On the Road Again

The beginning of the month began with Tim going to the doctor and being okayed to start driving again.  He also gave him permission once the therapy was over to be able to hit the road again.  Our target date is the 15th of this month and we are both over excited.

His therapy is going well – still will go three times a week for the next 2 weeks and then do everything at home.  I just pray that it will heal properly and his pain is gone for good.  
Amanda, our youngest daughter, and I had a wonderful shopping trip at the all in Pleasanton.  We had a nice leisure lunch at Nordstrom’s and then had fun shopping.  Another night just her and I went and had our manicure and pedicure.  Fun to have time alone with her.
Super Bowl Sunday we spent the day at the Vogel’s home – of course I did not really care about the game but we had fun talking and snacking most of the day.  
On the 8th of Feb Amanda had a birthday so we celebrated at Bruno’s Restaurant in Livermore with the whole family.  Then back to her house for an angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream.  Great time and she enjoyed it greatly.
On the 10th we went to Disney on Ice with the Vogel’s.  It was so much fun to watch both Gracie and Elijah light up watching the show.  When it was over we stopped at the Big Bear Diner for dinner.  Another great day.
The 15th approached and we said goodbye to our neighbors and hit the road.  We did not go far – just to Lathrop to the base.   We wanted to say goodbye to more friends so we spent the weekend there.  Our family was sick that weekend so we extended until Tuesday so we could say goodbye to them before heading out.
Around 9 am we left and headed south.  It seemed so funny to be on the road again and we both had huge smiles.   On the way we stopped at an outlet mall parking lot to enjoy our lunch in our little home.  Back on the road until I saw a sign for Sun-Maid Raisins in Kingsburg, California.  We stopped and shopped in the store and got some dates, cranberries, figs and chocolate covered raisins.  Yummy.  
We saw many trees with pink buds that were just beautiful – not sure what they were.  Still wish farmers would put signs on things.  LOL.  We stopped and got diesel in Delano at $4.39 a gallon.  Near Bakersfield we saw a sign for Merle Haggard Drive – is this where he lives?  The grapevine was not a problem for our truck – we whizzed by all the 18 wheelers and then realized we missed our turn.  We took the next exit and wandered east landing at Edwards Air Force Base  Fam Camp.
We got a pull thru site with full hookups for $15 a night.  It was so cold and windy when we arrived that all we wanted to do was stay inside.
Edwards Air Force Base does alot of research and development of aero space systems from concept to combat.  It is 470 square miles which makes it quite a huge base.  They actually break the sound barrier here plus the space shuttle has landed here quite often.  While here we did laundry, cleaned and did grocery shopping.  Even as we travel those daily chores still need to be done.  We eat most meals at home to safe money plus the food is much better for us.
One day while here we went and visited the Borax Mine which is located in the Mojave Desert.  It is one of the richest deposits of borax on the planet.   What an interesting place. It is the largest open pit mine in California and they supply half the worlds demand for borates.  Borates are minerals and used in agriculture, ceramics, detergents, fiber glass, flame retardants, wood treatment, and computer flat screen tv’s.  I never knew all the uses for this mineral.  The tour was very interesting and we had one man whom worked there for over 40+ years that gave us the tour.  We learned a lot as this was so different from anything we have ever seen before.   The Twenty Mule Team Wagon is on display also.
We then drove into town and visited the Twenty Mule Team Museum in Boron.  It was okay, kind of old.  We visited the Pioneer Park and saw the huge equipment they use at the mine.  We had a wonderful lunch at the Twenty Mule Cafe which served American and Mexican food.  We noticed that all the locals were going in so we decided to try it out.  Wonderful food.
Tim’s brother Lamar lives in Barstow so one day we went to visit with him.  We had a nice visit and lunch and then drove to the Calico Ghost Town in Yermo, California.  It was an old mining town in 1881 producing over twenty million dollars in silver ore in 12 year span.  It is now a county park and has shops, restaurants and a train ride.  It was a little bit too touristy for me but all in all it was a nice day.
Being sick one day, laundry and grocery shopping and then a long ride just looking at the area took up our time at Edwards.  Time to move on to a new and exciting place.
Our stay came to an end on the 25th.  As we were getting ready to leave the slides would not move – they were stuck because of the frigid air outside. My smart husband said move them in and out a little and low and behold they worked.  
Our trip was very pleasant.  We followed the road around China Lake Naval Base – we saw salt flats, minerals, and fighter jets that just whizzed overhead.  We were surprised at the vast amount of empty land.  We arrived at Death Valley National Park which will be our home for the next few days.  Our campground is at Stovepipe Wells and we were very pleased.  We have full hookups, showers, stores, gift shop, pool, gasoline, Restaurant, Saloon, Lounge and Motel.  The best part was they honor the Golden Age Pass so great discount.  The first day we just looked at everything and Tim bought a new t shirt.  
The next morning we woke up and my poor hubby was very sick.  He slept the day away and I read.  We love this place but no internet and no phone service.
The Death Valley Park is huge with 3.4 million acres and has 5 mountain ranges.  The park opened in 1933 as a park and is the hottest, lowest and driest location in the entire country.  The Timbisha Shoshone Indian Tribe has lived here for years – they stay during the winter and move to cooler temps in the summer.   One of the rangers told us he drives 115 miles one way to grocery shop.  
While at the park we toured Artists Drive which is a scenic drive thru multi-colored volcanio and sedimentary hills.  It is 9 miles long and very pretty.  
Badwater is the lowest point in North America. It is 282 feet below sea level. It has vast salt flats.  The highest peak in the park is Telescope Peak which is 11,049 feet.  Quite a difference in elavations.
Dante’s View is at 5000 feet above sea level and this is where a lot of people go to watch the sunset.  We went one evening but the view was not that great that night.
They have an old borax plant where the 20 Mule Team actually started.  We enjoyed looking at the run down buildings.
Another famous place in Death Valley is Scotty’s Castle.  We first took a tour of the underground which is 1 hour long.  You get to see the basement and all the modern tech inside this building which was built during the 1920’s and 1930’s.  They even had a huge swimming pool which they never filled with water.  Very odd in my opinion.  We then took an hour tour of the home and ag
ain I was not impressed.  It all depends on your tastes but I found it dark and the furnishings ugly.
While at the park we bought some diesel and paid $5.80 for it which is the highest price we ever paid.  All in all it was a fun time.
Stayed tuned for our adventures during March