Pahrump, Shoshone, and the China Ranch

no more saguaros, now Joshua trees and smell the sage! The drive from Laughlin up the hill to Highway 95 toward Vegas is steep, but not really very long and we rolled up the hill in the morning sunlight.  Another possible stop on our route was Boulder City, where a soil scientist friend had promised a cold drink and a copy of his presentation on the Spirit Mountains.  Again, it was not to be.  I only heard about the RV search at Hoover Dam after we had already decided to re-route around Las Vegas traffic as much as possible and skip the drive across the new bridge at the dam.

toward Las Vegas The drive to Pahrump was short, just under 160 miles, and the road was great.  We managed to skirt the worst of the Las Vegas traffic on the south side of the city, staring in awe at the miles and miles of low brown stucco homes covering the desert.  Highway 160, west from Las Vegas, is part of the Old Spanish Trail and winds through the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and crosses the beautiful Spirit Mountains at Mountain Springs.  Once through the pass, the wide desert vista of the Pahrump Valley opens up to the west. As Mo drove the smooth, even highway, I started checking out the Streets and Trips listings of Camp Club USA parks in Pahrump.  We called a couple of places, discovering that once again, no one had cable, but the Charleston Peak Winery RV Park was on our list, and had an opening for our club, 1/2 price at 20 bucks once more.

Laughlin to Pahrump (30) There are many RV parks in the area, and we toured around town checking them out the next day, but still were happy with our choice, especially at the price.  Once settled in on the high fan above town, with an unbroken view of Charleston Peak to the east, we were especially tickled.  The swimming pool was closed for the evening, but it was just a few hundred yards to the tasting room at the “only” or “first” winery in Nevada.  I am still not sure which, but I suppose I could look that up eventually.  The winery said one thing and the chamber said another, so which is true?.

sunset on Charleston Peak Seven tastings are offered for free, and even though they no longer grow their own grapes except for a very small vineyard, they made some award winning cabernet from Sonoma grapes. The original vineyards planted were destroyed a few years ago by wild horses.  Mo stayed with Abby and I enjoyed sitting in the unpretentious, intimate little tasting room with award winning wine while Mo settled for a glass of chardonnay in the MoHo. 

Laughlin to Pahrump (50) The evening was much cooler than any we have experienced in a couple of weeks, with a wild, blustery wind blowing across the desert.  I’m not quite sure why, but even in that wind our slide topper didn’t seem to flap too much.  Maybe it’s a different kind of construction than some.  So  far it hasn’t been a problem. Charleston Peak was brilliant snowy white against the dark cloudy skies to the east, with the western skies clear enough for a gorgeous sunset.

today's explorations Sunday was our day to relax and explore more of the area south and west of Pahrump.  When we traveled to Death Valley in 2004, we had a rented car, (pre MoHo days!) and spent a lot of time exploring the park.  It was time for something different, and with the help of the excellent Discover Pahrump brochure, we mapped out a route.

West of Pahrump, Highway 372 changes to 178 when you cross into California, crossing a small range of mountains and opening up to another valley.  The tiny community of Shoshone lies in the heart of the valley, a pleasant stop for folks traveling farther west or north into Death Valley.  It was a nice stop for us as well, and with the price of gas, we were glad we had filled up the tracker back in Nevada and a mere 3.69 per gallon.  Shoshone is full of crusty characters, and has a history of fascinating people.  The museum there is tiny, but wonderful, with a special section devoted to Death Valley Women, with photos, newspaper articles, and stories.  In the back of the museum are the collection of bones once thought to be mammoth bones, but later identified as several different animals probably washed into the Pleistocene lake from several different areas.

remnants of a different era in Shoshone, CAShoshone lies at the edge of the ancient lake, and the area is riddled with soft sediments from the old lake bed, then uplifted and eroded into washes and gorges and mesas, surrounded by more wild volcanics, ash flow tuffs, and even obsidian. Suddenly in the cliffs, we saw caves that were obviously man made, and got out to explore.  Later, the museum volunteer pointed me up a  dirt road west of Shoshone to view more of these man made caves.  Near town, in addition to a very strange and wacky looking cemetery, we found what was left of hand carved homes inhabited by desert dwellers in the 20’s and 30’s.  They looked ever so much like homes carved out of the volcanic tuffs in the Cappadocia region in Turkey.  Certainly not as old, and not as artistic, but the idea was the same.  Carve out a safe home, warm in winter, cool in summer, using what is available.

apartments in the desert Apartments carved in stone in the desert near Shoshone, maybe a little over 80 years old?

click here for many more photos of the area around Shoshone and the cave homes.

DSCN8382 Apartments carved in stone in Cappadocia, maybe over 1200 years old? 

Click here for more photos of the fantastic home in the Cappadoccia region of Turkey

After exploring the cave apartments, we continued up the wash toward the volcanic hills.  The road ended after a few miles, but yielded a wonderful array of blooming wildflowers.

Yes, Mo and I did plenty of tent camping before we got the first MoHo in 2005

P1010019 Back on the highway, we continued south toward the small community of Tecopa, site of several hot springs resorts.  I say “resort” with tongue in cheek, because these places were not fancy in the least, just dusty campgrounds with faded signs that said “hot mineral baths” or “massage”. The springs are known for their healing properties, and have been used by humans for centuries, but they didn’t look all that tempting to me.  My favorite spring is still up in the mountains of eastern Oregon, in the middle of a meadow at Hart Mountain.  But that’s another story, prior to MoHo days, when Mo and I tent camped up there.

Road to China Date Farm Beyond Tecopa to the south and east on the Spanish Trail, is the desert oasis of China Ranch. The road into the valley is twisting and winds between fantastical apparitions of the badlands.  Once through the tiny canyon, the small valley opens up, green and lush with date palms and irrigation.  It wasn’t very clear about where to go, and we followed a dirt road and a sign that pointed to the gift shop.  The parking lot was almost full, but the gift shop was very small and didn’t seem to be near the date palms at all.  There were a few signs pointing to the river, but we really had no idea where to go, and of course with Abby, we needed to check on the dog friendly areas, if they existed.

nice walk on a hot day I went into the tiny, crowded gift shop, where one person was busy making date shakes, and no one else seemed to be around.  I finally asked a customer if they had any idea of what you were supposed to do in this place and she gave me the 50 cent trail brochure.  Ahha!!  No restrictions on dogs!  We didn’t even see a leash sign, but kept Abby on her leash anyway.  The maps on the brochure were fairly primitive, and even as a map maker I had a hard time figuring out where to go.  We ambled up the lane toward the date palms, trying to find a circular route which eluded us, and trying to avoid the hot badlands which didn’t sound all that great on this hot mid afternoon.

Shoshone and Tecopa (79) The palms were beautiful, graceful and gentle in the desert.  Each variety had an informative sign explaining it’s origin, something we had seen at the Oasis in Indio, but of course here everything was much more rustic and casual.  After hiking an hour or so, we walked back to the shop for a cold drink.  I kept thinking I wanted a date shake, but every time I would slip inside the line was too long, and the poor guy was still doing everything by himself.  Mo and I settled for a cold diet pepsi and some time on the shady bench outside the store.

Our trip home followed the original path of the Old Spanish Trail back to Highway 160 south of Pahrump.  There are great signs about the trail in two places, but each of them comes up suddenly with no warning, so you have to be ready to whip in or turn around to read them. It was sobering to stand in that wide open, hot, dry desert basin, with range after range of rugged mountains in every direction and envision hardy travelers following this path from Abiquiu, New Mexico to Los Angeles in 1829.   John C Fremont, another hero of mine, passed on this trail in 1844.  In 2002 it was designated by Congress as a National Historic Trail.  Our circular route back to Pahrump followed much of this path, and even I-15 follows along the historic trail for some distance in Nevada.

Charleston Peak east of Pahrump in the distanceOnce home again in the late afternoon, we settled in to reading and relaxing before our planned outing to the Pahrump Nugget Steakhouse for their highly touted best steaks around.  Sometimes Mo and I skip lunch entirely and eat a very early supper, but again, this time we were considering Abby and our opportunity to eat out required dark night skies. The casino was fairly quiet on a Sunday night, but the restaurant was full to the brim with a big bunch of bikers who were staying in a nearby hotel.  At first we though the whole idea might have been a mistake when the waitress said there would be an hour wait.  The restaurant didn’t even look full, but all the wait staff was in the back room with the bikers.  We said we would be happy to sit in the bar, actually just a couple of tables next to the restaurant, and settled in to watch all the frustration of the employees trying to deal with a lot of people with not a lot of staff.  Finally we managed to get a couple glasses of wine and then a sweet young man, who turned out to be the off duty chef, came over and took our order.  Once they figured out that someone needed to wait on us, everything went great.  My steak was perfect, and I have 3/4 of it left for our dinner tonight..  Once back home, we felt like it was a perfectly lovely day and we were ready to settle in to the slight evening breeze. 

Apr 3 Shoshone and Tecopa Our trip is coming to a close.  As I was writing this entry, the wild crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains opened up to the west, and the snow capped ranges of western Nevada are framing my view to the north as we approach Walker Lake.  Not sure yet where we will stop tonight, but I do hope it is on a big alluvial fan somewhere in the Nevada desert, with a view for miles and no lights to be seen.

Laughlin, Forgettable. Pahrump, Memorable

highway 95 We are heading north on Highway 95 now, on very smooth, very straight 2 lane road.  Mo is driving and there is very little traffic.  As our trip is winding down, both of us are a bit ready to just hit the road and keep moving rather than lingering much longer.  The original plan included a possible trip into Death Valley and a possible route north on 395.  We both love Death Valley and have spent time there, and we have traveled 395 many times.  395 is gorgeous, and the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine is one of our favorite places.  But we have been there.  Somehow this time the open spaces of Nevada called us with the direct route north. 

tiny town of Shoshone gateway to the southern end of Death ValleyI love traveling through this part of Nevada.  The vistas are so wide, huge alluvial fans as far as the eye can see, sloping gently upward to the contorted rugged volcanic ridges, broken by layers of uplifted sediments, and subtly colored by all the eternities of evolution of this landscape.  As a soil mapper, one of the indicators we use to identify soil change is the vegetation pattern.  Here in this part of the world those subtle changes are easily visible. 

no more saguaros, now Joshua trees and smell the sage! Crossing a playa with crusted salt surfaces, up a bit more to a low basin covered with greasewood, tells me it is still salty.  In the distance, at the foot of the contorted hills the greasewood drops out and creosote appears, a faint hint of filmy green across the distance.  Less salt.  Rising higher, the gray mounds of low sage and an occasional Joshua tree.  Each of those variations will indicate to me that the soil is changing, not only the salts on the surface, but the hard petrocalcic layers below the surface, the mixed up crazy gravels and cobbles of the alluvial fans, the shallow bedrock soils of the ridges. 

wildflowers are blooming looking south toward Tecopa Mapping soils in the desert is a beautiful thing, at least if you have a 4 wheeler and access.  In this day it seems that unless the mappers are on federal lands, the access in extremely limited.  People are protective of their rights, their property, and no longer trust the government.  A geologist or a botanist or a soil scientist may be a threat and not a help in their minds.  It’s a bit of a sad thing for the young soil scientists coming up now, trying to do their jobs, constantly hindered by suspicious landowners. I was lucky.  I mapped almost a million acres of ground, much of it wild and free lands in the Pacific Northwest, just a tiny bit of southern deserts.  Lucky me!

mass exodus of the Canadians Traveling north from Phoenix to Laughlin was uneventful.  We took Highway 60 northwest and avoided the fast pace and crowded traffic on I-17, but once we arrived at I-40 near Wickenburg the RV’s were almost bumper to bumper.  It was the mass exodus of the Canadians in full force.  Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan plates in abundance.  I never saw a Quebec or Ontario, though.  Laughlin wasn’t far from the Interstate, and before long we were dropping down to the Colorado River and the town of Bullhead City.  Right before our turnoff to a possible RV park we found the Mojave County Park, with what looked to be fairly nice sites along the river.  With a fee of $21 for the night, we settled in to a back in site near the river.  The temperature read 99.9 degrees and within a few minutes it read 100.  March 31, and 100 degrees!  We pulled the shades, turned on the air conditioner and napped and read in the cool dim light until 6:30 that night! 

hot as heck in LaughlinWhen the sun finally let up a bit, we took a walk down to the river so Abby could cool off and swim, and got in the Tracker to check out Bullhead City and then cross the bridge to Laughlin and the casinos. Twilight was deepening and the lights of the casinos looked dramatic and lovely reflected on the river.  Laughlin itself wasn’t much to speak of, especially with the extensive construction on Casino Drive.  The marquees said nothing about shows, only advertising their buffet dinners and hotel rooms.  We drove up to Harrah’s and almost left before we finally found an entrance to the Casino.  We can at least do things like this at night now and then, because Abby seems to be content to settle down and sleep in the car if it is dark outside. 

Phoenix to Laughlin (12) Mo and I like to play the slots a bit, and to us it is a win if our 20 bucks each lets us play a couple of hours and have fun.  Cheap entertainment.  Neither of us is likely to go over that 20 limit and we rarely win anything, but I still like the lights and the glitz of the casinos.  It’s especially fun to watch the people there.  We saw one very old lady, very skinny, dressed up in diamonds and sparkles, with shiny reflective leopard skin jacket. leather pants, and sequins everywhere.  After a short time at Harrah’s, we went to the Royal Palm Casino, with it’s marquee shouting out that it had the newest slot games.  Here we found a sign to the River Walk, which I had heard was a nice thing to do in Laughlin, but it was dark and buggy out, so we decided against it.  Another move into the Colorado Belle Casino, dolled up to look like a big riverboat was our final destination for the evening, with our $20 increased a bit with some bells and whistles and then again finally gone. 

nice park Originally we thought we might stay two nights in Laughlin, having heard and read much about it from RV’rs and travel magazines.  Not for us, I guess.  We aren’t enough into gambling and town camping to really enjoy it that much. we also didn’t bring our kayaks along on this desert trip, and the Colorado River here was wide and fast.  It seemed there were lots of water craft around, including noisy jet skis.  Instead we decided to spend our extra night at Pahrump, another place much touted by RV’rs for the winter.  I guess we would find out the next day. 

Surprises are good

Superstition Mountain I love it when life brings a surprise, especially good ones, surprises without drama, unless it is just the drama of the landscape.  Last week when we arrived in Phoenix at the Royal Palm, life did just that.  As I wrote previously, on Wednesday afternoon we read about the fifteen best things to do in Phoenix, and didn’t even finish reading the list when we decided to travel the Apache Trail, Arizona Highway 88.  I wonder how many bloggers pored over those old Arizona Highways magazines as much as I did in my youth.  I would read every story, ogle every red rock photo of Sedona in awe, wonder at the flowers in the desert.  Today reminded me of an Arizona Highway day.

downtown Goldfields Getting out of Phoenix, however, takes a fairly long time.  The huge valley is wide and sprawling, with freeways bisecting the city and Highway 60 taking off toward the east and Apache Junction.  After many miles of hot desert, we arrived in Apache Junction, another sprawling metropolis populated with RV’s and what are actually called “Travel Trailer Parks”.  The community has been high on the list of places to be for snowbirder’s, maybe just a hair below Quartzite in the winter.  We only traveled through, with the Apache Highway as our destination.

Long before we reached the town, however, the mythical Superstition Mountains rose against the eastern sky. Highway 88 is a pleasant 2 lane highway, with the actual mountain itself on the eastern edge of town.  Before we had traveled any distance at all, suddenly there appeared what seemed to be some kind of ghost town.  We whipped around to get back to the entrance.  Sure, it was probably a fake, and probably very commercialized, but it looked fun, and the buildings looked really old and authentic.

great lemonade on a hot afternoon The built up commercialized town of Goldfields didn’t disappoint us one bit.  Especially when we found the tall glasses of frozen lemonade to ward off the afternoon heat.  I had a bit of a time tracking the history of the town, but eventually found out that it was indeed a real ghost town, where many of the buildings were reconstructed, but much of the machinery was from the original town.

After wandering around and enjoying the views, be again got on the Apache Trail heading east toward Roosevelt Lake.  When  I say the day was a surprise, it was because I had never heard of the Apache Trail until a casual mention by Wes last week asking if we had driven that road.  Here is a quote from Theodore (not Franklin!) Roosevelt: “The Apache Trail combines the grandeur of the Alps, the glory of the  Rockies, and the magnificence of the Grand Canyon, and then adds an indefinable something that none of the others have. To me it is the most awe-inspiring and most sublimely beautiful panorama nature has ever created.”  Well, coming from Teddy, one of my favorite historical heroes, it must be really something, since he explored so much of the world and saved so much of it for our viewing pleasure.

Apache Trail (28) Initially the road was paved, two lane highway, a bit winding, and steep in places, but not unmanageable.  As we continued east, however the vistas got bigger, the canyons deeper, the colors brighter.  After taking many photos of blooming cactus and distant mountains, we reached the unpaved portion of the road.  Another 22 miles were ahead of us before we again would travel on pavement at Roosevelt Lake.  I have to say that Roosevelt Lake was another surprise, since in all the blogging about the world of Arizona, I don’t remember ever even hearing of this place. 

Apache Trail (43) I think it took us about 7 hours to traverse the entire route to Globe and connect again with Highway 60, and it was enchanting every single moment.  The most exciting moment was rounding a steep long curve and seeing the face of the Theodore Roosevelt Dam looming right in front of us above Apache Lake.  I somehow had no clue there was a dam there, although a closer inspection of my maps would have shown them.  All that water in the desert, silly, of COURSE there is a dam there, and a big one.  This dam was built of bricks, yes bricks, and is the largest masonry dam in the country, probably because they don’t do that any more.  It was started in 1903 and completed in 1911, and the Apache Trail then became a tourist route for scenic drives.  Can you imagine those old cars on this road??

Mar 30 Apache Trail Once beyond the dam, the beautiful vista of Roosevelt Lake opened up before us, with the Roosevelt Bridge framing the view.  Another wonder, this bridge was built to route traffic across the lake so that repairs could be made to the dam.  Someone said that the dam is almost always in some state of disrepair and repair.  The graceful bridge is listed among the 12 best in the United States, along with the Golden Gate and the Brooklyn Bridge. Again on pavement, we traveled quickly east past the Tonto National Monument, too late to go up the road behind locked gates and view the cliff dwellings, another surprise, since I hadn’t heard of this place either.  Arizonan’s will probably think I must have been under a rock to miss all this, but in all my years of traveling the southwest, I never learned of these places.  What a treat to find an unknown world right under my nose.

Mar 30 Apache Trail1 I wished for more time to go into the visitor centers, to see the cliff dwellings, to learn more about the building of the road and the dam.  We intersected Highway 60 about 3 miles west of Globe, and it was almost dark, so the scenic highway was merely fantastic silhouettes and shadows as we hurtled down the steep canyon back to the great salty valley that is home to Phoenix. Once again on the freeway, we were subjected to the erratic, speed demon fast, pass you in the right lane going 80 kind of traffic that seems to be the norm around Phoenix.  Once again we drove into a dark campground and found the cat waiting patiently on the dash, meowing at us indignantly.

It was a great day of driving and short hikes taking photos, and being back in the wild world of the Arizona desert mountain landscape.

Eventually the internet will smile on me and I will have a connection that will allow me to upload the photos to Picasa.  For more vistas of the highway, check here.

Family and Friends in the Desert

Sharon and Joan friends for 40 plus years Our first preference for a destination wouldn’t necessarily be the big cities of Tucson and Phoenix.  We both love the wide open vistas of the desert, preferably without telephone poles and skyscrapers, and miles and miles of traffic.  However, another advantage of traveling in an RV is the opportunity to spend time with friends and family that we might not manage otherwise.  Hence our decision to spend quite a bit of time both in Tucson and in Phoenix.

In addition to our friends in Sahuarita, we spent another day with a long time friend of Mo’s in Green Valley.  Joan lives in another large gated retirement community with winding streets, a dog park, a community center, swimming pool, and lots of amenities nearby in Green Valley.  Joan’s home is big and cool and with her recently glassed in patio, was a great place to leave Abby and her dog Rusty while we spent the day visiting the historic town of Tubac, just a few miles south.

I wanted pots! Tubac was at one time a Presidio, and there is a nice state park in addition to several charming guest houses and a ton of interesting shopping choices.  It was a bit like going to Mexico without having to go to Mexico, and some great art thrown in. We looked around town, enjoying the colorful pots and garden art, and exploring the Art Museum.  Lunch was relaxed until Joan checked her messages and found out that Abby had been barking incessantly since we left and the neighbors were in a bit of a snit.  Bummer.  Abby is so good in so many ways, but the separation anxiety makes it hard to leave her anywhere except with a dog sitter who is paid to sit with her.  We skipped the rest of our shopping excursion and rushed back home.

door to the art museum Once there, Abby was a perfect lady, lying quietly at Mo’s feet as if nothing was wrong at all.  She is a perfect house guest, even if Mo isn’t there, she will be quiet and calm with whomever is caring for her.  Only the slobbered up windows gave any indication that anything was ever wrong at all.  We took the dogs to the dog park for some fun and then came back to Joan’s house for another lovely supper and more conversation around the dinner table.  Once again, it was a long dark ride back to Tucson and home and the patiently waiting cat.

Early Wednesday morning we were back on the road heading for Phoenix. We did look into the Luke AFB Military Family Camp, but it certainly didn’t have the reputation of our previous digs at Davis-Monthan.  The instructions said “choose a site and be sure the electricity is operating before you check in”.   Another review referred to the constant barrage of fighter jet aircraft noise day and night.  With temperatures in the 90’s this week, we definitely couldn’t boondock, so dipped into our Streets and Trips program to see what might be available north in Phoenix. 

Phoenix (5) Just a few miles from one set of relatives, we found the Royal Palm Mobile Home and RV Resort.  When it says “mobile home’ and ‘”resort” in the same line we usually figure we are in for one of those places that wants to sell a lot.  Since it was a CampClub listed park, however, we called anyway.  Sure enough, they had a spot with full hookups, 16 bucks a day.  Electricity!  Of course, the WiFi was extra, and I never did get it to work, and the owner gave me some sort of complex story about why they didn’t have cable tv, but it didn’t matter much because we were there to visit relatives, not relax in a city center kind of RV park. When we finally checked out the pool on our morning walk this morning before leaving, we decided it was pretty small for a park as big as this.  It was also pretty darn warm!

Phoenix (8) We landed in early afternoon, immediately turned on the air conditioning and called the relatives to schedule a convenient time to visit.  Once arrangements were made for the following day, we used the iPhone to check out what to do in Phoenix. Found another website, “The Fifteen Things to do While In Phoenix” and when we got to number 7, drive the Apache Highway, both of us said, “Yup, that’s it”.  We could take the dog, be in the cool car, and still get out to see something interesting.  I’ll write about that part of the day in a separate blog, because it was an incredible treat, and I took lots of photos. We didn’t get back to the park until late, and with a sandwich for supper we fell asleep with the windows open and the Fantastic Fan on full blast.

The next morning we first visited Mo’s cousin Jim, who with his wife Linda has lived in the Phoenix area since 1994.  They love living here and love the convenience of their location in the city.  Their home was at the base of a mountainous park nearby, and within a lovely resort now owned by the Hilton.  Linda served us a great breakfast, and then Jim treated us (mostly me) to his technical savvy about all things computer related.  He also showed many of his great photos taken with a Nikon D-60 on his huge flat screen very high def TV.  Nice morning.  Jim is very much into the family genealogy and we got a great tour through some family history and stories.

Phoenix Mid-day, we had just enough time to get across Phoenix to Sun City Grand near Surprise to visit Mo’s Uncle Albert and his wife Caroline. They live in a sprawling, very elegant, Del Webb community with 4 18 hole golf courses, a huge recreation center, and a club for just about anything in the world you could want to do.  Their home was all soft white and pristine, with wide open views of the golf course.  Caroline served us lunch while Uncle Al continued the stories of the Ross family history.  Mo’s mother was from a family of ten kids, and Uncle Al was one of the younger uncles.  Mo has lots of great memories of the many uncles teaching her to play basketball, taking her fishing, and doing all sorts of fun things along the mighty Columbia River where she grew up.

Phoenix (2) We looked at many more historic family photos from the homestead in North Dakota, the cemeteries we visited last summer, and the family homes in St Helens, Oregon.  What a family, and what a history!  Of course, the wild ones, the skeletons in the closet were the most fun, with Billy Bob, hanged for horse stealing, being a star.  Many of the uncles and cousins have history as military airmen and some have been commercial pilots.  Mechanical skill seems to run in the family, so Mo comes by it naturally.  Gee, with all those uncles and brothers, it’s no wonder.

DSC_7283 Uncle Al kept us entertained until late in the afternoon, when Cousin Jim called and wanted to confirm an early evening date for drinks and supper at Aunt Chilada’s, near their home.  We didn’t even have time to stop in to the MoHo to say hi to Jeremy, and just drove through the crazy traffic  back across the city once more.  Supper was also great, with lots more stories and laughs.

It was long after dark when we finally returned to our park and the patient cat sitting in the window wondering when we might settle down again.  The last of the “visiting” is over now, and we are traveling north toward Laughlin before once again winding our way into some wild open desert landscape.  Visiting is nice, it’s great to get to see relatives and friends, but it’s time for some companionable silence and wide open vistas, for sure!DSC_7284