5/15/17

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As I write this, it is Monday morning. We arrived in Pahrump yesterday afternoon. We've had our breakfast this morning and Mike is off to attend his first class. The kitties are both sleeping soundly, having spent the night keeping us awake. Honestly, they did so well the first two nights. Last night, Sadie lost her "good traveler" badge. For some reason, she was much more anxious than she has been on the previous nights of travel, and she "talked" to us all night long. This kept Smitty all whipped up, and so it was a rather restless night in Kittyland. Fortunately, we got enough sleep to feel rested this morning because it's going to be a busy day.

Before I go on about the school though, I wanted to show you a few leftover images from Hawthorne, Nevada. As I mentioned in my previous post, Hawthorne is home to the largest munitions depot in the world, and one can see evidence of it all though this little town. I'd read about a "saloon" online that sounded interesting, and so we decided to check it out. In the parking lot, we saw these ocean mines painted up as pool balls.


The "saloon" turned out to be nothing but a dark, smelly, smoky, bar, and so we walked in and out in about 20 seconds flat. 


We crossed the street to a restaurant we'd also read about called El Capitan. They were reported to have the best chicken fried steak in the state. Neither of us are chicken fried steak fans, but you should know that chicken fried steak is the state bird in Nevada. I read that online too, so you know it's true.

The town is very small, pretty much built on one street, and so we saw the whole thing in about five minutes. For some reason, the "awesome" bail bonds cracked me up. Open 24/7 if you're needing to be bailed out quickly.


There was also a munitions museum in town. It was closed when we drove by. We talked briefly about going back in the morning before we left town, but decided against it. Times being what they are, it didn't hold a lot of appeal.

Finally, someone asked to see the catio. If you haven't been following long, then you might not know that we have a "catio" that hangs on the side of the RV. The kitties love this. Someone will probably ask, and so I'll just say right here that this is called a Kitty Kat Kabana, but the company that built ours is no longer in business...which is too bad, because this is a great product.


Okay, and that was the last picture I took in Hawthorne before getting under way for another day of driving. We drove parallel to the Nevada/California border for a good part of the day. This area is desolate...really, not much to see at all. The temperatures were in the 50's, and so it wasn't hot, but certainly, it's hot most of the year.


At one point, we could see the White Mountains off in the distance. In the middle on the left of the image below, you can see a salt flat, and there are quite a few of these in the Nevada desert.


Here's a closer-up image.


I've zoomed way in on this image, and I'm hoping you can see the large salt deposits right in the middle. 


These are the same deposits and from the same process that one can see on a visit to Mono Lake. The image below is one I took on a visit to Mono Lake ten years ago. (Ten years ago? Really? Gulp.)


Okay, so getting back to Nevada...occasionally, we saw these "painted" landscapes similar to those that can be seen in Death Valley.


Across the desert from where we were traveling is the famous Extraterrestrial Highway associated with the also famous Area 51 of Nellis Air Force Base. And so you can imagine the conversation we had when we saw this:


As it turns out this is the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonapah, Nevada. I've given you a link to the Wikipedia page about this, but here's a little clip about the project from the same page:

"The project includes 10,347 heliostats that collect and focus the sun's thermal energy to heat molten salt flowing through an approximately 640-foot (200 m) tall solar power tower. The molten salt circulates from the tower to a storage tank, where it is then used to produce steam and generate electricity. Excess thermal energy is stored in the molten salt and can be used to generate power for up to ten hours, including during the evening hours and when direct sunlight is not available. The storage technology also eliminates the need for any backup fossil fuels, such as natural gas."

And it all makes sense when you realize it's right next to a major power grid.


And I so wish I could have gotten a better picture of these wild burros roaming the area. I got so excited that I looked them up online to see what I could learn about them.


Here's an article I found about them in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper.

And here's a short amateur video I found on YouTube. If you can't see the video, then click right here.



Okay...so that was the most excitement we had all day. As we drove farther south, we started seeing more Joshua Trees, which isn't surprising since Joshua Tree National Park is just a couple of hours away.



There were desert wildflowers blooming all along the way, but I wasn't able to get any pictures until we stopped for lunch. Sadly, these were the only ones I could find in the place where we stopped. I have a feeling these are just plain old dandelions, but work with me here, okay?


The only other thing of note that we saw was Big Dune. I've given you a link there if you want to read more about it. There are dunes all over this area and ATV trails to go along with them.


 Finally, just before 3:00 p.m., we rounded a bend in the road and Pahrump, Nevada, came into view in the distance.


We drove to the south side of town and arrived at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch just before it was time to be admitted.


It took a bit for Mike to get registered at the "welcome center" but when everything was said and done, we were both wearing these security bracelets. Nice, eh? Matches my outfit and everything.


Okay, so here's a map of the facility.


As I've mentioned before, the RV spots were supposed to be closed for remodeling (or something). Nevertheless, there was a spot available for us right where they were the last time we visited. 


Pause here for just a moment to admire my soft and supple cuticles and my lovely manicure. Okay, and since we weren't supposed to get an RV space, we were also given a condo for the same price. Not sure how we lucked out with the condo since we do have the RV space, but we have one, at no extra charge.


The track where Mike will be driving goes right past our RV. There was a motorcycle event going on there yesterday.


Also across the way, you can see our condo.


So, of course, we had to walk over there and check it out. From the outside stairs, you can see our RV across the track. Those tires on the right side in the middle are barriers for the track...all old Corvette tires. 


Here is yet another map of the place, but this one shows the blue track, which is the track Mike will be driving on.


Inside, the condo is very nice. Here it is from the entry side of the room.


Standing on the far side of the room looking back, you can see there is a full kitchen. Breakfast and lunch are provided, but dinner is on our own.


There's a large and pretty bathroom, 


with a luxuriously large shower.


We won't spend much time here, but it's nice to have it available for our use. We slept in the RV last night. All our stuff is there, and we're more comfortable in our own bed...and with our kitties.

Back on the other side of the RV and next to the "clubhouse" is a pool facility with an unheated pool and a jacuzzi. Very nice.


From here one can walk up three flights of stairs to see another view of the track. The tower there on the right is the "control tower" where the instructors can talk to the drivers (Mike) via radio.


As we walked back from breakfast this morning, I took pictures of every blooming thing. I believe this is an allium.


This I know to be oleander. Don't eat it. Oleander is deadly poisonous.


This appears to be some kind of herb, although I don't recognize it. When I bruised the leaves between my thumb and forefinger, it smelled like mint, but it doesn't look like any mint I've ever seen.


And that's all I have to tell you for now. Mike is over at the Corvette classroom getting his first round of classes. He'll be texting me with information I need to know...like, when is lunch, and when he'll be driving. You might recall that I gave him a GoPro camera for Christmas and so he'll be mounting that on the dashboard of his car and taking video. I'm hoping I'll be able to share that with you eventually.

As for me, I've done the last round of dishes, and I'll be washing some clothes today. We have a washer/dryer unit in our fifth wheel, but it only washes small loads; thus, one must wash a lot of loads, and frequently. When I get that going, I'll be setting up shop with my sewing machine. We're all going to be having a good day here. I've missed sewing over the past week or so, and so it'll be good to be back in my happy place. And since the track is just out the window from our table, I'll just sew and watch from here. Cool.

And just so you know, I have had some time for hand stitching when we've stopped various places. I've been pulling out the latest Summer Holiday block while Mike naps just after lunch.


We'll be staying put for the next couple of days, and so I'll have more to tell you tomorrow about Mike's day on the track.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Pamela said...

I had forgotten about the wild donkeys! We loved seeing those as well, but it was the Solar Energy plant that I thought you would enjoy. I was amazed at how far off you could see it and we spent quite some time wondering what it actually was! All the mirrors around the bottom look like a blue lake from a distance.

Enjoy your sewing day!

WoolenSails said...

You find the most interesting and unique things on your trips, love out of the way places and things that are not on the normal tourist areas. The camp looks nice, a little bit of luxury and fun for Mike.

Debbie

Shirley Elliott said...

It is so interesting to follow along with your travels! Thank you for all that you share with your readers. I love all the sights and history and, of course, what's happening with the cats. I think the desert is truly beautiful.

quiltzyx said...

Cute burros in that video!
Funny, bail bonds & barbershop too. Get trimmed up for court?

I bet that Mike is having a great time! I look forward to seeing his videos. And glad you're getting some sew time in too.

Hope Sadie settles down agsin. I wonder what got her going?

DeeDee said...

Holy cow, I am showing this post to my husband. I have a feeling he's going to want to rent an RV and head west. We live in Central NC, but that driving school would make him want to hop in the car and go! Have fun!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

How exciting for you and can't wait to see Mike's face while on that track. Poor Sadie! You have the best of two worlds - RV and Condo - holy moe!!

Brown Family said...

That is a nice condo. I hope Mike is enjoying his classes!

claudia said...

Sounds like a great place to stay! I'm a little jealous of Mike and the classes he is taking.
Pretty condo, but they call it "home sweet home" for a reason, I'd rather stay with my own stuff and kitties too!

Kate said...

Sounds like the best of both worlds. You have time to sew and Mike gets to play with cars.

Debbie said...

Wild and wonderful adventure. You always find the most minute bits of info. Hope Sadie rests better tonight. Thanks for the adventure.

Dana Gaffney said...

Nice room, but I'm glad you're staying with the babies and getting set up sounds like you'll be happy while Mike's learning to be a hot dog. Oleander is so beautiful, it's everywhere here, but like you said highly deadly or I'd have it all around my house.

piecefulwendy said...

What fun cruising with you on your drive! I'm so sorry that Sadie was unsettled; I hope she is getting used to it now. Glad you have some time to relax and quilt. Can't wait to hear about MIke's experience!

SJSM said...

When California freeways were first built it wasn't unusual to see oleander planted in the center median. As California grew in population most of the median oleanders were taken out to add more lanes to the freeway. We called oleander "freeway bushes". Can't say I care for them in most landscapes but do like them along the freeway as it brings something living into that hard landscape.

Glad to see Mike enjoying his first "bucket list" item. Check them off as you can. You never know if you will get another chance to work one into your life. Happy motoring!