Sunday, April 8, 2018

Arizona, Parker, Quartzsite & Grandkids

Jan. 1st - April 9th, 2018 

We spent a couple weeks in Las Vegas.  We spent three days at the Springs Preserve while we were there.  It is where the original springs were that the town grew up around.  They have Boomtown 1905 which is a replica of the original downtown buildings, train station and homes here at that time and a train ride that takes you out around the whole property where there are hiking trails and interpretive signs.

 They have playgrounds for kids , butterfly garden, desert botanical gardens with guided tours, the Nevada State MuseumOrigen Museum and the Waterworks Museum.  There are several videos and we saw Jump! The Ultimate Dog Show performed by rescue dogs on the outdoor stage while we were there.  

In the center is a Century Plant.  It actually blooms about once every 25 years, which is what the big branch is sticking out of it.  They get about 12 feet tall with a big white blossom on the top.  Then the main plant dies, but new little plants sprout up from the root and carry on.  The three small plants in front are Queen Victoria Agaves.

In the foreground are little barrel cacti with a Joshua Tree right behind them.  Behind that is a cholla cactus, a saguaro and another Joshua in the background.

On January 17th I flew up to Montana to see the grandkids and help out a bit for two and a half weeks and John moved to Havasu City while I was gone, where he got the windshield replaced on the RV.

Newest member of our family.

Look Grandma!

That 1920s look going on.  They do like Downton Abby.

Giddy-Up Horsey!

Don't bother me.  I'm reading.  Two and a half going on 12.


Little Mama.

What a good helper!

Everything under control, Digger?  Okay, good.

Sometimes you just have to get those kids out of the house,

So they can blow off some steam!

I took Dallas to the State History Museum one day and he was surprisingly really good.

He just turned four the next week after this and he found lots of fun and interesting stuff, teepees, buffalo, guns, besides all the kids activities.

He even liked the Charlie Russell Gallery with all the statues and paintings of Indians, cowboys, horses and buffalo.  Too soon my time here was up and I had to return to my hubby and the warm sunshine.  I flew back on February 4th and my friend, Julie, met up with us at Emerald Cove near Parker on the Colorado River on Feb. 6th to spend the next three weeks traveling with us.

Julie and her dogs enjoying the sun next to the Colorado.

Friday we drove over to the Blue Water Casino across the river to watch the boat races.

My goodness they were loud...

and very fast!

Back at camp it was happy hour for the usual gang of burros.  There are usually about a dozen wandering around the resort.  These ladies with the carrots were very popular indeed!  The burros have become quite unpopular with the workers at the campground, as they leave their calling cards everywhere they amble and raid the dumpsters every night making a big mess.

Saturday we drove out to the Desert Bar for lunch and beers.  We have been there a couple times, but will never drive our car out there again.  The road is really terrible and you should have a high clearance vehicle like a jeep, but it's definitely a happening fun place to go.  This is the main part of the bar with the band on the stage to the right.  This was pretty much all that was here the last time we were here.  Now there is a huge area down the stairs with several food trucks and lots of seating.  There are a couple of patio type areas above this level, also.

This view is from the hiking trails above the third level of the bar.  There is a huge parking area and it was full.  The band was good and the place was hopping.  It's only open on the weekends until 6:00 PM and only in the winter months.

This is behind the hill that the bar is built into.  People come in from all directions on their ATVs and dirt bikes.

Vegetation is scarce out here, but this beautiful bush was growing right out the side of a rock wall.

Solar panels on the right and below that a roof over the stage where the band is playing.  Out by the parking lot is the church steeple.  Open the doors and see no people!

It's just the fake front of a church, not an actual building, but people do actually get married here and others just take their pictures here.

Saguaro cactus made out of horseshoes.

Back at camp in time to watch the sunset from our campsite.  Sunday we drove into Havasu City where they were having an arts and crafts festival.  We took Julie to see the London Bridge, went for a little walk along the marina and ate at Scotty's Broasted Chicken.

Tuesday the 13th we moved to Quartzsite to boondock in the desert for a week.  While we were there we decided to try the Palm Canyon Hike about 20 miles south that someone had told us about.  It seemed like a nice, moderate hike at first.

Then we stopped to visit with some folks we met and they pointed out the oasis of palm trees up in the canyon where we were supposedly heading.  You can see the palm trees up in the crack between the two peaks and we could actually see people up there.  They looked like little tiny ants so far away.

Here's a closer view.  The white spots just above the center of the picture are the dead palm fronds hanging down from the under side of the tree tops.

Julie said. "That's where we're going?"

John said, "Not me!  I'll wait here for you guys."  We settled for the bottom half of the trail and just enjoyed our view of Palm Canyon from afar.

This ocotillo was along the trail coming back down.  Normally they just look like a bunch of dead sticks, but when they get a little rain their tiny green leaves bud out all over and turn them a beautiful green.  Then the tops of each branch bud out with red flowers that look like a flame.  The flowers on this one had not opened yet.

This is the campsite we picked out in the dessert a few miles south of Quaetzsite.  Mexican poppy blooming in the foreground.  John was grilling us up a little supper.  What a guy!

Close-up of the Mexican poppy.

Julie's dog checking out our new campsite.

One day we ventured off biking in the desert and rode 20 miles before we found our way back to camp again.  Sometimes we had to walk our bikes when the sand got too soft to ride.  It was quite a workout.

I picked up this dragon fruit while we were in town shopping.  I had never had one, so I was curious.  The inside is sort of like a kiwi in texture and slightly sweet, but mostly kind of bland.  I liked it.

Sun going down reflecting off the mountains to the east of us.  You can see a few of the other campers out in the desert around us.

Tuesday Feb. 20th we headed to Yuma Lakes for Julie's last nine days with us.  While we were there we went to line dancing classes and to the pool most days.  We went to a movie and a couple of flea markets.  We had lunch at the Garden Cafe and did a 14 mile bike ride along the bike trail and back to our campground.  On Friday we drove to the Salton Sea in California and took Julie to Slab City and Salvation Mountain, all of which I have written about in the past in my blog.  Julie headed back to Casa Grande on March 1st and we stayed at Yuma Lakes a couple more weeks.  We met up with friends from Iowa, Craig and Terri, a couple times and John went down to Mexico a couple times for dental work.

Then we headed back to Emerald Cove for three more weeks where I continued with the line dance lessons and water aerobics.  This is as close as I got to a car show this year.  It was parked in our campground with Alaska plates on it.

Of course, the burros were still here.  I took these out the window from the couch.

The little baby was so cute and fuzzy.  We moved to Vegas on Thursday, April 5th.

Friday afternoon we were down on the strip and walked through the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace.  We walked through the National Geographic Fine Arts Gallery with fabulous pictures of animals.  I thought this one was kind of cool.  It's free and I highly recommend walking through it.

A little further down we walked through the Martin Lawrence Gallery which is also free and full of fabulous stuff, including stuff by Picasso, Chagall, Andy Warhol and many others.  This is Glowing Trees at Sunrise (in North Carolina) by Robbie George.

We skipped the $49 buffet at Caesar's and ate at LVB (Las Vegas Burger and Bar) in the Mirage, awesome burgers.  Then we headed to the theater to see Beatles Love Cirque Du Soleil.  

It was a fabulous show.  These roller bladers were awesome and, of course, the music can't be beat, no pun intended.

The costumes, staging, gymnasts, stilt walkers, acrobats, etc. all great.

Sargent Pepper's Extravaganza.

 Sunday we decided to use our annual pass to the Spring Preserve again.  We went for a hike, checked out a new exhibit in the museum and watched some of the videos again. 

This is one of the exhibits at the museum showing how far different animals can jump, starting with the turtle on the far left at zero.  It's so amazing to think that the record for how far a human can jump is over 29 feet.

Desert Marigold.  There were lots more flowers blooming along the hiking trails now in April than there were in January.

Beavertail Cactus.

Brown Siproeta.  The Butterfly House was open now because it is finally warm enough for them.

Spicebush Swallowtail.  Clark County has at least 135 species of butterflies and 65 species of moths.  They are most abundant in April.

The Blue Morpho butterfly has about a 5 inch wing span.  Its colors blend with the plant or tree leaves when its wings are folded shut.

When it opens its wings, it is beautiful bright blue and black, but it is very hard to catch a picture.

Julia Butterflies.

Malachite Butterfly.

We walked through the Desert Botanical Gardens again.

This tiny unique little cactus was only about 4 inches in diameter.

 I think this is a type of hedgehog cactus.  It was about 4 to 8 inches tall.  We are currently in Vegas where it is very warm and sunny, but we will soon be back in Montana and we'll have to break out our jackets and turn on the furnace.

Hope to see you all this summer,