Saturday, April 22, 2017

César E. Chávez National Monument

  Cesar Chavez started working with his family in the fields of California after they lost their home in Arizona during the depression of the 1930s. He was only 11 years old. Low pay, dangerous pesticides, no restrooms in the fields, and substandard housing, which are still problems today, were even worse at that time. As a young man Chavez became involved in organizing the workers and, along with  Dolores Huerta, co-founded the United Farm Workers union. Union membership grew to 50,000 workers and won fights for better housing, protective clothing, rest periods, fresh water, and toilet facilities with hand washing stations in the fields.

The monument property was the headquarters of the United Farm Workers and is jointly managed by the National Park Service and the National Chavez Center. The National Park’s involvement is very recent and their plans for interpreting  Chavez’s life and work have not been implemented yet so displays and information are a little skimpy. The visitor center has a lot of great black and white photographs. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and include a small native plants garden with a dirt waking path.

          

  The visitor center is accessible. The garden path is hard packed so pushing is easy.

  The road to the monument is steep and narrow. Small RVs will fit in the parking lot. There is a turnaround loop if you drive down and do not find any room to park.  Monument    35.22345, -118.559

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Friday, April 21, 2017

20 Mule Team Museum

  Many donated items fill this small museum which tells the history of the town of Boron and the mining of borax.

   The museum is accessible with a  ramp located on the right side of the museum. The ground is soft dirt so pushing around to see the outdoor displays is a bit difficult.

  Parking is on the street.   Museum    34.99938, -117.65064

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Peggy Sue’s Diner RV Parking

  The original diner was built in 1954 using railroad ties. Since 1987 it’s been owned by Peggy Sue and her husband Champ who expanded the diner to seat 300 people and house their collection of 1950s and Hollywood memorabilia. They also built a nice little park with ponds, shade trees, and dinosuar statues.

  

   We didn’t check out the memorabilia because most of it is in the dining rooms which were pretty busy when we visited. We did get ice cream at the soda fountain/gift shop which is stuffed with 1950s themed gifts and retro candy.

   Everything is accessible but some areas are cramped.

  This is a Harvest Hosts site but since everyone is welcome to stay overnight it’s not necessary to be a Harvest Hosts member. The parking lot is huge. We parked by the billboard at the very rear of the lot. It’s kind of noisy from interstate traffic.

Diner   34.9019, -116.88304

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Seven Magic Mountains Art Installation

  Blocks of rock, painted flourescent colors, and stacked on top of each other are not an expected sight in the desert west of Nevada and yet here they are! The artwork is scheduled to be disassembled in the spring of 2018 so get out there soon if you want to see it.

  A rough, sandy path leads to the rocks so most wheelchair users will need to have help. It can also be viewed from the parking area.

The parking area is large enough for RVs.  Art   35.84013, -115.27077

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Cirque du Soleil and Changes at Vegas

                    

  We enjoyed the Cirque du Soleil show Mystere so much last year that we decided to see another Cirque show this year. Our first choice was sold out so went to LOVE.  It was great, even better than Mystere! The show is very high energy featuring dancing and acrobatics, elaborate costumes and sets, and huge video screens. There’s so much going on that it’s hard to decide what to watch. Each scene features a blending of Beatles songs and loosely follows important events in their lives and careers.

  Seating for guests in wheelchairs is somewhat restricted but all the seats have a good view so it’s not that important. If you’re ordering tickets online chose the “Pick My Seats” option which will bring up the accessible seating.  Check the website for specials before ordering.

  We always park in the alleyway parking area behind Ballys and walk/roll everywhere. This has been a good spot, actually the only spot near the strip, where RVers could stay overnight without being disturbed. However this option is gone, probably for good, because the entire area is going to become paid parking. This might be our last year to visit the strip.

  A better change is the The Park located between New York-New York and Monte Carlo which features restaurants, bars, and a quiet area to sit under shade trees. The centerpiece is a 40’ metal sculpture of a dancing woman called Bliss Dance. Go during the day to see the extraordinary workmanship but don’t miss the nighttime view with LED lights inside the sculpture and colored lights playing across the mesh skin. She was original built for Burning Man and has found a permanent home in Vegas.

        

LOVE   36.12102, -115.17246

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Fremont Street Murals

       

  75 degrees and sunny is hard to beat so we’ve been hanging out in Las Vegas enjoying the nice weather. We’ve spent most our time in downtown Vegas because it’s so low rent that even low rollers like us can get free nights at the RV park and free dinner vouchers. : – )

   Fremont Street has really taken off in the last few years. The main draw is the Fremont Street Experience. Previously everything stopped at the end of the canopy but now restaurants, bars, and shops continue for 3 or 4 more blocks. There are also many new murals, artwork, and refurbished neon signs along the street. Much of the artwork is created during the Life is Beautiful festival which will celebrate its fifth year in 2017.

 

  

  The sidewalks and curb cuts are in good condition.

   On–street parking averages $2.00 an hour. The Main Street Station RV Park is $21.00 a night and is within walking distance of everything.

 Casino  36.17559, -115.14213

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sahuaro Ranch Park Historical Area

The Arizona Canal, finished in 1885, opened up 100,000 acres of desert land west of Phoenix to homesteading and irrigation farming. William Henry Bartlett was one of the first homesteaders, planting fruit, nut, and olive orchards and raising livestock. When Bartlett died in 1917 the property changed owners several times before it was bought by Richard W. Smith. The Smith family, who bought the ranch in 1927 and kept it until 1977, expanded the orange groves, started a dairy farm and began breeding thoroughbred horses. 

  The city of Glendale purchased 80 acres of the ranch to preserve its historical features. The main house, guest house, adobe house, foreman’s house, fruit packing shed, and many of the outbuildings are original from the Barlett period. Some of the fig trees planted around the main house are almost 100 years old. A beautiful rose garden has been planted at the original location. Peacocks and peahens, descended from birds bought in the 1890s, roam the grounds. The buildings are open for free tours on Friday and Saturday. Self-guided touring of the grounds is permitted from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

          

  The grounds are hard packed dirt so rolling is easy. The main house has a ramp. We didn’t notice if the other buildings are accessible.

  The parking lot is large enough for RVs. 

Ranch    33.57544, -112.18705

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fort McDowell Casino

    A quick internet search indicated that overnight parking is not permitted in this casino lot but we decided to risk it. We stayed one night in the lot pictured above which is near the bingo hall entrance and everything was fine. At least two other RVers also stayed the night. The casino has a RV resort too.

  The casino has easy to move chairs and easy to reach money and card slots.  Casino   33.58334, -111.67928

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Fountain Park

       
  Fountain Hills was developed in the 1970s by Robert McCulloch, the chain saw tycoon, who also developed the city of Lake Havasu. As a promotional stunt McColloch dismantled a London bridge and reconstructed it at Lake Havasu. His idea for Fountain Hills was a little less ambitious. Fountain Hill’s claim to fame is a park with a pond of reclaimed water and a fountain that shoots water 560 feet in the air for 15 minutes every hour. Unfortunately the fountain does not operate on windy days so we missed seeing it.

  An accessible, mile long, paved trail circles the lake.

  RVs will fit in the lot.  Park   33.60098, -111.71455
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River of Time Museum

   Accessing and securing water is a major concern for every city in the deserts of the southwest. Fountain Hills, Arizona is no exception and the exhibits in the museum cover the city’s need for water and the greater need of Phoenix and Tucson which led to the construction of a 336 mile canal from the Colorado River to the middle of the state. Other exhibits cover Native American, mining and ranching history. The museum courtyard has a nice collection of sculptures.

   The museum is accessible.

  The parking lot is large enough for RVs.  Museum    33.60235, -111.72224

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Arizona Museum of Natural History

  What started in 1977 as a small local museum has grown into a fairly large and comprehensive museum with great artifacts and exhibits pertaining to the formation of Earth, local history, paleontology, and native cultures of the Americas.

  

  The museum is accessible. It’s even possible to pull a wheelchair up to the sluices in the outdoor history exhibit and pan for gold.

  Free 3 hour parking is located in the lot east of the museum. RVs will fit if parked through two spaces.  Museum   33.41658, -111.83397

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