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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Just a get things done day in Vegas

Don’t know what we did yesterday that kept me too busy to blog…well maybe it was the nap.
First off here is a picture of the sunset on Monday – the day we got here. So much dust in the air from the winds that we couldn’t even see the sun.
THE GREMLINS strike again! When I got up yesterday morning there was no power. First I thought it was the breaker for our site but turns out it was the whole RV park. Water went out in Arizona and power out here. The company says they are working on improving all their facilities…sure hope so. I panicked ‘cause the guy who called me about the TV said “Do not turn the satellite or the receiver box off.” Ugh – no  power = off. But when the electricity came back on so did they without any problem. 
We went to the outlet mall on the south side of Vegas so had to go down the Strip a ways. Just a few pictures. I liked the reflections in the building.
The famous Las Vegas Sign. People were standing in line waiting to take their pictures at the sign. Since we’re were here last the city has actually built a parking area by the sign so people aren’t stopping in the middle of the road to take their pictures.
And the iconic New York, New York hotel with Lady Liberty out front.
We found a couple of things we were looking for at the mall. I got a new pair of tennis shoes with memory foam inside and a good arch – hope they’ll keep my stupid foot from aching. And we got a couple of big coffee cups for Bill. I could have sworn I put his big cups from home in the Alfa – but can’t find them. So now he has new ones.
From there we stopped at the WalMart on Boulder Hwy right across from Sam's Town. Did our shopping and as we left we were stopped and had to show our receipt! At WalMart? Used to it at Sam’s Club but WalMart? And our items were checked. Big sign at exit – all receipts must be showed. Bill asked the lady why. She said the store did an inventory a while ago and discovered a 3.5 million dollar inventory shortage! So new policies – check what is going out the door and if things don’t improve the store will be closed. Will be curious to see if the other WalMarts in town do the same thing.
Last night we took a ride up and down the Strip. It seemed to me that it wasn’t as bright as it used to be.
Just off of Tropicana Ave just past the MGM
But the Flamingo continues to light up the area. 
The Eiffel Tower – Just doesn’t seem to be as glitzy as it used to be. How ever there were enough lights to raise the temperature in the area – 65 there and only 60 once away from the Strip.
Just a bit of fantasy.
Stopped to have a bite at a restaurant that used to be 27/7 now closes at 9:00 and we were the only people in there.
This morning is work day – Bill has the Jeep, Willie, in for some service and I did some cleaning I’ve put off. Hopefully I managed to vacuum some of the dust up. Still need to do the blinds [hum? I wonder if our son has a couple of workers who’d like to come over here and do that? – he has a cleaning service.] Also doing a couple of loads of laundry.

No wind today – thank goodness so have all the windows open to air things out. Temps today should be in the high 60s. No plans for today but I do want to get some information about the Neon Museum

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Technical Gremlins strike again

The drive yesterday really took its toll on Bill. He was in bed by 7:30. The wind continued to blow all night. The Alfa was really rocking and creaking most of the night. But this morning it seems to be calmer out.
Strange thing with the TV – don’t know whether it was the wind or what but it kept cutting off and on and a couple of the stations we always get wouldn’t come on – when I tried to get them the TV just told me “searching for satellite” but if I switched back to another channel it was fine. Will have to see how it works today. Not sure what we’re going to be doing this week as my girlfriend is not in town until next week, our friends from Indiana will not be coming till next week and our son from CA will not be coming until next week. Going to have a busy time then. Might have to get a Day Planner.
Also wouldn’t you know the weather is doing a big cool down. High temps in the 60s for
a few days.
Went out to breakfast at a restaurant we always used to go to when living here. Times they change. No one we used to know still works there. In fact, the manager who was a great guy – good manager working his way up in the company, smart, family man was gone – he ran off with one of the waitresses. Would never have thunk it of him.
Then we got Willie washed and cleaned inside and out. And went to Fry’s – a huge electronics store to look around a bit. Checking into a GPS made specifically for RVing. They didn’t have it but called Camping World for us and found out they do have it in stock.
Stopped and  visited with our youngest son and his wife for a while. Really nice visit.
Went by the Argentine market and Bill got a bunch of Argentine food he likes. Then home to watch a soccer game. Barcelona won 3 – 0.

After the game I was flipping through the channels and we are getting even less then we got yesterday…..What the heck. So made my first mistake and called Direct TV technical support…..By the time they got done with telling me to do this, do that, well try this again…..and so on until we had NO TV. Nothing at all and the screen was stuck on a “Looking for satellite” window and couldn’t get off it or close it. And their solution. “Well we can’t send a technician to you because you aren’t at your home. Call somebody there.” No SH!T. So called a couple people here in Vegas – one said I can’t get there until the 8th – THE EIGHTH! And you will have to bring it to me. Good Bye. Called second guy and left a message. Called the satellite people at Winguard (the makers of the dome)  – they were closed for the day. Called third guy and actually got ahold of him. He will call us tomorrow and will be here in the afternoon. Okay. Then the second guy called me back. Gave me some advice – “Reset the box.” And guess what at least now we are getting some channels. OMG now it is working perfectly! No static, all channels etc. Thank goodness. The technical gremlins are following us. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

It only stays in Vegas if it doesn't get blown away.

Hello from Las Vegas
We left Cottonwood, AZ this morning at 8:00 and got to Vegas and parked at 1:30 – 308 miles park to park. For me it was an uneventful drive – for Bill it was exhausting. The road itself was good in places and really needed work in others. This stretch was half and half – one lane had been repaved and the other hadn’t. But we sure could see a long way.
The wind was blowing at 25 to 35 mph sustained with gusts up to 55mph. It was moving Alfie with no problem. The big trucks traveling west the same as us looked like they were crabbing down the highway. Wind of course was from the south southwest – hitting us right on the driver’s side.
From Kingman to Vegas we were going North and the wind was still hitting us on the driver’s side – go figure. Getting ready to cross the first new bridge – not the big one by the dam but another one.
Usually you don’t see a sign telling high profile vehicles to drive in the center lane.
Especially over the bridges. 
It’s a good thing it did. As we crossed the BIG bridge the wind actually pushed us over to the next lane. Glad no one was there.
Entering Nevada – so far we’ve [that’s the royal we being used there] driven 2100 miles in the Alfa. At least both Nevada and Arizona are on the same time.
This is just some of the dust blowing around the area. Dust and lots of tumbleweeds. We hit at least three today.
We are at the Thousand Trails park in Vegas and when we checked in we managed to get 14 days here so we won’t have to move to another park in a couple of days like we thought we would. And we got a 50amp site. And it was easy to get into. And it is spacious – Wow! How did that happen? Well the lady ranger is English and she and Bill got talking soccer...
Our MiFi is working great – 4G no less but the Direct TV keeps cutting in and out. The wind is blowing so hard and the Alfa is rocking so much we keep losing the signal. Tomorrow it is supposed to let up some but the day time temperatures are going to drop into the 60s. Can’t have everything I guess.

After parking we went out to dinner at a Blueberry CafĂ© – we’ve been going there for years. Boy have their prices gone up since last time we were there two years ago. Food was still good though.  No more plans for today. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A quiet Sunday

Just finished watching the Cup race – aarrgg! Horrible day for Kyle – back to 5th in points.
Today is our last day here –the car is already hooked up ready to leave in the a.m. Long boring drive day tomorrow all the way to Las Vegas about 310 miles to the Thousand Trails park there. I don’t like that park the spaces are so small we barely fit and of course they are all back ins and the roads are very narrow between rows of RVs. AND because they are working on the park over 100 spaces aren’t available so we could only get reservations for 4 days. We’re hoping after we get there we’ll be able to stay the whole 14 days we’d planned on. If not there are plenty of RV parks around just hate to have to pack up and move.
I discovered something last night that surprised me. Yesterday we stopped at the used book store again and stocked up on lots of reading. So I started a John D MacDonald novel. I have decided that I prefer reading the Nook to a book. Never thought I’d say that. On the Nook the print is bigger there is less on a screen then on a page so it is easier to read and keep your place. The Nook is lighter than a book and easier to hang on to and I don’t need a light on to read in bed because the Nook itself is back lighted. Lit?
We went out to dinner with another couple here in the park. It’s amazing how many things we have in common, how many times we could have been in the same place at the same time. Hope to keep in touch with them.
So any way time to post this and start putting stuff away for tomorrow.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ride out in the desert

A little bit of our road trip - turn up your sound

Adventure in the Desert - Part 2 Honanki Ruins

Changed the header to a different picture of the red rocks. I’ve also got a video of a short part of the ride yesterday. But think I’m going to have to walk over to the lodge to get it to upload.
Been watching NASCAR and Kyle will be starting 3rd Sunday in the Cup race. For some reason he isn’t driving his truck tomorrow – Denny Hamlin is.
Part 2 – the Honanki Ruins.
More dirt rough road to the second set of ruins. I don’t remember ever being to these.
Just rolling along – now there are white mountains next to the red one.

I just thought this piece of rock was interesting looking.
A rocky part of the road.
Made it to the Honanki site. Again National Forest so no fee.
The easy path leading to the ruins. Lots of pine trees here. The red rock intensifies the green of the trees.
Just some information about the ruins. Maybe if enlarged it can be read.
Our first sight of the ruins. Just under the ledge of rock.
Some of the pretty colorful vegetation in this part of the desert.
There was a fork in the path – one part led straight ahead the other went around the back of a tree. I asked Bill to wait for me while I checked out the path behind the tree. HA! Not going that way. Had enough of the rock steps already today.
The other path goes through these trees.
Getting closer to the ruins.
Some of the drawings on the walls. It amazes me that they can last so long.
Some of the walls and rooms of the dwelling. Again they probably had a second story.
More drawings. Deer, men and lizards 
And some graffiti from 1925. Wonder what they used to leave their mark for so long.
Another Clan marking and wall art.
A pano shot of the dwelling. I’m having problems with the camera with the pano shots – don’t know why I can get “move camera in direction of arrow.” For some reason I either move too slow or too fast and the picture cuts off. Double click the pic to enlarge them.
More of the path – this part is over some slick rock – but at least it was wide enough.
An interesting tree. Looked like it was two trees stuck together but actually think the part with the bark might have been a parasite of some sort.
The same tree with a growth coming out of the barkless side.
Just like the colors of the rock, cactus and tree.
Back to Willie – he is slowly changing color to pink/orange.
Going back out the road.  Glad no one was coming over that hill.
Or around that curve.
Back on pavement with Sedona in front of us.
I can feel all the climbing and walking in my legs.
Only exciting thing we did yesterday, Friday, was go out to dinner and I worked on my new knitting project and new combinations of four letter words. Really need to pay attention to what I’m doing with this one. 
Watching the soccer game and it is starting to get exciting - 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Indian Ruins - Part 1 - Palatki Ruins

Oops my mistake, the soccer game is tomorrow – so today is just NASCAR practice and qualifying. Or maybe go somewhere – we’ll see.
I took so many pictures yesterday it is really hard to figure out what ones to use. And the Internet is so slow this morning that I’m only going to post the first ruins we went to.
We got an early [for us] start yesterday morning. First going out to breakfast of course. Then because it was such a beautiful day we decided to take Willie [the Jeep] out into the desert. Weatheer was arming up fast with some clouds in the sky. In fact some storm looking clouds way to our north. We left 89A just south of Sedona on to The Boynton Pass Trail. Heading out to the Palatki and Honanki Ruins.  We started out on the paved 525 – only paved for about 500 feet it turns out. Then on to a nice wide graded dirt/gravel road. 
Cannot say enough about the scenery – all the colors of the desert and the mountains. Lots and lots of yellow flowers.
Before long the level gravel road got a little rougher and not quite so wide in places. Willie was loving it after being garaged most of the summer.
storm clouds in the distance 
A straight level section with a view that is fantastic. It looks almost like a painted backdrop.
Getting to the parking lot of the Palatki Ruins. One nice thing about this fee area is that it is a US Forest Service site and we can use our Golden Age pass to enjoy it. Oops now it is called Senior Pass. I like Golden Age better.
The information sign in the parking lot.
Looking one direction from the waiting area. 

Looking the other direction from same spot.
These Forest Service areas are always looking for volunteers to work here. Right now it is a couple – they have their 5th wheel parked right next to where I was standing when I took the previous two pictures. The truck in the lower right hand corner is theirs. Horrible view to wake up to every morning.
A little ground squirrel that lives here. Wasn’t afraid of anyone.
We had been to these ruins about six years ago. After we started up the walking trail to them I remembered it got kind of steep and rugged. In fact I had to pull over for a minute or two. Lots of high rock steps. In fact I put my camera away to be able to grab things to pull me up. So no pictures going up. I really need to do something about my lack of exercise. Besides just talk about it.
The last time we were here we could walk into and around the ruins – but because of vandalism they are now roped off and the volunteer acts like a guide. One of the buildings. 
It is estimated that the people lived in this region for 6,000 years. It is assumed they left the area because of warfare and drought.
The dwelling was about two stories high. The people were quite small the men around 5’6” and the women about 5 foot. Average life span 35 years.
This is some art that depicts what clan the Indians belonged to.
The view from the ruins. I wonder if with all the hunting and gathering and water hauling if they ever got the chance to enjoy it.
Going down I had my camera out for a bit. Some of the stone steps – going down was easy – though I’ve discovered I don’t feel as sure footed as I used to. When did that happen?
The easier part of the trail. At the information center there were walking sticks – wished I’d have picked one up to use.
Doesn’t that middle rock look like a monster face?
Fooling with the camera – set on oil painting setting. Different.
The weather was perfect – warm but not hot, a slight breeze and some clouds. Back into Willie we set out for the Honanki Ruins – just up the road [trail] a bit. They will be Part 2.

Now will try to post this part. Listening to some old country station and they are playing Do You Remember These.  Veronica and Betty - Archies girls, white bucks [I remember begging my Mom for a pair when in high school - never got them had saddle shoes instead] and the Hit Parade among others.