Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort

31 January 2013

This is the place where Las Vegas began in 1855. A spring fed creek  flowed through the valley which attracted Paiute, traders,emigrants and gold seekers traveling to California on the Old Spanish Trail. Las Vegas means meadows.

In 1855, William Bringhurst and 29 fellow Mormons from Utah arrived and built a 150 foot  adobe fort serving as a way station. Lead was discovered and proved unsuccessful. In 1857 the fort was abandoned due to dissension among the two leaders. In 1865 Octavius Gass bought the site and developed a large scale ranch. It was later passed on to the Stewart family due to default and in 1884 the patriarch was killed in a gun fight leaving the property to his widow who continued to operate the ranch until 1902 when sold to the San Pedro,Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad.
It was in 1905 that a new town known as Las Vegas sprang up.
Plaque for Fort

Remains of Fort

First Flag Flown Over Las Vegas in 1855

One of Adobe Structures

Another View of Fort

Visitor Center

Helen Stewart is known as the first lady of Las Vegas and passed in 1924.
She sold the property to the railroad .
Bronze of Helen Stewart

The fort sits at the corner of Las Vegas and Washington Blvds. The visitor center has some interesting exhibits and film. Admission is only $1.00.

Recommend this as a tourist stop.

Leaving Seal Beach Arriving Las Vegas

30 January 2013

After a month at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Seebreeze RV park,
we are heading to Nellis AFB in Las Vegas until the 15 March.

We said goodby to the Coyotes, Herons, Egrets and Ground Squirrels. Fortunately no snakes. This was a very nice campground convenient to attractions, shopping and beaches. Couldn't get picture of squirrels.
They are so cute.
Coyote..saw 4 of them

Blue Heron

Traveling IH 15 for the next 5 hours and not a very scenic drive, we arrived at campground on Nellis known as Desert Eagle around 3:00PM.
This is a very nice campground and very well run. All sites are concrete and we are on site 86 with full hookups. Nice dog park and walking area and beautiful view of mountains. Lots of planes and home to the Thunderbirds. Missed a one time photo op of the Thunderbirds in formation as they were landing. Just not quick on the trigger. Guess that is why I don't own a gun.
Not the Picture I wanted

Site 86

Site 86

Thunderbird Tribute Main Gate

Nellis is the largest fighter base in the world with more than 75% live munitions dropped during training exercises in the Nevada Test and Training range. This is also home to the Red Flag air to air combat training involving the USA and allied Air Forces. The base was opened in 1941 and has a population of around 3,000. We are entertained with the flights and noise, but not a bother..just respect for the pilots and training.

Tomorrow we are going to visit Morman Fort Las Vegas.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Get Together with Good Friends

23 January 2013

Arlene and I have been friends since our school days in Louisville. Fortunately we have kept in touch and visited over the years.

In September of 1964 we decided to drive to California with the intent of returning to Louisville. As it happened we ended up staying in Los Angeles. We loaded up her Carmen Ghia, each put $50.00 in kitty for our outbound trip and another $50.00 for the return. Gas was 25 cents/gal and the Carmen got around 40 MPG. We had money left when we arrived and watched our expenses very carefully. Some days we ate watermelon, peanut butter and very inexpensive meals. Stayed in parks and cheap motels and a cousin of her's in San Antonio. Got bed bugs in one motel in Mississippi and in Albuquerque for the room we scraped soaps scum off the shower walls. Found ourselves in a state park in Texas that was actually closed due to encephalitis outbreak. Slept in the car that night.
Ghost Town Friend we Met

On the USS Yorktown

We even drove into Ensenada,MX for a weekend. Arlene had the hubcaps stolen from the Carmen. Fortunately they left the car. In San Diego we toured the USS Yorktown thanks to a friend she knew stationed on board.
Security was more lax then. All in all the trip was a very memorable experience and I am thankful for the opportunity. 

When we arrived in Los Angeles, we were able to stay with a friend of Arlene's for several months. We found jobs and decided to stay. I met my first husband there and we got married in 1965.  Arlene met Sheldon and they have remained in the area. In 1970 Dan, Eric, Darin and I moved to Texas where Hope was born in 1972. Stayed in several areas of Texas until 1990 when John and I with Hope moved to Salem OR.

We drove into Culver City for our get together and catching up. Arlene and Sheldon drove us to Venice Beach for a long walk and return via the canal to the restaurant for dinner. If you have never done the walk on Venice Beach, you must. It is quite the education of our present culture. There are many shops and kiosks offering all sorts of tourist items,tattoos, medical marijuana,food,entertainment and close up views of the many homeless who make that area home. There are also high end homes. What a contrast. Certainly not an area I would like to live. This beach area is also known as muscle beach.
With Sheldon and Arlene

Crazy Pose

Walk Along Venice Beach

One of Many Kiosks

Muscle Workout Area

We had dinner at one of their favorite restaurants, "C&O Trattoria. We decided to eat outside. It has been voted best Italian restaurant in LA. They are famous for their sing a longs,killer garlic rolls and unique festive
decor. You feel as if you are dining in Venice,Italy. Prices are reasonable and portions huge. http://www.cotrattoria.com
Enjoying Dinner

Arlene gave us a slice of Derby Pie for take home dessert as we were too full from dinner. We enjoyed our time together.

Their travels are more exotic than ours as they have  traveled to Mongolia,China,India,Antarctica and other exciting places.

Arlene makes many type of hats as depicted in the photo. Her studio was filled with forms,materials and hats. She is now making hats for the production of "Ragtime" at the Westchester Playhouse in LA.

The Hat Studio

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Drive to San Diego

22 January 2013

After putting Destiny in Daycare at Petsmart we drove down to San Diego for the purpose of visiting the San Diego Presidio, Mission and Point Loma with a stop at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside on the return.

John also wanted to visit the battery sites of Fort Rosecrans located on Point Loma near the Naval Base and Cabrillo National Monument NP.

A beautiful day for touring, but a long drive. Fortunately we are able to use the carpool lane to avoid much of the traffic.

Presidio Real San Diego is located on Presidio Hill near old town and is now a museum. Much to our disappointment it was closed so we were only able to get outside pictures. It was established in 1769 and the first permanent European settlement on the West Coast. It remained the seat of California military power through the Mexican period. Father Serra dedicated the 1st mission here in 1769. It was later moved in 1774 6 miles up river named Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala.
Presidio San Diego

Morman Battalion Monument Presidio Park

Mission San Diego became known as the Mother of the Missions. In 1775 after the adobe church was completed, the mission was attacked by Indians killing Padre Luis Jayme. Padre Serra returned to the gutted site in 1776 and began restoring the buildings.

Scale Model of Mission



Mission Gardens


Wall Depicting the 21 Missions

Mission San Diego

La Playa Trail Oldest Commercial Trail

In 1821, when Mexico gained its independence, the mission was given over to Santiago Arguello. After the US Mexican War,the Cavalry used the mission as a military prescence until 1857. In 1862, the lands were restored to the Church by order of Lincoln. Today it serves as an active parish and cultural center. http://www.missionsandiego.com

We then drove to Cabrillo National Monument located on Point Loma named for Juan Rodriguez, the first European to set foot on the west coast. The park has several hiking trails, tide pools, coast guard station,coast defense exhibit from WW II and earlier. Also still visible are batteries and fire control stations. Be sure and visit the museum.
View of San Diego from Point Loma

Another View
Coast Guard Station

Tide Pools

Tide Pools

LDS Church La Jolla

On our way back we stopped in Oceanside to visit Mission San Luis Rey.
Unfortunately,it was closed for the day.
Mission San Luis Rey

Sunset San Luis Rey

Picking up Destiny we finally got back around 700P.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

USS IOWA and Fort Macarthur

19 January 2013

Today was an easy day with a short drive to San Pedro to tour the USS IOWA WWII Battleship and to visit Fort MacArthur.

The Iowa was built in1940 and has served our country in WW II, Korean War and the Cold War. She was designated as the "world's greatest naval ship" due to her large guns, heavy armor,fast speed and accurate fire control systems. She remained in active duty for 20 years and 50 years in the Naval Reserve Fleet. She was opened to the public in 2012 at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro.

Ready for the Tour

Amy and Johnin Front of 16" Guns

Cargo Ship

Roosevelt's Bedroom on Ship

Pensive Hope

Hope and Grandsons on Deck

Think the grandsons enjoyed the tour except for line waits. Took over hour to tour. View of the port is awesome. Have never seem so many containers, loading and unloading cranes etc. How they ever keep control of all the containers is beyond my comprehension.

We then drove up to Angel's Gate Park for picnic and to see the Friendship bell in the Pagoda. Next to the park is Fort MacArthur to see the museum and batteries. Good exercise for all with beautiful view of Catalina Island and the Pacific.
Picnic at Angel's Gate

In Front of Pagoda and Friendship Bell

View from Angel's Gate Park

Another View
Fort MacArthur

Hope and Sons in Front of Battery Osgood

Peeking out of the Guardhouse

Returning home, boys and Hope went back for their last beach outing.

Tomorrow they return home.

It has been a good visit and hope that Colt and Cade have good memories of their visit.