Friday, May 3, 2013

Grand Canyon...Goodbye to Arizona...Vegas (again!)

Happy May!  How can it possibly be May already?!  Over 8 weeks ago we joined good friends, Barb & Joe, to travel together from Pahrump to Vegas to Cottonwood, AZ.  How quickly the time flew by and they are now on their way to Iowa and Texas to visit family and friends while we are back in Vegas (that's a story so keep reading and you'll hear why).

We fully enjoyed our 5 weeks in Arizona and have determined so far this is one of our favorite RV spots due to all of the great hiking, scenery, things to do and where many of our friends meet this time of year!

We enjoyed some time with Michael & Meghan and my dear nephews, Taite and Jax.  We visited them  in Phoenix and Michael & Taite came to stay with us in the RV for a weekend.
Drummers Taite and Jax

Jax is picking up that bike riding!

I think Taite is more of a pro than Uncle Tom!

Hiking!  Tons of hiking!

Humphrey's Peak in the background - highest point in AZ which we summited last year

Crown King - We took a drive with Barb & Joe to this great little town in the middle of nowhere. It takes a 25 mile drive on a dirt road to get there.  The friendly locals, homemade ice cream and homemade fudge sure made the trip worth it.  A stop in the local saloon didn't hurt either for a little drink before heading back to Cottonwood.

This General Store has it all...including homemade ice cream and homemade fudge!
Downtown Crown King!
notice the "vehicles" parked in front.  The popular form of transportation in this town/area!

We enjoyed lots of time with friends.  It's great to see each other for several weeks, part our ways and figure out where down the road we'll meet again.  Although, very difficult to say goodbye!
Joe & Barb - Joe just turned 65...this is what need to dress like your wife!  :-)  It was actually a joke they played on us.  Thanks for the laughs!
Sandra Lee Smith (writer and good friend) with Taite and her books

Joe's b-day party - Tom, Michael, Becky, Joe, Barb, Mark, Laurie, Ed, Taite, Becky and Richard

can't beat a DQ Blizzard Cake!

Ed, Mark and Laurie (Sandy's in Phoenix and missed the fun...and yummy DQ ice cream cake!)

Richard & Becky

quick dinner to catch up with Jack & Sue and Don and Jean before we left Arizona-great seeing you!
GRAND CANYON - we did it!  We were first on the waiting list and got picked to stay at Phantom Ranch in the dorms.  We were also fortunate enough to purchase dinner in advance so we didn't need to take any extra food or cooking items (stove, propane, etc.).  This was Tom's first time at the Canyon so it was great to see his reaction to the first view and the continuing views on the entire hike.  We took the South Kaibab Trail down to Phantom Ranch - 7.5 miles in 4 hours (lots of stops for picture taking!).  We hiked out on the Bright Angel Trail - 10 miles in 5 hours.  We left at 5:20am to make sure we beat the intense heat of the day.

Phantom Ranch is tucked away in the trees below

Home sweet home - Dorm 15 for the girls and Dorm 12 for the boys

Great dinner!

Chocolate Cake!  I indulged for Joe Clark!

Sandy & Ed's house - We had a fun trip to Phoenix for the day with Sandy and got to see where she and Ed lived as well as met Sandy's brother, Hal.  It's always nice to see a glimpse of the life our friends lived before RV'ing (hard to imagine life before RV'ing!).
Sandy and her brother, Hal, in the back yard which Hal is now taking great care of!

this is where the Simba (their RV) lives when Sandy, Ed and Cody are home in Phoenix for short spurts

I got to sit in the King's Chair - thanks, Ed!

Yes, that's Sandy and Ed back in the day.  Cute as they are today!
So that brings us to Vegas and why we're here again.  Ugghh!  3 days before we were scheduled to leave for Death Valley one of our a/c units in the RV died (we have 1 that is still working so there is a little relief).  We had a good experience with the RV Doctor in Vegas and since it was on our way we decided to stop here to have them look at our problem.  It turns out we need a new unit and that will not arrive until mid-late next week.  Unfortunately, that leaves us stuck in Vegas but thankfully that did not leave us stuck in Death Valley with 100+ temps and only one a/c unit!  We will make the most of it and plan some hikes at elevation to get us ready for Mt. Hood in a few weeks.  To warm up (really warm!) we took a "hike" on the strip - 6.5 miles.

We also found a great area not far from our campground which feels like Colorado hiking!  The Spring Mountains are just west of Vegas and have lots of high peaks for us to explore.  We've only hit one so far, Mummy Mtn., but plan to go back and try a few more to keep us in training for Mt. Hood.  On Mummy we made it to approx. 10,000ft.

Tom just loves those dead trees and there were plenty of them on this hike!

90's in Vegas...snow on the mountain!

We'll be in Vegas until the RV is fixed and then plan to head to Zion National Park for a few days before heading north to Welches, Oregon and Mount Hood!

Til next time...Happy Trails!

1 comment:

  1. Great meeting you both at REI, hope that Osprey pack is what you're looking for.
    Perused your Mt Charleston pics,looks like you found the Raintree (a 3000 year old Brislecone Pine).
    Keep on keepin' on.
    Steve Funk