Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Visit with Class Mates

April 4th -

While in Quartzsite meandering around the venders Steve heard his name called. Low & behold it was a “young” school friend we haven’t seen in 30 yrs. They live in the Peoria area & were in Quartzsite with some of there friends. Had a short visit & planned to stop & see them @ there place. After our stay with grand kids we headed north & stopped @ Bev & Charlie's.

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A dove has nested in the back yard & Bev is trying to teach my dogs to be as good as her Bailey. Each evening she goes out in the back & throws a Frisbee for Bailey to bring back.

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They have a huge back yard with room for us to park with full hookups next to Charley’s shop.

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A toast to more great times. Bev & Charlie are now retired too. While there I taught Bev how to bead a bracelet.  

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Bev & Charley in front before we left.


Had a great visit. Hope to see them when they come to Wash. this summer. And will see them next winter when we come south again. Hope we can plan some travels together on our next trip.

Time With Grandkids

While down in AZ we enjoy the time we can spend with 2 of our grand kids Sierra & Brandon. And of course Leanne & Jeff too. Leanne home schools so while we were there we were able to go on a couple field trips. the first was to The Heard Museum. 

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After getting ck’ed in, the class was taken around the museum & shown the culture of several different Native American tribes. Then to a craft room to make a box decorated with Native American symbols. 

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Then some time to run & play before we could go back into the museum to roam on our own. 


Below are some of the art we viewed inside & out of the museum. Click on the pix to see bigger.

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Then of course there was game playing.

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The US Air Force Thunder Birds were in town.

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Sierra, Grandpa, Brandon  & B boy with his Toby 

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Of course Steve has to make a stop @ Cabela's  & an afternoon in the park.

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Yoda & Rhythm say this is too hot             Leanne did good

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That’s all for now. Just a part of our time with the kids.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Death Valley

March 11 – 18, 2009     To view pix bigger Click on them.

Death Valley was amazing. We spent a week there & only saw about 1/2 of it. Plan to go back another time & see the rest. We started @ Scotty’s Castle & spent first night @ Grapevine camping. Nice grounds but not high profile RV friendly. Left there & stayed @ Stovepipe Wells Village the rest of the week.  It’s a little more central in the park. With golden age pass $6.00 a night dry camping dump & water near by. Also a small store & gas. But just a parking lot. Below is Mike & Sandy’s Airbus & our Phaeton. We went sight seeing in the early day & relaxed, read, did beading or played Mexican Train in the afternoon. The VW camped in the row in front of us. The couple was about our age from Idaho. The camper truck was interesting in that it all folds down flat. And the 2 black plates on left side of the roof are solar panels.   

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Our first trip out was to Badwater Basin. Lowest elevation in the U.S. 282ft. (86m) below sea level.  Steve & Sandy Standing out on the salt flat.


Below is a ramp you can walk out on to the salt @ Badwater Basin & the other Pix is of the white sign up on the hill that says sea level.

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Natural Bridge

After a short walk up a narrow canyon you soon realize you are standing in a dry riverbed that water and flash floods have  carved out . It has left behind  a rock arch it has carved out that weighs thousands of tons.  The high canyon walls are a hundred feet high in areas.  Equally dramatic is the view overlooking the valley.

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Devils Golf Course

The floor of Death Valley covers more than 200 square miles and over the years the rains bring down from the hills all the minerals and salts.  As they evaporate, the salts and minerals remain leaving jagged formations as sharp knife blades or ocean coral reef.  This process took place over 2,000 years ago.  

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Mike & Steve @ Devils Golf Course

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Artist Drive – These don’t really show all the color in the rocks.

The geology can change quickly as mother nature will layer different minerals causing the colors to change during the day with different lighting.

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Furnace Creek Visitor Center-

There is a Museum here & another campground. There is also Wi-Fi @ this location. As well as a restaurant, store & gas.

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Zabriskie Point

Wind, rain, and sand have eroded these hills into a maze of valley’s and gully’s to form an ever changing landscape of carved mudstone hills.

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Harmony Borax Works

Over 120 years ago the mineral Borax was mined and refined to allow it to be transported 120 miles out of death valley to the nearest railroad line.  They could produce 3 tons of  semi-refined product a day.  The famous 20 mule team and men could average 2 miles per per hour and the round trip took over 30  days and covered over 340 miles.  Anyone interested in a “outside” job?

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Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

The winds of mother nature will blow in specific patterns and directions and in specific areas will create blowing waves of sand that will accumulate in just a few spots. They can be as high as 150 ft. 

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Mosaic Canyon

Carved out of hard mineral rock is a canyon that is the slender bottle next opening into a vast valley.  Water, sand and rock have been eroding and polishing this narrow canyon for thousands of years.  The result  is canyon walls that are only a few feet wide and have  held back the rushing water carving away on the walls

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Charcoal Kilns @ about 8000ft. Steve standing by the snow @ the kilns.

These kilns were made to produce charcoal used for processing silver at a mine 25miles away and at the elevation of 6000ft.  Loaded with 42 cords of wood each, they would produce 2,000 bushels of charcoal .  It would take a week for each kiln.  No chain saws or modern equipment for this job. Just back breaking hard work.


 DSC_0137-2 DSC_0133-2 DSC_0142-2P1000771 Steve, Mike & Sandy Bubar friends we met with the Escapees class of 2007. There from Minnesota & travel with evil cat Stormy. Yoda’s good buddy.

All this & we only did part of what Death Valley has to offer. We look forward to returning & see the rest.