"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Made It Back Home...Alive!

Above, on the grounds of the Painted Desert Indian Center. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After a harrowing week (or at least the past four days), I made it home to Jamestown, New Mexico this afternoon.

The last six miles were slow going on Interstate 40 as a big rig rear-ended a semi's trailer that drove the trailer's corner into the cab of the truck. If the driver didn't jump out of the way, he would be a goner. I saw no blood, so I am assuming he made it out.

I took it easy during the drive home. I used the cruise control of The Beast and stopped for breaks roughly every two hours. The last one was at the Painted Desert Indian Center near Holbrook, Arizona.

There must've been a lot of rain while I was gone. The yard is covered in green. But I am not going to do anything about the weeds for a while.

For the next few days, I am going to take it easy.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Now In Lake Havasu

Above, Belle's Restaurant & Espresso, where I almost cashed in my chips. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Today is day three following my heart attack in Wells, Nevada.

Yesterday, Mitch and I headed back to Mitch's in Lake Havasu, Arizona. I was discharged from the St. Luke's Medical Center in Twin Falls, Idaho. After my discharge, we headed to Walmart and Walgreen's to fill the prescriptions the hospital gave me. (What a hassle in dealing with medical insurance!)

Above, the Hotel Nevada in Ely, Nevada. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After getting the prescriptions filled, we headed out of Twin Falls.

We stopped for gas in Wells, Nevada. The Wells Fun Run was over by the time we got there. I took a photo of Belle's Restaurant & Espresso, where the heart attack happened. I learned from Mitch that the paramedics attending me said my pulse rate was 24. I am so lucky that it happened where it did and that people were present (namely, Mitch) who knew what to do.

Above, a John Wayne display at the Hotel Nevada. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Our next stop was in Ely, Nevada for dinner. We ate at Denny's in the Hotel Nevada. I was being good by avoiding red meat and had salmon. After dinner, we drove around town and spotted a combination saloon and brothel (prostitution is legal in some counties of Nevada).

Above, the Stardust Ranch, a brothel in Ely, Nevada. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After Ely, we headed south on Highway 93 towards Las Vegas. We were going to spend the night in Ely, but we thought it best to be at a location where medical care facilities are close by.

Above, The Beast at the Desert Eagle RV Park on Nellis Air Force Base. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

So, we stayed in Las Vegas. Actually, we spent the night at the Desert Eagle RV Park on Nellis Air Force Base. It is a nice RV park for active and retired military personnel.

Above, yours truly, seemingly shrunken, at Terrible's Road House in Searchlight, Nevada. Photo by Mitch Geriminsky.

The next morning, we headed off to Lake Havasu. Along the way, we stopped for breakfast at Terrible's Road House in Searchlight, Nevada.

We arrived at Mitch's place at around 11:00 in the morning. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

What A Day!

Thus far, all my vital signs are reading just fine.

I was told that there was no heart muscle damage from the heart attack of yesterday. I was lucky it happened when and where it did, otherwise, I might be pushing up daisies right now.

I was with friends at the time and they knew that something was wrong.

Here's a couple of photos from when I was being put aboard an air ambulance (photos by Mitch Geriminsky):

Above, after the stent surgery.

The oddest thing about all this, my cousin Ralph was found dead from a heart attack exactly one year ago yesterday.

Unexpected Medical Emergency

Updated 7/31/18.

Yesterday,  while having lunch in Wells, Nevada, I suffered a heart attack. This was unexpected as I have no history of heart problems.

I was airlifted to St. Luke's Medical Center in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Immediately after the helicopter landed, I was whisked into surgery to have two stents installed.

I feel fine today. I expect to be discharged tomorrow.

My thanks to the Elko County Ambulance and Bella's Restaurant for their assistance, especially Kelli Peavey, Wells AEMT.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Review of Mountain Shadows RV Park In RV Park Reviews

Above, The Beast at Mountain Shadows RV Park in Wells, Nevada. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

My review of Mountain Shadows RV Park in Wells, Nevada has been posted at RV Park Reviews.

In a nutshell:
We stayed at Mountain Shadows RV Park during the annual Wells Fun Run. It is a nice older park and well maintained. Some sites are shaded. Level site. Friendly camp hosts. We camped at Mountain Shadows RV Park in a Motorhome.
Above, a general view of Mountain Shadows RV Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To read more of my review and others for Mountain Shadows RV Park, go here.

First Night In Wells

Above, The Beast at Mountain Shadows RV Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It was a nice warm night in Wells, Nevada. We had some brief thundershowers during the night, but it is clear this morning.

My "base of operations" is at the Mountain Shadows RV Park in Wells. It is a short walk to the city park where much of the Wells Fun Run car show will be held, beginning this afternoon.

Above, Mountain Shadows RV Park in Wells, Nevada. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Mitch is over at the Super 8 Motel. To be quite blunt, it is a dive and even he said that it went downhill from a year ago. After he checked in, we went over to his room and it was not yet ready for occupancy. The mattresses were stained badly. At least with RV travel, one's own DNA is in the bedding, not hundreds of other's. I've seen better on Sepulveda Blvd. in Van Nuys, California (not known for upscale hotels and motels) during my armed patrol days. Oh, well.

There are a couple of brothels about a half mile away up the road. I don't know of anyone who is partaking in these establishments, but I did see several cars in their parking lots. Cash and carry, as J.R. Ewing used to say.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Ely KOA Kampground Review Posted

Above, our campsite (number26) at the Ely KOA. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

RV Park Reviews has posted my review of the Ely (Nevada) KOA Kampground.

Above, the office building contains a store, gift shop, showers, restrooms and laundry. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

In a nutshell:
We stayed one night at the Ely KOA. I was surprised how nice the Ely, Nevada area is and the KOA is an attractive campground. It was pretty much filled to capacity and we were given a level site. Sites are separated by wooden fencing. There's groceries and a gift shop in the office building. We would stay here again. We camped at Ely KOA in a Motorhome.
Above, have no RV? No problem! Stay in a tee pee. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To read the my full review of the Ely KOA and other reviews, go here.

Above, a general view of the KOA. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Original Tommy's In Las Vegas

Above, Original Tommy's in Las Vegas across the street from Sam's Town. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The great thing about staying at the KOA Kampground at Sam's Town Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas were the choices of eateries nearby.

On Tuesday night, we ate at T.G.I. Friday's in Sam's Town. It has been a while since I last ate at a T.G.I. Friday's. I had steak and lobster.

On Wednesday morning, there is an Original Tommy's Hamburgers! Mitch had not eaten at a Tommy's for decades (since the 1980s), much less having a breakfast sandwich (sausage, chili),

Since I have not been to a Tommy's after I moved to New Mexico, the choice was obvious!

Also, I bought myself a Tommy's baseball cap while there.

Above, my new Tommy's cap.

By the way, there are two Original Tommy's in Las Vegas!

2018 Wells Fun Run

Above, The Beast at the Ely, Nevada KOA. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Today, Mitch Geriminsky and I reached our destination in Wells, Nevada for the 2018 Wells Fun Run.

The Wells Fun Run is an annual car show that includes a display of new and vintage cars, drag racing, parade and other activiites. Their website: http://www.wellsfunrun.org/

Above, The Beast made it to the top of Mitch's driveway. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The trip started Monday when I headed to Lake Havasu, Arizona to pick up Mitch. I stayed overnight in The Beast in his front driveway RV parking area. It was interesting getting The Beast up the steep slope to the parking area and even more interesting in backing it out. But I made it!

Above, at Sam's Town Las Vegas KOA. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We headed off Tuesday afternoon (sounds like a song title) to stay the first night in Las Vegas. I did make reservations to stay at the Riviera RV Park in the eastern section of Las Vegas (I stayed there during the Great American Eclipse). But, ownership of the park changed and the manager was rude and uncooperative. She had the looks and personality of Beulah Balbricker from the Porky's movies of the 1980s. So we left.

Fortunately, we found a better deal at Sam's Town KOA Campground. So we stayed there.

Above, the Sinclair travel center in Alamo, Nevada. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We left Las Vegas early Wednesday morning for the longest part of the trip. I made reservations at the Ely, Nevada KOA Kampground. I was pleasantly surprised how nice the Ely area was. I was expecting something desolate like southern Nevada. This was a mountain area with plenty of trees. We even had a thunderstorm Wednesday evening.

Above, from left, Mitch, Bill and I.

The final leg of the trip to Wells got started early Thursday morning. Along the way, we stopped at a Sinclair gas station for snacks and a brief rest. We then headed on to Wells and arrived around 11:00 in the morning.

Mitch and I kept my attending the Wells Fun Run a secret from a friend (since junior high) Bill Wilson, who attends the Wells Fun Run every year. Bill stopped by Jamestown a few months ago in his big rig. We had breakfast at Denny's Restaurant at the Flying J.

Above, the Wells sign. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Bill was shocked to see me when I sneaked around his fifth wheel trailer and approached him with a voice of fake authority. He said it made his day.

The actual show itself begins tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

This is a madhouse!

A friend sent me an email with a photo of a Kaiser hospital's restrooms:

In her email, she wrote:
I was in Kaiser today for an appointment and noted that all of the bathrooms in the hospital and medical buildings have been changed to "All Genders" bathrooms.  Seriously?!!!!! 
So, I decided to push the issue when I was checking in and inquired exactly how many genders the powers that be in Kaiser believe there are now?  The woman I was asking was choking with laughter and rolled her eyes and said that they put all those signs up a little while ago.  
My first glance at the nearest sign made me do a double-take at first. I was wondering, "Since when is a handicap a gender?"

James Woods On Straws In Santa Barbara

Actor James Woods hit it out of the park:

Fire Shutting Down Yosemite Valley!

Above, Yosemite Valley. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There's some bad news for visitors to Yosemite National Park.

The Sacramento Bee reported:
Yosemite Valley will shut down Wednesday as fire crews try to stop the Ferguson Fire from spreading into the national park, according to fire crews. 
A noon closure will be imposed on a portion of Highway 41 from Wawona to the tunnel entry into Yosemite Valley, according to Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael Reynolds. 
The closure is expected to last until Sunday.

To read more, go here.  

Santa Barbara Threatens Waiters With Jail For Giving Out Straws

The control freaks in Commiefornia are getting worse and worse by the day.

The latest is in Santa Barbara.

Newswars reported:
Santa Barbara, Calif., is threatening waiters with jail if they offer straws to customers. 
The city recently banned plastic straws from restaurants, bars and other food establishments in what officials claim is an environmental crackdown through the use of social engineering. 
“Prohibiting the provision of plastic beverage straws, and restricting the provision of plastic stirrers and cutlery in connection to cases where the customer requests the items will initiate a change in consumer behavior and will further serve the City’s goal of reducing plastic litter,” the city states.

Waiters will be given a written warning on the first offense, but on the second offense they will receive “fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months,” according to the city’ municipal code.

No, this is not a joke. This was even discussed today on the Rush Limbaugh Show.

The lunacy in Commiefornia seems to have no limits!

To read more, go here.

Vacationing In The Southwest

Above, yours truly with The Mittens and Merrick Butte in Monument Valley.

If you are considering a vacation trip to the Southwest United States, an article on the region posted by the Hartford Courant is something that should be read.

They mentioned that "essentially" the only place to stay at (or near) Monument Valley is The View hotel. Not so, there is also Goulding's Lodge and Campground. But this is just a quibble I have with the article.

Monument Valley was a big highlight of my three-week trip two years ago.

The article begins with:
Standing along the rim of the Grand Canyon, it’s hard not to wonder what the first explorers of the area thought when they discovered the magnificent natural wonder.
Most likely: “Looks like we’ll have to turn around.” 
But like their modern-day counterparts, they undoubtedly were spellbound by the mesmerizing vistas, which even modern cameras seem incapable of capturing. 
To truly appreciate its splendor, the Grand Canyon must be seen in person, and there’s no better way to go than by setting a course for the open road, and visiting the natural wonder as part of a road trip through the Southwest.
On Monument Valley, they wrote:
Monument Valley (utah.com/monument-valley), a Navajo Tribal Park within the Navajo Nation in Utah, is a decidedly remote detour. Located four hours northeast of Grand Canyon Village, it’s not on the way to anywhere, and there’s not much there. Seriously. 
But the dusty, bumpy ride along the 14-mile dirt road through the monuments is unforgettable. Among the most notable are the West and East Mitten Buttes, Three Sisters, John Ford’s Point, Totem Pole and Ear of the Wind. Wild horses can be seen along the way, and locals often set up shop by the road, selling handmade jewelry and other items.
Above, The Beast at Goulding's Lodge Campground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There are other places the article covers.

To read more, go here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Airline CEOs Try Out Their Economy Seats

Above, ANA Premium Economy seating on display at a travel show. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

If you are planning to take an airline for a trip anytime soon, you may want to read an article on airline economy seating in the Wall Street Journal.

Three airline CEOs were asked to try out their economy seats.

According to the Wall Street Journal article:
Have you ever been vacuum-packed into a shrunken coach seat wishing the airline CEO had to endure the same discomfort? 
We did that for you, sort of. The Middle Seat asked the chief executives of the big three U.S. airlines to plop down in the back of one of their airplanes and explain why they think the skimpy confines of coach today are acceptable. 
Two agreed. Delta CEO Ed Bastian, 6-foot-3, arranged for an interview on his company’s most recently reconfigured Boeing 777-200 in Atlanta. American CEO Doug Parker, also 6-foot-3, snuggled into a coach seat on a reconfigured 777-200 in a Dallas-Fort Worth airport hangar.

One refused: United’s Oscar Munoz declined to be interviewed in a coach seat. Asked why, United declined to comment. 
Messrs. Bastian and Parker fit, although knees were kissing distance from the seat in front. Neither had to contend with a middle-seat neighbor to rub shoulders and sides or a passenger reclining in front of them.

There is also a chart of inches or legroom with the article that is also worth a long look.

To read more, go here.

Arguing Roadside Cowboys

On New Mexico Highway 285, about 73 miles north of Roswell, stand two cowboys on each side of the road.

We saw these as we were headed to Roswell two weeks ago for the Roswell UFO Festival.

Here's what they look like from a distance:

Above, the cowboys. Photo by Roadesque.com.

According to Roadesque.com:
These two cowboys on the side of an empty road in rural New Mexico was by far one of the most unusual things we’ve ever encountered on a road trip! From a far, we actually thought they were real people…but when we got closer, it was pretty clear that these were unique pieces of art. Now based on our research, these two arguing cowboys that stand 18 feet tall were created by California artist John Cerney who has some other amazing roadside murals which you can view here.

To see more, go here

Petrified Forest National Park

Above, the Petrified Forest National Park Visitor Center. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I can add another national park to my list of national parks that I have visited.

This time, it is Petrified Forest National Park in eastern Arizona. It turns out that the park is only about 92 miles from my home in Jamestown, New Mexico. It includes the Painted Desert.

Here's some information on the park from Wikipedia:
Petrified Forest National Park is a United States national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the fee area of the park covers about 230 square miles (600 square kilometers), encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands. The park's headquarters is about 26 miles (42 km) east of Holbrook along Interstate 40 (I-40), which parallels the BNSF Railway's Southern Transcon, the Puerco River, and historic U.S. Route 66, all crossing the park roughly east–west. The site, the northern part of which extends into the Painted Desert, was declared a national monument in 1906 and a national park in 1962. The park received 643,274 recreational visitors in 2016, representing a decrease of 19% from the prior year and slightly below the ten year average of about 660,000. Typical visitor activities include sightseeing, photography, hiking, and backpacking. 
Averaging about 5,400 feet (1,600 m) in elevation, the park has a dry windy climate with temperatures that vary from summer highs of about 100 °F (38 °C) to winter lows well below freezing. More than 400 species of plants, dominated by grasses such as bunchgrass, blue grama, and sacaton, are found in the park. Fauna include larger animals such as pronghorns, coyotes, and bobcats, many smaller animals, such as deer mice, snakes, lizards, seven kinds of amphibians, and more than 200 species of birds, some of which are permanent residents and many of which are migratory. About half of the park is designated wilderness. 
The Petrified Forest is known for its fossils, especially fallen trees that lived in the Late Triassic Period, about 225 million years ago. The sediments containing the fossil logs are part of the widespread and colorful Chinle Formation, from which the Painted Desert gets its name. Beginning about 60 million years ago, the Colorado Plateau, of which the park is part, was pushed upward by tectonic forces and exposed to increased erosion. All of the park's rock layers above the Chinle, except geologically recent ones found in parts of the park, have been removed by wind and water. In addition to petrified logs, fossils found in the park have included Late Triassic ferns, cycads, ginkgoes, and many other plants as well as fauna including giant reptiles called phytosaurs, large amphibians, and early dinosaurs. Paleontologists have been unearthing and studying the park's fossils since the early 20th century.

For more information on Petrified Forest National Park, go here

Study Finds Grand Canyon Has Cleaner Air Than Other National Parks

Above, the Grand Canyon. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

A new study found that many of our national parks have unhealthy ozone levels, some more than others.

According to an article in AZCentral:
A new study from Iowa State University and Cornell University found national parks average 25 days per year with unhealthy ozone levels. 
Air pollution in national parks is as bad as some of the largest metro areas in the U.S. — though the Grand Canyon National Park is a breath of fresh air in comparison, according to a new study. 
On average, national parks spend about 25 days per year with unhealthy levels of ozone. This could cause a drop in visitors, especially when the parks and local communities publicly release health warnings, said Ivan Rudik, one of the study's co-authors. 
But there's good news for Arizona's natural wonder — the Grand Canyon only has nine of these days each year. Two years, it didn't have any.

To read more, go here.



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