So, okay, this is the mostest amazing review of a doggie bark ever! The doggo bark of Rotary Park in Bullhead City Arizona will make you think you’ve crossed over the rainbow bridge… It might even be better than bacon… wait, okay, maybe that’s a bit much, maybe not better than bacon, but almost!
Rusty and I had almost forgotten about this place our peoples took us to long ago (before they let us write our own blogs) but we went again, and it is the greatest place for zooms, and new friends, and play. At first, okay, it looks like any other little dog bark. There’s the fencing, and the gates going in, and little doggo friends that come say hello as you arrive. But then, inside, it is like nirvana.
They have tables, and benches, and a dog-bone shaped water fountain that the water spits out and rains down on you from a fire hydrant! They have tunnels to run through, and things to climb up, and things to jump through. They even have a doggo teeter-totter (I’m not sure what this word is but I heard my peoples use it).
So, okay, there’s plenty of grass area for the fastest of zooms, and for those that like to play fetch. There’s two different dog-sized water fountains. Oh, for you humans, they even have a big table in the shade. My peoples gave big doggie-sized smiles when one explained that all the bricks around one of the trees are memorial bricks made by humans for Doggies that have gone across the rainbow bridge. Okay, so I almost got teary-eyed.
Even Rusty thinks this place is amazing! He couldn’t stop himself from zooming around with any doggo that wanted to play! Me and my peoples played on the teeter-totter thing and ran through the water fountains.
Okay, before you ask, NO! I was not having a dream during the afternoon snoozle.
This was the real deal. I know, because our people’s took us there a few times now! So really, I promise my doggie friends everywhere, this really is the bestest, greatest, most amazing dog bark we’ve found yet! So, make your people’s take you, okay, just avoid the little dog named Charlie, and you’ll have the greatest best time ever!
So, okay, I was going to give this place 4 out of 4 paws, but because Rusty says it’s the greatest too, we’ve decided that this dog bark gets 8 out of 8 paws!
We prefer to stay in small towns and find the cheapest space rent possible, which is how we ended up in Pahrump, Nevada and Searchlight, Nevada. Pahrump was a bit of a bust, but Searchlight was a nice little town.
We stayed at Cree’s Mobile Home and RV Park for one month. $400 for full hookups and great WiFi. Netflix was a big part of our January.
Searchlight has two casino’s (small rooms with slot machines), a Terrible’s Steakhouse (in one of the casino’s), a McDonald’s (in the other casino/gas station/mini-mart), a laundromat, a post office, and two old motels.
At one point in time Searchlight was looking to be the county seat of Clark County – back when it had a larger population than Las Vegas. The current population of Searchlight is 539 and Las Vegas’ population is 612, 932.
If you want to be able to easily visit Las Vegas or Laughlin but not have to stay there, Searchlight is great middle ground. Las Vegas is 60 miles north, and Laughlin is 40 miles east.
We visited Laughlin often for poker tournaments and groceries. We only drove to Vegas once while staying in Searchlight — for the 2018 Women’s March -COMING SOON!
A few days before Christmas, we decided to head to Las Vegas for a weekend getaway. And instead of wasting valuable poker money on hotel rooms, we decided to take Matilda with us. The plan was to park in the Rio parking lot, and stealth camp for two nights there.
Plans are fun. And pointless.
As we were leaving Preferred RV Park in Pahrump, we stopped at their on-site propane fill and filled up. I napped the 60 miles to the Rio. Upon arrival we found a level spot in the back of a large parking lot and went to turn on the propane. And it was broken.
We went to Lowe’s to find a knob replacement, but they didn’t have one. We called multiple camping and RV supply stores, but no one sold just the knob. We finally called a place called CampOut Inc. and Trailer Supply. They didn’t sell just a knob either, but said they would take one off of an extra tank they had in storage.
Mr. Write and the customer service guy at CampOut Inc. tried their best to fix the knob. But to no avail, because the older fellow that had filled our tank that morning at Preferred RV was actually an undercover superhero that forgot to check his strength while making sure our propane was turned off, and now it was fucked.
The entire valve needed replaced. CampOut Inc. became our own superheroes when they told us they would be able to get us in the next day for repairs. Yay! We had to empty the freshly filled propane tank before they could work on it. Between the emptying of the tank and the repairs, it would take about 3 hours and $300.00 – so much for saving that valuable poker money.
Without a working propane tank, we needed hookups, so our stealthy parking lot camping was out. We ended up getting a space at Main Street Station RV Park – $20 for the night…but they also hold a $100 deposit. It was a bit of a hassle getting the space, but we did manage to have a good night anyway.
We ate dinner at a Las Vegas buffet, and we played poker at Binion’s Gambling Hall – the place that made poker famous.
Leaving the Main Street Station RV Park the next morning was almost as much hassle as getting in, but we managed to get back to CampOut Inc. with time to spare for our repair appointment. We wandered around with the dogs for a few hours while the repairs were being done, and got to see a few cool things.
CampOut Inc. got us up and burning again pretty quickly, and even filled our tank back up for us. If you’re in the Las Vegas area, go check them out on Fremont Street – great people!
Upon arriving back at Preferred RV Park in Pahrump, we told the manager about the repairs we had to have done, and they issued us a reimbursement check with no problems.
Good customer service can make crappy situations so much better!
Well, a few years ago the LA Times had quite a lot to say about Pahrump, when the entire city council was almost taken to jail by their constituents – you can read that here.
If you read that article and you’re still confused about the kind of community Pahrump is, then you should try this article. Just 11 years ago they passed a law in Pahrump; you had to speak English only. Yes, really.
Depending on the kind of person you are you may really like the idea of Pahrump, or you may really despise the idea of Pahrump – either way, I wanted you to have a little history on the area. We didn’t do our homework and we were completely caught off guard by the regressive attitude toward laws, politics, and human rights.
Preferred RV was the shining light in the middle of a shadowed community.
The park was beautiful! There was a heated pool, hot tub, shuffleboard, crafts, woodworking, and a lot more. They scheduled daily events like breakfast in the club house, water volleyball, Bingo, and casino nights.
Preferred RV also has large outdoor BBQing areas, along with shaded picnic areas, fenced pet areas, and a Koi pond. Also, if you tend to squeal with delight (I may have been known to do this….) when you see wildlife, then you will love the crazy amount of wild rabbits that come out at dusk. Bunnies everywhere! The dogs and I enjoyed the bunnies very much, but probably for very different reasons.
The only issue we had at the RV park was while filling our tanks at their on-site propane fill. There was a mishap and our tank knob was damaged so much that it needed to be replaced. We brought the issue to the manager and we were reimbursed in just a few days – no hassle!
Also, Preferred RV park is gated with 24 hour security at the gate, which gives you a nice safe feeling of being cut off from the rest of the town.
If you are into crappy customer service, sad attempts at masculinity, and a poker room with dealers that think rape jokes are funny, the Nugget Casino is just across the street.
Sadly, it was the only poker room in Pahrump, so we didn’t get to play as much poker as we planned. But if slot machines are your thing, Irene’s and Saddle West are nearby, both of which had good customer service and didn’t make you feel unsafe.
You may have noticed by now, but I have a bit of a pissy attitude toward Pahrump. We witnessed men being sexually inappropriate in public (around children), sheriff officers not caring, random citizens displaying their racism and ignorance like it was something to be proud of, and heard stories from female Nugget employees that are scared to go to work unless they share the same shift.
Pahrump has grown really quickly over the past 20 years…as far as population, anyway. Growth, such as being decent humans, seems to have slipped right by them. And as much as we loved Preferred RV and the people there…we will slip right by Pahrump next time, too.
About 100 miles southeast of Tonopah, Nevada (on the Extraterrestrial Highway) you could blink and accidentally drive right through Rachel, Nevada. So, don’t blink and definitely stop in this little town!
In Rachel you will find the Little A’le’inn and that is pretty much it – and still totally worth the drive! This place is a dream come true for movie buffs, conspiracy theorists, and geeks of all kinds.
The Little A’Le’Inn was founded over 25 years ago by Pat, and her late husband Joe. Now Joe and Pat’s grandkids, Cody and Samantha are stepping in to help and eventually take over the family business….serving people, hunting aliens.
The restaurant and bar is filled with memorabilia, alien novelties, and fun merchandise. Including Alien Tequila – which is quite fine, and seems to get you messed up just like human tequila.
The Little A’Le’Inn has some cool cinematic history, too.
Some footage for the movie, Independence Day, was supposed to be shot near the Little A’Le’Inn, but 20th Century Fox ended up using footage from Utah instead. But to show their appreciation toward the Little A’Le’Inn they gave them an Independence Day memorial with a time capsule. Sam says that she can remember putting stuff inside the time capsule when she was a young girl. You can see the memorial just outside the restaurant and bar.
The restaurant was also featured in the movie, Paul. Paul is a comedy about a couple of comic-con nerds that come across a real alien and they help him escape earth to go back home. It’s a hilarious movie starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Seth Rogan. If you haven’t see it, treat yourself!
The Little A’Le’Inn also includes an inn! The rooms for rent are in multiple double wide trailers on the property. It is way cooler than that sounds, trust us. They also have a small RV park on the property, which is were we stayed for the few days we were there. $20 a night includes everything except sewer. The restaurant and bar is about 50 feet away, which is awesome if you partake in too much alien tequila while you’re there (just in case that were to happen to anyone…else…).
While visiting, make sure to enjoy one of their Alien Burgers or a Galaxy Wrap (low-carb!). Their food was good, the coffee was great, drinks were pretty cheap and all of the people working at the Little A’Le’Inn were amazing. They were fun to hang out with, and they had some great stories about their family and the area. I literally cannot wait to visit again!
I could go on and on about how much I loved the Little A’Le’Inn, but I do realize why you are all here…you’re either members of my family that feel you are forced to read my blog to know what I’m up to these days or….Area 51 – the governments worst kept secret.
Area 51 is said to be located inside the Ellis Air Force base near Groom Lake. This location is said to be where they took the alien bodies from the Roswell crash in 1947.
Since this was our first alien hunt, we took a tourists map with us to find the key points of interest.
The Black Mailbox
In 1989 a man claiming to be an ex-employee of Area 51 stated during an interview that he had been employed to assist with reverse engineering of flying saucers in the S-4 program near Papoose Lake. In his detailed interview he stated that he went to work every day via the road with the black mailbox. The mailbox became a strange meeting area for conspiracy theorists and tourists. People would leave messages in the mailbox for aliens, or other alien believers. Over time the graffiti, garbage and destruction became too much. The mailbox was eventually stolen and the rancher, that the mailbox actually belonged to, didn’t bother to put it back up. Remaining is a pile of rocks and a pole that once held the mailbox. People still leave letters, items, notes, and garbage at the mailbox site.
After visiting the mailbox site, we drove down the very long dirt road toward the restricted area.
Arriving at the gate…you see a gate. Well, you see some signs labeling an invisible line between freedom and jail.
On the hill, overlooking the gate area, a guard sits in his official-looking white pickup. Not so much Men in Black as Men in Camo, which just doesn’t sound as cool. We hung around for a few minutes taking pictures of the signs telling us not to take pictures. Rebels without a clue.
After an uneventful time at the restricted area gate, we headed back toward Rachel. But being the observant, sleuthy alien hunters that we were quickly becoming…we saw a road and chose to drive down it because “there’s something shiny down there!”
And then we found a sacrificial altar. A large, round cement foundation with poles lining the circle. Nearby there were some cheap solar powered lights, plastic back massagers, a hotwheel, and a dead cow – picked clean. Obviously, an experimental probing got carried away. We later asked Cody and Sam back at the Little A’Le’Inn if they knew anything about it as they knew everything about everywhere in the area – except they didn’t know about the sacrificial altar and were just as intrigued as we were.
We finally managed to pull ourselves away from the creepy circle of cow death to go back to hunting down a shiny object in the middle of the desert.
We found live cows awaiting their turn for sacrificial probings, and we found the shiny thing. It was standing alongside another restricted area gate. We pulled up and took pictures of the signs telling us not to take pictures and of the shiny thing. What was the shiny thing, you ask? I have no idea. Camera? Helmet? Alien sportsball?
It was about that time that we could see a large dust cloud flying across the desert toward us with an official-looking white pickup showing it the way.
What happened next was a ridiculously slow speed chase that took 45 minutes. We drove slow, so they drove slow. We turned down a side road, so they waited at the end for us. We pulled back on the main road and sped up, so they sped up. We pulled over to let the dogs pee, so they sat in their pickup and watched. I am sure that by the end of this absurd encounter with the Men in Camo they must have known everything about us…after all, aliens or not, they are a top secret facility.
I felt that we had helped their day along by giving them the thrill of a slow-speed chase, but they did not seem to appreciate it like I thought they might. When we reached the main highway again and I waved at them – well, it was not Men in Camo happy faces giving me the stinkeye.
We didn’t see any aliens, or alien spacecraft, or even weird human spacecraft. There were plenty of jets, trucks, helicopters and military activity though. It is a very active base, and they mean business about staying out of the restricted area. If you visit don’t go getting yourself put in jail, they’ll probably probe you harder than the aliens.
While we didn’t find any evidence of extraterrestrials along the Extraterrestrial Highway I can still say …
Between Hawthorne, Nevada and Area 51 there is Tonopah.
We only stayed one night in Tonopah, and used the time to stock up on supplies and gas for our upcoming visit to Area 51.
We stayed at the Tonopah Station Casino and RV Park. The RV park is really just part of the parking lot with electric and water hookups. It was pretty difficult to get the motorhome level, which kind of sucked for just a one night stay. The Tonopah Station does have a cool assortment of knick-knacks and mining equipment in front of their building, though.
There is only one grocery store in the town, but they were super cool about us leaving our motorhome there for a few hours while we ran errands. Go say hi!
Another cool thing Tonopah has is the Clown Motel. Now before you get all weird about clowns – there are over 600 clowns in just the motel lobby, so it’s really no big deal.
If you are lucky enough to get a room upstairs at the Clown Motel, your room will probably have an awesome view of the Old Tonopah Cemetery. The old cemetery only accepted new residents from 1901 -1911. It filled up quickly due to mine fires and a 1902 epidemic known as the “Tonopah Plague.” So, you’ll probably forget all about the clowns when the ghost of miners past come to visit you in the middle of the night – on fire, with plague boils.
Although our visit to Tonopah was brief, we will probably not visit again anytime soon. It was pretty…meh?
But on our way out of town we were reminded why we were passing through…
16 miles northwest of Hawthorne, Nevada is the Bureau of Land Management Walker Lake Recreation area. The lake is 50 square miles – but nowhere near as large as it was at the beginning of the 1900’s. There are signs as your drive through the campground displaying where the water levels used to be.
The campground is only $6.00 per night, with 50% discount if you have the Golden Access Pass. It is dry camping, but there are vault toilets.
Even if you’re not a morning person, make sure to get up early at least one day while camping along the water. The sunrise is breathtaking.
We really enjoyed the view and the peace and quiet.
Nearby, the Town of Walker Lake has not done as well as the lake has, as it has already dried up.
Along the southern border of the lake is the Hawthorne Army Depot, which is the largest ammo depot in the world.
With such a large Army depot nearby, one would think that the town of Hawthorne would be thriving – and one would be wrong. Hawthorne is doing better than the Town of Walker Lake, but not by much. There are multiple motels that are closed, stores that have shut their doors, and buildings that are falling apart.
Hawthorne is very proud of their Army depot, so they have an ammo museum (free admission!) with all types of bombs, missiles and other exploding fun. And a tank.
While patronizing a local store an air raid siren went off and all the locals just kept shopping like it was no big deal. Apparently it just means that it’s noon, so we don’t worry about air raid sirens in Hawthorne.
The El Capitan Casino and Restaurant and Joe’s Tavern appear to be THE happening places in town. El Capitan has an excellent burger and Joe’s Tavern has a Sunday Football Potluck with cheap beer.
The people of Hawthorne were kind to us out-of-towners, which is harder and harder to come by these days. They appreciated our business, and wanted to share their history with us. If we find ourselves nearby again, we will definitely stay a few days to see the sunrise over the lake and go enjoy an El Capitan Mountain Man burger.
People visit Reno to drink, gamble, or get married. We’re already married – so drunk gambling it is.
Seriously though, if you are considering visiting Reno, plan ahead to remain hydrated because…free alcohol.
We stayed at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino RV Park. It was inexpensive, clean, and quiet, with laundry and showers on site, and just a short walk away from their casino.
We spent the week casino hopping, playing poker and feeding the slot machines for free booze. There is plenty to see in Reno, and most of it can be seen from the main strip. Enjoy a daytime walk, and then go back at night to experience it even flashier.
It was a fun, exhausting week that reminded us we are a little too old to be partying into the wee hours. And although we didn’t become rich on the poker tables, we didn’t end up losing much either…
I have spent way too long sitting here trying to figure out how to type out the theme song to Bonanza so it would get stuck in your head…now it’s stuck in my head and I don’t know how to spell out musical notes.
(On a side note – while searching for this tune for your earworm pleasure, I discovered that the song actually has words…who knew?)
So we visited Virginia City, Nevada. It was off season so all of the museums were closed, but the businesses along Main Street were open.
The buildings are old and rustic, and the wooden sidewalks are perfect for your boot heels to thump on as you saunter down the street.
Even without the museums open, there is plenty of history to be had just by visiting a couple of the restaurants and bars.
We joined a trolley tour for a drive through town. The tour guide was full of history and Virginia City facts, and was a super nice guy (he gave Rusty and Milo some water, because their peoples are dumb and forgot theirs)! At only $5.00 per person, it was a great way to see the town.
There is a lot of history, and each historic building has its own story to tell.
And we’re all just stories in the end, right? So, let’s make it a good one, eh?
Great history, beautiful buildings, and fun shops. Virginia City was a great way to spend the day!