OTRA - NV - Cal-Nev-Ari
Jan 12, 2011
Today was a wonderfully short day of driving...a grand total of 40 miles!! We could have gone straight on to Las Vegas but Cal-Nev-Ari sounded like such an interesting little town…and the campground prices were good…that we figured we’d stop for a couple of nights. Left around 10:10 and pulled into the campground at 10:51. Straight up Route 95.
WELCOME TO NEVADA: 10:51 and 85 miles
Nice campground in the Mohave Desert (600,000 acres…the desert, not the campground!). Long level pull-thru lots, across the street from a restaurant/bar/small casino. We went to check those out and discovered the casino and bar are pretty smoky so passed on them and enjoyed brunch at the restaurant. I had a humongous brunch of biscuits/gravy and potatoes while Bob had a huge pancake with sausage and an egg. Listen to those arteries as they clog up! There’s an airstrip behind the restaurant and evidently, each Saturday morning, a group of 3 or 4 private planes fly in for breakfast then fly out again. Pretty neat.
TOTAL TIME TODAY: 1 hour and 39 miles.
Found out Taco can’t take his walk on the desert here ‘cause there are little prickly stickers lying on the ground. He’s not overly keen on the gravel here either. Sheesh, we’ve got a city dog…only wants to walk on pavement.
After brunch, we drove over the mountain (FANTASTIC VIEWS everywhere you looked!!) to Laughlin/Bullhead City to do some shopping. Gas is considerably cheaper on the Arizona side of the Colorado River so filled up. Trouble is, we’ll probably use ¼ tank going back over the mountain!
I am sitting here at the computer around 11:30 p.m. and I can see the highway (Route 95) off in the distance. It climbs a hill north of town and traffic was steady coming south down the hill, even at that hour. Wonder where they’re all coming from so late at night…and where they’re going. Bob said they’re all people heading home after losing all their money in Las Vegas, LOL. Whatever. They’re surely not stopping here.
We’re only scheduled to be here 2 nights but I think we’ll stay another night or two ‘cause there’s some geocaching in the area and we want to go see the Davis Dam (back over the mountain again) and see what Christmas Tree Pass (dirt road) is all about.
Boy, do we have a lot of birds at the feeder here! I loaded it at 8:15 and it was empty by 11:00. We’ll fill it again before we go out-and-about. Guess we’d best add bird seed to our list. And maybe some cracked corn for the doves.
Well, off we started to Searchlight, NV, another small town north of us to see what was up there. About ¾ of a mile from the campground, we changed our minds and decided to go back to Bullhead City to get some stuff we need for the RV. We turned around and back past the park and up the other hill south of us…and about 1 mile past the park, the “Check Gauges” light came on. The voltmeter was buried all the way to the left which meant the batteries weren’t charging. Called a Dodge service center in Las Vegas, explained the situation to him and he said it could well be the batteries so called Good Sam (God bless Good Sam and Betsy and Will for getting it for us each year) and told them the problem and asked them to send someone with 2 batteries. We came back to camp and waited for the service man to come check it out. He said the batteries were good but the alternator was kaput. So he will return tomorrow with a new alternator. There goes another couple of $$$ out the window. Whew, this has been an expensive trip, for sure, although we certainly have been lucky to have these things (flat tire, LP detector, alternator) bite the dust where it’s been relatively easy to get service….and not out in the middle of the mountains or on some back desert road. And considering we’ve put over 42,000 miles on the truck since my surgery, our overall repair expenses haven’t been too, too bad.
So today was a “do nothing but wait” day. Will call Good Sam early tomorrow and get the ball rolling. If they start it as a new claim, they’ll at least pay for the service call…just not the alternator and the installation thereof.
8 a.m. and here comes Thomas with the new alternator. But wait, it doesn’t fit right. My truck was built in 2000 but it’s considered a 2001 and evidently between those times, Dodge did some modifications to the alternator so the one he brought wasn’t quite right. Rather than play around trying to do some alterations, he called and ordered another and then, poof, off he went again, back over the mountains. Back in about 1 ½ hours with one that fit perfectly. So we’re back in business again. That poor man made 3 trips back and forth over the mountain and but so very kindly only charged us for one.
Drove over to Bullhead City (over the mountain) to get some stuff for the RV and groceries. Stopped to see the David Dam on the way back and then took the shortcut over the mountain…a dirt road called Christmas Tree Pass. It’s 15 miles long but because of the washboard road, it took us about 15 minutes to go 2 miles to the Grapevine Canyon to see the petroglyphs so we didn’t do the whole “shortcut”. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the Canyon, the sun was very rapidly sinking below the mountains and when that happens around here, it gets DARK and cold so we decided not to try to make the half-mile walk from the parking lot. We’re leaving Sunday and we want to do some geocaching tomorrow so I’m not sure we’re going to make it to the ones here. There are also some down near Gila Bend and we’re planning to return there so if we don’t see them here, we’ll see them there. I don’t think either of us is in too much of a hurry to leave the desert/mountain regions of Nevada and Arizona.
Today’s our last day here so we drove through the “town” of Cal-Nev-Ari then did some geocaching then went to Searchlight, another town about 10 miles north of us. In Searchlight (an old mining town) there was a road off to the right (paved, for once) that looked like it wanted us to follow it so off we went...all the way down into the valley to the Lake Mohave Campground and Marina. Beautiful big houseboats for rent there, along with some even bigger private ones. I would have loved to have been able to go inside one of them. As we were leaving, we saw a coyote coming down the road. Really surprised us! Took awhile to get my camera but I managed to get a picture of him by pure luck. He was a fine looking fellow, for sure. Eventually, trotted off the pavement up over a berm and out of sight.
Stopped at the little casino in Searchlight to spend some nickels and quarters. I came out about $18 ahead….all quarters. That will pay for our laundry a couple of times.
We have seen some of the most beautiful sunsets here at our campsite. Once the sun goes down behind the mountain, it turns downright cold but God certainly paints the skies with bright colors before he lowers the dark.