Where Are We Now?
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Monday, May 1:
Weíre getting back into our routine of work, and playing in the casinos, like we did last year in Reno. We have a daily budget for gambling and if we lose it then weíre done for the day. I hope I win some big hands because I canít stand to be on a budget.
This morning we worked until around 11 and then drove into the big town of Tunica. (Note the sarcasm) We ate lunch at a Sonic and then went grocery shopping. There is one small grocery store, a Piggly Wiggly. Not much in the way of choices, and there were no bagels at all! We just bought the bare essentials to get us through until we leave. I guess I should have listened to Mac on Saturday and Sunday when he said letís stop at Wal-Mart, but I just wanted to go and not stop. Iíve learned now that I better look up the places we are going to before we get there and see what they have available.
After our shopping trip we returned to the RV and I got to go play some video poker. I quickly ran out of my budget for the day too, so I returned to the RV. Mac went in later and played in a Texas Hold ĎEm tournament and he was out quickly too. So the rest of the day was spent working, reading, etc.
As Iíve mentioned already the area around here is mostly cotton fields, there are trees around here too of course. Iíve enjoyed sitting outside watching and listening to the birds that are here. I looked up one of the birds and found that it is a ďcommonĒ barn swallow. They arenít common to me. Iíve lived in the city too long and they arenít any barn swallows in the city. Theyíre pretty birds and they fly around dipping and swooping. Iíve enjoyed watching them; they are really fun to watch.
Three casinos here - Gold Strike, Horseshoe, and Sheraton. Click Here for the report on this location
Tuesday, May 2:
We worked this morning then I took a break for a few hours. Later in the afternoon we decided to go look around at the other casinos and check them out. The weather isnít too bad so far but it is just a little too warm this afternoon to stay in the RV. We drove over to Samís Town and right across the street is the Hollywood Casino. Both of these casinos have a RV park and we looked them over. Samís Town RV park is $12.99 and the Hollywoodís is $15.00 per night. Not too bad at all for full hook-ups including cable is it?
We went into Samís Town and got some playerís cards and walked around the casino. Their video poker pay tables arenít great, but they arenít as bad as some of the others around. The only good pay tables were 9/6 Jacks or better. At the second floor bar they do have some 7/5 Bonus that are progressive. Thatís not too bad really. All the other machines had 6/5 Bonus. We played some 9/6 Jacks for a while and earned enough comps to get 2 buffets. The buffet is good; they have a large selection of foods. Mac also had some wine with his prime rib. There was complimentary wine or draft beer with the buffet. We had a nice dinner there and enjoyed it very much.
We returned to our RV and we then went to the Gold Strike for a couple of hours. I just canít seem to win lately! I did get to play for a long time before I finally ran out of money though. But I did run out of money and it was time to return home.
We worked this morning and itís really humid today. I feel sticky and yucky even after washing up. We decided to go to full hook-up at Samís Town. So around lunch time we got every thing put away and quickly drove over and got a site. Yea! We have air-conditioning! It felt so good to turn on the air conditioner and cool the place off. I think the humidity is in the high 80ís today, storm clouds are building up and itís forecasted to rain for the next several days.
RV Park at Sam's Town Tunica
We worked the rest of the afternoon in the comfort of our air-conditioned RV. Mac is going to play in a Texas Hold ĎEm tournament here at Samís Town at 6:00 so we quit working early today. We went to the casino around 4:30 so he could sign up for the tournament. We shared a sandwich at the snack shop and then goofed off playing until his tournament started. I quickly lost my money for the evening. I just canít seem to win lately. I hope this unlucky streak quits soon. Mac did very well in his tournament; he made it to the final table and came in 5th place. He made a little money so heís probably a little up overall. Now itís my turn to start making some money at this again.
Sam's Town RV park is very nice for the price. Lots of sites are pull-through, as you can see in the photo. Nice level concrete pads. Space between RV's is adequate. RV parking is also allowed in the parking lot for free. See the row of coaches in the distance, on the far left of the photo.
Thursday, May 4 Ė Friday May 5:
Nothing much to report for these 2 days; itís been rainy and damp. Weíre glad weíre on hook-ups here at Samís Town; otherwise weíd have to run the generator to charge up the batteries. Not much sunshine this week so the solar panels canít keep up with charging the batteries.
Thereís a Friday night seafood buffet at the Gold Strike and we tried it out. It was very good. Thereís a large variety of seafood including frog legs. Mac ate some of those but I stayed with the fried shrimp. I ate many a frog leg as a kid but Iíve lost the taste for them as an adult. Of course, some say they taste just like chicken. We were quite pleased with the variety and taste of food offered at this buffet; it was well worth the money, actually comp money, but still money. If I remember correctly the price for the buffet was less than $20 per person, which is a great price for a seafood buffet.
Saturday, May 6:
We got the RV ready to hit the road and parked it at the free RV parking area right outside the RV Park. We then went into the casino and played for a little while. After playing and not hitting that elusive Royal Flush we went to the lunch buffet. Great value for the money! Our buffets were comped; but otherwise the buffet price is around $9-10 and it has a very large selection. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
After lunch we goofed off for a short time and then decided to hit the road. We drove south, heading for Shreveport Louisiana. We drive through rain off and on through the trip. While we drive down the road we notice all the fields that we think are cotton fields. The plants arenít very big at all throughout the area, including the Tunica area that we were just at. We think there must have been a lot of rain and the crops are late going in. Thereís a lot of standing water in the fields, etc.
We stopped for the night at a Wal-Mart in Greenville Mississippi. We went into the store and stocked up on some groceries. Itís nice to have some food in the RV again. They didnít have our favorite bagels or any wraps but otherwise there was a good selection of groceries.
It has really been raining. All the rest of the evening and night it rains, sometimes very hard. Weíre really getting sick of the rain. Since the day we left IL weíve been in rain over half the time. I feel like Iím going to start sprouting mushrooms or something itís been so damp and humid.
After breakfast and goofing off on the internet we hit the road around 8:00. We continue heading to Shreveport. Weíve been on the back roads and itís really been nice. Not much traffic and the scenery is nicer than on the interstate. When we get to Monroe LA though we decide to get on the interstate and get on down the road.
Louisiana has nice rest areas that also have dump stations. We donít need to dump but we stored the information away for future reference. We hit the Shreveport Bossier City area in the early afternoon and parked at the Horseshoe Casino RV parking area. Weíve been here before so we already knew we could park here for free.
We went into the casino to play for a few hours and then went to get a few food comps. The Horseshoe casino previously was loose on the food comps. They are really tight now. After all that we played we didnít have enough for 2 meals, we barely had enough for one meal! We decided to use our comp and some cash and to eat at the grill. The prices arenít unreasonable, I ordered the pork chops, which included 2 pork chops, salad, corn on the cob, potatoes, bread, etc. for less than $10. I couldnít finish my meal so I took the rest home for lunch tomorrow.
Weíve played video poker and Mac played some live poker. Weíve had a good time playing too. Iíve had some good hands and Iím not losing but Iím still down for the year so far.
Monday, May 8:
Well, itís Monday and another work week starts. Mac has been busy working away today. Iím working too but not as hard as him. Itís getting pretty humid out today. Not enough to be unbearable but enough to make us want air-conditioning.
I went into the casino around 2:00 and played for a couple of hours. Mac joined me later and we played for a while. We then checked out our food comps and again we donít have enough for 2 meals! Boy, are they tight here now! So, we decided to split a Rueben sandwich and fries at the grill since we both arenít that hungry.
After eating we decide to drive over and check out the Isle of Capri Casino. Weíve heard they have an RV park there and we want to check it out. Mac goes in and gets the information regarding the park and we think itís a little pricey, $25 per night weekdays and $30 for the weekends.
We went into the casino and checked it out. There are no good video poker machines in there at all. They have lousy pay tables. In addition, the floor that the video poker was on stunk! There was a strong sewer odor there. We were glad to get out of there! The nickname for this casino is the "Pile of Debris". I gave it a new nickname of "Pile of Pee Pee", since thatís what it smelled like.
And I'll interject here; this is in stark contrast to the Isle of Capri in Biloxi, MS which is a nice place. We haven't been there since it reopened post-Katrina, but expect it to be even nicer than we remember from a couple years back.
So we came back to the RV and worked a little more. We then went into the Horseshoe casino and played for a few hours. I actually left with money in my pocket, so maybe my luck is starting to change for the better. We came back to the RV and went to bed. We had to set the alarm clock for in the morning. Weíre going over to a repair shop and get our dash air-conditioner looked at again. They open at 7:00 and we want to be there so they can work us in.
I forgot to mention some notes about our trip here to Shreveport from Tunica earlier so Iíll just add them in now. Weíve mentioned previously that we really enjoy driving the back roads instead of the interstate where possible. So we drove from Tunica to Monroe on the back roads and most of the trip was lots and lots of crop fields. There were many small towns that we drove through and some made me sad. A lot of the small towns in America are dying out. Many of the towns have businessí that are closed, houses in disrepair or abandoned, etc. it was just sad to see some of them. Other small towns are thriving. One we stopped at for a short bathroom break and to stretch our legs was Mer Rouge Louisiana. We took a picture of a monument that was in front of the post office. It was very interesting with a lot of detail on it. I enjoy finding things like this in our travels. Click on the thumbnail to read the inscription.
Historical marker in Mer Rouge, LA. Click on the small thumbnail to read the inscription
Tuesday, May 9:
We drove over to the repair shop and they took care of us fairly quickly; we were out of there by 9:00. They tightened out air-conditioning belt and said that the ďnoiseĒ it was making should stop soon. So we headed back over to the Horseshoe Casino and parked there again.
Wednesday, May 10 Ė Friday May 12:
We work every day and then go and play in the casino. Not much to report on what weíre doing lately. We ate the evening buffet on Wednesday and it was very good; large variety of food to choose from. We enjoyed it very much. We also ate the Friday seafood buffet and it was not as good as we expected. After the great seafood buffet that we had in Tunica we were expecting much more. As a matter of fact I didnít eat any seafood at all; I ate ham. The fried shrimp wasnít crispy, it was limp so I didnít want any. So a note to ourselves to not eat the Friday buffet but the other nights are great.
Bossier City is having an air show this coming weekend. On Thursday afternoon we got to see lots of aircraft practicing the stunts they will be doing on the weekend. It was really fun watching them. We thought about staying around for the air show but we decided to continue on down the road this weekend. Itís supposed to be hot (to us) on Saturday and a good chance of thundershowers. So weíll just head on down the road towards Livingston Texas.
I finally hit a royal flush on Friday afternoon. So, I think Iím even now for the year, Iím still up from last year too. So hereís hoping I win many many more when we get to Nevada later this year. I had a good time playing at the casinos for the past two weeks, one in Tunica and one in Shreveport. Iím ready though to get back into the country. We are really looking forward to our travels this year. We plan on visiting San Antonio and then the Rio Grande Valley as we head across the country.
Saturday, May 13:
After working some this morning we got the RV ready to go and hooked up the car. We head west towards Livingston Texas around 9:30. It seemed to take forever to get there today! We did stop several times though so thatís probably why. Also, it seemed like we had many annoying problems pop up on us too.
One thing that made it seem to take forever was our dash air-conditioner couldnít be used in the afternoon when it was needed. The repair shop that we went to in Shreveport was wrong, the noise didnít stop and it seemed to be getting worse so we turned it off. Weíd even stopped at an auto parts store and Mac bought some spray for the belt and it worked for a short time but it started sounding bad again quickly. So on hindsight we should have insisted that they replace the belt when we were at the repair shop on Tuesday. Oh well, thatís part of learning and part of the adventure I guess. We wound up starting the generator and running the regular air-conditioner this afternoon.
Another thing that was annoying and time consuming happened too. Weíd decided to stop for lunch and I was driving so I saw a church parking lot that ďseemedĒ to have easy access off and back onto the road so I pulled into it. Getting into the parking lot wasnít a problem at all. While we were stretching our legs after eating lunch we discovered the other end of the parking lot had one of those hang down barriers so that trucks canít park in their lot. It was set too low for us to get under so there was no other option but to unhook the car, turn the RV around, pull out to a side street and hook back up; how aggravating! It was pretty warm and not fun at all!
We did enjoy the scenery that we drove through today. Itís pretty and green around here right now. It was fall when we drove through here before back in October. So it was a nice view from our air-conditioned RV. We finally arrived at the Rainbowís End Escapee Park around 4:15. We checked in at the office and got our site. How funny is this, our neighbor also has a DataStorm on top of their RV! So there are 2 of us here side by side with the blue light on top. I think the last time we were here there was another DataStorm user only one spot away from us.
We got set up on our spot, took a shower and then went down and visited my parents. They seem to be doing really good here. They both look great! We walked around the Care Center some and then visited the beautiful garden at the center. Weíll have to take pictures and show you how pretty it is. There are many beautiful flowers blooming, thereís bird feeders and bird houses there too. We saw Eastern Blue Birds going into their bird house and Black Capped Chickadees feeding at the feeders, Purple Martins nesting, and even a Scissor Tail Fly Catcher. It was very relaxing to visit the garden. Weíll be here in Livingston for at least one week so Iím sure weíll visit the garden again.
Happy Mothers Day Moms!!!
One quick announcement. We don't mention the other web site a lot -- www.casinocamper.com -- but we've started a forum and I want to tell everyone about it. It's a YAHOO! group, located at http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/casinocamper/ If you enjoy visiting casino destinations come join us.
Monday May 15th
It's not True! There's a rumor on the internet that our RV was destroyed. This is not true. We and the RV are both fine. I believe we were confused with someone else.
OK, here's the rest of the story. Very similar name and circumstances - we've actually seen this person at MacDill, recognize him by his car, a very nice restored VW Bug, but we don't know each other.. Kind of eerie. Read the whole story at this link: http://www.tbo.com/news/metro/MGB5L7IB8NE.html
This is an interim update. Chris will likely come along in a day or so and write a big blog entry. We've been staying at Rainbow's End Escapee Park in Livingston TX. This park is open to the public, but Escapees members pay a much discounted rate. This time of year it's not crowded, and the weather isn't too bad. We've had sunny days, high 60's at night, 85 to 92 daytime.
RV Repairs We're hanging around waiting for parts to come in (yes, we do seem to do that a lot don't we). Two of our leveling jacks have been leaking. One of them badly. Last week we brought the RV into Joel E. West RV Repair in Livingston, TX. They evaluated the jacks and said it was too risky to rebuild because of scarring of the rod, and they'd likely just leak again. So we ordered two replacement jacks ($600 each) and they'll be installed next week, and the total bill should be around $1400.
In addition to the jacks, I had them look at our dash AC unit. You'll recall that we had a new compressor installed in Sarasota, FL. It started making some bad sounds, so we had it checked at an AC shop in Louisiana. They said the belt needed to be tightened up. Said we didn't even need a new belt, the glaze on the old would wear off and we'd be good to go. At the time I was somewhat skeptical, but happy to be out the door for $30. Well, 50 miles down the road the AC was squealing like a stuck pig. This was puzzling, but the mechanic at West solved the problem. It seems the shop in Sarasota had put the belt on the wrong pulley, so it was running crooked. A new belt, ran on the right pulleys, and finally our AC is working great!
So, now the jury is in on Campbell RV Repair in Sarasota FL. They're really nice folks, but are NOT the place to take your RV for dash air or dash wiring problems. I've heard good things about them otherwise, and saw several happy customers come and go while we were there, so don't take this as a blanket condemnation. They did, after all, fix our AutoPark problem.
A few chores I'm somewhat handy, so when we visit family I often have a "to-do" list waiting for me. Chris' folks had a few items on the list and I've been working on them. One was to install a reading light for my mother in law. She wanted a nice bright one over the bed. I considered several options, but settled on a halogen spot light from Lowe's. It's a 20W model, and very bright. The base was designed for wall mounting on a single screw head by a slot in the base. I needed to mount it overhead, so I had to disassemble it and drill a second hole. While installing it I noticed it was a 12v lamp. I may investigate installing these in our RV as reading lights, and wiring directly to 12v. We'd likely choose the 10W models to save power while boondocking.
Big Rig! Here's something you don't see every day. A double-decker trailer pulled behind a motorhome. We first saw a rig like this in Minnesota in the late 80's and have only seen a few times since.
Yes, that's a Dutch Star pulling a 4 door pickup, a boat, a scooter, and two bicycles.
"Work, work, work. Work, work, work. Work, work, work." - Gov. William J. Le Petomane, Blazing Saddles,1974.
How's the new job Mac? (you ask). Well, it's a job.
Actually, I am enjoying it a lot. The work I'm doing is different from the past few years. Since I'm part of a larger company I'm focused on a narrower aspect of the business. I also have management responsibilities, and an opportunity to grow my division which is very appealing. And most of all I enjoy the people I work with. I've known them all for a couple of years (with one exception) and we've done business together in the past, so I couldn't ask for a better situation in that regard. Still, it is work, and I'm putting in a good 50 hour week. Chris is working quite a bit too, and enjoying what she does (internet research) so it's all good. We still find time to enjoy our travels.
Right now it's 9:30 AM, we're sitting outside the RV in the shade under the awning and Chris is reading our blog from last May. I suppose that put her in the mood to write, because she's working on the blog too. Her entry follows. See you down the road!
Sunday, May 14 - Saturday, May 20:
Weíre still in Livingston Texas as I write this on Sunday May 21. Weíd taken the RV over to Joel E. West RV Repair and we are really pleased with them so far. They managed to ďfixĒ the problem with the dash air conditioner that 2 other places couldnít seem to fix. It seems the belt was around the wrong pulley. Iím not very mechanical at all so Mac will have to explain what the problem was and all those details. But they fixed it and weíre quite pleased that itís finally working properly. We took the RV in to have the 2 back jacks rebuilt. Theyíve recommended that we buy new ones since these are so pitted and stuff that if we had them rebuilt they may not last very long at all and would start leaking again. So new ones are on order and should be in this week, hopefully. As soon as the parts are in weíll take the RV back in to have them installed. After those are installed we are ready to hit the road and continue our adventures.
I took my mom shopping up to Lufkin, a town north of Livingston about 50 miles. Livingston doesnít have a Walgreenís or a K-Mart and she wanted to go to those 2 stores. So while we were up there we went to a couple of thrift stores. One was a Goodwill store in Diboll on the way up. I had sticker shock at the store! Yes, I swear I had sticker shock at a thrift store! Most of the items were at least $2.00 more than what Iím used to paying. My mom finally agreed with me that the thrift stores around the Lufkin area are too expensive and next time weíll go to Houston and check those stores out. Houston is about 50-60 miles south of Livingston. So either direction itís a long drive to get somewhere that has plenty of stores around. I think though that Houston will have a lot more choices and bargains for us to find.
We took my dad fishing on Saturday morning. We drove over to Onalaska and fished Lake Livingston under the bridge. The water level is way down so we had a hard time casting out far enough to reach water a little deeper than one or two feet. We had a good time though not many fish were caught. We caught a total of 3 fish! Yippee! We plan on going over to the state park and checking it out and see if they have a fishing dock where my dad could comfortably sit in the chair and still fish. Weíd heard that they do.
Other than that not much has been happening around here. Weíve helped my parents out with getting things installed, hung up, etc in their trailer. Weíve taken them around on errands, etc. Weíve also got a lot of work done on the business side of life.
Sunday, May 21 through Friday, May 26:
We managed to go fishing twice more with my dad since I last wrote an update for the blog. We went to the Lake Livingston State Park and fished from the very nice dock that they have there. We only caught catfish though. There was a young man fishing there also and we gave him our fish. We had a great time fishing and it would have been great to catch some bass or something else besides catfish.
The park itself is very nice. There are many campsites there in the park and Iím sure when the weather isnít too hot there are many people out there camping.
I cleaned the carpets in my parents trailer and then decided to clean the carpets in the RV. This little green machine we have works great; it cleaned and cleaned. The only thing wrong with it is that it is so small and the job was so big. It probably would be better to use a bigger machine when Iím going to do such a big job such as cleaning 2 rigs of carpet. But for cleaning just my RV it works wonderfully.
I took my mom shopping a couple of times around Livingston, we went to the Livingston library on Friday. Theyíve been having a book sale on Fridays and we wanted to go there. I found several RV books that were copyrighted in the 80ís but I bought them anyway. Itís for a worthy cause, helping the library, and I enjoy reading and learning more about the RV lifestyle. I also found 3 different picture books that I just had to get, one on the Grand Canyon, one on the Petrified Forest and one on Zion Park. There are so many beautiful pictures in them and they are very light to carry. Iíll enjoy looking at the pictures and dreaming of going to these places.
It is unseasonably hot in Livingston and most of the state. They say itís about 4 degrees or more above normal for this time of year. Mac and I have enjoyed swimming in the pool here at the park. The water has risen in temperature quickly since weíve been here. When we arrived Iíd checked out the temperature posting and it was 73. The temperature quickly rose to 80 Ė 81 by Friday the 26th. Itís really got very hot quickly around here. Daily temperatures have been in the high 80ís to mid-90ís, and the humidity has been high also. Our air-conditioner just hasnít been able to keep up with this heat and humidity. My parentís air-conditioner works wonderfully and Iím very glad it does work so well for them. Weíve planned on getting ours replaced in Tampa when we return there in the fall. It seems we just canít escape the heat and humidity so weíll have to replace it so that we can be comfortable.
Weíve got a lot of work done on the business side of life too while we were. Weíve both worked some long hours here but we still managed to have some fun while we were here. Weíd planned on heading over to San Antonio and staying there for a week or so after we left Livingston. But the heat and humidity have made us change our minds. I would not enjoy going walking around site-seeing dripping sweat. We will visit there next year earlier in the season. Next year the grandkids wonít be coming to Florida during spring break because they wonít get a spring break. Their school system decided to not have spring break and just have school close a week earlier. They think the kids donít work well after returning from spring break since they know thereís only 4 more weeks of school left. So next year we will leave Florida earlier and hit the southern route seeing all the sites that we want to see but right now canít because of the heat and humidity.
Since itís unseasonably hot and humid already weíve decided that when we leave weíre heading to Las Vegas. Weíve decided on Las Vegas for a number of reasons. We really love it out west and our swamp cooler will cool us nicely when we get there. There are many things in the area that we havenít seen and we want to have plenty of time to see them all. Weíve never been to the Grand Canyon yet. I didnít want to go until my knee was replaced so that I could enjoy walking around seeing all the beauty. Now my new knee is great and we are going to visit there and many other places that we didnít go because of all the walking involved.
We plan on leaving after the jacks are installed on the RV or at the latest by Saturday. With this new job that Mac has we now travel on the weekends and park during the week. So with this long Memorial Day weekend we can drive to Las Vegas and still have plenty of time for stops along the way.
The new jacks for the RV arrived on Thursday and they were installed on Friday morning. Mac is very pleased with this repair shop. They know what theyíre doing, theyíre reasonable on their prices and they are just all around great people to deal with. So we are going to plan on having some more jobs done on the RV when we are here again in the fall.
On the Road Again!
The chores are all done, the RV is ready to roll, the weather is too hot and humid for us, what to do, what to do? Leave of course! And thatís what we did. We left Livingston late Friday afternoon and headed north. We filled up the RV with gas in Livingston and the gas price was $2.71 there. Along highway 190 heading for Interstate 45 we saw gas at ranging in prices from the $2.80ís down to $2.56! Gas prices are really great in this region of Texas.
We drove all the way to Decatur Texas before stopping for the night. We stopped at the Wal-Mart there around 10 at night. There were already several RV there when we got there. We did find a good place to park where there werenít any trucks parked. Those trucks run their generators sometimes all night long and it can be very noisy around them. Thatís the main reason we donít stop in truck stops for the night. You just canít get any good sleep with all those noisy trucks around. We did get a good nights sleep though in Decatur.
We woke up early and had our coffee, and hit the road before 7:00. We get on Highway 287 heading north to Amarillo. The road is nice as are most roads in Texas. The only thing is there aren't many actual rest areas that have bathrooms on this road. We stopped in the rest areas along the way and most had just picnic facilities. Weíre fortunate that we have our bathroom with us, if we didnít weíd have to find a gas station or something with one. We stopped at the Flying J Truck Stop in Wichita Falls and filled up with gas.
We woke up this morning to a very strong breeze and it has not let up at all. Itís windy and gusty all day. We drive about 65 MPH sometimes even slower because of the wind.
We stopped in Amarillo at the Visitor Information Center. Weíd seen it when we were in Amarillo last year but didnít stop. Itís a very nice facility, beautifully landscaped outside. The people inside were friendly and we had a nice time visiting the place. We met a pastor from one of the local churches while there. I think he and his family were very new to the area and they were in checking out sites of interest in the area. We picked up some brochures about places that we do want to see when we return to Texas. We also got directions to the Cadillac Ranch. We didnít go see it when we were here last year and itís one of those must see items so we found out how to get there.
Itís right on our way heading west on Interstate 40 so we stopped to see it. There was a large bus of youth from a church there when we got there. Thereís a good strong breeze thankfully so we can stay upwind of these kids as they use their spray cans of paint. It was interesting to stop and see this but Iím glad that we didnít go out of our way to see it. So many people have spray painted the cars that they arenít ďartĒ anymore to me. They look like cars with a lot of paint on them. But thatís just my opinion, Iím sure at times there is some great artwork painted onto the cars but today isnít one of those days.
Chris approaching the famous "Cadillac Ranch"
While leaving heading back to the highway we saw a sign that had spray painted on it: Bates Motel Every Room with a shower, Taxidermy Ahead. We got a good chuckle out of that. We drove on west and when we got to New Mexico we stopped at the Welcome Center. I asked one of the workers inside the information center when this center had been built. She said 1979 and that at that time they thought it was big enough. In the ladies restroom there were only 2 stalls. I wasnít asking for that reason but I guess they get that question a lot.
After visiting the information center and picking up some brochures we continued west. We stopped in Santa Rosa at the Loves Truck Stop and filled up the RV. We then parked back with all the trucks and went into the truck stop and ate dinner at Carlís Jr. We havenít been to one of those since we left the west. I love the Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich and enjoyed every bite. Mac had a burger and he said it was really good too.
We continued heading west after dinner and then stopped at Clines Corners. Thereís a huge gift shop there and I enjoy looking at all the souvenirs that you can buy. I didnít get anything this time though, but I did enjoy walking around and browsing.
Weíve had some trouble with our refrigerator today, itís not working correctly on propane. Mac thinks the strong winds keep blowing it out so weíve had to switch it over to electric and then we had to run the generator to keep it going while driving down the road, what a waste of gas! So while I was in Clines Corners store looking around Mac was checking out why the alternator wasnít charging the batteries or something like that, heíll explain more of the problem in his writing. So he discovered that we need a relay or something like that. So after he worked around on that we got to hit the road again.
Itís now dark and we plan on stopping for the night at the Route 66 Casino on the other side of Albuquerque. So we continued on and drove to the casino and stopped for the night. We didnít go into the casino tonight. Weíre very tired so weíll visit it in the morning. We see that the have a bunch of classic cars and antique cars here so it will be great to see them in the morning.
Sunday May 28 Ė Wednesday May 31
Sunday morning we checked out all the cars that were there for the show at the Route 66 Casino. Afterwards we went into the casino and checked it out. Itís really kind of cool with Route 66 memorabilia; even the carpet has the theme. We checked out pay tables, poker room, etc. for Mac to write up on his casino camper website. I played $20 while he was doing that and hit a straight flush, so I left the casino with money in my pocket.
We then hit the road and headed west. Thereís still a wind but it doesnít seem as strong as it was further east of here. We really love New Mexico and want to visit there and take some time and see everything. It is such a pretty state with a lot of natural wonders to see.
We stopped at one of the rest areas in Arizona to stretch our legs and noticed that the weather is much cooler here than in Texas or eastern New Mexico. Lower temperatures and with the wind it is really getting chilly.
We probably could have pushed on and made it to Vegas this evening but why? We decided to stop, rest, have a nice dinner and just relax. So we stopped for the night at a boondocking site that Mac found on a list put out by Escapees members. It was at an exit off the interstate, it was a graveled lot almost next to the interstate. It was level and except for the occasional truck it was actually quiet. We were the only ones that used the spot. When we got up we saw a few trucks on the entrance ramp to the interstate. Why didnít they use this spot? Itís really nice and level for them. Iím glad they didnít this night though so that we could sleep without hearing a diesel engine running all night.
It was very chilly and we had to use two blankets to sleep with; but it was such nice sleeping weather. Itís so nice to finally get away from the heat and humidity. Even though weíre headed for Las Vegas and itís supposed to get hot next week weíll still enjoy it because of the lack of humidity. The humidity just seems to drag us down, making us so tired.
Monday morning I woke up very early local time something like 4 in the morning. I was awake though so I got up and made the coffee. We had our coffee and breakfast and were on the road before 6. We stopped after an hour or so and made another pot of coffee. We hit the road again and we see the sign saying that the delay at the check station to cross the dam could be an hour or more. Also that trucks, buses, etc. take the alternate route, for information call. So Mac called and found out that the RV could still cross the dam and we headed that way. Weíre going to be there so early that we know there wonít be a delay. We got there before 9 and had no wait at all.
It was early enough that we could stop in one of the parking areas at the dam with plenty of room for the RV and toad. We got to get out and see the area. Itís so interesting to see how high the water used to be, itís like bleached out above the water level of now. We do want to come back someday and visit the visitor center.
Hoover Dam -- Impressive when you notice how small the cars look crossing it!
So after our short break to see the dam we headed for Vegas. We had made reservations to stay on the base but we changed our mind and decided to try some of the casinoís RV parks. We stopped and parked at the Fiesta Henderson Casino for a few hours. They have no overnight RV camping, which we knew and we wanted to check out the casino for a few hours.
Mac got us reservations at the Main Street Station Casino RV Park. I didnít even know that they had a RV park but they do. Itís downtown, right off Main Street and Bonanza. Itís a good sized place; itís all paved though, kind of like a huge parking lot with hookups. We got one of the pull-through spots since we donít know how long weíre staying here. Thereís a laundry room and restrooms with showers. The laundry room is nice, itís air-conditioned very well and the washers are nice sized. Washers and dryers are only 75 cents per load.
I was a little hesitant to stay here since its right downtown but itís safer here than I thought it might be. I thought there might be bums or panhandlers around or crossing through the area but there arenít any. Security comes around frequently so I feel safe enough here.
The only other ďbadĒ thing is that the highway is right next to the park so it can be very noisy with all the highway noise. It starts early too, around 4 in the morning or so. I guess itís a good thing that we have the air-conditioner and swamp cooler going to mask the highway noise.
We play mostly at the Main Street Station since weíre staying here. We get comps that go towards free RV parking spot, free food, etc. so we will play here to earn those comps.
On Wednesday we walked around downtown Vegas and bought a few souvenirs for the family. We then decided to eat at the Golden Gate Casino. They have very reasonable prices on their food and itís tasty too. After we ate dinner we watched the Fremont Street experience light show. Itís kind of neat. Hereís a link to the downtown show: www.vegasexperience.com
If you ever get to Vegas you have to do the downtown scene. The Golden Gate Casino and the Main Street Station have some really beautiful antique dťcor. Both have a lot of wood in them. There are several casinos that have some really nice items in them that are worth seeing such as ceilings, chandeliers, woodwork, stained glass, etc.
Other than that weíve been back to working hard every day on the business. Weíve got to play though too. Weíve really enjoyed our play time while here. Weíve also enjoyed eating our fill at the buffets.
Another month is gone, and you can see our end of May camping costs update below. If you're interested in more details about our visit to the Main Street Station casino check out the link to www.casinocamper.com
What did we do last May? Click here for May 2005
This is a "reverse blog", so earlier posts will be found above -- also see left sidebar for the blog archive index