Friday, February 28, 2014

She Got Stuck In The Sand Until We Got It Unstuck

Barbara had send us an email telling us that she got stuck in the sand and was looking for help. And when an RVer is looking for help there’s always another RVer who might be able to provide assistance. So yesterday morning I was looking for a chain or a solid rope to possibly pull her Class C out with.

Neighbour Alvin had a 10ft. steel chain and with that I drove down to Barbara’s RV.
Of course, I forgot to take the camera along. :-(( I fastened the chain onto the rear of both vehicles and …started pulling.  All that happened was my rear wheels started to spin and digging a hole underneath. The Desert floor can be treacherous!  So I stopped in the attempt. Our van was too lightweight for her 24footer Class C

Barbara had a rug which we positioned behind the rear wheels. Then she put the thing in reverse, starting slowly while I was manually putting my weight against her hood pushing.  And holy smokes….that thing moved straight out of the hole and onto solid ground.  Meanwhile a neighbour had come over with a thick board. Like I say, when an RVer needs help…..

Barbara took a few pictures and she’s got them on her blog.

Other than the “rescue” the day passed rather uneventful. Some light clouds had moved in and a breeze prevailed most of the day making an afternoon nap outside rather pleasant.
When the wind died after 7pm, we walked over to our neighbours Ron and Betty. They have a bonfire about every evening. And there is hardly any evening going by without us solving most of the worlds problems at the campfire.

It’s life in the desert!

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Common Sense Prevailed In Arizona


Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed SB 1062, the so-called Religious Freedom Bill.

"I call them like I see them," Brewer said. "I took the time necessary to make the right decision."

The politically charged legislation would have allowed business owners to cite sincerely held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays and other individuals and groups and fend off discrimination lawsuits.

"Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona," Brewer said at an early evening news conference. "I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner's religious liberty has been violated. The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences."

Brewer noted that our society is undergoing many dramatic changes. "However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve," she said. "It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want."

Arizona Sen. Al Melvin, who voted for the bill, said, "I am sorry to hear that Gov. Brewer has vetoed this bill. I'm sure it was a difficult choice for her. But it is a sad day when protecting liberty is considered controversial."

The outcome of this for the state rather embarrassing affair shows that civil rights and freedom need to be guarded and defended against ill-intended attacks at all times.  For me it is 50 some years ago that we learned that in school. It is good that Gov. Brewer remembered it at this crucial moment. “Protecting liberty” does seem to produce some de-railed interpretations in Arizona.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

More About Castle Dome Mine Museum

In lieu of any new and recent adventure I am posting a few more details about the Castle Dome Mine. And what you still haven’t heard about is the fact that when we got home we were missing our camera bag with a 200mm lens and our camera charger. The conclusion was that Bea, who had been carrying the darn thing, had put it somewhere on the floor in some of the old buildings, and then walked away from it. We tried to contact the museum by phone, but the phone# on their website didn’t work and an email wasn’t answered. So next morning I had to drive out there again to retrieve the bag with its contents. We had 3 empty propane cylinders to fill, which i took with me to Yuma where propane is somewhat cheaper than in the Golden State of California.
The bag was already waiting for me to be picked up and the museum lady was really glad that I had come back to pick up that thing.
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So here is a little more about what you can expect to see at the museum:
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What you will see there is a remnant town which stood larger than Yuma in 1878. Her weather beaten buildings remain in an area little changed from the 1800's. The mills stand silent, housing original boiler, stamp mill, and elevator, as if tomorrow they will awaken to the thunderous roar of steel crushing rock. The boardwalks still creak, the church bell rings out, the five saloons just await the story of their last shootout. The horse trails are beaten down & lead to the blacksmith. The old stage harness lies empty and the nail bags are waiting to be filled. The old glass has turned dark purple from years of sun. The machine shop has few changes, and old uncovered Roulette table is ready to spin up your fortune. The old Mercantile is still well stocked, the Doctor and Dentist office with all the tools to fix you up still awaits your visit. If you need a Post office or want to buy a lot, the Land office and claim Filing office sits on the hill. All the details that made the 1800's the wild west are here for you to experience. Only the rugged need apply, to the Desert Woman who lived here for Decades. Come by, and you can visit the old Graveyard, or stand on the Balcony of the 2nd floor of the Doc's office and see for miles. Checking out the old buildings with everything from the oldest Levi Strauss pants in the world to the Dainties in the dress shop, it is truly a great experience.
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And if you never have tried a date shake. here’s a place where you want to stop:
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Wonderful Place in Borrego Springs And A Meeting With Bloggers

Yesterday we slipped over to Borrego Springs. Besides of having a nice drive, the highlight of the day was the meeting with Betty and Joe who came over from Desert Hot Springs. Betty is writing a blog and it was the blogging and meeting with George and Suzie which made Betty seek contact with us.

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It is just another example of how RVers in blogland connect with each other. But let me tell you where exactly the meeting took place.
Bea had been researching the question of where we could have lunch in Borrego Springs and take Molly with us out on the patio. Apparently there is only one such place and that is the RED OCOTILLO.  But it also has another name: "The Palms at Indian Head" It's a place like no other and you would not expect to find it where it is. Instead of being located along the main drag of town we found the place along 
Hoberg Rd. which I think is the last turn off to the north before going into the State Park. It sits at the end of this residential road  embedded in beautiful palm trees. It is also a place of great history as it was a popular place to visit for movie stars of the 
fifties. It is the former site of Old Hoberg Resort, the first major lodging facility in Borrego Springs. Built in 1947, the 20acre resort was a favorite gateway for the Hollywood stars in the fifties.


Past guests include Charles Laughton, Leo Carrillo, Andy Devine, Frank Morgan, Clark Gable, Lon Chaney Jr. Roy Rodgers, Bing Crosby, James Arness, and Marilyn Monroe. The property featured a landing strip, an oversized Olympic pool, cocktail lounge, restaurant, bungalow retreats, horseback riding, shuffleboard and tennis.

However, the original lodge burned down to the ground in 1958 as a result of a hot water heater explosion on the second floor. Residents of the valley at the time remarked  at how the fire lit up the valley that fateful night. The present lodge was built that same year and opened as the Borrego Palms Resort, the new building was designed in the international modern style of that period.

The resort changed ownership many times during that period and with each new owner came a new twist: a nudist retreat, school for handicapped children, and even a detention facility for bad boys. 
Since its last use the property remained empty for fifteen years.  During those years, the property fell into serious disrepair. The owner at that time was told to either bring the units up to code or tear them down. He chose the latter and left only photo opportunities for today's guests.
The property was named “The Palms At Indian Head” because of the beautiful California and Mexican Fan palms and producing date palms on the property. The property is located at the base of Indian Head Mountain directly behind. The mountain was originally named by the Cahuilla Indians and the name translated to Rain in the face, from a distance the mountain looks like an Indian with headdress on looking  straight up in the sky.

While sitting in the shade we chatted away and got to know about Betty 
and her husband of 10 years, who make their home in Portland, OR. 
Betty had many questions about us and how we found out about 
Holtville,CA. Of course, when we look back on the years since 2005 we 
have had our wonderful share of adventures and experiences in many 
places of North America.
Let me just add that not only the beauty of this place is intriguing 
but they also serve excellent food at very reasonable prices. It's a 
million times better than any street cafe or fast food joint. If you 
get into the area you should check it out.
The place has many reviews on Trip Advisor. They speak of a somewhat 
slow service, and yea, if you ate in a hurry then don't go there. 
Mc.Donalds and Wendy might be better for you. But if you want to take 
your sweet time to enjoy it all, you may find yourself in the right 
place. We prefer to wait and get served fresh food versus pre-
manufactured and fast.
Here's the address and don't let the wrong address on Palm Canyon 
Drive given on the internet fool you:
Red Ocotillo, The Palms At Indian Head
2020 Hoberg Rd
Borrego Springs,CA
We parted with Betty and Joe after 2 1/2hrs and will stay in contact with them.

Of course, a visit in Borrego Springs would not be complete without also visiting the beautifully crafted animal statues all around town.   DSC_0257 DSC_0260 


Beautiful Desert Anza Borrego landscape

Thanks for visiting!


Friday, February 21, 2014



Whenever I come to the "Wild-West" I need to have myself a portion of the real wild-west history and there is hardly any better place than the CASTLE DOME VALLEY MINE MUSEUM in the Kofa Mountains. It's really easy to find. Coming from Yuma on HWY 95 one just has to follow until mile marker 55. From here a small road turns eastward towards Castle Dome. The good pavement ends soon and from there a pretty rough, but drivable road goes on for another 10 miles until the museum entrance comes up on the left. The museum is a private collection of paraphernalia  of the 19th and early 20th century, mostly all related to the history of mining in the Kofa Mountains. On the right (south)side of the road one can follow a hiking path leading between old deep mining holes, much old machinery and a few buildings.

The owners of the museum live in Yuma and the entrance charge of $10.00 is worth every penny of it.

We were three couples leaving the LTVA early at 8:30am and before we returned home we needed to stop by at the Date Garden for a refreshment with a date shake. It was a terrific day and though we were all tired in the evening we all had a great time.

website info:

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oh Happy Day….

Our days here at the Holtville LTVA are full of fun and relaxation. The perfect temperatures have really made our move to California worthwhile. We enjoy the company of long-time friends, take our time to prepare nice meals, reading books, and generally do what ever pops into our heads.
And I dare say that even Molly is a more happy dog. And why wouldn’t she be when she can have a little morning nap in Daddy’s bed?

From time to time I enjoy having a hand in preparing our supper and today I brought 4 delicious Tilapia filets from town.  We cooked them wrapped in a bag of aluminum foil, adorned with bacon, 2 slices of lemon and a dash of sour cream. It sure was a great meal.  Or what do you think?
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Hopefully I will not be too tired tomorrow to post about a trip to…..  wait and see.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

About Air Force One

After Rick posted about President Obama’s arrival at Palm Springs with AIRFORCE ONE parked on the tarmac of that little town I got curious to know about U.S. Presidents airtravel throughout history.

Air Force One is the official air traffic control call sign of a United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. In common parlance the term refers to those Air Force aircraft specifically designed, built, and used for the purpose of transporting the president. The Presidential aircraft is a prominent symbol of the American presidency and its power.

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“Sacred Cow” VC 118                                     “Independence”  Douglas C118 of Harry S. Truman

The idea of designating specific military aircraft to transport the President arose in 1943, when officials of the United States Army Air Forces – the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force – became concerned with relying on commercial airlines to transport the President. A C-87 Liberator Express was reconfigured for use as a presidential transport; however, it was rejected by the Secret Service amid concerns over the aircraft's safety record. A C-54 Skymaster was then converted for presidential use; this aircraft, dubbed the Sacred Cow, transported President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference in February 1945, and was subsequently used for another two years by President Harry S. Truman.

The "Air Force One" call sign was created after a 1953 incident during which a flight carrying President Dwight D. Eisenhower entered the same airspace as a commercial airline flight using the same call sign. Several aircraft have been used as Air Force One since the creation of the presidential fleet, including two Boeing 707s introduced in the 1960s and 1970s, respectively; since 1990, the presidential fleet has consisted of two Boeing VC-25As – specifically configured, highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft. The Air Force is looking into replacing the two VC-25 aircraft with three replacement aircraft beginning in 2017.


Lockheed VC 121 Pres. Eisenhower

On 11 October 1910, Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to fly in an aircraft, although at the time of the flight in an early Wright Flyer from Kinloch Field (near St. Louis, Missouri), he was no longer in office, having been succeeded by William Howard Taft. The record-making occasion was a brief fly-ver of the crowd at a country fair but was nonetheless the beginning of presidential air travel.

Prior to World War II, overseas and cross-country presidential travel was rare. Lack of wireless telecommunication and quick transportation made long-distance travel impractical, as it took much time and isolated the president from events in Washington, D.C. Railroads were a safer and more reliable option if the President needed to travel to distant states. By the late 1930s, with the arrival of aircraft such as the Douglas DC-3, increasing numbers of the U.S. public saw passenger air travel as a reasonable mode of transportation. All-metal aircraft, more reliable engines, and new radio aids to navigation had made commercial airline travel safer and more convenient. Life insurance companies even began to offer airline pilots insurance policies, albeit at extravagant rates, and many commercial travelers and government officials began using the airlines in preference to rail travel, especially for longer trips.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to fly in an aircraft while in office. The first aircraft obtained specifically for presidential travel was a Douglas Dolphin amphibian delivered in 1933 which was designated RD-2 by the US Navy and based at the Naval base at Anacostia D.C. The Dolphin was modified with a luxury upholstery for four passengers and a small separate sleeping compartment. The aircraft remained in service as a presidential transport from 1933 until 1939.[5] There are no reports as to whether the president ever flew in the aircraft though. During World War II, Roosevelt traveled on the Dixie Clipper, a Pan Am-crewed Boeing 314 flying boat to the 1943 Casablanca Conference, in Morocco, a flight that covered 5,500 miles (in three "legs"). The threat from the German submarines throughout the Battle of the Atlantic made air travel the preferred method of VIP transatlantic transportation.

Under John F. Kennedy presidential air travel officially entered the jet age. He had used the Eisenhower-era jets for trips to Canada, France, Austria and the United Kingdom. However, in October 1962, the administration purchased a Boeing C-137 Stratoliner, a modified long-range 707—Special Air Mission (SAM) 26000.[16]

image A Lockheed JetStar which was used by Lyndon Johnson during his presidency is on display at the LBJ Ranch (now the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park) in Stonewall, TX. The ranch had a runway, but was too small to accommodate a large plane such as a Boeing 707. President Johnson would take the larger Air Force One to Austin, where he would transfer to the smaller JetStar for the short flight to the ranch





The Air Force had attempted a special presidential livery of their own design: a scheme in red and metallic gold, with the nation's name in block letters. Kennedy felt the aircraft appeared too regal, and, on advice from his wife, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, he contacted the French-born American industrial designer Raymond Loewy for help in designing a new livery and interiors for the VC-137 jet. Loewy met with the president, and his earliest research on the project took him to the National Archives, where he looked at the first printed copy of the United States Declaration of Independence, and saw the country's name set widely spaced and in upper case in a typeface called Caslon. He chose to expose the polished aluminum fuselage on the bottom side, and used two blues; a slate-blue associated with the early republic and the presidency, and a more contemporary cyan to represent the present and future. The presidential seal was added to both sides of the fuselage near the nose, a large American flag was painted on the tail, and the sides of the aircraft read "United States of America" in all capital letters. Loewy's work won immediate praise from the president and the press. The VC-137 markings were adapted for the larger VC-25 when it entered service in 1990.

SAM 26000 was in service from 1962 to 1998, serving Presidents Kennedy to Clinton. On 22 November 1963, SAM 26000 carried President Kennedy to Dallas, Texas, where it served as the backdrop as the Kennedys greeted well-wishers at Dallas' Love Field. Later that afternoon, Kennedy was assassinated, and Vice President Lyndon Johnson assumed the office of president and took the oath of office aboard SAM 26000. At Johnson's request, the plane carried Kennedy's body back to Washington. A decade later, SAM 26000 brought Johnson's own body home to Texas after his state funeral in Washington.



President Lyndon B. Johnson used SAM 26000 to travel extensively domestically, and used it to visit troops in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. SAM 26000 served President Nixon on several groundbreaking overseas voyages, including his famous visit to the People's Republic of China in February 1972 and trip to the Soviet Union later that year, both firsts for an American president. Nixon dubbed the plane the "Spirit of '76" in honor of the upcoming bicentennial of the United States, and that logo was painted on both sides of the plane's nose.

SAM 26000 was replaced in December 1972 by another VC-137, Special Air Mission 27000, although SAM 26000 was kept as a backup until it was finally retired in 1998.[23] SAM 26000 is now on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Richard Nixon was the first president to use SAM 27000, and the newer aircraft served every president until it was replaced by two VC-25 aircraft (SAM 28000 and 29000) in 1990.

image SAM 27000

After announcing his intention to resign the presidency, Nixon boarded SAM 27000 to travel to California. Colonel Ralph Albertazzie, then pilot of Air Force One recounted that after Gerald Ford was sworn in as president, the plane had to be redesignated as SAM 27000, indicating no president was on board the aircraft. Over Jefferson City, Missouri, Albertazzie radioed: "'Kansas City, this was Air Force One. Will you change our call sign to SAM 27000?' Back came the reply: 'Roger, SAM 27000. Good luck to the President.'"

SAM 27000's last flight as Air Force One was on 29 August 2001 when it flew President George W. Bush from San Antonio to Waco, Texas. Following the flight it was formally decommissioned then flown to San Bernardino International Airport (former Norton AFB) in California. It was later dismantled and taken to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, where it was reassembled and is on permanent display.

SAM 28000 a Boeing 747 (VC-25) has been serving since Pres. George Bush, though was already in the planning during the Reagan administration.

The VC-25As are expected to be replaced, as they have become less cost-effective to operate. The USAF Air Mobility Command has been charged with looking into possible replacements, including the new Boeing 747-8 and the Airbus A380. On 7 January 2009, the Air Force Materiel Command, as part of its Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization Program (PAR), posted a notice to survey and identify potential suppliers of the next generation of Presidential airplane to begin service in 2017. By 28 January 2009, the deadline for responding to the survey notice, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) announced that it would not participate in the program leaving Boeing the sole possible provider with either its Boeing 747-8 or Boeing 787 Dreamliner being proposed.


If you have been hanging in until here and not yet fallen asleep let me know.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Where All The White Stuff Is

Keeping a watchful eye on our house a neighbour brought his camera and snapped off this picture, just so we don’t forget what real winter looks like.

We barely avoided hitting 90F the other day. What a difference to our previous location in Florida.

A meeting with fellow bloggers can be in the near future and we have a Ghosttown-Museum Tour in the pipe for this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 15, 2014


For many years a mixed crowd has come together to have a party on February 14 Valentines Day. Some people, back at home, are thinking of us living a simple and rather primitive life without much comfort out here in the desert. Yet, I hope the following pictures might have the power to convince even the most skeptical soul that such assumption is groundless and utterly wrong.
DSC_0043                     Love was literally in the air as a love-sick pilot painted 2 hearts up there.

I did not count heads today, but assume about 100 people had met here at “Snoopy’s Valentine Party”. And look at what they’ve done:
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The sweet delicacies seemed to be overwhelming and I just made a feeble attempt to check out just a little bit of everything, but of course, did not succeed. Yet my desire led me to eat too much.
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Our afternoon temperature was somewhere between 88-90F which made sitting in the sun a real hot experience. That’s why tents had been set up, but the crowd was too big so some had to sit in the sun. So we decided to bring our own shade along and parked our van perpendicular to the sun so we lounged in the shade of the van. Molly needed it and so did we. When the music started there was no lack of willing dancers on the stretched-out blue tarp on the ground.
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A big THANK YOU to Joan and Dale with their helpers for arranging this party for so many years. You guys are awesome!