But it was time to move on after 6 months in one place. We have some exploring to do and we started in Parker, AZ. We stayed at River Island SP along the Colorado River a couple years ago with good friends Faye and Dave and it's on the way to Pahrump, NV where the RV rally will be held. It was time to unwind some and slow down so we just hung out and did a little exploring. Just up the road is Lake Havasu City and the London Bridge. A return trip was in order.
So much activity going on around the bridge. It is Spring Break time you know. We started at the Welcome Center near the bridge and wandered along the canal.
Water Jet guy
Up to the bridge
The lock fence
Faye and Dave remember these trees?
We went up the stairs to cross the bridge to get some lunch at Barley Bros. Grill. Again something we had done with Faye and Dave. Dave wanted to know if they still had a beer called Destroyer that he loved. Unfortunately they did not however the food and drinks were still great.
We took a couple drives while in the area and enjoyed seeing the Colorado River again and across the way was California.
Now we've been to Parker AZ two times and haven't made it to the Desert Bar yet. That's still on the list of things to see. Never ending.
After our stay at River Island it was time to head to Pahrump, NV and the RV Dreams Reunion Rally at Wine Ridge RV Resort. Looking forward to seeing our friends Steve and Debbie and meeting some new friends too. We had to attend at least one of Howard and Linda's prior informational rallies to be invited to the reunion. Many of the attendees are from the Class of 2014. In other words, we started our full time experience in 2014.
We arrived a day early and got a nice pull through site. Boy, parking the motorhome is much easier than parking the 5th wheel. We got set up and checked out the park. They have a nice pool, laundry, clubhouse, fitness center, Pickleball and the sites are well spaced for an RV park.
We're on the last outside row so we back right up to the desert. How ironic too....our next door neighbors, Mary and Paul, were at Canyon Vistas this past winter too. We remembered seeing Mary ride her bike around the park. Her and Paul are here for the rally too. Small world.
The next day folks started rolling in for the rally. That evening we had a nice catered dinner and getting to know everyone, Steve and Debbie got in before noon but we let them get set up and settled.
The park has a nice lower pool gathering area that we used for the dinner and beginning get together.
The agenda was VERY loose since this was more of a social function than a structured learning and educational rally. Steve and Debbie introduced us to some couples they met a another rally in TN.
We got to see friends from the Elkhart rally we attended 4 years ago like Craig and Jo. More about Jo later.
Howard and Linda took suggestions on what things folks would like to do during the rally and come to find out the RV park had complimentary breakfast each morning that we took advantage of a couple of times. They also had a Texas Holdem Poker night that Steve and I went to along with rally attendees. Steve did well and I only lost a little. With a 6 dollar entry fee you can't go wrong.
Lee was doing some mugging for the camera while Steve kept an eye on his chips. Great fun with friends.
Steve had been talking about playing Pickleball so pretty much each morning we got up and hit the court. Steve's paddle was a little wonky so I loaned him my spare. I wish I hadn't...he started really hitting the ball and making me look bad. HAHA Not really, he was playing great but he could never make ME look bad. Many folks staying at the park play Pickleball so we met some new friends and enjoyed the competition.
During the rally we had a wonderful pot luck dinner in the clubhouse. Everyone is such a great cook and so much food. I had to take a photo of the dessert table.
The following night, Howard suggested those that wanted to go to one of the casino's in town should go as a group and play some Blackjack as a group. Steve and I, Craig and Jo, Lee, Red and Ben(new friends) decided to give it a try with Howard. I'm a real novice, not a gambler, so I wanted to go with some folks that could give me some pointers and have some fun.
We went to the Nugget Casino down the road in town. Howard talked to the Pit Boss and they agreed to let us play al together at one table. So Jo, Howard, Bill, Red, Lee and I sat down. Steve was gracious enough to let me sit in the last chair to play. Steve and a couple others headed to the slots.
We started playing after we got our chips and it didn't start well. We all were losing. The dealer was getting Blackjacks and better cards. Jo decided not to continue and cashed out to try something different. But Howard and those who had played before said hang in and the odds should change. And they did. We all started winning more and I even got a few Blackjacks. This pays 1 1/2 times your bet. At one point I was up about $50....then the luck started changing. The casinos change dealers regularly to keep them fresh. However it seemed some dealers were winning more than others. So I could see the direction it was going and I cashed out with $20 in winnings. A good night for a novice. Some of he others lost some, a couple won some and Howard came away with $100 winnings. A fun night and a learning experience. Don't think I'll be playing again for a while but I know much more than I did.
Now the story about Jo. Jo and Craig have done some gambling and Jo seems to be a pretty lucky lady. Well while I was playing and doing some losing, Jo came over to the table and stood by me....the next thing I know I'm winning. I got on a great streak with Jo's advice and encouragement. While this streak was going on I started called her my MO JO. It got to be a really fun time with high fives and whoops and hollers. The MO JO was certainly working. I told her husband, Craig, that he couldn't have my MO JO. What a crazy fun night.
The next day Linda and some other ladies were introducing other rally ladies to the Instant Pot. They made some fantastic dishes for us all to try. Linda even made a cake in her Instant Pot.
I forgot to mention that we did some geocaching with Steve, Debbie, Glenda, Craig, Jo and Pam(new friend). We started at a travel bug hotel where people drop their TB's off so someone else can pick it up and travel with it around the country or even the world. We continued to find several that day and Glenda nd I got our 300th cache. Not much in comparison with Steve and Debbie who have over 4000. But we celebrated.
Glenda has three fingers up and the others represent the 0's and Pam is the plus for going to get more.
Fun time increasing our numbers and exploring the town of Pahrump.
I think it was the day before the rally ended Debbie organized a cool hike at the Red Rock Canyon Recreation Area near Las Vegas. We drove the scenic loop through the park to the Oak Creek Canyon trail.The landscape is full of, of course, red rock formations. The hike was an in and out of about 2-3 miles. We stopped along the way to get a few caches and had lunch in a shady wash area.
Thank you Debbie for organizing such a fun hike where everyone came home alive. HaHa
The final night we had a catered dinner in the clubhouse with a DJ and dancing. Linda lead a group in YMCA and others did some line dancing too.
We were invited to a group get together of Class of 2014 full time RV'ers and made some great new friends and new memories. Howard and Linda aren't sure they'll do another reunion rally and if they do it will probably be in TN closer to FL where they plan to spend more time in the future.
Thank you Howard and Linda for all you do for the RV community.
The day after the rally folks started leaving. Steve and Debbie had to leave right after the dinner to make it to Placerville, CA to see Debbie's mom and family for Easter. We'll be seeing them in their stomping grounds soon once we begin moving north. We have some time now after the rally until we fly back to the Midwest to see our family. That is our daughter's, SIL's and grandkids in IL and IN. We saw them last at my Dad's funeral in January.
In the mean time Glenda and I were looking forward to making a trip back to Death Valley NP and Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.
We've been to both before about 2 years ago with our granddaughter, Jasmyne, but it was about 117 degrees. The forecast was for 88-90. What a relief.
We drove the 60 miles from Pahrump and started at the visitor's center. Watched the movie and got a map. Our first stop was the Mesquite Sand Dunes near
Hello from Death Valley
A lost sole in the desert
Then we moved on to Badwater and the salt flats. The lowest point in the U.S. at 292 feet below sea level.
Can you sea the sea level sign?
Tastes just like table salt.
Then we drove through the Artist Palette loop. The minerals in the rock give it many different colors and hues. No vehicles longer than 25 feet can drive through the loop due to the numerous twists and turns and close rock formations.
You've heard of 20 Mule Team Borax....well this is the area where they used to mine the borate ore and process it.
The miners used to live in these structures
The next day we traveled back toward Ash Meadows NWR and revisited some of the areas there that we had been to before. We walked along the boardwalk loop, about .9 miles and took in the surrounding landscape.
Screwbean Mesquite Tree
As we left the NWR we could see rain clouds in the distance. Somewhat unusual in this area.
After our exploring, we of course were hungry and found a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant in between lunch and dinner. We were the only patrons in the place. The food was good but not great.
We then headed back home and took in a fantastic sunset that evening.
Getting close now to flying home but we still have some time to do a little more exploring. Glenda wants to check out Valley of Fire State Park tomorrow. We saw some many great photos from Steve and Debbie that were there dry camping. It'll be just a day trip but I know it'll be worth it. Probably just a short easy hike since Debbie won't be with us. Let me hear it Debbie. :-)
More to come later. Thanks for following along.