Nov 10, 2018

Heading just a bit more South

We spent this past Thursday doing some final grocery shopping for Mexico, rearranging the load in the basement and did laundry.  I am very happy to announce that I will not be doing laundry again until April 2nd. So happy that we don’t have a washer /dryer in the RV and that while in Mexico we can get all of our laundry washed, dried in the fresh air and folded for 2100 pesos for the entire four months plus that we are there, about $138.00CAD/$104.00USD.  The laundry here was expensive @ 2.50 per load to wash and it took .75 to dry, 10 minutes for .25cents.  The day was very windy, first time I could not keep my hat on.  Before it got much colder Colin dumped the grey, filled the water tank and put the dish away.

Just a few spaces over from us was this 5th wheel, all decked out in solar panels.

I should have asked if he got a deal on his rent.

It was so cold Thursday night ( it did go down to 44F ) that I put a heater in the bathroom before my shower.

I closed the doors to the kitchen.

…and to the bedroom and was toasty warm when I came out of the shower.  What a treat.

About 6:15PM when it was already pitch dark an RV came in next to us.  He had a difficult time as there was next to no light at all to see where he was.   Colin was talking to Julian the next morning ( yesterday ).  They just purchased their RV in Vancouver in June I believe and have driven East across Canada and have now driven West across the USA.  Next they plan to head South to Patagonia, South America.

Their RV is called “Adventure Taxi” and they can be found on Google which will lead you to their Facebook page and a blog which is not as updated as the previous.   You can find them at www.theadventuretaxi.com  Grete is from Catalonia and Julian is from Australia.  This is part two of their adventure, part one was from London to Bangkok.  They go day by day with no idea where they might be head.  However they do have a tentative route mapped out with a plan.  We just might see them on the Isla in a month or two.  They are traveling fast.  The front basement door is missing!

As we left Kingman we had a 6%downgrade which gave us a lovely view.

Sixty four miles later we arrived at our destination for the next few days.  A very short drive day.  Always nice to get back to Lake Havasu.

We stopped at Walmart.  I have been unable to get a frozen veggie product by Gardein and hoped they would have it here.  They don’t so I am going to have to find a replacement somewhere.  The school bus was being driven by a single woman and she carefully checked the trailer all around once she stopped.  Great idea for a tow vehicle, lots of storage.

Looks like a homemade RV.  Everywhere we have stopped winter clothes are in all of the stores.  I had counted on finding some summer clothes here in Lake Havasu.  Sadly they are featuring winter wear here as well.  I did get one bathing suit top at JC Penney but had hopes for a lot more items.   That will have to wait until we return in the spring.

We are staying at the Lake Havasu State Park.  Our view from where we unhooked the Jeep.  A bit expensive at $35.00 per night but the sites are wonderful and so far apart.

There was only the one site available for this weekend when I booked last August.  We are in site #21 and this is the view from our front window.  We got lucky on this site.

Lots of birds flying at sunset.

Last night for the first time since we left home six weeks ago, I was finally able to start a novel.  Our big adventures and large blogs are over.  Time to relax.

 

 

 

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Nov 09, 2018

The rest of the story

So there we were at the top of the pass.

Time to hairpin our way down.

We saw an abandoned mine and hence evidence of many homes that used to make up the community.

This was only the second gas station that we saw on the drive, also abandoned.  Whatever did folks do back then when they had a breakdown?  There were no cell phones.  The road was narrow and constantly winding.  I can’t image trying to get a tow truck in those days.  Even now it would take hours for someone to get to your broken down vehicle.

We turned a corner and with no warning, there it was, Oatman.

Back to Colin as the photographer.  Neat place but oh so very smelly.  Watch where you step!

Almost too much to take in at first glance.  All shops wanting to get your attention.

No we did not pose that donkey there.  The sign under his chin reads ” I found my sweet ass in Oatman, Arizona “.

A satisfied customer?

The burros came with the miners and still roam the streets.

We walked up one side of street and down the other.  It was after two and my eating time and I was hungry.  This is the Oatman Hotel, one of two restaurants in town and it has a liquor license.

A hotel, an ice cream parlor, the only bar in town and a fabulous restaurant.

What kind of wallpaper is that?

Dollar bills, all signed by guests over the years and taped or pinned to the walls, fans, railings, napkin containers, just everywhere.  All those dollar bills are still valuable currency and when we asked, we were told that there was at least $150,000.00 hanging around.  Likely much more as in some areas the bills were eight deep.

We each had a tuna melt on sourdough with fries. One of the best meals I have ever had.  It was difficult to not eat it all, so I ate almost every bite.  Yummy and decadent.  Needless to say that was my only meal that day.

The hotel  was built in 1902 and is said to be haunted.

But we went upstairs anyway.  Original stairs, floor and handrails.  Clarke Gable and Carol Lombard spent their honeymoon upstairs in March of  1939.

The honeymoon suite as it looked back in 1939.  Room 15 was the only one that had a private bathroom.  Apparently they frequently came back to Oatman because they enjoyed the solitude and Clark played cards with the miners.

A very young foal still enjoying mom’s milk.

A fun place to visit at least once.

But you need to behave or you will be put in jail or worse hung from the gallows.

So ended our full day of exploring the Kingman area.

We still had to get back to the RV but fortunately we did not require dinner.  There is a lot of history here and so much more to enjoy than we had time for.  We look forward to a return visit sometime in the future.

 

 

 

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Nov 08, 2018

Doing some local exploring

There is so much to see and do in this area but we were limited in time so had to choose our activities carefully.  Kingman became a name on the map around 1882 with a rooming house, a few stores and other buildings.  The railway track between Needles and Albuquerque was completed in 1883 and the town grew rapidly.  By 1888 most of the original town site lots had been sold.  Rich gold strikes in the nearby Black Mountains between 1900 and 1920 helped make Kingman a center for the mining supplies, equipment and services.  By 1919 there were seven garages, three meat markets, two drug stores, two churches, a Western Union, two lumber yards, a picture show and numerous hotels and saloons.  Kingman had the advantage of being located on the railroad and on US 66.  Then in 1929 Arizona State’s first commercial airport was established and dedicated by Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart.  There is a lot of history here in this town.  Did you know that Clark Gable and Carol Lombard where married here on March 29, 1939?

We started at the Visitor Center, picked up a Historic Downtown Walking Tour and just meandered from there.

Mr. D’s is still in business and the diner is so authentic inside.  Hopefully we will have a chance to stop in for a snack.  There is not much that we can eat on the regular menu but a pumpkin pie milkshake sounds tasty:)

The town is full of old vehicles.

This one is so cool.  Love these colors.

Lots of fun.

On Colin’s 16th birthday he came home from school to find his birthday gift.  It was a teal colored 1956 Oldsmobile just like this one.  He didn’t even have a driver’s license!

Many of the old buildings now house current businesses.

In the window of a closed building.

This used to be the Post Office and was built in 1935 as Kingman’s first standalone office.

The former Elks Lodge-Kingman #468 was founded in 1899 and formally dedicated in 1904.  It was built of locally quarried Tufa stone.

The Mohave County Courthouse was built in 1915 at a cost of $80,000.00.  A huge amount of money back then.

The Little Red Schoolhouse was built in 1896.

Built in 1928, the Santa Fe Locomotive #3759 ran passengers between Los Angeles and Kansas City for over 20 years and traveled more than 2.5 million miles.

Don’t those letters A.T. & S.F. make the song run through your mind.  Click below to listen to the song.

Much as we wanted to stick around town and look at more old buildings it was time to hit that historic Route 66.  As we drove we imagined what it might have been like back in the day.  Of course we wished that we were doing the drive in my Z3.  What fun that would be.  The following photos are mine as I wasn’t driving.

What a unique message 🙂

This guy just appeared out of nowhere.

We really had no idea what this drive would entail.  But as we approached the Black Mountains it became apparent that the previous warning signs were serious.  “Mountain Crossing Ahead”.  “No truck over 40 feet”.  Okay we were in the Jeep so we were good to go.

We could just image the folks back in the day stopping for a cold soda or to top up their tank. Nice to see it still open.

The road was getting curvy.

Interesting formations.  The terrain kept changing.

We came around a turn and there they were. Not at all interested in us.

Quite the climb complete with drop off edges.  It took several hairpin turns and curvy roads with little road space to get us from the bottom of the valley to up here.

To be continued………

 

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Nov 07, 2018

Starting to head South

Yesterday we started our trek South by taking more roads new to us.  It was a short drive, just over two hours and we set up at the Zuni Village RV Park in Kingman, Arizona, a town that we have never been to.  When I booked here last August it was part of the Passport America system but no longer is.  They honored my 50% off price even though I had not prepaid.  Very kind of them.

We drove exactly 108 miles.

There is a new interstate I – 11 out of Las Vegas towards Kingman.

Nice new highway but it is only 15 miles long at this point.

As you come around a corner there is a breathtaking view of Lake Mead.  Note the two helicopters in the sky.

Hard to miss that we are near the Hoover Dam what with all the helicopters and electrical towers.  The red helicopter is just waiting to take off.

You would think that those driving in these vehicles would have helmets on, but they don’t.

Good to be back in Arizona, our last US state for this year.

Stunning views.

Always nice to get 97% green setting up the dish.  We did it this time in a record 90 seconds.

We discovered that we have a problem with our water pump.  It leaks, something about a valve not shutting off.  The pump is way in there.

Not easy to replace the pump due to its location.

Fortunately we always carry a spare.

We found a mobile RV tech with available time to come out a few hours later.   Young muscles were needed to deal with the exchange of pumps.

Not an easy task as he had to take off the entire fibreglass panel in order to reach the pump.  To the left of his left hand are the black and grey tanks.

It was a good thing that we opened up that area, as there was this large mouse nest that needed to be cleaned out.  No apparent mouse damage was found.

The new pump is in.

Before closing it all in again.  Normally we would not have had to do this as long as we stayed in an RV Park. But because we would be dry camping next week we could not have the water pump draining our water tank by leaking.  Our water tank is the white one on the right.

Ross the tech was gone by 5PM and we were able to sit back and relax.  We watched CNN for a few hours but it was obvious that there were many more hours of vote counting to be done before the final results would be in.  So we did a few other things and eventually called it a night.

Our last Las Vegas sunset.

 

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Nov 06, 2018

Catching up

We spent Sunday and Monday finishing up on some chores and just relaxing.  We did not change our clocks back Saturday night.  We were only here a few more days and were already on Arizona and Mazatlan time so why bother for two days?

While I did yet another three loads of laundry Colin painted the final coat on the door latch.  I only have two more loads to do the end of this week and then I won’t have to do laundry again until I get home in April 😎 He also painted some parts of the hitch black and checked and topped up our RV batteries.

I did manage to get my runners looking almost new again.  It certainly was a good thing that I got them stretched three times before we left.  I can’t wear them more than three hours without a break but at least I am wearing closed toes shoes which have enabled me to do things I would otherwise have been unable to do.

Colin tried at my insistence to do a lens restore.  Others like George do it all the time.  This is the before.

Sadly the after does not look any different.  He thinks that needs to get a coarser sand paper or ???  He will have to do some further research.

I also spent some time on the phone sorting out our next reservation.  Long story short, I lost the paperwork ( later found in the Grand Canyon papers ) and had to call to check on our reservation.  They did not have us on the list but finally found the one site for us.  Later when I did find my papers, I was horrified to see that I had the wrong RV park 😳  So I called the first one, explained, thanked then and cancelled.  Meanwhile the original park is no longer with Passport America but will honor my 50% off rate for the three days we will be there 😀  Phew!

We had Eric install a fridge fan for us last winter.  It worked great but the last week I have had a large build of ice over and over.  The fan had died.  We don’t think it was an RV fan but perhaps a computer fan.

I finally tracked down a 12V fan that would fit the area.  Before ordering it online I checked out some local RV supply stores and found one that had the fan in stock.  Colin went out to get it and figured out how to install the fan but stopped as he did not want to drill into an area that clearly said to not put anything thru the membrane in that area.  We will let Eric deal with it in a few weeks.  Best to be safe adn not have to buy a new fridge.

Does anyone have an idea what might have caused the paint to go like this?

Because of the windows we think it is a newer model 5th wheel.  They winter in Mesa.  Sandstorm??

Sunday we were blessed with of of the best sunsets we have ever seen.

 

 

This 5th wheel has an unusual side patio.

Now that is a toy hauler.  The RV/truck is beside it.

 

 

 

 

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