Arizona and Nevada 2018, January 3rd until 13th
Time flies when we stay in Holland. We just have the opportunity to visit my sister Hannah and her husband Henk before they leave for Italy to go skiing. That’s why we have an early Christmas with each other. Auntie Ank, Hannah and me have the same taste this time because everybody loves the Christmas outfit I bought at Walmart for the three of us and it also fits well. The real Christmas days are great too. We have a dinner on December 25th at Auntie Anks place, where we enjoy Susans recipes (Mile High Strawberry Pie and Chocolate Spiders). The next day we have a Christmas brunch with our diving club and a dinner party with our friends Thecla and Thomas and Sandra and Rene.
Before we know it is December 28th and we work in the firework shop. It’s three days of hard work but always great to do and I can get rid of my energy. To our surprise Utah sent us a thick envelope with patches and a (fake) gold coin, we earned them by searching geocaches. We like the patches and I instantly want to visit the remaining counties to collect the other patches. Unfortunately we will not be able to do that this trip because it’s in the Northern part of the State of Utah. And now it’s too cold there. So we already have a destination for a next trip to the United States, next to visit all our friends. And then it’s January 3rd 2018. We say goodbye to everyone and travel back again with only 1 bag.
This time, travelling is exhausting, we have two stopovers in Iceland and in Seattle, WA. As a result we arrive 24 hours later at 12 PM in our hotel in Phoenix. A nice hotel with rooms around a garden and swimming pool and not far from the airport. We don’t look around. We only want to go to bed. Because of the long journey we sleep till 8 am the next morning. Great because we immediately lose our jet lag.
After a good breakfast in the hotel, Dick makes fresh waffles, they taste good with whipped cream, we take the hotel shuttle to the airport from which a Taxi Van drive to Tucson. Although we arrive way too early on Phoenix airport, we are lucky, there are seats in an earlier taxi, so two hours before planned, we’re heading towards Tucson, AZ.
We phone Mike and Susan and when we arrive in Tucson, they already wait for us. It feels like coming home. When we arrive at “Mike and Susans RV Park” Penny, the beagle, comes out and we cannot get rid of her (a missing part of her pack is back and the (empty) RV in the garden is inhabited again. We have so much to tell to each other. Because it’s still early in the afternoon we drive to Macy. We are on a mission. Thecla like to have special salad hands. Unfortunately, they are not for sale and also the beautiful black sweater I want to buy (a previously purchased one I gave to Auntie Ank, it fits her incredibly well) is not for sale at Macy. When Target (salad hands) nor an outdoor shop (my North Face sweater) can deliver, Mike has an solution, we have to order everything online. I did not think about that possibility.
Genie (Susan’s sister) and her husband David are asked to order because they can order with faster delivery and moments later the confirmation is there, the salad hands will be delivered on Sunday.
I waited too long to order the black Northface sweater so we never will get it on time at Mike and Susans place but a phone call to Roadrunners RV-park, in Las Vegas, give the answer. Zappos can sent my package there. That means our route to the East will pass Las Vegas, Nevada. We don’t mind because both of us love this city and Roadrunners RV park. The days with Mike and Susan fly by.
Friday night we visit a theater show at the Gaslight theatre. “The Lone Stranger” is played, a melodrama. It is awesome!. In the theatre, chairs are placed around tables, so we can order a meal during the show, and of course, there are baskets with popcorn on the tables.
Susan arranged great places, next to the life music (it doesn’t give inconvenience) and at the first few rows so we have a magnificent view on the stage. We enjoy the melodrama and the show takes us back to the Wild West era in Texas. Of course, the “Ranger” overpowers the bad guys and put them in jail. When we think that the performance is over, another program of country and western music follows (we also enjoy) and at 11 pm we drive back home. We had a great night together with Susan and Mike. Performances in such small theaters are really worth to visit and enjoying a meal during the performance is quite particular.
Although it is not really warm outside, at night, the temperature drops till 39 degrees, on Saturday morning the sky is blue and the sun shines so we drive with beautiful weather to Mount Lemon.
This high mountain is located in the backyard of Mike and Susan and within a few miles we arrive from desert vegetation to alpine conditions. Unfortunately, it didn’t snow for some time so the slopes are still impassable with skies. Too bad, because I would love to ski up here. But we enjoy the view of the desert plain far below us and outside on a bench we enjoy a delicious hot chocolate milk and Dutch caramel cookie. Sunday January 7th flies too. We sit outside because the temperature is around 78 degrees and we talk and talk and talk. We don’t stop sharing stories and our friendship deepens. Dick is successful in booking a hotel room in Baltimore. We need that when we deliver our RV end of April in the harbor of Baltimore before flying back home and, as time pass by, rooms will be more expensive.
In the afternoon we drive again to the Gaslight Theatre, there is also a real American Diner, Little Anthony’s, and we have lunch. The burgers are excellent, but there is so much meat and so many fries that we are completely satisfied. It also means that there is no cooking at night, we don’t eat anymore. The previous day, Saturday, my cooking didn’t mean anything either. Mike prepared the pork filets on the grill and you can’t say that unscrewing a jar of potato salad is cooking. But the result: Grilled Filet and Potato Salad, tasted good and that counts. And then it’s Monday January 8th, Mike and Susan’s 41 anniversary. It’s great we can congratulate them in person. After a delicious breakfast and with a bag of cookies, Susan baked them in the morning (she really is a cooking wonder) we leave Mike and Susan’s House to start the last part of our great journey through America.
Until now this journey gave us a lot of pleasure and the company of good friends. Slowly we drive North, of course not on the Interstate but via small roads, to Florence, AZ. The prison shop no longer exists but Mike found out that the prisoners sell their stuff in Mc Farland State park. We find a metal set of Quails and a lovely metal bird table so we are satisfied and even more when we get a nice spot in Lost Dutchman State Park.
The temperature is not so cold so we sit outside and enjoy the Superstitious Mountains in the background. As the sun disappears behind the mountains around 5 pm, the temperature drops directly to 40 degrees and we have to go to inside. Tuesday January 9th there are more clouds. The forecast told us a cold front from California will pass.
We drive through the town of Phoenix, look around at the outdoor shop of Cabela’s and after driving all kinds of small roads, leading us through the desert, we arrive in Parker, Arizona where we stay at Walmart. Not a bad place to be because while it rains hard outside we walk around in Walmart. Unfortunately, this Walmart has no hairdresser so my exuberant hair has to stay. During the night the parking fills up with RV’s, more than 35 cars stay on the parking lot.
Next morning the black clouds are gone, so when we arrive in Lake Havasu we can walk around in the sun near “London Bridge”. This London Bridge looks very European, and that’s right because it’s a bridge from London. In 1831, this bridge was built, but could not stand the increasing traffic in the 20th century in London, the bridge sagged further and further so the city of London decided to sell London Bridge. The founder of Lake Havasu, Robert McCulloch, was the happy buyer. After numbering each stone, London Bridge was dismantled, shipped to America and rebuilt at Lake Havasu as the world’s largest puzzle. Now, at this place, you feel like you are in England. Finally we leave this pleasant place and drive further north. The road leads through California and we have to pass an inspection station. Fortunately, only fresh fruit (we don’t have) is a problem. Our lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes are allowed to bring in. The distance we drive in California is not long and soon we are back in Arizona where at Catherina’s landing, in Lake Mead National Recreation Area near the Colorado River, we find a beautiful campground.
We enjoy Susans chocolate oatmeal cookies, a Roadrunner and large group of Quails. What a great place to stay. But we want to continue, to Las Vegas, so we leave Thursday morning. It is not a long drive to Las Vegas and because we pass another time zone (back in Pacific time) we also win an hour. At 11 am we find a place on Road runners RV park at Boulder Highway. Although this campground has many snowbirds, it is still possible to select a spot. After paying the campground I take my bike and ride to Walmart, in front of Sam’s Town. Here is a hairdresser because in October my hair was cut here (according to Dick cut to waste). Unfortunately, there is a line but I can make an appointment at 4pm, so late afternoon I return with short hair (too short)
But for me it feels great not to have long curly hair. In the evening we walk to Sam’s Town (we always do when we are in Vegas) to enjoy a dinner buffet. Of course we eat too much but that’s inevitable when there is so much food. Friday January 11th, we wake up early, because of the time difference with Arizona. After breakfast we drive the RV to Barnes & Noble, a bookstore in Henderson. I need a new planner. Unfortunately, my 18-month planner isn’t available any longer so I end up buying a year planner. Although it’s better to have a planner who covers the turn of the year. As we are on the road we also stop at Walmart so that we can buy water and soda’s.
At 2 pm we are back at the campground and sitting in the warm sunrays we enjoy a hot chocolate milk (with whipped cream) and a muffin. After that we walk to the RV dealer at the other side of Boulder Highway. We think about buying an RV here so we can come back more regularly. We see some nice, but also expensive, motorhomes. Unfortunately the construction is disappointing. Under the couch is rough and loose underlayment. And that at a price of around $ 100.000,-. We definitely will not buy an RV like that. Now we only will look for a four-wheel drive truck with an RV on top. I know we are spoiled with the quality and materials used at European RV’s. When we are back at the campground I finally sit down to write for our website.
It’s good in the sun although there is a chilly breeze.