Friday, February 18, 2011

Rally Planning can be Fun

We are members of the Golden Spike Chapter of FMCA. That chapter was founded for people who have an interest in Rail Roads. Because both Tom’s and my father were Southern Pacific RR Engineers we joined the first year we attended an FMCA rally.  We have loved the members and really loved our railroad excursions.  What we were not so aware of was that this was a “railroading” organization.  About 2 years ago I was “railroaded” into being the Editor of the Golden Spike newsletter, The Telegraph.  This was not an easy chore as Dotty Poole had done such a good job, it was a challenge to follow in her very big footsteps (figuratively speaking).  We were then “railroaded” last March to be wagon masters at the Verde Valley rally. We were promised and had lots of help from fellow Spikers, The Harrisons and Halls.  What a great time we had.  This fall Tom was “railroaded” into running for Conductor (president) of the club when our dear friend, Tom Harrison, became gravely ill.  Then at the January Western FMCA rally we were AGAIN “railroaded” into planning the next rally at Boulder City, NV.  I think we need to join a “Do Nothing” RV club to relax.

So after our Geocaching Rally at Quartzsite we drove 3 hours north on Hwy 95 through Arizona, into California, into Nevada and into Boulder City. 


We had never been to this cute, historic, 77 year old town.  Actually, I can’t remember visiting this new a town ever.  Build to house the workers of Boulder, now Hoover, Dam, it is one of only 2 towns in Nevada that does not permit gambling and did not permit prostitution. I’m not sure of the rules on prostitution in the state of Nevada now.

We pulled into the Elks lodge RV parking area, a very nice landscaped RV facility behind the lodge with full hook-ups, picnic tables, and a host, Deborah, that greeted us as we arrived. At $18 a night you just can’t beat the accommodations and location, between McDonalds and Jack in the Box. 


We paid for 4 nights and started exploring.  Our first stop was the train station which was only a couple of blocks up the hill.  The train only runs on weekends and this was Friday, but we ran into Choo Choo Greg as he was leaving the museum. Greg is a volunteer and a rail road devotee. I think he might also be a savant.  You would recognize the similarity if you saw the movie, Rainman.  Choo Choo Greg has hundreds numbers; dates, train numbers, miles, etc., that he excitedly tells you about at break neck speed.  We finally got away from Greg’s story telling, insisting that we (and he) needed to get home to dinner.



The next morning we were at the train station at 9:30 to meet Peg, our contact for the rally tour, and to purchase our ticket to ride the Southern Nevada Railroad Excursion Train.  The tickets were only $10, and although a short ride, it was a picturesque and a very informative ride.  This was the first weekend of the railroad’s season and we had hoped to see the herd of Big Horn Sheep.  Once the trains start running they go to the other side of the mountain, but they must have gotten wind of the schedule because they were no where to be found.

2011-02-05_12-53-52_610I have an App on my new Droid, Find That Guy, that tells us if we are near to a restaurant that Guy Fieri, of Diners, Drive-in & Dives,  has reviewed.  We were real near to the Coffee Cup in downtown Boulder City, so after the train ride we wanted to try out this restaurant. 

Tom had their Famous Chili Verde Omlet and I had a turkey melt.  Mine was good and Tom says he has never had better Pork Chili Verde.  The current owners bought this little cafĂ©, built in 1933, and decorated it in a funky eclectic style that is a cross between ‘60’s’ surfing and ‘30’s’ junk.  The waitresses look like most of their tips go to the local tattoo parlor.

Our week in Boulder City included checking out the RV Park located right on Lake Mead,2011-02-05_14-32-47_971

a visit to the new Boulder Dam Bridge,2011-02-05_15-16-38_980

some geocaching,

and lots of really good food, especially at The Bistro, a very small restaurant that we were told was pretty pricey.  Tom had a 12 oz. top sirloin that looked like  Ruth’s Chris’s with twice baked potato, asparagus, and a special salad that was made as we watched; I had butter pecan crusted trout with risotto, asparagus, and the same wonderful salad. The appetizer was a phenomenal fresh baked Italian bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip. Tom had a beer and I had a glass of house wine… the bill was $40.32.  Pricey? we’ll take that price for a special evening out any day.

DSC04043We added 2 more days at the Elks, went into Henderson and checked out Ethyl M’s Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden, drove down to Willow Bay, the drop off point for the Black Canyon/Willow Bay Raft ride and did some more caching.

We sure look forward to our rally May 5-9 in Boulder City.

CIMG8090Back on the road, over the Boulder Dam Bridge in the RV and down Hwy 93 through Kingman and Lake Havasu City to Cattail Cove SP. We stayed here last year when we attended the Western Pyrotechnic Assn’s WinterBlast.  More about that in our next blog.

Until then, keep on caching.  Thanks for checking in.

Barbara, Tom, and Pansy2011-02-07_11-05-56_744

Thursday, February 10, 2011

One Month Full timing and counting

This full timing is really fun, but also very demanding.  We have scheduled 3 rallies this first month, each with some responsibilities. We love attending the rallies because we are able to catch up with our friends that we have met over the years RV’ing.

We had a wonderful send off in the old Mervyns parking lot in Fresno. Mom, Jenny, Julie, Jamie, Jason, Olivia, Logan and Ryan all met us, piled in the RV and there were hugs and kisses all around.


We left Fresno and followed our friends, the Halls, to Boron. Why Boron? Many have asked us that question and the answer is Domingo’s. This is a special Mexican restaurant with a very interesting owner, Domingo.  To say that Domingo is friendly, accomplished, and interesting is an understatement. As a civilian, he has flown in a B-2 and has a plaque commemorating his Mock 4 ride as well as other air force mementos . All this because the pilots at Edwards AFB eat there and really like Domingo. We really like the food, too.

Then it was on to La Quinta to meet up with the Golden Spike Chapter that had parked in the abandoned Sam’s Club parking lot. The next day we caravanned to the Date Festival Fairgrounds in Indio.


It was a short ride, but somehow in pulling into the fairgrounds we got completely scrambled with another group and by the time we were parked we were so close there was only a little space to have our potlucks, happy hours, and evening fires. Thankfully 2 of our members pulled in their slides so we would have a little more space. Even with all that ‘closeness’ we had a wonderful time.


We did served at the Ice Cream Social, had a very special memorial for our friend, Tom Harrison, who was the Conductor of the Golden Spike Chapter for as long as we have been members. Now Tom (Westerfield) is the new Conductor – how did that happen? He was ‘railroaded’!!!


After a very successful rally we left for the Salton Sea SRA just south of Mecca. We love the peacefulness, the view and the terrific caching in this area.


We took a couple of short trips, one to attend church in Holtville and one to Salvation Mountain & Slab City. You just have to visit this phenomenon once. We stayed a week, ate out often, got a few more caches, and just relaxed.

We left on Jan 24 for Quartzsite, otherwise referred to as “Q”.  This is small town about 20 miles from the California border that grows to thousands upon thousands of RV’ers who park on BLM land for free or in the many RV parks located around Quartzsite. There are many rally events throughout the month of January and there is a large tent full of vendors that sell all things ‘RV’. You can buy food, equipment, insurance, space at resorts and Tom even bought a flag pole for our RV. That way we can find our way home if we loose the GPS. 

Boomer AuctionBoomerville from the air

The first rally we attended was an Escapee Boomer rally. It was held about as far into BLM land east of “Q” as you could drive called Boomerville. We bounced down an unimproved dirt road in our RV and found a place to park near our friends, Sue & Ken Pace and Judy & Luke Rinehimer. We had potlucks, happy hours, evening shows on the Pace Theater (a projector shown on the side of Sue & Ken’s rig), and several informational talks throughout the week.

Geocaching BOF Happy HourGeocaching BOF Wind Breaks

Then we moved north of Q to Plamoso Rd to the Escapee Geocaching BOF (Birds of a Feather) rally. This was a ‘no host’ rally that the unofficial hosts were Sue Pace, Cool Judy Rinehimer and me, Barbara. Each day we had a schedule of classes and cache runs. We had happy hours, and potlucks. It was so windy and cold we finally moved 3 rigs (ours on the right) into a wind break. Even though the weather didn’t cooperate, we had a great time.

I even got my computer hooked up to the HDTV in our rig and did 2 presentations. We maxed out the seating and had several people standing in the back and others sitting on the floor. One evening we had a Z-Circle get acquainted event where 3-4 couples rotate to 7 RV’s each time meeting other fellow cachers. This is always a fun and interesting mixer.

In my next blog I’ll tell all about a new-to-us town that was created in 1933. It was so interesting that we can’t wait to bring our Golden Spike friends there and show them all the sights we have discovered. Until then keep on caching as we are

On the road again, caching places that we’ve never been.  Barbara, Tom and Pansy