By Bob Difley
With Spring but weeks away and the desert sun burning hotter and hotter, you might be starting to think about heading back home and planting the garden. The temptation is there to get a head start, but instead of heading directly home on the way, try a different location for a few days or a week, a high desert location that would be too cold in mid-winter, and too hot in the summer, but right now might be, as baby bear said, just right.
One place that comes to mind is Valley of Fire State Park in the Mojave Desert 55 miles north of Las Vegas and only six miles from Lake Mead. Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park and gets its name from the the park’s red sandstone formations. This park brings out the little boy in all of us, climbing the rocks, peering into eroded caves and through holes and arches, playing cowboys and Indians, and giving names to the odd formations–bee hives, elephant rock, and grand piano.
You can also find petrified logs, big horn sheep, Indian petroglyphs, secret slot canyons, an old movie site, and a rainbow of colors in the geologic formations. Paved scenic drives access most of the park’s attractions, but several hikes wind in and out of the strange and mysterious rocky formations.
There are primitive, nicely private, first-come-first-serve campsites tucked in the rock formations and some have water and electricity hookups. But don’t worry about driving in here and being shut out of a campsite, even if they are full the park will accommodate you in an overflow area.
Now is the time to visit the park. It is open all year, but the Spring weather is perfect. The classy visitor center provides lots of information on the area as well as interpretive displays. This is an interesting and unique destination, and a break between your your winter snowbird roosting area and the place you call home.
For the complete guide to boondocking, check out my eBook, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands.
Welcome to the first Lug_Nut RV Trivia Challenge of 2010.
The Lug_Nut RV Trivia Challenge No. 9 series will test your skills on a variety of RV related topics. As usual whenever a broad base of topics are presented, it becomes difficult to know the answers for all the questions. Please remember, this is trivia, requiring some guess work on occasion. Get a pen and paper so that you can record your answers. Upon completion, you can check your answers with those shown at the bottom. Good luck.
So, Let’s go!
RVs are wonderful inventions that help us travel in comfort and style. But would you ever think of using one as a “paintbrush”? Artist Jim Denevan did just that when he created the following amazing work in the Nevada desert — using just his RV equipped with GPS!
Stretching 9 miles in total, the entire work is reportedly the largest work of art in history. See more of Jim’s work on his website.
The Lug_Nut RV Trivia Challenge 4 is focused on destination attractions. Many you have probably heard of, but do you know where they are located? Well, we are about to find out. Get a pencil and paper so that you can record your answers as you go through it. You will then be able to check your answers against those displayed at the very bottom. Be sure to share your score and any other comments you may have in the comments section following the answers.
So, give it a go! Happy Travelling.
1) If you wanted to RV to an area, in North America, where you might be able to see crocodiles in the wild, where would you go?
- A) South California
- B) South Florida
- C) There are no crocodiles in North America
2) If you were at Dollywood, what town would you be in?
- A) Los Angeles, California
- B) Las Vegas, Nevada
- C) Branson, Missouri
- D) Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
3) If you were at the “Four Corners”, which states would you have to be in?
- A) Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico or Utah
- B) Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico or Colorado
- C) Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama
- D) California, Nevada or Arizona
4) Travelling and camping in the Cabot Trail requires you to get to what Province in Canada?
- A) Ontario
- B) Quebec
- C) British Columbia
- D) Nova Scotia
- E) New Brunswick
5) No vehicle over 21 feet long is allowed on this scenic mountain road called Going-To-The-Sun Road. This is a toad road for many of us. Where is this famous road?
- A) Whistler, British Columbia
- B) Glacier National Park, Montana
- C) Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
- D) Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
6) This is supposedly the best place in the U.S. to see “The Green Flash” during sunset. If you were there, you would be at Mallory Square. What city would you be in?
- A) Malibu Beach, California
- B) St. Pete’s Beach, Florida
- C) Key West, Florida
- D) San Francisco, California
7) If you were visiting the House of Green Gables, that Lucy Maud Montgomery had written about, where would you be?
- A) Cavendish, P.E.I Canada
- B) Branson, Missouri
- C) Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
- D) Kingston, Ontario Canada
8) The photo (Shown on the left) has attracted campers and RV’ers to the area for decades. There are many fine campgrounds at, and throughout this area. What is the name of this attraction and its location?
- A) Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Arizona
- B) Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone Park, Wyoming
- C) Mount Rushmore, New Mexico
- D) Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
9) One of the largest exhibition, festival and rodeos in Canada, termed the “Stampede” is held once a year in what City?
- A) Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- B) Calgary, Alberta Canada
- C) Edmonton, Alberta
- D) Victoria, British Columbia
•10) For our RV travelers that just love to shop. Where would you have to travel to visit the largest indoor shopping mall in North America?
- A) Mall of America, Bloomington Minnesota
- B) South Coast Plaza, Mesa California
- C) The West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton Alberta, Canada
- D) The Galleria, Houston Texas
Answers – Below
1- (B) Though doubtful you would ever see one due to their shy nature, the American crocodile can be found in southern Florida.
2- (D) Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
3- (A) The four corners are made up of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah
4-(D) The famous Cabot Trail is located in the northeastern end of Nova Scotia
5-(B) Going-To -The-Sun Road is a top rated 32 mile scenic drive located in Glacier Park, in Montana
6-(C) Mallory Square, the reported to be the best place to see the “Green Flash” in the U.S and is located in the harbor waterfront area of Key West, Florida
7-(A) Cavendish, Prince Edward Island in Canada is the correct answer.
8-(D) Mount Rushmore is located in South Dakota. The area offers many fine campgrounds, hotels and related services.
9-(B) Each year, usually in early July, Calgary hosts the Calgary Stampede.
10-(C) The West Edmonton Mall is by far the largest mall in North America, out pacing the America Mall’s 522 stores by nearly 300. With over 800 stores it also boasts of 3.8 million square feet, over a million more than any other. It is a great destination and offers far more than just shopping.
So, how did you do? Let’s see your score. Enter your score and comments in the comments section below
With The Quizzing Questions - Lug_Nut - Peter Mercer
Motorcycles. Some people love them and some people hate them. If you’re one of those who enjoys the thrill of travel on two wheels and the wind in your hair, you know a special kind of joy and freedom those who confine themselves to four wheels (or more) will never experience. If you fall into the category of people who just don’t “get” the love of motorcycles… as the saying goes, if I have to explain it to you, you wouldn’t understand anyway.
THIS JUST IN. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, there is a growing body of evidence of a possible start of the Swine Flu in California, not Mexico.
To that end, I am calling on Congress to order the immediate closing of the border with California. Additionally I demand that the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon mobilize their respective National Guard Units to secure not only their borders with the Ground Zero Swine Flu state but the stockpiles of TamiFlu as well while their respective health departments of each state should use all means necessary to distribute face masks to its 12,890,407 citizens.
Here’s a great route from the folks at Woodall’s to help you plan an entertaining excursion in southern Nevada on one tank of fuel. Our trip starts in Laughlin, a city that has retained the laid-back atmosphere that Vegas used to have back in the Bugsy Siegel days. For example, you can still get a steak-and-eggs breakfast for less than five bucks in several Laughlin casinos. Try finding that on the Vegas Strip! (If by chance you visit Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, Arizona, this is an easy side trip: Laughlin is only 2 hours and 45 minutes from Flagstaff.)
When we think of Laughlin, naturally our first impulse runs toward gambling. But there’s so much more to see and do in and around this city than tempt Lady Luck to clean us out. For example, January routinely sees the Desert Challenge, where desert race cars and trucks compete in a desert road race that runs from sunrise to sunset. Spring in Laughlin is the time to catch the bone-jarring Stampede Rodeo, and there are always river cruises and off-road experiences to be had year-round. Boats and houseboats can be rented to further enjoy the river experience. Directly across the Colorado River is Bullhead City, Arizona, which offers miles of hiking trails and thousands of acres of public land.
We get back on the road to Primm, near Nevada’s state line. This leg of our trip runs about eighty miles, starting on the NV-163 W. Head north on the US-95, then merge with the westbound Hwy N-164 (Joshua Tree Highway), which briefly brings us through California before we merge with the I-15 N that takes us straight into Primm. Primm has two challenging Tom Fazio-designed golf courses, several thrill rides, and the opportunity to check out Bonnie and Clyde’s last-owned vehicle – which has more than a few bullet holes in it. The Star of the Desert Arena here plays host to famous entertainers and special events such as concerts, rodeos, and boxing matches.
Forty minutes away is the final stop on our trip: Vegas. It’s a straight shot up the I-15 N, and once we get there it’s not a question of “what will we do,” but a question of “how can we do it all?” It’ll be tough, but let’s give it our best shot.
The Strip is the likely choice, with all-star entertainment, round-the-clock food and gambling, and no shortage of Elvis impersonators or wedding chapels (some places have even been known to combine the two!). The Liberace Museum is a fitting tribute to this talented pianist and one-of-a-kind entertainer. In addition to his wildly flamboyant costumes, several rare pianos are on display, including a rhinestone-encrusted Baldwin grand, and Liberace’s personal favorite, a concert grand completely covered in mirror squares. Definitely eye-catching!
Let’s get away from those smoky casinos for a while and enjoy the fresh desert air. The area around Vegas is a perfect place to go horseback riding, or hire an Old West-style horse-drawn wagon and experience desert travel like the pioneers did. Or, if you’re the adventurous type, there are race tracks where you can drive NASCAR-type cars at ridiculous speeds under perfectly safe, controlled conditions. If 200+ mph speeds aren’t enough to get your blood pumping, there’s always skydiving or bungee jumping!
Lake Mead is too close by not to visit, and is an excellent place to go boating or jet skiing. Hoover Dam, an incredible display of engineering, offers daily tours, and gives us a breathtaking panoramic view of the area. It’s a favorite return spot for travelers from all over the world.
Red Rock Canyon is a choice spot for the biking and hiking enthusiast, or even the naturalist who wants to see various forms of plant and animal life in a protected setting. For those who prefer to see the desert from the air-conditioned comfort of their vehicle, Red Rock Canyon provides a scenic drive that’s open from 6 a.m. to dusk, so there’s no excuse not to see this picturesque panorama of natural beauty!
Where to Stay: The Nevada Treasure RV Resort & Spa (formerly the Seibt Desert Retreat-KOA) has all the first-rate amenities you could want in a more relaxed setting 60 miles northwest of Las Vegas in Pahrump. The resort features a two-level pool, waterfalls and Jacuzzis for unwinding after a long day of sight-seeing. Get your blood pumping in the fitness room, or soothe your aching muscles at the Health Spa (complete with steam room and massage). If games of skill are more your style, try the 9-hole golf course or bowling center. When your stomach starts to growl there’s no need to search for a restaurant; the resort has it’s own full bar and grill, and there’s also a bar and restaurant in the bowling center to satisfy your hunger.
The resort hosts 220 RV sites with full hookups (30/50 amp service) and free WIFI Internet. The resort offers picnic tables, patios and grills for your convenience. Laundry facilities and RV storage are available, as are RV supplies and LP gas by meter. Pets and big rigs are welcome, and 24-hour security is provided for your peace of mind. For more detailed information, contact the Nevada Treasure RV Resort office at 800-429-6665, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Area Sponsors in Nevada:
AVI Resort & Casino
Hitchin’ Post RV Park
Lake Mead RV Village
Las Vegas RV Resort
Monaco Las Vegas – Sales & Service
Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort
Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino
Sam’s Town Hotel & Gaming Hall
Sam’s Town Nellis RV Park
Sam’s Town RV Park
Signature Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort
Terrible’s Lakeside Casino & RV Resort
Laughlin, Nevada is named after Don Laughlin who came to the area when he bought an eight-room river front motel in the 1950’s. Since then the town has grown from a small eight-room motel to an RVers paradise. The city has everything an RVer could ask for including golf, casinos, great weather, restaurants and entertainment. Read more
A few weeks ago I posted a report on the Reno/Tahoe area and I left out Carson City because we hadn’t finished exploring there. Now I can tell you about the capital of Nevada, and it’s a great little city to visit. Read more