*****

Flowerless Wisteria on front porch of the Bush House, Salem, Oregon, April 2017


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Eggplant Pizza



I haven't written anything about food for quite some time.  I do try to mention recipes that I think might be interesting or different.  Or at least interesting or different to me!  Have you ever had an eggplant pizza?

Eggplant was just not a vegetable that I grew up eating.  I really don't remember seeing them until I was a young housewife and Craig decided to grow some in the garden.  I remember we joked about they being an "alien" plant.  I really don't recall what I did with the ones we grew.  

In recent years as we have explored more and more vegetable dishes, eggplants have found their place in our menus and I have come to like them a great deal. Last week I bought one just because it looked good without any plan.  As the days passed, I realized I had better use it before it went bad, so one evening I Googled "eggplant recipes" and studied the list eliminating ones that would require a trip to the store.  

Aha!  Eggplant Pizza.  I make my own crust, I had some homemade pizza sauce in the freezer, and sufficient Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Asiago cheeses to do it. There are almost always other veggies on hand, so I was good to go.

Since I didn't follow an exact recipe, I'll just write about how I made it.

I started a dough in the bread machine in the morning.  If I make my dough in the morning and let it proof in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for the day, it seems to be more elastic and less likely to tear when I roll it out.  I used half whole wheat and half white bread flour.  We seem to like that better than 100% whole wheat.
100% white flour doesn't hold up to grilling as well.

 I  prepared the other ingredients later in the day.  I chopped a red bell pepper and an  onion, and sautéed them in a no-stick pan with just a light spray of olive oil.

I cut the eggplant into half-inch-thick rounds and grilled them on medium heat until they had nice grill marks on each side. This took about four minutes on one side and two on the other.  I removed the eggplant and while it cooled a bit, I rolled out and grilled the crust.

The best way to make pizza on the grill is to put the undressed crust directly on the hot grill and cook it until one side is crisp. Watch it carefully, and be sure to have poked fork holes all around to prevent big bubbles. In pizza-speak this is called docking. When it develops nice grill marks on the down side, remove it, and flip it grilled side up on the pick or cutting board,  spread on the sauce and toppings, and return it to the grill. 

This is not my pizza, but mine looked quite like this one
I used pizza sauce, the sautéed peppers and onions, some extra dried basil (because I didn't have any fresh) and the eggplant slices, which had been cut into strips.  I topped it all with a light layer of grated cheeses, and grilled it until the crust edges looked done and the cheese was melted.

It was amazingly good! 

I know some of you are eating a more plant-based diet, and I strongly recommend trying eggplant pizza if you don't already have it in your repertoire. You could use a vegan cheese, or none at all. 

A really yummy, healthy pizza for a little over $5.00.  

Can't beat that!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Next

The best cure for the post-trip doldrums is to start planning the next one!

While reading the SeeYaDP forum, Craig noticed the announcement of the Alfa Owners annual rally scheduled for April 15 - 21, in Casa Grande Arizona.  He suggested that if we got a lot of work done in the next couple of months, we should go.

I'm good with that!

I suggested we go to the Grand Canyon on our way back.  

He's good with that!

So the beginnings of the next adventure are starting to take shape.

Actually this is much like I imagined this process to be.  Work on the house for a few months, then take off in the RV for a while. 

But I have  hard time being patient.
I want the house done. 
I'm a terrible nag.

Craig assures me it will get into marketable shape by this summer.  

I'm hoping, but have my doubts.

I find planning a next trip goes a long way toward keeping me from getting too depressed! 

This last week and a half has been hard. I continued the job of culling things out of my studio, but then came to the conclusion that culling was an impossible, halfway measure.

So last Tuesday I declared my retirement.

Craig did his part later that day and took down my web site.

I spent several days packing up art stuff and either putting it aside for a future flea market, Goodwill, or loading it into the van so I could take it to the dump.  For the first trip, I went by myself, and as I tossed things out of the back of my van, I almost shed a few tears.  But as I drove back home I felt liberated.  

I'm retired!

I still have to deal with a closet full of fake fur, but without sculpture masters or sculpture materials, it will be easy to part with.  On Monday, Craig helped me cut up and remove my work benches.  We filled the van, and he helped me take this load to the dump. 

Next  we will have to restore the walls.  After 23 years of nails, paint splashes, and other mars, they need a lot more than just a quick paint job! At the moment we have four fluorescent light fixtures on the ceiling.  They are not quite shop lights, and do have "natural light" bulbs, but they are fluorescents and not suited for  bedroom lights.   When we moved in there were no overhead lights at all.  I think the best thing is to ask a realtor about what to do.  


Heat is another problem.  There is none.  We do have central forced air heat upstairs, but the lower level does not have any ducts.  The family room is nice and warm when the  wood stove is burning, but the bathroom is freezing in winter, and I had to use a space heater in the studio. 

I'm thinking of getting one of those little fake electric wood stoves.  

At first I thought we should have some heaters installed in the walls, or maybe do baseboard heat, but I think the electric stove would be more interesting and could be moved to whichever part of the room the occupant wanted it. Everyone seems to hate baseboard heat anyway.

Craig was been hard at work as well. He has his own project, new doors and woodwork in a number of places, but he helps me whenever I need him to, and vice versa.

So, I'm looking forward to planning the next trip! 

Has anyone done the Grand Canyon at the end of April?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Weight Loss

I know January and February are months that many of us set our minds on weight loss and other self improvement regimes. Last year, about this time, I did. My goal was to lose 45 pounds and get to a BMI of less than 25.

Most of my followers have been with me long enough to know that I reached that goal last September. By early November I had dropped a few more pounds. Then came the hard months:  Thanksgiving,  Christmas, and a month long RV trip.  I tried very hard to enjoy good things in moderation.

I took the scale along on our trip and weighed in every day.  I seem to have about a three pound variation from day to day. If I am at the top of that three pound range, I eat less and am very careful until I go back down. If I weigh in at the bottom, I relax and might enjoy a small treat, or not. 

I'm currently pleased with the fact that I did not gain weight over the holidays, or at least I did not keep it on. I have maintained a  weight loss of 53 pounds and a BMI of 23.6.  

I might want to do another push later this spring and try to drop a few more pounds, but if I don't thats OK too. I love my new body! 

But I find it is almost as hard to keep the pounds off as it was to lose them.  Committing to post about it occasionally gives me just a little more motivation to do so.

Thanks for all the support and encouragement you all have given me this year. 

I am learning to eat to live, not live to eat.

Monday, January 21, 2013

"People Ate Them All"

We subscribe to a Yahoo forum for residents of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Usually the topics discussed are related to living here.  

The other night Craig read the following entry to me. 


"l am currently on my first ever business trip to China. This list popping up in my e-mail, with tidbits of mountain life from time to time is a wonderful connection to home whilst traveling thru this overpopulated cacophony.

I've always enjoyed the woods, the birds and the animals where we live… but when the birds crap on my stair railing, or the deer eat my flowers or my treasured Maples… I confess... I get a bit angered by them.

No more.

It took me a couple days to realize that there are no birds here. No birds, Zip, None, Zilch. I have not seen a single one. At first I thought it was the pollution… and in part it certainly must be. I have asked at least 10 people about this and they all say the same thing however. "People ate them." "WHAT?" "Okay" I ask, "when you go out of the city away from all this pollution there must be birds?" "No, no birds in China. Even when I go to my home town in the middle of China there are no birds." "What about other animals… deer, fox, etc.?" "No, no deer, no wild animals. People ate them all." I've been trying to tell them about the mountain lions, the deer that eat my maples that I go out and throw rocks at, the great horned owls in the trees that I hoot to... and they hoot back. Spring time when the air is alive with the songs of thousands of birds. The video camera we put by the birds nests to watch the chicks hatch. They look at me like I'm telling tall tales. "No, there is a bird park where you can go about 60 kilometers north of here where they have some birds." "They are protected so nobody can eat those birds." "I went to Germany once and I saw some wild birds...Swans in a park!" I am just flabbergasted. I didn't believe it at first, but have asked many people in several different places and I get the same response. "People cook . People cook everything taste good. But it all gone now." The entire environment cooked? Seriously?

No birds, and no sunglasses. I have probably seen 100,000 people in the last 2 hours, and not one pair of sunglasses. No need. The sky is brown. People look at me funny when I wear mine. I leave them in the hotel now. I can't see well with sunglasses at high noon. It's too dark under the yellow-brown lens of the sky.

OMG we live in a wonderful place. Next time a doe eats my fuchsias… I'm gonna invite her back for a second helping of blossoms. I'm not sure about the crap on the stair railings… can we find another place for that guys? … okay, if you must.

-Kevin"


I do recall reading that the early Communist government ordered people to chase the birds so they would not eat the crop seeds, but I would have thought they had returned by now.  

I guess not. 



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Last Few Days of our Trip

Friday afternoon, we made it home, safe and sound, and got the Alfa parked without problems. 

Sigh.

I'm a bit sad that this wonderful month has ended, and determined to take the next on with a good positive attitude.  That's a big step for me.  I'm naturally a "Negative Nelly."

So here is a short recap of our last four days...

We had abandoned our plan to drive down to Quartzsite because of the weather.  After making it to Santa Barbara for the weekend, we decided to turn back south and go to Alfateers so they could take a look at and hopefully fix a leak we had discovered.

It was quite cold and windy in the LA area as well.  Not as cold as Arizona, but we heard there were wind gusts up to 50 mph.

We were glad we weren't driving.




We spent two nights there.  When I looked at these four Alfas parked together it made me think of a herd of beasties huddled together for protection from the wind.  We were all quite cozy with the big building at our backs.

We hope the new caulking will fix the leak.  They showed Craig how to do an even better job on rinsing the black tank, so now the sensor is reading more accurately, and although they couldn't fix the front-door whistle completely, it is less annoying and I know a few places that are not causing the problem.

Oh, and the new Koni shocks we had installed before Christmas, seem to have broken in and are giving us a much nicer ride.

We left Fontana Wednesday just after noon and had an easy drive thru the LA area.  It was a rare day because we didn't have any really bad traffic.  It can take hours to get thru there!


  
We stopped at the El Captain CA State Beach. Arriving just in time for a nice sunset walk along the water. 

The RV site was  near the beach, and although it had no hook-ups  it was easy to get to from the highway.  Maybe too easy!  The biggest draw back was the traffic noise.  I'm not really bothered by it, but I know some people are, so I thought I'd mention it.  



Thursday we drove up to Morro Bay and were settled into our site before noon.  We choose a full hook up over the State Park because we knew our next stop was at home and we didn't want to have to stop to empty the tanks before parking the Alfa.

I wore my pedometer for this walk.  By the time we got back to the rig it was reading 7.85 miles!  The beaches are such beautiful places and so easy to walk on if you stay on the wet sand near the water.



This was the first time I have seen a starfish in the sand.  I picked him up and verified he was alive.  I have seen them on the pier pilings. We also saw otters, and of course lots of birds. 


One of these things is not like the others.  Can you see him?






I have many thoughts about this trip that I may write about soon.  

For now all I can say is: we enjoyed it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Smile


There was a bit of confusion at the Cabela’s Sporting Goods store this morning.

 When an older man was ready to pay for his  purchases of gun powder and bullets the cashier said, "Strip down,facing me." Making a mental note to complain to the NRA about the gun registry people running amok, he did just as she had instructed. 

When the hysterical shrieking and alarms finally subsided, he found out that she was referring to his credit card.

 He has been asked to shop elsewhere in the future. 

They need to make their instructions to seniors a little clearer!*

*received in an email this morning

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Back a few days ... Las Vegas Casinos

Today we're sitting around in the lunch room at Alfateers while they are working on our rig.  We've been chatting with another couple who are also here for service. 

It may not be Quartzsite, but we are hanging out with other RVers and swapping stories just the same.

It seemed like a good time to catch up with my last post about our time in Las Vegas.

We spent a few hours walking around the strip the first night we were here, but it kept being a bit cold to go again.  Since I wanted to see more of the interior spaces of the casinos, we went down in the afternoon when it was warmer.

Here are a few of the things we saw:


New York New York

Paris
Monte Carlo

Egypt


Ceiling in the Luxor Casino.


Stained Glass Ceiling



And just for fun,
The Las Vegas Sock Market


Monday, January 14, 2013

U-Turn

Monday: another change in direction!

Last May we had an unfortunate connection with a neighbor's tree that resulted in a big dent in the top rear corner of the Alfa. We had it fixed at a well-rated shop in San Jose. At the time we felt that although it looked pretty good, the price they charged our insurance carrier was way high. We also had them fix a few other smaller things, and were not pleased with their prices.

The repair looked pretty good. From the back, the Alfa  looked like new.

It hardly ever rains in California between May and October. This year we didn't have a big rain storm until mid-November. At the time we really didn't go up and check for leaks. Perhaps we should have.


On about the third morning of this trip, as I was looking up at the ceiling from the bed, I noticed a rather large water stain in the corner.

Because of the way the shadows are cast, you can hardly see it when standing in the bedroom. And when the slide is in, it is covered completely.

When I first spotted it, we decided we would take it back to where we had it fixed, when we returned home. 

But this morning Craig suggested we head back south and take it to Alfateers in Fontana. We were about 150 miles away, but we knew we would be so much happier with their work than fighting with the other guys. Plus there are several other minor things that need attention, including an air whistle on the passenger side, some places that need re-caulking, and tank sensors that are not reading correctly.  

We called to see if they could take us, and headed on over. They can't do anything until tomorrow, but we are now safely parked and hooked up in the parking lot. 

I hear it's still pretty chilly on the beach :-)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Day On My Own

I'm a little sad we didn't head south to Quartzsite, because I will miss meeting some of the other bloggers.  But I don't regret spending a couple of beautiful days on the coast of California.

Today, while Craig enjoyed his football games on TV, I spent a few hours on my own.  I visited the Santa Barbara Mission and a few other historic places around the area.


The mission garden had a few blooming roses.


I liked this collection of cactus plants sitting on some steps.


Three burners and an oven.  Just like our RV!

I also enjoyed wandering around the shopping district in Santa Barbara.  I rarely buy anything, but like to "people watch."  I did stop at the Sur La Table and bought a good oven thermometer for the Alfa.  We use the oven almost every day, but find the temperature control a bit primitive.

Tomorrow we are heading north, and plan on stopping at Morro Bay for a couple of nights before going home and getting back to work on the house.  (GROAN)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

We're Not in Arizona Anymore

After leaving Las Vegas Thursday afternoon, we intended to work our way south and go to Quartzsite for the big tent show.  

After filling up the propane, fresh water and diesel fuel we drove about 100 miles to a Golden Valley RV park that accepted Passport America. After two great PA experiences, this was a bit different.  The book said they would accept PA for three nights and the rate would be $12.50. Reality was they would only take it for one night, and charged $21. My PA book is recent. The other two places we stayed with the PA were quite nice. This one was a gravel parking lot. None of that is important. It was just a stopping place because the weather was getting ugly.

Poor Craig. By the time we got parked and he was out hooking things up, a storm arrived with icy sleet. I stayed inside and warmed up some clam chowder for lunch.

When we woke up Friday morning the water hose was frozen. 

I had said that we were going to be flexible and our destinations beyond the Death Valley were dependent on the weather. It looked to us like Western Arizona is going to be cold for the next week. 

So we did what having a house on wheels makes possible. We packed up and drove 400 miles to where it was a lot warmer!




We started the day with fresh baked, Trader Joe's croissants. They start out frozen, and all you have to do is put them out to thaw and rise overnight and bake them in the oven. They are a special breakfast treat that we have every so often. (I probably should have pulled the blind for a better picture, but this is one happy, warm man.)


We burned some of the calories with a four mile walk along two of the beaches in the area. Yes, in just the right light the waves look violet in color.


Looking down the beach in the other direction, the sun's reflection  dazzles the eye. 



This is a life style we could really love!  

Where are we? Santa Barbara, California.
High 59 degrees this afternoon.  

We are at a dinky RV park, but it has great cable and Craig is watching the playoff game.
  
More beach walking, or other exploration for me tomorrow!
More football games for Craig.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Red Rock Canyon

The West has so many wonderful places to hike and beautiful sights to see.

On Tuesday we headed about 20 miles outside of Las Vegas to the Red Rock Canyon. 



You guessed it, it has some pretty neat red rocks!


There is a one way scenic drive with many easy pull outs and small parking lots.

In the visitor center I met a rather large lizard.


Good thing he was made of bronze.

I had read about the many trails in the park the night before, and picked out a promising six mile loop. It started out along one side of the mountain and we saw some petroglyphs on the walls.  There was a sign drawing our attention to them.  Without the sign we would have missed them.

In the same area the plants were more varied and vigorous than later on the loop.  How many types of plants can you see in this photo?



Then we hiked across a desert area.  Lots of cactus and shrubby plants. 

As we made our way into the canyon there were some areas where we had to scramble over rocks.  I love the roughness of these areas, but wish there were just a few more small, unobtrusive trail markers.  There was no way to get lost because we were in a canyon, but we did lose the trail a couple of time.


We felt we had to hustle along on the last section of trail because the sun was starting to sink behind the mountains, and it was getting colder. There was a thin layer of snow in some of the shaded places. 



This was just one of many unique rock walls. This section of trail was easy to walk.

Just before we got back to the parking area the trail became an unmaintained road that was restricted to high clearance vehicles.  We saw couple of Jeeps along it.  At one point there was a vehicle parked and we could see the occupants were looking at something on the side of the mountain.  

We looked too. 

Can you see anything? Look carefully.



At first we couldn't see anything, but then Craig spotted a bighorn sheep.



As we watched six more appeared.  They were at least a quarter mile away and stood very still.



It was exciting to see them in the wild. 
I feel lucky.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hoover Dam

[From Craig]  Hmmm, what can we say about one of the most-visited and photographed sites in America?  Well, it's not fiction, there definitely is a dam there on the Colorado River, in Black Canyon between Nevada and Arizona.  

The official descriptions say it's in Boulder Canyon, because the original surveys and justifications were written that way. By the time it was approved in 1928, the planners had decided to put it in Black Canyon but didn't want to upset the politicians by switching the name of the canyon.


The first thing we noticed when we drove up, was that the "high tension towers" closest to the dam were all really slanted, like electrical Towers of Pisa only more tipped. Looking at them further from a better vantage point, it's obvious that the angle is because they support wires that come almost straight up from the generator buildings below the dam, to the next towers high above. So the designers set them at the angle halfway between the source and destination.

We parked and went down to the security checkpoints that lead to the Visitor Center. There we learned we couldn't take in the nice lunch that Merikay had packed: no food is allowed past the checkpoint. This is an understandable policy in view of all the instances of exploding food that have occurred around the world, so we went back outside to eat lunch and walk the road across the dam.


We had lunch near these two statues of tall skinny eagles that were the largest bronzes ever cast in the US when they were made.  As you can see in comparison to the people, they are pretty tall.


We walked toward Arizona on the downstream side of the road. This is the view down the dam toward the generator buildings on each side. Water runs from intakes on the reservoir side through the dam to these buildings, where the generators make electricity for Los Angeles and surrounding states.  








There is a spillway like this on each side of the dam. (Everything about Hoover Dam is symmetrical between the Nevada and Arizona sides.) If the water in Lake Mead gets too high, it starts to spill over the right side in this picture. At first it just goes through that little grate on the bottom. But if it starts spilling fast it will go through the big hole in back. This happened big-time in 1982, which was the high-water year in Hoover Dam's history.


These are the intake towers on the Lake Mead side of the dam.  They take in water well below the surface, so that less dead fish and floating debris go through the generator turbines.



Near the dam, Lake Mead is pretty narrow and looks like the river that it is. Around the bend in back it gets much wider, and is a big recreation/boating area.  

The white bands around the water are calcium carbonate left behind by high water, especially in 1982 when the water was highest.


Next we walked back to the Visitor Center, and got through the security checkpoint now that our lunches were inside us. There we learned that of the three types of dam tours, only the shortest, least extensive one was available that day because the elevators down into the dam were out of order. If you come to Hoover Dam and are big fans of tours like Merikay and I, be sure you call ahead to make sure that the dam elevators are working!


As part of the "Visitor Center only" tour, we sat through several interesting presentations about how the dam was built. Thereafter we could go out on the Observation Deck from which we took this picture of the face of the dam. 


See how the dam is divided into 12 or more sections width-wise, and each of them is divided into many horizontal slices? Each slice is a single pour of concrete into a big form about 5 feet high, that averaged about the size of a city lot (thicker at the bottom, thinner at the top). After pouring each section, they went on to the next one across the dam, so that each section set at least 3 days before the next one was poured on top of it. Which amounts to about 3 years of continuous concrete-pouring!

Knowing something about California's earthquake bans against "unreinforced masonry", we were amazed to learn that there is not any rebar (steel reinforcing) in the main body of Hoover Dam. There is plenty in the intake towers, generator buildings, and other surrounding structures, but none in the dam itself. No way would California admit this dam into their state, if someone ever wanted to move it there!

Finally we went up to walk across the new bridge that goes across the river downstream from the dam, so that not all of the Nevada<-->Arizona traffic has to go across the dam itself. In a store later, we saw that they sold old postcards that showed an aerial view of the dam without the bridge, and new ones that were exactly the same view with the bridge.  The bridge is named for a local politician and for Pat Tillman, who was the NFL player who enlisted to go to Afghanistan in the middle of his career and was killed by "friendly fire" there.


They could not have designed a better place from which to take pictures of Hoover Dam! The rectangular array of white-froth spots in the lower river mark the outlets from the generator turbines. The cables you may be able to see just above the top of the bridge are part of the last remaining cableway that was used to pour the concrete in the dam.

We tried waving our arms from the bridge but couldn't see our shadows. It's quite a place!

From Merikay: My impression after seeing some of the enormous public works projects that were accomplished during and after the Great Depression is that government can and must do the big things.  Yes, six big private companies joined forces for the building of the dam, but without the government it would not have happened.  

Many of the improvements to our parks were also done during those hard times.  These programs saved many lives because they provided jobs for men who might otherwise have had none.  

I know there are probably to many people doing redundant office work for the government, but I would rather see more men and women working to build, restore and improve our country than in the military.  I would rather see more of our tax dollars going for infrastructure than for war.

It's all part of the big picture, and I'm glad we are getting to see it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Las Vegas

Since I have never been to Las Vegas, I thought it might be fun to see the place.  CSI Las Vegas was one of my favorite shows when we had TV at the house. 

I checked my Passport America book and found a resort there.  I called and yes, I could get the PA discount and could make a reservation.  I booked for three nights, and although I didn't have to make a deposit, I requested an email confirmation.  Good thing I did, because when I checked in the desk lady didn't want to give me the discount.  I showed her the printed confirmation that noted the PA discount.  "Oh" she said, and found us a spot.


As I was walking out of the lobby (a quite nice place) a silly looking old lady wearing leather pants and a golf cap approached me with a hand full of coupons for the area. She was hustling people to sit through a sales presentation the next day. The lure was a "free" notebook computer, plus two free nights at the resort.  It was OK with Craig, so I said yes. We sat through the presentation saying "no" to everything.  At the end of  it all we managed to pass on the "no name" notebook as well. We would have had to pay $39 in shipping and handling. The salesman turned it into an extra free day's stay.  The best part was that we don't have to come back.  They let us add it onto our current stay.  So we ended up getting to stay at a decent place with two nice pools, a hot tub, and an exercise room  six nights for only $75 total.  Can't beat that! 


Pool at Oasis RV Resort, Las Vegas Nevada
On Friday, shortly after arriving, Craig hit his head on the underside of the slide while hooking up the water, and felt he needed to be driven to an ER.  Head cuts bleed profusely, and he had taken some Aleve earlier in the day which acts as a blood thinner. I looked at the cut when I gave him a wash rag to press on it and declared it "not too bad." But he was shook up by the blood running in his eyes and dripping on his shoes. By the time we got to the ER the bleeding had stopped. A doctor checked it and said he was fine and didn't need any stitches.  He felt silly, but I was happy because I would rather take him to the ER for a little thing than a heart attack or major accident.

That night we walked around the strip and went into a couple of stores and the MGM Casino. The weather was pretty cold and we were tired so we went back to the Alfa early.

I did a weeks worth of wash Saturday morning after the presentation, and then we went to The Mob Museum.  Several people have told me it was a great exhibit, but I have to say I was not wowed by it. 


I have seen several documentary shows on the History channel that covered the same subjects.  Some of the pictures and most of the stories were things I had seen before.  

Not money well spent.



Sunday there were two NFL playoff games Craig wanted to watch, so I went shopping at one of the outlet malls.  I'm not much of a shopping fanatic, but I enjoy looking for clothes more now that I'm thinner. I bought one new top and some fun socks.

Monday we went to Hoover Dam, which is the subject of my next post.  I feel we are making every day count, but are also taking our time to do mundane things like grocery shopping and the wash.

I could really get to like this lifestyle!

Beware of what you wish for.  While in Death Valley I said that I wished I knew more about geology. Like many RV parks, the Las Vegas resort has a free book exchange.  Guess what I found.



It is an older text book from California State University.  I have started to read it and am sure it is for a Geology 101 course.  I remember a lot that I have read so far, but my knowledge is mostly from grade school science, the Discovery Channel, and signage at park visitors stations.

It is never too late to learn!
What do you want to know more about?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Death Valley, Mosaic Canyon

Wednesday, after leaving the dunes we continued our exploration of Death Valley with a short trip to Salt Creek to see if we could spot some Pupfish.  It seems they are very shy at this time of year, and we couldn't find any.  The few pictures we took didn't seem post-worthy.


After a little picnic lunch at the creek, we went on to Mosaic Canyon which is just down the road from Stovepipe Wells.  Here we walked up a canyon with walls that were (in places) a polished marble.  Very different from anything we had seen before.










The floor of the canyon was a coarse gravel like stone that didn't seem to match the walls at all.  When we looked up, we could see areas of similar dark colored stone high above. I am fascinated by the formations.  I told Craig I wish I knew more about geology.



As we walked thru the canyon it was easy to imagine a roaring rush of water ripping and scoring the stone walls. 



Wednesday was our last day at the Stovepipe Wells park. We enjoyed our time there very much, and I think we did most of the  walks that were accessible with our little car. There are many more canyons to discover, but we don't like to drive more than a couple of miles on the gravel roads with the Accent, and the other trails are farther in. 

Maybe the next time we are here we will rent a Jeep for a few days.  They are available at Furnace Creek.

Because it was our last day, I decided to give the pool a try.  The gal at the reservations office said it was heated, and I had seen some teenagers swimming the day before. There was a large solar array on the roof of the game table area enclosure.

It may have been heated, but it was not very warm.  Craig put a toe in and declared he would stand by as my life guard. Once in, it wasn't too cold, and I did enjoy it.  It is January after all!


So ends this chapter of our travels.  The next morning we packed up and drove to Las Vegas.  Another world!