Wednesday, September 28, 2011


When we left the Hoover Dam, we decided to take a different route back, so we took Route 93 south to Kingman, AZ. From there we took Historic Route 66 through Oatman, an old mining town.
Route 66 was a narrow winding road, with many hair-pin turns so several times it seemed we met ourselves on some of the turns! Scenery along the way.

A sign about the mines seen just outside of Oatman. The sign reads: There are five active Federal Mining Claims in this area on both sides of the road. Due to changes in the mining laws everyone needs to get a permit to be on the claims. To get a permit see Don at 9044 Oatman Road.

Driving into Oatman.

Below: A sign on the outskirts of town: Oatman was founded about 1906, By 1931, the area’s mines had produced over 1.8 Million ounces of gold. By the mid-1930s, the boom was over and in 1942 the last remaining mines were closed as nonessential to the war effort.

Burros first came to Oatman with early day prospectors. The animals were used for hauling water and supplies. As the mines closed and people moved away, the burros were released into the surrounding hills.

Wild burros are protected by Federal Law from capture, injury or harassment. Help protect these living symbols of the Old West.

We drove past the Historic Oatman Hotel (below). The Oatman Hotel is said to be haunted with the ghosts of Clark Gable and Carol Lombard who were married in nearby Kingman in March 1939 and spent their wedding night at the Hotel. They enjoyed their stay so much they returned several times. It is said they have so many fine memories of the old hotel that they refuse to leave.

Wild burros roam the town, going in and out of the shops at will!

Or welcoming drivers as they drive through town!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Sept 26 - We drove from Verde Valley to Bullhead City, AZ/Laughlin, NV yesterday. We will stay here for four nights.

Today we decided to drive up to see the Hoover Dam again. We had been there in April 2001, but we heard there was a huge new bridge across the Colorado River and we thought that would be worth a 85 mile drive.

This is funny. When I told my daughter Stasia that we were going to the Hoover Dam she said she had just found a picture of us taken at the Hoover Dam! I wonder if her picture was anything like this one!! HA HA!

Close up!!

View of the new bridge that we came to see!! Picture taken from top of the Dam.

This is a picture of the Dam. No water flows over The Hoover Dam.

Water flows through releases at the bottom of the dam, allowing the Colorado River to continue its southwesterly journey through Arizona, Nevada and California. They have a saying: Food Grows Where Water Flows!

We didn't take the tour this time so I don't remember what these two towers contain. Water backed up by the dam forms Lake Meade.

The Hoover Dam was built in two states. The Eastern end of the dam is in Arizona!

The Western end of the dam is in Nevada!

When we left the Hoover Dam, we drove across the new Hoover Memorial Bridge. Unfortunately, the walls were so high we could not see anything below.

On our drive south on SR 93, heading toward Kingman, I told Ken that Arizona has so many beautiful places -- The Painted Desert, The Grand Canyon, Sedona, etc. -- but God must have forgotten this whole area when he made Arizona! This is the ugliest place we have ever seen!!

On our way south we passed the cut-off to the Sky Walk, the Indian tourist attraction where you walk out over the Grand Canyon on glass flooring! I would have loved to detour, but it would have added 80 miles to our trip. Maybe next time!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Sept. 23 - Today is our last day in Verde Valley and we decided to take a side trip to Prescott Valley, about 40 miles South, just over Mingus Mountain. Ken wanted to get a few things at Costco and I wanted to check on having a prescription filled there. (Note: I am just about to go into my GAP under my Humana M/C Drug Plan so did not want to have the prescription filled under the Plan!!) We planned that after doing our chores, we could have early dinner at the China Buffet!! Yeah!!

It was a beautiful drive. Here's a view from the first pull-out, looking down into the Valley!!

We remembered that years ago when we took this route to Prescott, we would always see the wild Pronghorns in the meadows. They did not disappoint us this time either!! They were here to greet us!!

We had a successful trip and finished up at China Buffet at about 3:15 PM -- not a minute too soon since their prices change to dinner price at 3:30 PM!!! It was as delicious, as we remembered from five years ago!!

Here are my appetizers!!! We love Sushi!! One thing I like about this establishment -- they don't place a Tip Jar at the Sushi Bar!!! I have to say, while the Hot and Sour was very good, I like Ming Garden's soup better.

Ken has enjoyed his appetizers and has moved on to the entree!!!

We both ate too much, of course, but this was a great way to end our extended on stay in the Verde Valley!! We highly recommend the China Buffet, above the Costco parking lot in Prescott Valley.

Tomorrow we will head to Bullhead City, AZ for a few days and then on to Southern California!! While we love this area, we will be glad to get the wheels rolling again!!


Another two weeks had passed at TT Verde Valley and we had to leave the park on September 20 for a week. We were ready to leave the area at last, but I still had a couple of follow-up appointments and could not leave. Just outside the Thousand Trails gate there is an area of BLM land where free dry camping is allowed. So, we decided to stay at the top of the hill for a few days.

It really is beautiful up there, and so quiet. This is where we chose to camp. In the picture it looks like we are in the middle of a dirt road but we're not. It's a cleared area for camping.

The view from the passenger side.

From the Driver's side.

And the view out of our front window!

The first day we took a drive from our campground down a dirt road to the Verde River. Some of the scenery!

This ranch belongs to Ken's first heart doctor out here, Dr. Futral. Ken had his first heart attack out here in Jerome in 1999. Dr. Futral was on call in the Emergency Room. He was a graduate of UVA and he was great. Ken saw him for years after that. He has now retired. Too bad.

This is the only glimps of the River that we saw during our drive.

A closer view!

Every morning, the hot-air balloons would pass over our site!!

This is a different balloon on a different day!

The same balloon on another day in the process of lifting off!

But in a few minutes, it was clear it was not going anywhere!!

And now, deflated!! Ken said he saw it lift off again a little later!

Our time at the top of the hill was very enjoyable. Tomorrow morning we will leave Verde Valley for awhile. It has been a great visit!

On Friday we decided to drive over Mingus Mountain to Prescott Valley

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Sept. 21 - While Ken and I were having Gyros with Anja and Ken (earlier posting), I happened to mention that I loved Oktoberfest and wanted to celebrate every year!! Wished we could celebrate with them (she a real German), but, unfortunately, we would not be at Verde Valley in October. It was then I learned that Oktoberfest actually begins in mid-September, sixteen days up to and including the first Sunday in October. OK!! Let's do it!! Let's have an Oktoberfest!

Plans were made! I contacted the other Pickleball players and set up Wednesday afternoon as the date for our Oktoberfest!!

Since we had moved to the BLM land outside the gate, and Ken and Anja had such a nice big, grassy site, we decided to have the party at their site. We brought the Johnsonville Brats and Kaiser Rolls, plates and utensils.

Ken took over and grilled the Brats! They were perfect!!

Here are Anja and Ken. Anja prepared Cheese Spaetzle and Apple Crumb Cake. Anja said she would have put raisins in with the apples, but she remembered my Ken had said he did not like raisins! After that, everyone teased Ken unmercifully that he had ruined the cake because it did not have raisins!! That was funny!! Thank you so much, Guys, for providing a place and your expertise for our Oktoberfest!!

Tom and Marge, brought the Bavarian Chocolate Cake! UMMM

Cheryl and Bruce came over from Camp Verde to join us. They brought German Cole Slaw that was delicious on the Brats or off!!

Oland gets Hi-Five from Ken's dog Crash before a reward of peanuts (for Crash, that is - HA HA)! Oland brought the Fried Cabbage. The plan was to mix it with Anja's Spaetzle in a casserole topped with cheese, but her Ken said he didn't like it that way! Both were delicious even though they were not mixed together!

Ken gets his Hi-Five from Crash, too! Papa Ken looks on.

Ken and I celebrating Oktoberfest 2011 with our German beer!!

My plate piled with the eats -- Brats on Kaiser roll, German Cole Slaw, Fried Cabbage, Cheese Spaetzle -- German Beer on the side. UUMMMMM!!

Then the gang crowded around the desserts!

Bavarian Chocolate Cake, Ken's thumb stuck in the Bavarian Chocolate, Whipped Cream, Apple Crumb Cake (without the raisins)!!

Thanks to all of you for helping us celebrate Oktoberfest!! Everything was Wunderbar!!