Friday, May 6, 2016

Traveling to Silver City Again

4/25/2016 Monday morning over the summit was dry, but coming down the east side we encountered a lot of snow mist. Only a few times did the road and the windshield actually get wet.
We stopped for lunch at JT's Basque Restaurant in Gardnerville . Gone are the days when we ordered the full basque lunch. That's a huge amount of food. Bill ordered a Basque burger. Amazingly it held together even though it looked like almost half a pound of meat. With all the fixings on toasted sourdough it piled up about 5 inches. I had a nice soup and tasted most of Bill's salad. His giant burger came with a platter of salad and fries.
Fair amount of wind on the road, but we landed in Bishop in short order and checked in at the J Diamond Mobile Ranch right behind Erick Schat's Bakkery. We didn't plan to eat here, but wound up walking over to shop for a loaf of nice bread. Bill picked out cheese buns and cookies.
We drifted out and back on the road fairly late.
Manzanar was our next stop. We hadn't been here in a few years. I knew the exhibits had changed and they have been updating the site with excavations of scenic gardens and recreations of barracks furnished as they would have been for new arrivals and those who had been there a while. Bill knew that there was now quite a bit about those who were sent on to another detention camp at Tule Lake for refusing to join the service. Manzanar is getting ready for the big annual commemorative weekend next weekend. They are expecting some 15 thousand visitors.

We had to stop and say hello for an hour or so at the Alabama Hills. No driving on tiny trails this time.  

Tonight we are at Boulder Creek RV Resort. Met a couple from The Netherlands who were doing the Southwest in a rental RV with an 11 month old baby. Talked travel and bicycle racing.
The roads that were not repaired the last time we drove through Death Valley are still not repaired. Too bad, Jubilee Pass is a nice road.
After that looks like we might hit a few showers so we plan to stay in Tacopa rather than Shoshone. We'll do the indoor hot baths over the outdoor lukewarm pool.
On Wednesday 4/27 we decided it was warm enough, so we stayed in Shoshone and the outdoor 90 degree pool was fine until the afternoon got too late.

The next morning we drove over to Tecopa Hot Springs for a soak until 1130. This is hot mineral water. The ladies side was empty until a Japanese lady came in just as I was showering after. These are no clothing baths, which is why they separate the men and women.
We drove through the Mojave Preserve and walked a bit and looked at the flowers. At times I have known the names of all the southwest flowers, but I'm having trouble coming up with much beyond beavertail cactus.

Thursday night 4/28 we are at Blakes RV, a stop we've made before.
Friday 4/29 we make it to the historic La Posada Hotel, the Turquoise Room, for a marvelous lunch. This is a great place with a great story. About how a historic landmark was purchased for the price of the land and restored over the years, room by room, to be the multimillion dollar hotel, restaurant and art museum it is now. Winslow Arizona has its run down parts, but this beautiful place has certainly added to the tax base and given the town something to be proud of.
 We camp in a howling wind over in Homolovi State Park, just out of town. The showers were nice , but I practically blew away walking there and back.
Saturday 4/30 we head back over to the Turquoise Room for breakfast. I make it a point to order unusual foods when we go out, so I had the Corn Maidens Delight. Polenta, vegetables, poached eggs and grilled corn salsa. Very nice and very filling.
We take the Coronado trail, but it has changed. The last time we were in Silver City was 2011 when we came to support Jon's team although Jon was not here, since he had retired. In the fire season later in 2011 a huge fire burned through here. So we pass lots of sticks, standing and lying, ready for the next fire.
Ghost Forest
We stop for lunch at the Hannagan Meadow Lodge. Pub food. So I order extra hot wings. William is not fond of these, so I never have them at home. Pretty good.
We are camped for the night at the free campground down the road. The few mist bits of snow have turned into enough to look like it is sticking here at 9120 feet. I'm not afraid of getting cold. Though I feel a bit chilly in here. William built a big fire. We hung around it earlier and walked out to see the edge of the burn. Lots of aspen coming up in this otherwise ghost forest.

I've obviously retreated to the RV

The next morning
The largest copper mine in North America, the Morenci Mine, has gotten lots larger in the years since we last drove by.

Our first stop in New Mexico is at Faywood Hot Springs. This place had been closed for many years and was purchased in 2011. We had always enjoyed coming here for the hot water soaks. Many of the pools are clothing optional. Lots of friendly gray kitties that remind us of our old Fumo. They would like to come home with us. If we weren't so far from home, we might take one. They have lots of extras.
Tempted to take this one.

After two nights we head on into Silver City on Tuesday to meet son Jon and teammate Mike for lunch at the Southern Bistro. First race of the Tour of the Gila is Wednesday May 4th. We will be working the feed zones for the boys.
I have had lots of trouble getting this first installment of the blog posted. The WiFi at the Silver City RV park has given me fits, although the worst problem at first was the fact that I packed the wrong cord for the laptop.
A strange little computer junk shop at the corner of College and Ballard in downtown Silver City, Binary Circuits, saved me. The owner only charged me $5 for a cord. He gets his stock from recycling and junk, so all is used, but still I would have paid more.
I am going to post another entry about the 30th annual Tour of the Gila bike race when it is completed on Sunday.

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