Friday, May 27, 2011

Golden Spike outing to Boulder City, NV – part 2

On the third day of the outing, Sun. May 8, the group took a rafting trip for 12 miles down the Colorado River beginning at the dam and ending  at Willow Beach.12 miles downstream.


Here is the dam from the down stream side. The structures on both sides are the outlets for the spillways. They have been opened only twice in the 75 years since the dam was completed. Several rafts left this morning.


More of the bridge is shown here. Boats cannot go upstream of the line of buoys.



Jo is dressed appropriately for the day, and our guide/boatman is behind her.The day was cloudy and windy. Spray was blown into the boat, but there was no rain.


Hot springs feed this canyon – note the flowing stream of water coming out of the side of the cliff. The flow leads to the lush greenery.



Our lunch stop. The lunches were provided in the small turquoise insulated bags.


Can you find the three desert bighorn sheep in this somewhat blurry shot? They are all ewes and lambs.


How many sheep can you find in this one? I count 9. In all we saw upwards of 24 in several groups which came to the river for a drink.




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Of course, our group managed to visit a few restaurants for refreshments during the weekend.

Golden Spike outing to Boulder City, NV, part 1


The first stop of our 2011 summer trip was the Boulder City NV rally of the Golden Spike Chapter of FMCA May 4 - 7. Twenty four of our stalwart members attended.


Our first activity was a tour of the Hoover Dam and the power house. All of the water which goes down stream is used to generate electricity.



Here is the new bridge across the Colorado River.which was opened just last fall, down stream from the dam. Traffic formerly was routed across the dam. It was a real bottleneck, especially after 9 – 11 when many vehicles had to be inspected before being allowed to cross.


View of the dam from the observation deck.



  Marina at Boulder City area. The “bathtub ring” shows how low  the lake is after a long drought in the upper Colorado Basin. Our campground is in the little white area in the upper left against green trees.



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Our second activity was a 45 minute ride on the Nevada Southern Railway. Its tracks no  longer reach those of other railroads. The cars were nicely restored and have refrigeration. The ride itself was along the highway so did not give us unique views, with one exception.


This was the exception - what can be the source of the water going down the falls half way down the side of the mountain? The falls are man made and turned on when golfers are on a course near the bottom of the falls.



One rarely sees a lady conductor! And for that matter, an engineer in shorts!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Strongs’ week on Maui

We flew directly from Kauai to Maui for the second week of our March trip to Hawaii. This time we had a small Chevrolet rental car. It did well for us, but it was not as comfortable as the Hyundai we had on Kauai.

We went on a whale watching cruise from Lahaina harbor in a 30 passenger boat with a solid bottom but with air pontoons for floatation powered by two Cummins diesel engines. We were lucky enough to be with a group of 4 whales for 30 to 40 minutes. Unfortunately, my digital camera batteries gave up, so no digital pictures of them! The camera, by the way, is a point and shoot Canon AS1100 IS (11 mp) with an eye level viewfinder.


Just a little surfing was going on at Hookipa Beach, but the surf was enough to keep the locals interested.



In Iao Valley, where a decisive battle was fought and won by the forces of Kamehameha.  He brought all of the islands under his rule. Signs in the state park claimed that lookouts were posted at the top of the spire in the background. Terraces in the valley defined small irrigated plots where mainly taro was grown.


This scene greeted us at the top of Haleakala. At least it was not all socked in. Elevation here is a little over 10,000 ft. It took about 2 hours to drive up the winding road beginning at sea level!


The silversword plant grows only near the top of the mountain. Under the silver colored leaves the plant is a light green color.



Here we are at the very summit of Haleakala


With my mild COPD I was huffing and puffing a lot at the top, but here is the evidence that I made it!

Under our rental car contract we were to return the car with an empty gas tank. Driving up Haleakala caused the needle of the gas gauge to drop more than I expected, so I was a bit concerned about fuel to get down the mountain. We went down in second gear to save the brakes. A readout on the dashboard often gave real time gas consumption of 99 mpg! My congratulations to the computer governing fuel usage! We made it to the bottom with fuel to spare!


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Maui has a nice aquarium showing the colorful reef fish and corals. Large tanks had a few sharks, but no seals or whales.



This was the most spectacular rainbow we encountered during our visit.


We had a fine meal in this restaurant named for “The Duke” who popularized surf boarding

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Strongs in Kuaui

In March we went to Kauai and Maui for a week in each (using timeshare exchanges)rather than taking our usual two week trip to Cabo San Lucas. Jo had been to both islands previously; I had not been to Kauai. The next blog will focus on Maui

Or first venture on Kauai was to drive up one side of Waimea Canyon, billed as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.



Jo, with our rental Hyundai, on the way to the top. The high ridge in the background is the other side of the canyon.



Can you make out the waterfall in this one?


    Good view up the center of the canyon


A rare view of the ocean from road. Elevation at this point is about 4000 ft.


End of the road and beginning of the hiking trail.  The higher peak is billed as the second wettest spot in the world with over 400 inches of rain per year


Kilauea Point lighthouse now a bird sanctuary

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Jo at our luau                                Dancers on stage in the middle of the theater.


On our catamaran boat ride along Napali Coast


Typical view along the rugged Napali Coast


Blow hole in volcanic material along beach. Wave water rushes in tube leading to surface many feet from the sea and is forced upward. The sound of rushing air before the eruption of water is called a dragon breathing!


“Jo Jo” enjoying flavored shaved ice at Jo Jo’s shaved ice shack. Shaved ice is as popular in Hawaii as ice cream is here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cabo San Lucas Views

This is my second post as I want to show you some of the great views at Cabo taken in our 2009 visit.

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This is the upper pool at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach on the Pacific at Cabo San Lucas

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Sunset Beach complex  and a middle level pool from upper area

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  Sunset Beach resort from beach of Pacific  

View of the multiple levels of Sunset Beach Resort. Propane-powered carts are used to transport guests on paved paths winding about the site.








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Colorful hibiscus next to the entrance road with one of the carts in the background


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Famous sign outside Giggling Marlin bistro in downtown Cabo San Lucas


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Main entrance to Giggling Marlin with Jo, Barbara and Mike Williams

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cabo Villas Deluxe Junior Suite

This is my first attempt to put together a blog. I am practicing with a series of pictures of our timeshare at Cabo Villas in Cabo San Lucas

These pictures are of our deluxe junior suite at Cabo Villas before upgrades in 2011. (It is for sale)

King sized bed with couch in foreground
 Entry way, closet on left and galley.
 Galley area with full-sized refrigerator

 Galley is out of picture at left, then table, arcadia doors to balcony, TV and back of couch
 Galley is out of picture at left, writing desk and table for four
 Arcadia door, TV, chair and couch
Bathroom sink and shower
 Lands End through arcadia door of unit

 One pool in foreground, with busy restaurants and beach in Medano Bay

Lands End with building of resort in foreground

 Medano Bay and entrance to marina