December 8, 2014 Moving Day

Lone boat on Lake Mead at sunrise
Lone boat on Lake Mead at sunrise

Leaving Las Vegas ( Government Wash actually )

Sunrise over Lake Mead, with the light of a lone early bird fisherman shining in the distance, here on my last day at Government Wash, a campsite I really hate to leave.

Quail feeding
These guys will miss me

I’ll bet these guys will miss their twice a day handouts too.

On to Lake Havasu, Arizona

But by 11AM I have the Prius loaded, the motorhome ready for travel and off I go for the short drive down Route 95 to Lake Havasu, Arizona.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Sunset Lake Havasu Campsite
Sunset Lake Havasu Campsite
Lake Havasu Sunset
Lake Havasu Sunset

Hope you enjoy these incredible sunsets as much as I do. Probably am so impressed because of  having spent most of my life in New England where this sort of thing is a very unusual treat. I am beginning to realize that out here in the desert, these are probably pretty commonplace … but not to me … yet.

Lake Havasu Sunset
Lake Havasu Sunset
Sunset Lake Havasu
Sunset Lake Havasu

Just loved these two wispy orange clouds!

This campsite, no more than a few hundred yards from the edge of the highway, is easily accessible, but certainly nothing to get very excited about. The road noise is tolerable and the 20 or so others camped here are fairly considerate, and I at least feel quite safe and secure with the others so close by. Satellite reception good with no trees around and my Verizon JetPac shows 4 bars of 4G so surfing the internet was fast ( but I continued to have no luck being able to do a blog post while staying here, that’s why this post is so dated ). I would say I would stay here again, strictly for the convenience, not the ambiance. There is another primitive (free) area just a mile or two south of here that I will check out tomorrow.

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November 27, 2014, Government Wash, Lake Mead, Nevada

Government Wash Campsite
Government Wash Campsite

Thanksgiving and I have plenty to be thankful for

Yesterday, I broke camp and drove down to the Valley of Fire Campground hoping to snag a spot with electric to be able to do an equalization charge on my house batteries as a last ditch effort to salvage them if possible, also would like to have electric hookup to do my Thanksgiving turkey in my toaster oven. Unfortunately, after making a run through the campground, a few others must have also thought this might be a good spot to settle in for Thanksgiving for there were no empty campsites, so on with Plan B. I used the park’s dump station and also filled up with drinking water before heading back to Route 167 and headed south to Government Wash on Lake Mead.

Route 167 is a newly paved ( except for the final few miles on the southern end ) 2 lane highway that travels for 40 or 50 miles through some interesting high desert scenery. I arrived at Government Wash around 11 AM and drove down the very dusty, washboarded road to the high point at the end of the road, well, the end of the road for a motorhome, 4 wheelers could proceed farther down and make camp at the water’s edge, I suppose, but I surely couldn’t. Hard to believe that no one had already claimed this spot with it’s rather dramatic view of Lake Mead ( or what’s left of it ), but I was more than happy to do so. Has to be the best place here, no traffic going by kicking up dust and what a view! So I settled in, turned on the house generator and began my 4 hour equalization charge.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Thanksgiving Day

Government Wash Campsite
Government Wash Campsite
Government Wash Campsite
Government Wash Campsite

A couple more shots of this absolutely wonderful spot I was fortunate enough to snag here at Government Wash overlooking Lake Mead. A million dollar view for $0 a night, how can you beat that?

Took the dogs and walked down the hill to check on any ducks along the shore, but no luck, probably a few too many people around for anything but coots. Have to be very vigilant for coyotes when out with the dogs, for last night I had one serenading me only a few feet from the motorhome until the yelps and yips finally made me go out and persuade him to move his concert elsewhere so I could get some sleep.

Started up the house generator at 1 PM and threw the turkey in the toaster oven. Glad there’s no one anywhere near me to have to listen to that for the next four hours. Guess I didn’t mention that the other nice thing about this wonderful campsite is that my nearest neighbor is at least a quarter mile away.

Lake Mead Sunset
Lake Mead Sunset
Lake Mead Sunset
Lake Mead Sunset

Watched 3 football games, and had my turkey with trimmings dinner, then enjoyed one of the better sunsets I have seen in quite a while. Am I thankful for this lifestyle, you bet!

Sunset Reflection
Sunset Reflection

Got a kick out of the reflection in the bedroom window as I returned to the motorhome after shooting sunset shots.

Happy Thanksgiving to all out there!

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September 22, 2014 Twisp, Washington

Sunset from Slate Peak
Sunset from Slate Peak

From the Summit of Slate Peak

Drove all the way out Forest Road 44 to where it was gated early this morning. The Poplar Flats NF campground had a few sites that would accomodate a big rig if one were looking for a quiet place to spend a few nights midweek. The campground was completely empty today but probably has traffic on the weekends.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version. And in today’s post, be sure to do that !

A different kind of silo
A different kind of silo

It is spitting rain today, alternating with spells of sunshine. On the way along 44 I came across this small red barn and what to me, is a new type of silo. Appears to be made up of boards stacked like Lincoln Logs. Interesting.

Slate Peak, You Want to do this Drive !

The weather cleared a little in the afternoon, so late in the day I decided to investigate the road up to Slate Peak, at 7400′ elevation, the highest point in the state of Washington. To get there from Twisp, I headed north on Route 20 through Winthrop to Lost River Road ( 9140 ) and then took a right on NF 5400 ( there is a sign at the point where you have to turn ).

On the way up Slate Peak
On the way up Slate Peak

This road is very rough in places, very narrow throughout it’s entire length, and not to be driven by the feint of heart. That said, I drove it in my Prius with no problem, so it is a very manageable drive. But it is a little scary in places, so be aware.

On top of the world
On top of the world

However, if you are ever in this area, BE SURE to make this drive, you will be rewarded with one of the most spectacular views you will ever experience !

Distant ragged peaks
Distant ragged peaks

The road is not as benign as it appears in the above image. This was taken very close to the small parking area at the very end of the road where it is gated. You will have to walk the last 1/4 or 1/2 mile up a very steep drive to get to the top. And I should remind you that this is at an elevation of 7400′, so be prepared to take your time doing this final push to the top.

Observation tower atop Slate Peak
Observation tower atop Slate Peak

This image shows what you have left after parking at the gate. I have to admit I did some serious huffing and puffing to make it to the top.

Final push up Slate Peak
Final push up Slate Peak

A shot back to where you park from about half way up to the peak. Though there was a pickup parked there, I had the peak all to myself this evening. Probably a hunter, as I encountered several parked vehicles on the way up the mountain, and was spooked by hunters coming out of the woods along the way as I drove to the top.

Colorful meadow below Slate Peak
Colorful meadow below Slate Peak

This colorful meadow sits just below the peak to the east.

Mountains to the North
Mountains to the North
Sunset from Slate Peak
Sunset from Slate Peak

The ” show ” started almost as soon as I breathlessly made the top. Look at the larger version of this ( or any of the others ) to see the vast number of mountain peaks you are looking down on from the top. Without a doubt, the most spectacular mountaintop vista I have ever experienced.

Sunset from Slate Peak
Sunset from Slate Peak

Darkness fell rapidly and the western sky looked like it was on fire as the sun sank below the last peak !

Sunset from Slate Peak
Sunset from Slate Peak

The gray, hazy, cloudy sky that I had cursed all the way up the mountain, the sky that prevented me from getting all the great distant mountain vista images I wanted, rewarded me for my efforts with one of the most breathtaking sunsets I have ever witnessed.

The walk back down the road to the car was a little spooky, because when the sun disappeared, boy, did it get really dark, really quick. However, the drive back down the mountain ( it is 12.2 miles from the peak back down to the ” main ” road ) along that rough, very narrow forest service road, was actually a little less nerve wracking in the dark, since now I could see any vehicles coming in the opposite direction with some warning, by the light of their headlights. And, of course, the odds of any oncoming traffic diminished greatly with darkness setting in, since how many people would be heading up the mountain now that it was dark ?

Again, if you are ever in this area, this is one drive you do not want to miss !

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January 3, 2014, Goose Island, Texas

Smoke over Goose Island State Park
Smoke over Goose Island State Park

I looked up from my computer last night to see what looked like my campground burning down, a weird pink smoke filling the eastern sky. Turns out it was a controlled burn out on Matagorda Island, a barrier island east of Goose Island. And the pink smoke was the result of a rather nice, though not spectacular sunset.

Goose Island sunset
Goose Island sunset

That is my neighbor’s fishing gear on the right, I haven’t seen him land anything yet though.

I spent the last 2 sort of dreary days ( I have to be careful not to complain too much about my local weather knowing what the folks up north are going through right now ) working on establishing a Facebook page and reorganizing all my images, all 972 of them, and all my posts, all 95 of them, categorizing everything and applying tags so that the entire blog is now searchable, by tag or category. To search by category, just hit the drop down menu under CATEGORIES on the right side column of the blog. Click on a tag, also located in the right hand column, to search by TAGS. A very time consuming project, as it should have been done as I created each post, but being a novice, I didn’t know that when I started, but will now be able to categorize everything new that I add when I add it.