"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
- Helen Keller

Monday, November 21, 2016


Visitors Center Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Now that I have caught up on all our travels up to November, it's time to catch up on where we are now: Pahrump NV. My college roommate Nancy and her husband Dan are living in the Las Vegas area and I wanted to stop and catch up with her. We have spent time in Vegas and it's ok but really too busy and crazy for us. When I called Nancy I found out they were in the middle of moving from one house to another so not the best time to visit but she thought we could work something out so we decided to stay in Pahrump about 50 miles away for the month and give them some time but still get to see them. We have stayed here previously and decided to stay at the same resort, Nevada Treasure, as they have an excellent fitness center attached. It's also a little ways out of town and so very quiet. This park has worked out well for us but for our RV friends with bigger rigs, it can be pretty tight. We found a corner spot with a space next to it that is blocked off because it's too small for all but the smallest travel trailers. That works out well as we get to park in the drive for that space which gives us plenty of room. If we had to park in the space for our site it would be pretty crowded. The resort itself we have enjoyed. There is a little restaurant called Mark's Grill which we have frequented and gotten to know Mark a little. It has a beautiful pool and Jacuzzi area that we have taken advantage of and the fitness center has helped us get back on track with our strength training. All in all a good fit for us. There are a couple other nice RV parks in the area and we may check them out our next time through the area.

While we have been here we visited the Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge. This area is fairly new and the visitor center is beautiful. Its about an hour away and the only downside is the roads in are all gravel and it is slow going. We stopped at one area for a short hike on a boardwalk that took you by the springs that run through here. It is as the sign says an oasis on the edge of Death Valley, which borders this area. Except for the spring fed creek the desert is very dry and has very sparse vegetation. There are a few plants here and a fish that exist nowhere else. We also got to see a big horn sheep on the rise that seemed content to survey his domain from on high. He was there the whole time we were. If you are in Pahrump or the Death Valley area I think it is worth the drive.

We have visited two wineries in the area. The Pahrump Winery and its accompanying restaurant, Symphony, are well known. We have visited here before and the the return visit was just as enjoyable. We also splurged and had dinner at the restaurant and while pricey, it was excellent. There is an RV park next to this winery and after walking through it we would definitely consider it for a future visit. The second winery is the Sanders Family Winery and is a little out of the way but again worth the visit. Their wine is good and more reasonably priced but we didn't feel it was as good as the Pahrump Winery, but we did enjoy it.

We also checked out the Lakeside RV Resort next to Terrible's Lakeside Casino. We had heard a lot about it so we drove out and walked around. It is as its name suggests around a lake. Nice roomy sites but the big down side for us was the duck and goose population. They have this beautiful trail around the lake but there is duck and goose poop everywhere. The one highlight of this little excursion was in Terrible's Casino. I look at gambling as entertainment and once in awhile indulge in putting $20 in a slot machine, usually penny slots (I know I have a big gambling problem) . I almost didn't but John gave me the go ahead nudge so I found a machine I liked. At first I was just betting small but John said to do the max bet. I think he just wanted to get out of there sooner. I got down to about $4 when I won. I never know how all that works so we were watching as the it registered the amount. I always cash out if I double my money. Well $40 came and went, $100 came and went, then 200 then 300 and it finally stopped at $464. I think we we were both stunned. I immediately cashed out and left with money in my purse and a smile on my face.

Just this week we finally connected with Nancy and Dan. They have had a rough go with this move. A week in, Dan fell and broke his arm in several places which made things even more difficult. We offered to bring pizza and make it a short visit. We brought pizza and enjoyed seeing their beautiful new home. Nancy is one of those friends that I rarely get to see but when I do it's like it was just yesterday. I am so glad we got to visit. John was able to help Dan a little too. One of the smoke detectors was chirping and with his bum arm changing out the batteries wouldn't be possible so John changed the batteries in all the detectors. He's a great guy and handy to have around.

We will be moving on from here next Monday. I think I actually have a plan now until we head back to Iowa in March. December we will be moving around a little. Lake Havasu State Park, Anza Boreggo State Park,  Jojoba Hill to visit Terry and Lu, Yuma and then at the end of the month to Tucson where we will be until March.  So if anyone is in the Tucson area after the first of the year let us know.

Happy Trails.........................

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Bryce Canyon and Zion

I am a little behind here but I definitely wanted to share a few photos of Bryce Canyon NP and Zion NP. On our first visit to this part of Utah we missed Bryce Canyon National Park. We were waiting for our kids to join us and that is about the time we got flooded out of the area. It's a good 2 hour drive from Sand Hollow State Park where we were staying but well worth the drive. Really all we had time for that day was to drive the scenic byway and stop at all the viewpoints (or most of them anyway).  It is a beautiful place and rock formations here are as amazing as all the photos I have seen. Hoodoos galore! I will let the photos speak for themselves:

When last in this area we did visit Zion National Park several times and had hiked many of its trails so this was a repeat visit. On that first visit we were almost alone in the park as it was December. The shuttles weren't running and we drove in those days. This time we parked just outside the gates on Springdale and walked into the park. From the visitors center we used the shuttle to get us to the places we had decided upon. We hiked the Emerald Pools (lower, middle and upper). We enjoyed that hike the first time and again this visit. Our experience was different though, in that this time there were lots of other people on the trails. It wasn't crazy busy like I am sure it is in the summer and early fall but busy enough. This park may be my favorite of the national parks we have visited. Being at the bottom of this amazing canyon is an experience I wish everyone could have. If you want the park to yourself I would recommend December, just dress a little warmer and know that some trails will be closed. Still, for the solitude, it is worth it. Again, I will just let the photos tell the story.

Happy Trails!!!!