost a canyon and the boat noise can get extreme.
 We first made a drive to Parker and stopped in at the visitor center. We got a couple ideas of things to do, then made the trip home following the river from the California side. We checked out the Parker Dam. Built in 1934 it is 320 feet high and 235 feet below the river bed making it the deepest dam in the world.
 Another day we took a nice 35 mile drive to Lake Havasu. Lake Havasu is home to the world famous London Bridge. We checked out the visitor center and enjoyed pictures of the transfer and recreation of the massive stone work.

Locks attached to rails- keys are thrown in river

We had heard from fellow bloggers that a good(and cheap) way to experience this is to take a ferry ride across the lake. Of course there is a catch the ferry delivers you right to a casino, hmmm what are we going to do next??

one of 19 replica lighthouses built 1/3 scale
 We stopped for a nice dinner in Lake Havasu and strolled around a bit then decided the spring break crowd was beginning to take over and we were a little out of place.
 Next we debated a drive to Oatman but thought it a bit to far so we opted to drive down to Quartzite. Quartzite is noted as a great place to boondock camp in January and February. Thousands gather in the desert to attend massive RV tent shows selling anything imaginable and more.
 Not much to see now that most of the Rvers have left for cooler temps and although not here at peak time we can say it does not look like our cup of tea.
 Saving the best for last, according to the visitor center, the number one thing to do in Parker is visit the Nellie E. Saloon better known as " The Desert Bar ".
 The bar located 5 miles down a rough dirt road and lies on old mining land has been in operation since 1983. It operates only on weekends Labor Day thru Memorial from noon to six.
 It is quite the setup with live bands performing and plenty of food and drink being served. It also does this all on solar power and the solar panels do double duty serving as large sun screens.

solid steel church

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Anniversary to Remember

Hi all,
 It has been a interesting time here in Yuma, one we won't soon forget. We made another trip to Mexico this time for our dental work. We both needed cleanings and Wendy had a chipped filling that needed attention.
 Wendy had done some research and found a dentist with good reviews so she made us an appointment to save us from the hawkers trying to lure you in.

 Wendy went first for her cleaning and sadly learned the damaged tooth would require a root canal to fix properly. A specialist would be available in about one hour so we snuck out and grabbed a margarita to help ease the pain.)
 After getting her temporary filling and my cleaning we left with an appointment two days later for her crown. Well the dentist said not to eat he didn't say nothing about having another margarita to help ease the pain.)) Well we are in Mexico and as it was our 41st wedding anniversary, we had to make the best of it.

enjoying great fish tacos

 Two days later she got her crown and said even with the root canal she experienced little to no pain. Course did I tell you they got good margaritas in Mexico.) And I did have another pic of Wendy with her second margarita but after the root canal she didn't find it was flattering.
 Our total cost for the cleanings, four x-rays, root canal and crown was $770.
 Looking to do something different a drive to The Imperial National Wildlife Refuge was just the ticket. The 25,768 refuge is spread out along 30 miles of the lower Colorado River.  Along the route we passed quite a few fields that were being harvested of various fare.

 We stopped in the Visitor Center to learn a bit of what there was we could do. We found a rough road that was passable for the dually and able to check three observation points along the route. The observation areas were of the Colorado River

 We also got in a cool little hike on the Painted Desert Trail. The 1.3 mile hike takes you through a rainbow of colors left by 30 million year-old volcanic activity. It also featured a panoramic of the Colorado River Valley. We took our time to enjoy the trail and had a nice picnic lunch at the end. It was good to get out and see some beautiful natural landscape.

 We extended our stay here at Yuma as we had a couple tasks to do and our next stop is a short drive to River Island State Park.
the desert beginning to bloom