Palm Trees in southern Florida

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

FWIW this is the weekend for the big flea market in Packwood, WA.
At the Fern Township cemetery in Hubbard county Minnesota every Memorial Day they have a service & read the names of the dead veterans resting the cemetery out loud.
We are in Nevada, not even close to Washington state or Minnesota!

We had been camped just anywhere flat with a good view that we could get to without getting stuck!
Coming up on the big summer opener, we decided to go civilized at the Callville Bay campground In Lake Mead National Recreation Area.. With the old fart pass (1/2 off) it's $5 a night for a level spot, flush toilets, a picnic table & running water 20 feet from the van.
We set up the tent and spread out inside it with the full sized air mattress! Nice warm & dry weather means we can leave the rain fly off & see the stars.

Even with the lake down low there is still a lot of lake to play in & I'd expect this campground to get some traffic this weekend. On the other hand we walked down to the marina and watched people load up boats with camping gear and head out... maybe all the action will be on lake side beaches?

The campground office has not been open, I saw a ranger for the first time (it was Friday) and they are just now using a chain saw on the growth in front of the ranger station. As of Sunday the station was still not open.

The store at the marina has beer & ice, bathing suits & towels, canned foods & frozen bread. Plus boating, fishing & camping supplies.
Prices are about what you'd expect for someplace 20 miles from the grocery store, the frozen bread is $4 as is a 10# bag of ice.

A good number of people here but not full, lot's of folks on boats heading out. I don't 'think' boat.

A thunderstorm came thru last night, sounded wet! The wind blew the tent up against the bedding so we'll have to dry that out today.

Almost empty campground

Oatmeal in a cup


I was thinking this morning of many things. How few friends I lost in the Coast Guard during my time ('76-'97) to personally remember this Memorial Day. My time was before the endless wars started, that's a good thing.
The other thought was the reminder from the OldfatMan, (


Sometimes I need to be reminded, thank you.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Stuck in the mud!

In the last few days I've tried (unsuccessfully) to help two different people stuck in the mud.

With Lake Mead dropping like it is if you try & drive to the water you are probably going to have problems. I walk out carefully, it's real soft.

This was all lake bottom not too long ago

The first guy was not even sure where his rented Suzuki was, we did finally find it. It was in up to the doors in mud ... I went down to look at it & got a little stuck, some shovel work & a little pushing got my van on the way. He called the park & they called for someone to get him out.

The second guy drove maybe 10' too far. We were going to be moving today anyway so I took a stab at it, 30' of chain & 20' of recovery strap. As soon as I gave it some gas he didn't move & my rear wheels sunk. If it had looked 'soft' I would not have tired it. Bummer!

Stuck first
both of us stuck

Lot's of digging, lots of rocks under the tires and it just sat there.

Here I needed a high lift jack

Finally a couple showed up in a red jeep, they were planning on driving to the water until they saw us stuck!  Seth and Natalee Our saviors! I never did get their last name... Seth really appeared to enjoy him self with all this.
Seth & Natalee stopped to save us! I did not get a last name

With his high lift jack & his jeep we got it out.
We had to jack it up high enough to get the rear end off the ground, put big rocks under the tires, then do it to the other side. we pulled it to solid then when & helped the other guy get out (78 year old disabled - retired vet, he was going fishing).
We both had one of those days!
The rocks to raise the tires

The hole

I'm sorry I sold my high lift jack before we took off on the RV adventure, I'm going to have to get one and a come-a-long. I'll bet this is NOT the last dirt road I travel on this year.

I was busy & didn't get near enough pictures.

For what it's worth if you get stuck & want my help you'd better be with in reach of the maintained road, I have had enough of  "no good deed goes unpunished" for this month!

I'm pooped.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Lake Mead

We made it to Lake Mead in Nevada. A dispersed camping area at that. I like free!

The water level sure is down. Here is where Google Earth said we are parked.

Here is where we really are.
right next to the lake
Moved back to a better spot

Not too many people around yet but it's still early & it's not even close to hot. I needed the blankets just before dawn this morning...
I was going to call this the 7th place we've been to (in the last 2 years) that I could have used a kayak but with all the wind yesterday & today I'm really not sure I'd have taken one out. We're going to be here for awhile so maybe that will change.

We stopped in Las Vegas to do a little banking, laundry, get propane, diesel &  groceries. I'm not a city person and Las Vegas IS a city.
As I was driving in and saw the town in the distance I got a little excited, when I was growing up Las Vegas was an exciting place in my world! That's where my parents went to gamble, that was the happening place that ran 24 hours a day.

Today I can find casinos most anywhere (except Texas) and most of our society runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Reality has changed around me but deep down I seem to remember how it was. I have to admit that it's not just Las Vegas that I remember as it was.

This was really my first time being in Las Vegas outside the strip and I found the town did not look like I imagined it (my visits to party over the years & what I 'see' on the tube) but for the most part all the people I interacted with were more than friendly.
The credit union was so-so in the friendly department, the one lady almost smiled when she walked up and told me to take off my hat & the other lady did smile when she fingerprinted me to give me my money... that's life when using shared branching I guess.

There are quite a few things I want to see in the area, the Hoover Dam again, that pawn shop from TV, I always enjoy walking up the strip and gawking. Plus I want to check out the campground on Nellis AFB and do a little shopping in the commissary there. Not to mention see some of the other coves and ground accessible areas here at Lake Mead.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Using Time

We are at a real nice free campground in Nevada, found it off the listing.
Reading the reviews I realized I'd heard of it before. Nina had reviewed it on her blog.

I have too much information when can come to a recommended free campsite and not remember that it was there.

Not too much really, I'm just not handling the information well...

Anyway its a beautiful place right on the water, the BBQ came with a fire ready to light!  Thank you whoever you are!!

We had chili dogs cooked over a wood fire next to a lake. Food always tastes better like that!

I took a walk and at the next empty spot (Saturday night, warm, great weather, free camping and there are empty spots?) I found a bottle cap from a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale, it was upside down and it read "You will never get back the five seconds it took to read this".

I thought about that for another  five seconds ... I think that was probably the best use that those five seconds that I could have had.
I had to do something with that time, time is like that. Why 'not' read that?

On a side note my computer was broken for awhile (that's going to be a different blog) and we were out of service too, actually right now we have Verizon (the MiFi hotspot & my wife's phone) but no Sprint.
After years and years with Virgin Mobile (Sprint) I think I'm going to change, it's been well over a week since I had more than one bar of 3g and have nada right now.