Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another layin' low kind of week

Remember a couple weeks ago I was whining (what ME?) about being tired of brown and I wanted to see some green?  Well this has been our view all week - I got my green!!!  It really is beautiful.  This town (city?) is a gorgeous, if only the personalities matched, but they don't so I'll just let it all be.  I will say one thing for this town tho, they have some very nice parks, both sports parks and strolling, relaxing parks and many many walking and bike paths.  We are about 4 miles from the "center" of the town and there is a terrific bike/walking path all along the main road here.  I have walked parts of it (my attempt at some exercise) and I'd try biking a bit of it but it is all hills so that wouldn't work well for me.  You know the bicycle that we've carried all around the country for months and thousands of miles?  The same one I've ridden twice since we've been on the road!  Yeah that one!
Isn't Sir Arlo posing nicely for Rick here!  Last night they were out walking around midnight and Arlo scared the heck out of himself with his shadow!  He may be 75 pounds but is afraid of lots of scary things - yup like shadows.  So 20 minutes after that walk he just had to go back out and find that scary dog again!  Too much this guy.

We've been hanging out and laying low this week - not sure why tho.  We were going to head to Zion National Park today but Rick found out there is a gun auction at the lodge so Zion may wait until tomorrow.  At any rate I am leaving for the local farmers market in a few minutes - that's my big plan for the day.  We are out of here on Monday  :-)   We always seem to just know when it's time to leave a place and usually we agree - We both agreed on Wednesday (the day after we got here) that it was time to leave, but we had paid for six nights here.  Lesson learned .... only pay for a night or two till you get the "feel" of a place ~ but it's all "okay" in the big picture ya know, and it's all part of this journey.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Appropriately named do you think?

As noted, we left Pahrump yesterday with our changed plans.  Here we are in St. George, UT (beautiful St. George).  It's a rather "odd" area though - in regards to finding a place to have a cocktail and a warm  and sniggly reception.  I guess I'm stunned ~ and probably shouldn't be if I thought about it ~ that the Mormon values are  fairly strongly imposed on others.  Is that odd or have I been missing it for years with any religious group?  Does any of what I am saying make sense to anyone other than me?

Anyway, enough of that!  As I mentioned in my brief post last night we went through the Red Rock Canyon on our way here - talk about spectacular.  I think yesterday's travel was the most impressive we have had since we've been on this journey.  Here are two pictures of the "hillsides " .

After the Red Rock Canyon we went through (on route 15) Vegas and continued across the very northwest corner of Arizona for 30 miles into Utah.  In that tiny bit of Arizona we rode alongside the Virgin River Canyon.  Remember my post of the Grand Canyon?  There was a picture in that post of the Virgin River flowing into the top of Lake Mead.  Well the Virgin River Canyon was far more impressive than the river going into the Lake.  

I took some videos (my first real attempt) of the rock cliffs on both sides of the road as we were traveling through - Mario Andretti at the wheel!  It was a weird sensation to be looking through a camera at these things coming at me at 65-70 mpg.......weird, really weird.  I won't even be attempting to post the videos however.  At one point during the recording I decided I should turn the camera ~ DAH what was I thinking?  So of course to watch them I have to turn the laptop - good thing I wasn't trying to watch them on a pc huh!

When we finally arrive at the Lodge in St. George this is what we were greeted by!!!  Rick is certain that it was put there as target practice for him!  Pretty good huh!

Today I think I'm going to the local Chamber of Commerce to see what they recommend we do in the area - other than visit one of the temples here.  Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon are in the area so I think that's probably a must.  Also, there is "Snow Canyon" here but the name sends a bad, very bad feeling to Rick so we probably won't be touring Snow Canyon!  Just the thought of it sends chills down his spine!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pinch me please

So we left Pahrump today, and as I mentioned yesterday, we changed our plans (surprise surprise) and arrived in Saint George, Utah an hour or so ago (in case anyone was wondering, I will not be looking up Mitt's relatives).  This was the longest travel day (well distance - I guess not time wise tho after our adventures last week ) we've had in a very very long time - like since we were pushing to get to San Diego for SSgt Joshua's return.

Look at this picture - I truly wonder how in the world I ever got so lucky?  All the subject matter here makes me wonder....... 

This was such a beautiful ride today ... be forewarned, I will post more pics later ... but, as I told my dear daddy some years ago when we were in South Dakota for Sturgis rally week, I knew why the badlands were called the badlands, I now know that Red Rock Canyon is appropriately named.  

Monday, May 26, 2008

We weren't going to but we did!

Go to Death Valley that is.... for some reason we hadn't planned on going there but many many people thought we should.  So uncharacteristically for us we did what many people said we should do!  We're glad we did but for some reason we are both exhausted from our trip, keep in mind it was 150 (ish) miles round trip!  I thought it was going to be like the Badlands in our new home state but I liked Death Valley better - more color etc.

Anyway, the picture above is from Zabriskie Point, a look out about 5 or so miles into the park from Death Valley Junction, CA.  The area we saw of the park was probably the southern 1/3 of the park and the eastern most area.  The park itself covers approximately 3.4 million acres isn't that huge!  I will try not to get onto my national treasures rant but there were no manned welcome centers, no manned stops along the way and we saw not one park ranger!  Foolishly, we left our National Parks books at home and had done little homework prior to our trip over there, partly because we assumed there would be at least a couple welcome centers with at least maps of the park.  NOT!  So we sort of had to wing it from what little memory we had of conversations with people about the park.
Above (I believe) is another view from Zabriskie Point
Above and below are pictures of what were, for me, the highlights of the day.  Above is Badwater Basin which lies 282 feet below sea level.  There were awesome salt flats there too.  Below, although it looks like a bowl of ice cream (maybe?), is a shot taken along the "Artist's Drive" of the park - a 6 1/2 mile loop, that has incredibly beautifully colored rocks.
Below is just a picture of different colors on the rocks/mountains that impressed the heck out of me!  I've put a new album (strangely enough entitled Death Valley) on our picasa site for your viewing pleasure!  I have to add captions to them, which likely won't be done tonight but the pictures are there.  One I put there that I think is pretty cool is a picture from Badwater Basin looking up to a sign indicating where sea level is!  Kind of a neat shot I think.
We are probably leaving Pahrump tomorrow but we are changing our plans and scrapping the northern CA, Oregon and Washington state leg of the travel for now.  We are thinking we are heading to Utah and South Dakota from there - who knows via what states at this point, and even if we did know we'd change our mind anyway!  

Sunday, May 25, 2008

This is what I'm talking about (well writing about)

So, if you've read the side bar entitled "This is our story ...." you are aware that a couple times I mentioned the people, the people and again the people we've had the honor to meet along the way ... THIS is a case in point!  The gentleman above is Matthew (and his delightful wife Betty Ann).  Matthew is 90 years old, a WWII vet, Matthew was there for the invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of Paris,  he is a former POW held in Germany  ~ Matthew received some of the medals due him a year ago (thanks to the supreme efforts of his wife Betty Ann) ~ he still has not been awarded (although earned) the Purple Heart!  The stories this man had were just unbelievable ~ how I wish I had a voice recorder while he, Betty Ann and I chatted .... Matthew is as "sharp as a tack" and an absolute delight.  He grew up in New York City, joined the military at the age of 19 (trained at Ft. Ethan Allen among others) was a pro boxer, an artist, a Teamster (who had to crank his truck to start it) ~ he is indeed the epitomy of what I mean when I reference the people we have met and the stories they have to tell ~ He is an absolute treasure and it was an honor to have met him and Betty Ann and  heard only a small portion of the stories they have to tell.
Above, of course, is a shot of the mountains looking east in Pahrump (why oh why do I have this "thing" for mountains?  Must be the Vermonter in me?) as the sun was casting some pretty awesome shadows on them.  I hope "you all" (nope that's not Vermonter speak is it!) realize that you can click on the pictures to enlarge them - some of them are worthy of enlargement (I think).

So at this point it's high ho and off to bed I go ~ I will be at the Memorial Day ceremony at 9:00 tomorrow morning - if for no other reason (and there are many other reasons) to honor Matthew.  And be thankful, oh so thankful, for those we love in the military who we, thankfully,  get to honor in person.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Oh no, another weather post!

How about that snow on them thar mountains!  We (in the valley) had rain!! yesterday afternoon.  When I took Sir Arlo to the "playground" (such as it is!) I happened to notice that the surrounding mountains, which were brown as brown could possibly be, only the day before got snow rather than rain!  I think that is  Mt. Charleston (or Charleston Peak or Griffith Peak) all of which hover around 11,000 - 11,915 feet so I guess that might explain snow there - do you think?  At any rate it seems there is a "cold front" hanging around here for a few days ~ hear a loud yippie echoing through those mountains ~ it's me!!  It will be in the mid 70-mid 80's for the next few days.  We are headed north by a couple hundred miles on Tuesday so hopefully we won't see another 107 degree day for a loooong while.  Yes, I remember it is a dry heat but still 107 is 107 is 107 and 107 is HOT!

We seem to have been laying low for a couple days - maybe the tire experiences wore us out?  Or perhaps it was the brothel tour!  Yesterday was laundry and seriously cleaning inside and maintenance on the coach day.  We did venture out to a local (they are everywhere so the reference to local was sort of a funny!) casino last night.  Unfortunately I can see how people can get in trouble - it is addictive.  Glad I only play 25 cent games - and last night I was on 5 cent games!!  Most of these places in Pahrump also have penny slots.  We have been to the Elks Lodge a couple times since we've been here.  They are a friendly, welcoming group but the Lodge is only open a few hours a day.  Surprisingly they seem to have nothing planned for Memorial Day.  I wish we were back at the Boulder City Lodge - today is the put the flags at the cemetery day .. which I would loved to assisted with.  I suppose I could travel 90 miles over there but I suspect I won't.  So who knows what is on the agenda for today but I am certain we will find something.  Hopefully the camera will be with us ... I seem to have forgotten it the last couple times we've been out and have missed some really terrific mountain pictures - or is everyone tired of mountain pictures?  Late afternoon seems to create some beautiful Kodak moments of those mountains.  With that said I will go put the camera in my purse now.

Hope everyone enjoys their long weekend and weather cooperates with you for whatever your plans may be.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is not this one of the most beautiful sites!!  There are two more just like these on the other side!

We "moved" over to Pahrump yesterday to get our new tires.  Do you think we needed any after the previous two days adventures!  

After the tires we completed we did some touring of the area ... the usual stuff ~ find the local Elks Lodge, find a decent restaurant and find some entertainment..  

However, the entertainment in Pahrump is a little different than we are used to.   

So in we go for a cocktail and a tour.  Seriously, a tour of a brothel ~ who would have thought!  Our tour guide was named Kasey and Kasey is from Michigan and spends a week here then flies back to Michigan for a couple weeks then returns to Pahrump.  Our tour  was quite interesting and very enlightening .... one of those things where you scratch your head but are glad you did it!  This brothel (Sheri's Ranch) is right next door to the "famous" Chicken Ranch.  Both have websites but I guess I won't put a link here for them - I really don't know why I'm not going to but you can google either establishment for the links.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's like Deja Vu all over again!

What a great way to start the day .... a big cow and Rickie's big unit!!  So we get off to an early (for us) start ~ 9:00 and get about 25 miles down the road ......... it can't happen two days in a row right?  WRONG
so over to the side we go - I call 911 while Rick calls the road service company and we wait, and we wait and we wait (are you getting the picture with this yet?) and we get the car out of the trailer and I go to the closest town - 15 miles away - to see if we can buy a tire and have them put it on the rim from yesterday's blow out ....... well they have a tire for $100 (well that's alright until I double check that it's a goodyear or michelin - NOT)  So I go back to my honeys and we wait and we wait and we wait and   3 1/2 hours later........Rick can take the road hazard triangle (thanks Chester) off the road and put it back in the tool box
Well the instrument of torture the man in the picture below has is what I would like to be able to take to that tire at this point!!!  But HE got to have all the fun....
and 25 minutes later we are good to go!!  Back to the campground (such as it was) that we were at last night (and trust me this was not a great "campground" by any stretch) but right now it looks pretty darned good ...
The man who saved the day today is named Dale.  Dale will have four brand new Goodyears for us tomorrow ready to be mounted and put on the trailer!  Aren't we lucky to have Dale 50 miles away!  Oh and by the way, it was only 101.8 when I posted this today.

Monday, May 19, 2008


It isn't often ~ we all hope ~ that I'll do two posts within a few hours, but really, I couldn't make this subject matter up if I tried!

It's only mid-May (and the pool here doesn't open until Memorial Day - HUH?!?!) how do people here deal with this in July or August when it's 120+ degrees out?

Hopefully they have someone who loves them enough to brave the inferno to go out and pick them a desert flower to put a smile on their face (it worked!!)  :-)

It was bound to happen!

So we left Boulder City today - I just checked the current temperature there and it is 105.  We finally arrived in Amargosa Valley, NV an hour or so ago where it is around 100 degrees.  Why am I always bitching about weather?  I HATE THE HEAT ... I want to see some green instead of brown!

Anyway, about 25 miles into our journey people started passing us beeping and beeping - eventually it dawned on us that all these people couldn't possibly be just friendly people waving hello!  A car pulls up next to my side and the man tells me we just blew a tire (well Rick of course had a comment or two about that statement but that's a story for a different time).  So we call highway patrol to let them know we are broken down on a major highway with cars passing us at 70 mph.  Then Rick calls the road service people and gets put on hold, hold and more hold.  In the meantime - while he is still holding!  (read 15 minutes) NV DOT pulls up behind us............

So we get the spare tire out of the trailer (along with the car so we have access to the tire) - aren't we so smart to have a spare trailer tire!!!  Rick can be such a planner - must be the Boy Scout always be prepared training!

The air in the spare is checked.......

So about 30 minutes after the whole event started........... this is how it ended!

THANK YOU EDWIN MEDEANO - You sure saved our day.  I don't know how you do your job in this heat, with cars and trucks go flying by you and you can't even take a token of our appreciation other than a cold soda and a bottle of water!!  You were our angel today.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

But it's a dry heat!

The top number is outside temperature, the bottom is inside temp (Bless your heart Dick Albritton!)

But, as they say, "it's a dry heat"!  It really does make a difference but it is still damned hot!  What to do with a dog that really does have to go out a few times during the day?  We've tried to teach him to walk on the white lines in the parking lot if it is over 85 degrees but he just doesn't get the concept!  We've tried to teach him to use the toilet but he doesn't get that concept either.  

Rick wants to go wash his bike before we load/secure it (mine never came out of the trailer this stop but it could use a wash too - NOT going to happen here tho!) but it is too hot to even go in the trailer to roll the bike out - although I did go open the trailer side door an hour ago hoping to cool it off a degree or two (hey I never put a thermometer in there so I wonder how hot it really is in the trailer?????? hmmmmm).  We are leaving tomorrow - well that is the plan right now! - to head north, to head west, to head north!  Stay tuned ;-)))

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A couple visits to the Lake - oh the beautiful Lake Mead

So far our plan to rent a boat hasn't worked real well.  We tried yesterday (Friday) afternoon to no avail.  Seems you have to be at the rental office at 7:00 AM particularly weekends or Fridays! - well we aren't real good at being anywhere at 7:00 AM these days!  So we are rethinking that plan - do we extend our stay here again .... so we can play ON the lake?  We shall see .  Above is a picture of the marina we thought we'd rent the boat at.

Anyway, we have spent some time over the last couple days there so Sir Arlo can have some water play time.  Aren't the colors of the lake and the mountains gorgeous in the picture below?  The red of the rocks and the blue of the water ..... WOWIE CAZOWIE (as we taught Connor, along with Holy Macaroni and Holy Mackeral) 
Below is a video (I hope!!) of Arlo playing - well he started playing and chasing the ball (we call the ball Wilson and yes Wilson needs to be replaced).  There was some sort of fly that had been harassing Arlo on the shore area and apparently followed him out to retrieve Wilson, well very early into this video Arlo became far more interested in the BUG than in Wilson.  It is pretty funny to watch - I just am not sure that it uploaded as a video (I am still learning this blog thing after all!)
After the beach we went by the park just up the road.  We had been here a few times in hopes of seeing the mountain sheep that come down from the mountains.  Well we finally saw them.  I thought there would be a couple - I had no idea there would be a couple dozen!  They were really neat to watch... very docile (in spite of the warning) they seemed to care much more about the grass than about the people in the area.  And as we learned during the helicopter tour this is their mating season so it would have seemed they'd have been somewhat agressive - we sure didn't see that.
They were pretty interesting to watch.  Arlo watched from the car and seemed to show some interest in them but he didn't want to get out and investigate - rather that wasn't an option that was offered him!!
I did get a nice picture of them with the lake behind but as I've said before I can only upload five pictures per blog post.... maybe I'll put a couple on the picasa site under a May, 2008 album.  We'll see!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Grand Canyon High (sort of like a Rocky Mountain High but different)

So we finally did our Grand Canyon helicopter tour - and what a Grand tour it was.  I took 233 pictures - Rick always tells me I'm wasting film!!  Thank goodness for digital cameras!  I can only seem to post five pictures to each blog post (probably some people are breathing a sigh of relief over that one), so of course I will upload a new album on the picasa site of our tour.  Anyway, here we are getting ready to go .... go .... go...
Above is the Hoover Dam pretty amazing project.  Note on either side of the dam is the new bridge (Hoover Dam Bypass) that was started three (or so) years ago - the thought of going over that thing scares me more than driving over the dam!  Check out that link to the bypass - there are web cams of the project - Chester you will love it!
Above is Lake Mead and the Virgin River flowing into it.  I think this picture is a good view of the water level that I had mentioned in an earlier post - as you can see from the white on the mountains surrounding the lake the water is very low - still beautiful but low low low.
And here we are over the West Rim of the Canyon.  At this point we were above 5000 feet.  It was about 7:00 in the evening and the sun was starting to go down so I got some great sunset pictures on the return to the airport - which, you guessed it will be on the picasa site.
We had a great tour and I am so glad we did it.  Words really can't describe it.  The helicopter pilot was great with historical facts and stories along the way.  At one point we flew over the 
Sky Walk that the Hualapai Indians built.  It sure looked tiny and unimpressive from where we were!  I had wanted to go there but found out that I couldn't take my camera on it so decided not to go.  

For our next adventure..................... we are talking about renting a boat and touring Lake Mead by ourselves ....  Arlo needs to go swimming in Lake Mead, not play at the mucky beach at the boat launch he went to.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Still laying low!  I spent most of yesterday reading - my elbow is not a whole lot better so I am still not riding, which is frustrating because it is so beautiful here with lots of great rides to be had.  We did, however, drive over to the airport yesterday and get info on the Grand Canyon helicopter tour - which we booked for tomorrow.  I also uploaded about 90 new pictures of our travel (mostly east coast just after we left) to the picasa site.  Today I may upload a Connor album - we shall see! 

But the news flash is ....... it rained here last night.  TWICE !  For a total of probably 1/16 of an inch.  I was sitting in "my chair" reading and Rick was in the Lodge socialising when I thought I smelled rain and low and behold - I did!  Then it was windy all night (great sleeping weather for sure) and cool (56 degrees) when I got up at 6:00.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Still in lovely Boulder City!

We are having such a nice time here in Boulder City.  The other day Rick went into Vegas (I am still laying low as far as  riding).  

Yesterday morning I did a few hours volunteering in the Lodge (setting up for their Mothers Day breakfast)  So fun, so many good people working together.  We had been invited to a party held by a couple we had met at the Lodge - so we spent a few hours at their party enjoying ourselves and chillaxing.  This is by far the most active lodge we have been to so far.  Something is always going on here.  I believe their membership is in the area of 750.   

Looks like we'll be here for a few more days anyway - another week would be alright by me but we shall see.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An adventure to Nelson, NV

Below was our view of Nelson Landing  from the parking area - it was about a 1/2 mile walk down to the water and it was 90 ish degrees and we had been warned several miles back that this is "snake season" and the green ones are very aggressive?!?  Being that I am not a big fan of snakes of any color, we opted to do our viewing from a gravel parking area
This is a view of Lake Mohave from the end of the road we were on.  We did see five other vehicles on our way out here but other than that this area is deserted - paved road but certainly not well traveled.  The link above is a brief description of the town of Nelson which is the only town on the way out here - after you leave route 95 - a total of 20 or so miles .. more beautiful open space for sure - we have seen so much of it and I am quite certain there is lots more to be seen
Also, in a previous mail I had mentioned the dust storms we encountered on the way to Boulder City - this is the same area we saw them last week and there were more today.  Thankfully, Rick was better at taking pictures of them than I was last week ... 
So today was a good adventure.

Laying low

We've been very quiet the last couple days - just hanging out I guess!  Monday we did a few errands - a trip to Camping World to do a return and of course shop a little.  We rode back around one side of the Lake - which by the way is down 100 feet NOT 30 or 40 I thought in an earlier post.  Guess I'm not a good judge of measurement other than yards of fabric and not even sure that's the case anymore.  Yesterday morning was a visit to a local doctor - "tennis elbow" diagnosis... how does that happen when I've never played tennis in my life?  

We are talking about booking a Grand Canyon by helicopter tour from here - again the what do we do with Sir Arlo issue prevails and that seems like a decent solution.  Maybe we will do that tomorrow.  There is a gentleman here at the Lodge RV park that is a retired cross country truck driver who also lived in Boulder City for many years.  He has been a wealth of information of the area and off the beaten path things to do.  Like the old plane grave yard down the road a bit which intrigues Rick.  Also, this Lodge was the original TWA terminal at the old Boulder City Airport so there is lots and lots of air travel history here which Rick loves.  There is the original hangar in a huge dirt area out back where we walk Arlo, as well as the tie down areas for the planes.  On top of all that this Lodge is one of the friendliest we've been to.. seems everyone wants to welcome us.  Plus our volunteer efforts get us mingling with the members also.  All around a great place!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Our national treasures

Arlo and I just got back from a "time" at Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam - The last time I was here (3 years ago), I guess I was too shell shocked from the sky diving adventure to be fully aware of how beautiful Lake Mead is.  I wish I had a clearer recollection of it because as Arlo was swimming after his toys and I stood ankle deep in muck, surrounded by broken beer bottles, spent pampers and beer cans, I couldn't help wondering - why are we letting our National treasures get to this condition while we spend billions of dollars fighting wars?  Am I the only one that thinks there might, maybe, be something inherently wrong with this picture?  (Pictures - no I forgot the camera but we will be back) ..... I don't want to get off on a political rant but it is hard not to after what we just experienced!

The water level in the lake was noticeably low - like 30 or 40 feet low - boat launch areas are closed because of low water levels.  I am not sure what the reason is for the low levels - I will have to do some research on it.  I was glad I used our National Parks Annual Pass (that we had just purchased a few weeks ago at Joshua Tree National Park) which gets us into National Parks, BLM lands and several others, without paying the standard entrance fee - a bargain no matter how I look at it.

After we left the lake we went over the Hoover Dam - Rick had asked me earlier today if I thought I could ride my bike over the Dam and I felt certain I could - WRONG - I seriously thought about turning the car around and not driving it over but insanity prevailed and off to the Arizona side Sir Arlo and I went.  I don't think there will be future pictures of that adventure however - I don't think I'll be doing it again!  I had also wanted to do a Hoover Dam tour while we are here - ummmmmm that may not be happening either.

Stay tuned for pictures of the Lake....... maybe tomorrow, maybe the next is beautiful, neglected and a sad commentary about our country's priorities, but none the less beautiful and a treasure to behold.  I am so fortunate to have been there again.

Friday, May 2, 2008

It's hi ho and off to Boulder City we go

So here I go with more mountain pictures - I just can't help myself!  We traveled a whole 81 miles today to arrive in Boulder City ("The Town that Built Hoover Dam") an interesting history here.  A personal history note - this is where, three years ago, for some foolish reason I felt I had to jump out of a perfectly good airplane -NO I will never do it again.. BUT I did it!  Our travel today involved very strong cross winds that really whipped us around.  Also, in the distance were some snow topped mountains - my photographic abilities today were very limited - don't know why but the many pictures I took of them just didn't work out.  Also, we passed areas where there were these mini tornadoes or funnels in dirt fields - we've passed them before and I though for sure of all those we passed today at least one of the pictures I took would work - NOT - so you just have to trust me on this one.

We arrived at the Elks Lodge where I imagine I will do some volunteer efforts at the Friday night dinner in a while - I just really enjoy volunteering at the Lodges we stop at for a few days - it is another opportunity to meet people and hear their tales.  There are 15 terrific, full hook up rv sites at this lodge and it was nothing short of a timing miracle that we got the last one available today.  There is a large area out back for Sir Arlo to run around unleashed and act like a fool and there is so much around us - the Hoover Dam, camping world where we have a return to make and shopping to shop, Lake Mead - perhaps we'll do a dinner cruise thing there?  And of course, this may be where we finally do part of the Grand Canyon - the ongoing what do we do with himself (S.A.) while we explore continues to haunt me however.  Chester has pointed out that Sir has had a pretty darned good life and he should just "deal with it" being away from us for a couple days - Chester has not explained how I should explain all this to S.A. or deal with the self imposed "mother guilt" ... we shall see how this all "pans out"........