Sunday, October 31, 2010

Staying at the Palm Creek RV Resort -- NICE!

I have been pretty slack in posting since we arrived at Palm Creek RV Resort in Casa Grande, AZ a few weeks ago. Why? Because Rick has been too busy playing golf and enjoying himself! Still, he promises to try and do better in the future.

Here, Rick is ready to take a quick tour around the park on his trusty electric bike! As you can see, our site is nice a wide (50'!) and features the normal Arizona gravel. We also have a wonderful concrete pad that makes a great patio area for sitting.

Palm Creek is a remarkable place and the trees, lush green grass, and water are quite a surprise located in the desert. This is near the entrance of the park and is a delightful area.

The entry gate is staffed 24 hours a day by folks who go out of their way to welcome you. Of course, this also ensures security which is also a nice plus. Turning into the park among the flowers and trees is very relaxing.

After you pass through the gate, you will immediately see the excellent golf course. Rick is standing near the green on #7, which is 195 yards long and offers a sporty challenge when trying score a par 3. The grass was recently re-seeded for winter grass (rye, we think) and is really looking great.

Rick is looking at some of the many flowers that are planted each season near the walks and lakes. Yes, there are several lakes here in the desert!

This walkway connects the sixth hole with number 7 and passes a small stream and group of palm trees. If you have had a tough day so far on the course, this calming walk is very welcome!

Rick has really enjoyed this practice area and putting green near the clubhouse. This is a great place to brush up on chipping and putting in preparation for play. We will be starting group play next week, so Rick is trying to get the rust off his game (and hopes there is something good remaining!).

So far, we have had a great time in Casa Grande and Palm Creek.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Visit to Hoover Dam on it's 75th Anniversary

We had some work done on the motorhome in Las Vegas and while it was in the shop, Cody, Orinda and Rick decided to do a little sightseeing and take in the Hoover Dam. Located just east of Boulder, NV, the dam is about 35 miles from Las Vegas and an easy trip. Once we arrived, we first went through security where they checked our car and then we drove across this mammoth structure! It is hard to get an idea as to the size, but from this vantage point, cars on the top of the dam look very small!
We are sitting on the Lake Mead, or upriver side of the dam in this shot (and were pretty hot too, since it was about 106 degrees!). You can see the white area on the steep lake sides behind us which shows how high the water usually is. We learned that the lake is almost at a record low and is some 140 feet below normal. Still, the lake is several hundred feet deep in places.

The back of the dam shows some of it's great size -- 726' high by 1,244' long and made of poured concrete. The dam is so massive that it is very hard to really describe it's size, but the concrete used in it could build a two lane highway from Seattle, WA to Miami, FL. Plus, when the dam was built in the early 1930's, there was nothing around, so everything had to be built on site, including the concrete plants.

Close to the dam site, and just north of the town of Boulder, is Lake Mead which is twice the size of Rohde Island! Here, you can see a very small part of the lake which shines like a jewell in the dry desert area.

There are several marinas on the lake and this one at Echo Bay berths over 1,500 boats of all sizes. The marinas are floating so that they can be moved as the lake level changes. There is also a very large boat ramp shown above -- look at that -- here are 5 boats being launched at one time and there is plenty of room for more! This boat ramp is huge.

Remember that the lake level fluctuates and that you can just see the marina in the background of this picture. We are STILL on the ramp here and this is where we would launch a boat if the lake was up at the normal level! I would guess we are about 1/2 mile from the water at this point, but the ramp is ready to go when the water finally rises to normal again. Amazing.