Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jerome Elks Lodge

The gravel pit south of Wells was such a nice location...quiet with a great view...that we decided to stay an extra day, which may have been a mistake. By the afternoon of the second day it had become very windy and cloudy, and all the mountains around us disappeared from view...even the one east of us that was quite close.

When we woke up this morning, it was lightly snowing, but by the time we were ready to pull out, it was snowing quite heavily...fortunately, none of it was sticking on the road. We stopped for diesel in Wells ($4.179/gallon) and to have breakfast at Burger King.

We ran into snow showers off and on all the way to Twin Falls, and the closer we got to Twin Falls, the harder the wind was blowing. By the time we arrived at the Elks Lodge north of I-84 and Twin Falls (actually the Jerome Elks Lodge), it was blowing up a gale!

After setting up and unhooking, we drove back into Twin Falls to the Schuck's Auto Parts to buy a new air hose and chuck (the one we had broke this morning while trying to air up one of the tires on the fifth wheel).

Miles driven: 174.6
GPS coordinates: N 42° 41.7048' / W 114° 26.5480'

Monday, April 28, 2008

South of Wells, Nevada

We left Pioche City Park this morning, stopping in Ely to fill up with diesel ($4.179/gallon) and have lunch at McDonalds.

As we were driving north on US-93, over Connors Pass in the Schell Creek Range, we passed a couple of big rigs with racing logos all over them. While we were stopped at the Sinclair station in Ely filling up with diesel, four more big rigs with racing logos came in and parked. I assumed they had racing cars in them, but after asking about it on the Escapees Discussion Forum, I think they may have been motorcycles instead.

We're spending the night at a gravel pit about 50 miles south of Wells, with a beautiful view of the snow-covered Ruby Mountains.

Miles driven: 202.8
GPS coordinates: N 40° 28.007' / W 114° 53.529'

Friday, April 25, 2008

More Cathedral Gorge State Park

On our way to Panaca to do grocery shopping, we stopped at Miller's Point View Point, at the northern end of Cathedral Gorge State Park to take pictures. The park looks like a miniature Bryce Canyon, although not as brightly colored.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pioche City Park

View out our back window

Today we moved from the state park into the town of Pioche. Pioche City Park has 10 RV spaces all with water and sewer hookups. It's free (donations accepted) and you can stay here for up to seven days.

Since one of our propane tanks was empty, Earl put it in the back of the pickup and went to see if there was any place in town to get it filled up. There isn't. The closest place to get a propane tank filled is in Caliente, about 25 miles back down US-93.

So we headed out to Caliente to get the tank filled. When we arrived, it was just past noon, and the propane place was closed for lunch. So we had lunch at the Knotty Pine Restaurant and then did some grocery shopping at the local (small) grocery store. By that time, the propane place was open and they filled our tank.

Miles driven: 12.6
GPS coordinates: N 37° 56.283' / W 114° 27.111'

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We drove into Pioche to pick up our mail and had lunch at the Silver Cafe. We also wanted to see if there was a grocery store in Pioche (there isn't...the closest one is in Panaca, about 10 or so miles down the road) and to check out the Pioche City Park which, according to Don Wright's Guide to Free Campgrounds, West, has free RV parking.

Don's book said the park was located behind the Post Office. It isn't. The only thing behind the Post Office is a small fee-based RV park. Thinking that this was the city park-turned RV park, we continued on our tour around town. Imagine our surprise when we stumbled onto the Pioche City Park quite by accident. Not only isn't it behind the Post Office, it isn't anywhere near the Post Office (other than for the fact that Pioche is a small town, and nothing is too far from anything else)! The Pioche City Park is located behind, and to the south of the big, white, County Courthouse and directly across the street from the Pioche Public Pool. You can't miss the County Courthouse when coming into's about a quarter of a mile or so up Main Street after turning off US-93 and is on the right-hand side of the road. At first I thought this was the Million Dollar Courthouse." It isn't. Here's a picture of the current Lincoln County Courthouse located in Pioche.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We decided to drive up to Spring Valley State Park which is located a few miles farther east from Echo Canyon. We drove through some beautiful country, stopping to check out the campground in the state park. We also stopped to see an old homestead that was open.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Echo Canyon State Park

We left Cathedral Gorge late in the morning and head to Echo Canyon State Park, which is about 12 miles east of Pioche, Nevada. This park has water at each site (although, this early in the year, only a few sites had the water turned on) and a dump station. We pulled into Site 1, which did have water and a great view of Echo Canyon Reservoir out the back window (see picture).

Miles driven: 24.6
GPS coordinates: N 37° 54.663' / W 114° 16.153'

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cathedral Gorge State Park

While we were in the Las Vegas area, we did some shopping at Camping World and Costco.

We went to Camping World just to buy refills for our "fat trapper," the container we pour bacon grease into. But, of course, you can't leave Camping World without buying a bunch of other stuff, too! We ended up buying a new set of acrylic tumblers (the ones we had were beginning to crack), and a new folding colander. The folding colander I had was the one from "As Seen On TV," and while it did take up little space when folded, it was a bear to clean. The one from Camping World should be much easier to clean!

We bought diesel at the Circle K, which had the cheapest diesel price in Henderson ($3.899/gallon) according to this MSN website: Local Gas Prices. I like this site a lot better than the Gas Buddy website since it gets the prices every night directly from the gas stations, whereas the Gas Buddy website relies on user input. In my personal experience, the MSN site will return a lot more stations within an area that the Gas Buddy site.

Rather than return to Henderson and drive through Las Vegas on the Interstate, we left the area the back way, taking Northshore Drive (SR-147, which becomes SR-169) through Overton to I-15. This road puts you on I-15 at Exit 93 at which point, we got on the Interstate heading back to Las Vegas and got off at Exit 88. Getting off at Exit 88 was a mistake as we should have gotten off at Exit 91. However, our Benchmark Nevada Atlas showed an Exit 90 which dumped right onto SR-168, which was the road we wanted to take. Wrong! There is no Exit 90! Getting off at Exit 88, we the had to head north on Hidden Valley Road, an OK drive, just a few miles longer than if we'd gotten off at Exit 91.

We were originally planning on spending the night at Upper Pahranagat Lake Campground located on Pahranagat Lake in the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. However, there were no camp spots open...the campground host said that Site 13 would be open soon since the Boy Scouts, who were in the spot, would be leaving soon. However, we could still see lots of kids out running around playing, so it didn't look like they were ready to leave anytime soon, so we left and continued on to Cathedral Gorge State Park just north of Panaca, Nevada. Before going into the park, we stopped at the Panaca Junction to fill up with diesel ($4.299/gallon).

Miles driven: 220.8
GPS coordinates: N 37° 49.274' / W 114° 24.964'

Monday, April 07, 2008

Las Vegas Bay Campground

We left Quartzsite this morning, getting on the road about 9:30 AM after stopping at McDonald's to pick up breakfast on the way out of town.

We drove north on SR-95 through Parker and Lake Havasu City, stopping at the Chevron station at the junction of SR-95 and I-40 to fill up with diesel ($3.999/gallon). We arrived at Las Vegas Bay Campground along the northwestern shores of Lake Mead in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area around 2:00 PM (that is, it *would* be along the shores of the lake if the lake was still up this far; however, because of a several-years drought in the Southwest, the lake is very low). With Earl's Golden Age Passport, it costs up $5 per day to stay here. There are no hookups, but there is fresh water and a dump.

Miles driven: 226.4
GPS coordinates: N 36° 07.6702' / W 114° 52.3487'