Friday, January 14, 2011

Moabi Regional Park

We're at the San Bernandino County Moabi Regional Park just south of Needles, CA. What a great find. The Peninsula sites are on a series of cul-de-sacs on the bank of the Colorado River. It's us and one other couple. Very private & quiet with a perfect view of the river. We have our own private piece of sandy beach. Gopher just loves it. She just runs free. Our neighbors live in northern California. They just finished a six year sail boat tour of North & South America and now travel in a 5th wheel. A very interesting couple.
When we arrived on Thursday, yesterday, I paid for two nights. This place is so nice, Gopher & I walked to the office and paid for two more. We'll continue our trek south on Monday. The weather has improved. Very windy, but blue skies and warm. Just perfect.
Mom called today. She wanted the phone number of the Realtor who is selling her condo. which, of course, sold about a year ago. This is not the first time we've had this conversation. The three recurring themes of these calls are the condo. or that she's not getting any mail or not getting a bank statement. I'm getting used to this type of call. She very agitated , carries on for perhaps a minute then hangs up. After talking to her doctor, these calls are a sign of dementia which will, with time, progress into Alzheimer's. The calls no longer upset me like they used to. Ginny was supposed to look after Mom when we were traveling this winter but, true to form, she's mostly consumed with her horses.
There is a very active train track about a mile to the west. Today I saw a train pulled by seven locomotives; the most I've ever seen. Used Carol's iPad Bird ID app. to identify an American Coot and a Gambrel's Quail. Do you know what a bunch of quail are called? A battery, drift, flush, rout or shake of quails. At home we have lots of Painted Buntings. A group of Painted Buntings is called a pallet of buntings.
There are some sparrow like birds around as well as hummingbirds. None would sit still long enough to be ID'ed.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Death Valley National Park

We got to The Tire Man store just before 8:00am. Had four tires installed on the rear, plus the long valve extensions. The work was completed by 10 and we headed out to Death Valley. The drive was interesting. We passed through the Searles Valley. It’s an area of potash and borax production. All around the various processing plants small company towns have grown up. I suspect virtually everyone in the area works for Searles Minerals.
We stayed at the Furnace Creek Campground in the Death Valley NP; $9/night. We had high hopes of touring the large Visitor Center/Museum. Regrettably, it’s closed for renovation until the Summer of 2012. Tomorrow we’ll visit the Borax Museum. Another chilly, cloudy day. Never saw the sun and the temperature never got much above 50*. On the other hand, these temps sure beat 120* in the summer. Some nights during the summer, it never gets below 100*. Can you just imaging the borax laborers misery during the summer. The laborers were Chinese. They got paid $1.30/day minus a bed rent and minus food bought from the Company Store!! What do you suppose they netted from their $1.30?

Death Valley NP is the hottest, driest and lowest NP in America.

When we got up today, Carol wasn't feeling well again. Her health is so fragile it worries me. We're going to talk later about whether it's best to continue the trip or head home. Either way, from now on, I'll only camp in areas with cell phone service and a hospital in the area.

On the way out of the park, we drove to Badwater Basin to see the lowest point in North America. Look at the picture that shows the cliff with the small white sign. The sign is at sea level.
We saw a coyote standing by the edge of the road. What a pretty animal. I know you're not supposed to feed the wildlife but I couldn't resist. I threw him a few of Gophers dog biscuits out the window.
We spent the night at an Escapee RV Park in Parhump, NV.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Lazy Daze Factory

Today we got to the Factory before 8:00am. The insurance adjuster, and Vince the head of the shop, met us there. Progressive Insurance is covering the cost to replace the damaged solar panel. Just under $1,000.!! I had a few other repairs made to the tune of $208.
We left about 2:00pm heading for Ridgecrest, CA then to Death Valley. The interstate traffic around this area is amazing and it's not even rush hour. Reminds me of the D.C. area. I could not deal with this on a daily basis.
Give me the small, two lane country roads.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

On to Montclair

I got up just before sunrise this morning. A beautiful day. Gopher & I took a walk. Had to take a few more pictures before leaving The Slabs. This place is just fascinating; we'll be back.
We drove along the west side of the Salton Sea. Lots of citrus & date groves in this area as well as different types of low-to-the-ground green plants. In Washington, there were areas where the farmers, community, or whoever, were nice enough to post signs telling what the crop was. We really like that. In areas, the surface of the soil is completely white with salt. Makes me wonder how anything grows, but it does. We see signs at places selling bottled water that says "Salt free water". Apparently well water is also salty.
The interstate part of the drive to Montclair was a mess. I'm just glad it's Sunday and not a work day. A stretch of I-10 was just cluttered with windmills. Must have been at least a hundred. There was a strong crosswind blowing dust every where. It was hard to see the mountains at times.
We finally got to our campground; the East Shore RV Park about 1:30. A very long day. The good news is that we're only about 15 minutes from the Lazy Daze factory. The bad news is that this place costs $47/night!!. We're spoiled. Anything over about $15 is robbery. ;-)
We left home on December 29th. 12 days and 2,765 miles later and we're here. It was an enjoyable trip in most ways even though I really don't enjoy marathon drives, Interstates & big city driving. After tomorrow, the relaxing will begin in earnest.