Monday, December 29, 2014

Good food and a ride in the desert. 12-29-14


On Saturday we took a ride to Blythe to get some groceries.
Of course while we were there we had to stop for lunch at the A&R Deli.
This time I tried a new sandwich, the Hot Roast Beef. Now you may think that it is the traditional Hot Beef sandwich you would get at a diner; You know open faced with gravy and mashed potatoes.
This was totally different; it was warm with sautéed green and red bell peppers, onions, and lots of thin sliced roast beef on a fresh baked role. It was kind of like a Steak Fajita on a role. Bloody awesome!!
Patti had her favorite Chicken breast sandwich on fresh whole wheat bread.

About a week ago we were in Blythe and stopped at the Dollar Tree. I found a package of fresh Gnocchi's (Italian Potato dumplings) for $1.00. I figured we would try them and if they weren’t any good we were only out a dollar.
Saturday evening, I cooked them and made an Italian sausage marinara sauce (not from scratch). Half a jar of Paul Newman’s marinara and two Italian sausages; one chopped up and one made into small meat balls) to go with them. It was wonderful and the meal probably didn’t cost more than $4.00 to prepare. Such a deal!!

Sunday morning I started making a beef tri-tip stew in the crock pot.
Around noon we were getting bored so I suggested we take a ride in the desert.

We headed north from Quartzsite and turned east at Plomosa Road. About five miles out we turned north at the old WWII air strip.


This is where the famous female pilots landed B17’s for Patton's army that was training in this area. If you want more information on this, I am sure you can find stuff on the net.
We stopped here so I could let some air out of the tires.

From here we turned onto a small trail heading north toward the sand dunes.


We drove over the dunes


and continued north.

North of the sand dunes we passed this ancient Saguaro with many arms.


There are some low hills to the west of the trail so when we found a trail going toward the hills and turned onto it. We wandered around the hills for a while.


We found a trail heading south and followed it. We went through an old mining area and saw some interesting rocks and tailings on the hill side so we drove over to the tailings and walked around a little.


Above the tailings was a shaft going into the hills side.


Judging by the small amount of tailings below this shaft, the vain they were following must have been pretty rich and they hauled off most of the material.

I assume they were mining copper as there was a lot of Crysocola lying around.


We left the mine and continued south through a wide valley. Near a wash we found what we supposed was an old grave.


You find a lot of these in the desert it is hard to tell if the graves are for humans or someones dog or a prospectors burro, etc.

A little farther along we came to this rusty old piece of equipment. I have no idea what it might be. Do you know?



It looks like it had water in it. It has a baffle across the middle and a drain plug in one corner. Maybe some kind of gold washer?

It was around 3:30 and I still had to add potatoes, carrots and cabbage to the stew so we headed for home.
We drove around the west end of the sand dunes across sandy flats.


It was nice to get out in the desert and drive around.

Oh, by the way; the stew turned out great.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Trip to Laughlin, Nevada. 12-24 to 12-26

Wednesday 12-24-14
Bill and Shirley met us at the entrance to the RV park around 9:00 and we left for our trip to Laughlin, Nevada for Christmas.


We drove north on Highway 95 to Parker.


On the way, Patti counted 18 hawks sitting on the power poles along the highway.


It is interesting that we only see lots of hawks on the drive  from Quartzsite to the intersection of 95 and 72 between”Q” and “P”.
We stopped at the post office so Patti could mail a couple of letters. From there we went to the bank so Patti and Bill could get some gambling money.

From the bank we drove north through Parker and crossed the Colorado River on the new bridge.


The river is real low right now.


Across the river we turned west and drove to Vidal Jct. where we connected with California 95 and turned north just past the agricultural inspection station.


We followed 95 north through the desert passing some cool looking rocky mountains. I am hopping that we will have time to check out some of this desert on the way back to Quartzsite.


We stopped a couple times on the way;  once for Bill to have a cigarette another time for a pee break. We stopped at an RV park in Fort Mojave so Bill and Shirley could make arrangements to move there next month. Next we stopped at Burger King for a bite to eat.
From there we headed for Laughlin and Harrah’s Hotel and Casino.


We got checked in went to our rooms and rested for a while.


Patti went down to the casino to try her luck.


I chilled in the room with a book to read. Eventually Patti came back to the room.
The room has a view of pool area and the river.


A little later we got a call from Suzanne and Roy saying that they were settled in and were having happy hour in their room. They had a suite on the 18th floor. We went up to their place and sat around visiting and snacking.


Eventually several other couples dropped by and we joked and snacked; they had cocktails.


The sun was setting so Patti got some sunset pictures from their 18th story window.


Around 5:30 Patti and I left there and went to the buffet to have dinner.

The buffet was disappointing; not much variety and the food was cold. Fortunately we had a buy one get one free comp.

After dinner we did a little gambling, I lost twenty dollars and headed for the room. Patti  stayed in the casino for a little longer but got bored loosing money so came back about an hour later.

Thursday 12-25-14

Merry Christmas!

Since today is Christmas Day, we are going to take a ride to Christmas Tree Pass.


The plan was to meet the rest of the group at a rest stop on 95 at 11:00 PST.
Some of the group mistakenly thought that we were meeting at 11:00 Mountain Time so they got there an hour early and decided to go on over the pass.

Around 8:30 Patti and I went to the Beach Café in Harrah’s for breakfast. I ordered the ham and eggs and was surprised when they brought out the ham on a large separate plate and it covered the plate. The slice of ham was so huge it would have been a meal by itself. I managed to eat about a third of it with my eggs and hash Brown's.
We decided that we would get it in a to go box and if we were going to have lunch on the trail we could make two large sandwiches with it.

After breakfast we went over to Bullhead City (just across the river from Laughlin) to top off the gas tank. From there we went back to Laughlin, got on Hwy. 163 and headed northwest


until we came to US 95 where we went north a couple miles to the rest stop where the others were waiting.


After every one had gone to the restroom we took off  up 95 to the turnoff to the pass.


At first the only trees we could see were some Grease Wood’s and Yucca's.


We drove along this road climbing higher into the mountains.
Eventually we began to see junipers along the road that had been decorated.


After a bit, Bill (who was leading) turned off the main dirt road, up a narrow trail where we eventually found just the right Juniper bush to decorate.

It is the one in the upper right of the picture.


Suzanne and Shirley brought out the decoration’s they had brought for the occasion and they got busy working on the selected tree.


After about a half hour they had the tree pretty well covered with tinsel and ornaments.
When they were done I set up my camera on the tripod and took a selfy of the group in front of the tree.


I’m not sure why this activity isn’t considered littering but apparently it is a long standing tradition.

After admiring our handy work we left this place and continued our ride over the pass.

Along the road we saw many other decorated trees; here are a few of the best ones.



My favorite one is the marshmellowed Yucca.


Not only is it interesting it is 100 percent biodegradable.

We continued our ride and saw this Redneck Santa.

Patti had to take his picture. Would you let your kid sit on his lap?

A little further along we came to this sign.


I think they missed a NO.
At the bottom they should have “No Recreating” and below that it should read “Enjoy your National Recreation Area”.

On we went enjoying the views,


and interesting formations.

Here are the lovers.


The sleeping dragon.


I have seen thousands of places in the mountains that could be described as a “saddle” but this one really looks like a saddle.


Bill and Shirley planned to stop at the Aquarius to try their luck so Patti had me drop her off there and they could bring her back to Harrah’s when they were done.

We are going back there this evening to have dinner at The Outback Steak House.

We had a good ride today and were back at the hotel by 2:30 PST.

Friday 12-26

Our dinner last night at the Outback was excellent.
We had a gift card from last Christmas that still had some money on it and we also has a $20.00 discount card for the Outback so we were ready for a fabulous dinner at a cheep price. When we got to the restaurant we got out both cards and found out that the discount card wasn’t good until January first. Okay, so much for the twenty dollar discount.
It really didn’t matter because we love the Outback and are willing to pay the price for a great meal.
Patti ordered the Victoria's Fillet Megon, Garlic Mashed Potato's  and the Wedge Salad. I ordered the New Zeeland Lamb also with Garlic Mashed Potato’s and the Wedge Salad. The food was absolutely wonderful.
When it came time to pay the bill we found that we still had $24.00 on the gift card the total bill including two beers and a Diet Coke and the tip came to $84.00; our share was $60.00. Normally I would say that that was expensive for a dinner. But the quality of the food and service was well worth it.

This morning we met Bill and Shirley at the Beach Café for breakfast and after that we got checked out of the hotel and were on our way back to Quartzsite.

While we were driving to Laughlin I noticed two roads several miles apart that had a sign on that read…


I thought that this might be some kind of loop trail so we decided to check it out on the way home.

Shirley and Bill were also interested in checking out the trail so they followed us into the desert.


Here is how the trail looked at the beginning.


As it turned out the trail was a gas pipe line road.


We follower the road over hills and through washes for several miles. Along the way we saw some interesting rock formations.



We took a couple of side trails but didn’t find anything of particular interest.

Eventually we saw that the pipe line road just continued on toward the western horizon.


We took a turn off on a small trail heading south and followed it for a short distance until we came to a wide dirt road where we turned east. After a few miles on this road


we came back to highway 95.


Unfortunately we didn’t have any maps of this area or we may have been able to explore a bit more. We will have to look at a map and see what is there to check out at a later date.

Oh, a note:

Guy Fieri is opening a restaurant in The Harrah’s Casino and will be opening on the 29th of December. 


The name of the place loosely translates to The Drunken Ass Winking smile

Maybe we will try it the next time we are in Laughlin.

We arrived back at the RV around 2:30. Just in time for a short nap. I don’t sleep well in hotel rooms.

We had a lot of fun with the group and are looking forward to next time.