Tag Archives: camping

Red Rock Canyon, Ash Meadows, Death Valley Sep 2016

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I’m in Las Vegas for a couple of weeks and I don’t gamble. What do you do in Vegas if you don’t go to the Casinos? Well I am traveling in an RV with a Jeep in tow so I decided to ask many of the more knowledgeable travelers on Facebook. From the many suggestions given to me I decided to visit the following areas:

Red Rock Canyon, Death Valley, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Valley of Fire, Lost City Museum, Hoover Dam, Lake Meade

Then there are many activities in Vegas that are free:

Fountains of Bellagio Water Show, The Botanical Conservatory at the Bellagio, Live Circus acts at the Circus-Circus casino, Atlantis Show & Aquarium at the Caesars Forum Shops, Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo, Viva Vision Light & Sound show at Fremont Street Experience, Live Music and Flair Bartenders at the Harrah’s Carnaval Court, “I lost my M” 3D movie at M&M’s World, Volcano at the Mirage, Saltwater Aquarium at the Mirage, Miracle Mile Fountain Water Show at Planet Hollywood, Mystic Falls Sunset Stampede Show at Sam’s Town, Interactive Fish Feeding Show at the Silverton, Mermaid Swims at the Silverton, Lake of Dreams at the Wynn

I began my adventure by taking on Red Rock Canyon and Death Valley first. Red Rock Canyon reminded me very much of the Badlands loop drive in South Dakota.

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Many movies were made using Red Rock Canyon as a backdrop.

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You can tour in a Pink Jeep!

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The Red Rock Canyon offers many, many hiking trails. Due to my schedule the day I visited I chose not to hike. This is definitely an area I will return to one day to hike through.

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And of course that is a Ferrari sitting by my Jeep!

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After completing the loop around Red Rock Canyon I headed toward Death Valley’s Devil Hole. Little did I know that the bonus was a trip through Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

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Devils Hole is part of Death Valley National Park but is quite a distance from Furnace Creek Visitors Center. At the gateway to Death Valley there is a beautiful hotel. It appears to be vacant however

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A burned out shell of a building is across the street.

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The lowest place in America is here too!

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Other views as I drove through Death Valley

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Oregon September 2016

Oregon is a very pleasant state.  Astoria is located at the furthest point of NW Oregon. The Astoria bridge to Washington is a 4 mile bridge over deep shipping channels and sandbars that inhibit maritime shipping at the point where the Columbia river meets the Pacific Ocean. This area is alive with the history of Lewis & Clark as this was the end of their journey west. After spending the winter at Ft Clatsop their westward journey terminated as they went home.

Museums abound. A sea captain’s home now hosts a wonderful museum with gardens in back.

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The Oregon Film Museum used to be the County Jail. The courthouse is active next door.

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Lunch on the shore of the Columbia River was an experience.

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The view for my lunch

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Embedded in the floor was glass that gave a look at the sea lions below.

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A specialty of the house was the oysters with Jalapeno Jelly and cheese. Blue rock salt served as the base.

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The tower has the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition swirled around it. Then the view from the top is just amazing.

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Fort Clatsop was much smaller than I expected.

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The different forts of the expedition

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Astoria is in the far Northwest corner of Oregon. Going south we come to Seaside, Oregon. Mostly a tourist destination with large inviting beaches and home to classic car shows. Sightseeing in Seaside, OR. First up was a walk downtown where many of the cars from yesterday were parked on the street for display. A mural caught my eye as someone has tried to present all the tourist activities of this small seaside town.

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Seaside hosts a small merry-go-round that brings smiles to children and adults alike.

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The beach is just a short walk up Broadway Street. Visitors are greeted at a roundabout with the scene of Lewis and Clark at the end of their journey west.

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On this day there were few people on this vast expanse of welcoming beach.

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A walk further down the beach brings me to the Aquarium. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an aquarium on the beach before! Notice the skeletal form in the window.

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Before leaving Seaside, OR I was initiated into the Elks. Now I have the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Elks Club to find social interaction while I’m on the road.

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Moving further south I visited Ecola State Park to view more of the Oregon coastline.

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At Indian Beach I watched surfers challenge the waves.

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A couple of views from Ecola point show the Haystack Rock formation and the nature of the Oregon coast line. Very similar to California’s coast line.

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I just love these large Historical Markers along the road and capture them when possible.

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Coastal views

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Passing through small coastal towns as I work my way down to Tillamook.

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Lunch in Tillamook at a 50’s style diner.

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Touring the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

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Of course this oddity caught my eye. An RV suspended above the road. I had posted this on facebook and received a few responses. One of the respondents even posted their own photo from a few years ago where this RV was in very good shape. Either the tourist industry is on a decline or these folks just are not maintaining this eye catcher.

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I departed Seaside on Sept. 15 after playing pickle ball and watching a tournament. I traveled to Florence, OR where I stayed for the weekend. I spent those rainy days in the Adult lodge putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It is amazing how much time can be consumed with one of those puzzles.