SOLTESWEB.NET ALASKA TRIP 2005 - APRIL Page 1
Previous Page | March | Home | Next Page
Friday, April 1 - Borrego Springs
We are dry camping near Borrego Springs, and love being in the desert. The days are warm, and the nights are cool. Besides, people who dry camp are interesting. We met a gentleman today, a Californian, who has desert tortoises as pets. His yard is fenced down about 8 inches so the turtles can't burrow to escape. He was telling us that he has to go home now to let his turtles out. Get this: turtles hibernate, and he takes them indoors about Thanksgiving every year, and places each of them in a file cabinet drawer over some paper, and the turtles stay there until the next Easter when he lets the out again. Great pets for snowbirds!
Saturday, April 2 - Peg Leg Smith Liars Contest
We decided to stay over because in this spot, there was to be a Peg Leg Smith Liars' content tonight. Isn't the Lord good, in bringing all of this to you? First turtles, now this. It was great fun. About 20 told fabrications, while about 200 listened and jeered. Peg Leg was a gold miner who "lost" his gold mine, couldn't find it again, and was apparently a great story teller. This event started in 1949, but was official in 1975, so this was the 30th anniversary. Every contestant got a trophy - not just any trophy, mind you, but a 1992 swimming, 1986 hardball, 2003 golf, etc...anything you had around the house collecting dust and needed a new home! At the end, they invited anyone jealous about getting a "prize" to come up and pick one. That's Patty in the Liar's Contest hat!
Sunday, April 3 - Desert Springs
We moved on. Stopped in Desert Hot Springs, at an RV resort. Here, they have hot mineral water pumped out of the ground for the swimming pool (98°) and three hot tubs (up to 104°, felt soooo good!), a sauna, and all sorts of activities, including pool tables, library, cable TV, tennis court, water polo in the swimming pool with about 40 people! In the evening, we attended a gospel sing with over 100 people.
Monday, April 4
We decided to spend another day at the spa. Patty went for aerobics in the pool this morning, while Ed updated the computer website. Then we enjoyed the hot mineral water again.
Tuesday, April 5 - Joshua Tree National Park
What a day for flowers...we drove up to Joshua Tree National Park today, and stayed in the campground. We are really enjoying our Golden Age Pass. It waived the $10 entry fee, and gave us 50% on the $5 campground. What a day for $2.50l
What an unusual place! Rocks, boulders stacked and scattered - what an unusual array! A mixture of grotesque and whimsical collections of granite. In and amongst the rocks are the ever-present Joshua trees ranging up to 30 ft tall. A paradise for rock climbers. We're surprised at the number of people out here; being so desolate you might expect to find only a few hardy souls. Our next door neighbor, Morgan (she's out of LA and camping alone), shared her campfire, and we shared our marshmallows :)
That's Patty trying to identify all of the flowers we saw today at Joshua Tree National Park. It gets frustrating because not all of the flowers are in the book! Notice she's wearing her liars' contest cap... Yep, that red flower is an Indian paintbrush - they get real tall around here. Most of the rest of the flowers we never saw before. Would you believe the desert could have so much color?
Wednesday, April 6 - on to Parker
After taking a hike on the Skull Rock trail, we decided to move on to the Parker, Arizona area, but not before a stop at the Visitor Center in 29Palms. We went on a short ranger walk who told us of the 19th century inhabitants who stopped here because of the palm oasis on this spot. The desert is bleak between 29Palms and Parker, but in bloom. This is another place where you see the sign that says "100 miles no services".
We're staying just off the road on the edge of town, next to a Safeway store. This is home to the Colorado River Indian Tribes - four of them. Tomorrow, Lake Havasu?
Thursday, April 7 - in Parker
No, not Lake Havasu today. We spent the morning in Parker, an interesting city, visiting the Indian museum and the town museum. Parker is where Wyatt Earp spent the rest of his life after the OK Corral incident. He was wanted for murder, and hopped across the Colorado to avoid being arrested anytime he heard the law was near. The desert air is crisp, the Colorado river turquoise, the surrounding mountains interesting in contrast. They say they have 6000 RV spots in Parker; no wonder...and we are in one of them, down by the river in the La Paz county park under a big shade tree. Lots of boats, skiers, tubers, jet skiers, etc. Amazing colors in the sunset with the mountains as silhouettes. Ed finished working on his income taxes (had air conditioning - it was over 90° today, and the office has a high speed network cable for his use). A BIG :) Patty saw two new birds - Phainopepla and goldeneye.
In the evening, we met two interesting people - Shadow Bear and Victoria. They live in a small RV. He has a lot of health problems and is on disability. They make extra money by selling his walking sticks and her beads. We bought Amelia and Mary some bracelets from her and bamboo bird whistles from him.
Friday, April 8 - Lake Havasu City
We headed towards Lake Havasu following the Colorado river. Havasu City is where the London Bridge is now located (paid $2 million and $4 million to set it up). There are lots of Californians out this way. On the way we also visited four state parks - Buckskin Mtn, River Island, Cattail Cove and Lake Havasu State Park. We'll save you the trouble of finding out for yourself - the best by far is Buckskin Mtn. State Park.
The ride from Parker to Parker dam then up to lake Havasu City was great. The Colorado is a beautiful blue river. Were we ever for a surprise when we got to Lake Havasu City near the London Bridge. Apparently, this is the place where all the people with the big power boats go cruisin'. We mean BIG. Large numbers of college kids sunning and cruising. Here is just a small sampling of what we saw. It reminded us of the time when we used to cruise our hot cars over to Sonic! Well, nearly... Hey, what's that last guy doing in that fast company?
Tonight, we're on BLM land along with about 20-25 others just north of the city. It's a very quiet spot. Or maybe it's because our ears are not being accosted with the sound of the V8's without mufflers used in the power boats.
Saturday April 9 - Lake Mead area
Today, we drove north to Boulder City/Hoover Dam/Lake Mead area. We past through Laughlin, Nevada where we stayed for a buffet at Harrah's. Were we ever full! Again, beautiful vistas, flowers and dramatic storm cloud skies in the afternoon. We're sleeping at a National Recreation Area on Lake Mead ($5!). Patty got to see Hoover Dam, but because we had to park on the Arizona side because of the camper, we didn't get to do the tour. We talked with a neighbor, Helmut, who lived in Alaska for 42 years. Got very good advice and directions for Alaska. Helmut had been a bush pilot.
Sunday, April 10 - Valley of Fire State Park
Windy, like yesterday, and cool coming off the lake. We worked our way up the coast of Lake Mead on North Shore Road through some amazing desert/lake vistas and stopped at Valley of Fire State Park for a little hiking and camping. Great mountains, valleys and monoliths of red sandstone. The scenery to us was just as exciting as the national parks in Utah. On the hikes we and saw some petroglyphs and petrified logs. These last three days have been very diverse and exciting.
Flowers here at Valley of Fire:
Monday, April 11 - towards Utah
After a morning of some hiking, we started our way towards Utah. Stopped in St. George for two new tires. On the road towards Zion National Park, we found a small piece of BL land along the Virgin river, and stopped for the night. Here, they call it jack camping. Ed finished covering our bedroom windows with insulated foil wrap to keep out the pesky early morning sunlight. We figured we'd need it for Alaska for sure!
| Previous Page | Home | Next Page |