Sunday, November 17, 2019

Homes on Wheels Solar Panel Awards

  HOWA received a generous donation of 40 245 watt solar panels from SanTan Solar, a retail dealer of both new and used solar panels. Their prices are very good so if you’re looking for solar check them out!  HOWA was also able to purchase 40 solar kits at a reduced price from Renogy – everything for a complete solar installation except for the battery which, unfortunately, was not in HOWA’s budget. Thank you San Tan and Renogy!

    After carefully vetting the applicants 40 were chosen and a group of volunteers gathered to distribute the systems. I helped with paperwork and Tony provided muscle to load the panels and kits in the recipients' vehicles. It was a fun and rewarding experience because we were giving 40 individuals and couples a huge improvement in their lives. The electricity generated will power CAP machines, small refrigerators, fans, laptops, lights, and any number of other small appliances.

                                           Testing the panels
                         Explaining all of the components in the kit
                          Volunteers manning the sign-in area
                                           Solar kit recipients
   A big thank you to all who donated, volunteered, and came out to receive the solar kits for your part in making this event so successful! Live Solar Kit Award Video  Nov. 6 2019

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Railroad Pass Casino

   Railroad Pass Casino marks the southern end of the Las Vegas and Henderson sprawl and the beginning of open road through unpopulated desert. It’s also a good place for truckers and RVers to stop for the night.  Several large sections of the lot have been set aside for truck parking. RVers get a smaller section that has a slope. We parked in the most level space and still had to use our leveling blocks.

   We did not visit the casino. Casino 35.97148, -114.9113
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Friday, November 15, 2019

Crozier Ranch Boondocking

   BLM land and private ranchland form a checkerboard pattern along historic 66 near Crozier, Arizona. At this location a dirt road accesses BLM land to both the north and south of Route 66. We camped on the south side. We didn’t go very far because we wanted to be sure that we stayed on BLM land.

   Each access point has a gate which must be kept closed. Since some of the land is private there are special rules that must be followed. Stop and sign in and take a hang tag for your vehicle.
                       This is a good, quiet spot to spend the night. The area is large enough for any RV but the soil is very dry and fine so avoid driving off road to minimize damage. BLM  35.45222, -113.62387
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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Twin Arrows Casino

   For years the Navajo Nation voted against building casinos on their lands, mostly out of moral conviction, however in 2013 the Twin Arrows became the first Navajo casino. There are now three more all on the edges of the reservation and close to major travel routes. This one is particularly popular because it’s only about 20 miles east of Flagstaff.

   Two small sections of parking lot on the east side of the casino have long spaces for RVs. The spaces are sloped so levelers are required in most of them. They also start filling up in late afternoon. Sign in is not necessary.

   The trip to the casino is uphill. The chairs are fairly easy to move and the money and ticket slots are easy to reach.  Casino 35.16684, -111.2558
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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

New Mexico Mining Museum

   Uranium ore was discovered in western New Mexico in 1950 which made the small town of Grants, New Mexico a boomtown of sorts. Uranium was needed by the US government for nuclear weapon development until the 1970s when its main use was in power plants. Jobs in the mines and mills were easy to get and the pay was good. The workers did not realize that breathing in the dust, working in a radon saturated atmosphere, and drinking radioactively contaminated water would injure and sicken them and their families. Many miners died of lung cancer. Miscarriages and birth defects were common in families where the husband or wife worked in the uranium industry.
   The museum has good exhibits that give the facts in a non-committal way and gloss over problems such as the health of workers or the disposal of radioactive waste. The most interesting exhibit is a recreated uranium mine which takes up the entire basement level.
   The museum is accessible. An elevator provides access down to the “mine”. The main path through mine is paved and smooth.
   Small RVs will fit in the parking lot. Larger RVs can be parked along the alley by the park to the west of the museum. Museum  35.15356, -107.85425
        
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Monday, November 11, 2019

Sky City Casino

  The gravel lot north of the hotel is marked for oversized parking but it’s far away from the casino entrance so we parked in an unused gravel lot south of the employee parking lot. Head across the lot to the employee entrance and follow the sidewalk to the left to get to the casino entrance.

   The chairs are fairly easy to move and the card and money slots are easy to reach. Casino  35.07546, -107.55426
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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Ohkay Casino

  The casino has a large gravel lot for truck parking. Since the casino wasn’t busy we parked in the paved lot just lot of the gravel lot to avoid most of the dust and truck noise.
   The nearest entrance door for the casino was blocked by construction barriers so a it was a bit of a hike to the front door. The casino has easy to move chairs. The card and money slots are easy to reach. Casino  36.03438, -106.06119
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Saturday, November 9, 2019

US 56/412 Picnic Table Rest Area

 
   An internet search for a good overnight spot along US 56/412 yielded little as most of the land is privately owned or checkerboard state trust land. As far as I know New Mexico state trust land is closed to camping so it was time to take a look at the old trusty Rand McNally paper map. This little rest stop, marked with a picnic table on the map, was great – fairly quiet with a large gravel pile blocking traffic at one end so nobody rumbled by us during the night. Picnic table rest areas usually do not have anything but a place to pull off and picnic tables. Stays in New Mexico rest areas are limited to 24 hours.  36.30558, -104.18886
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Friday, November 8, 2019

Dinosaur Statues

  Two of the three dinosaurs are surrounded by protective, white picket fencing. The triceratops has been refurbished recently with new horns and a new paint job but the brontosaurus’s skin is flaking away. The third dinosaur looks tougher so it may be made of concrete or fiberglass rather than foam like the other two.

  The dinosaurs are located at the Clayton Tourist Center. An interpretive sign describes the 100 million-year-old dinosaur tracks that can be seen at Clayton Lake State Park, located about 15 miles north of the town.

   The dinosaurs can be viewed from the sidewalk or from your vehicle.

   Short RVs will fit in the gravel lot on Palm Street. Long RVs can be parked on the street. Statues  36.44131, -103.17795
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Thursday, November 7, 2019

No Man's Land Regional Park

  There aren’t any designated camping spots in this small community park. Either of the two parking lots are okay and we also saw a fifth wheel parked in the grass by the baseball diamond.

The park has a dump station and potable water, a skateboard park, picnic tables, restrooms, and picnic tables.

   The parking lots are large enough for any RV. Park  36.67618, -101.46932
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