Sunday, November 4, 2007

Groceries, etc

Location, Death Valley, CA

Yesterday was grocery day. Actually it was more than just grocery day, it was pancake breakfast day, Shoshone Days, Tecopa Hot Springs day, date shake day, propane day, fuel day, Burger King day, and then grocery day. We pack a full day into the first Saturday in November.

We started out with a pancake breakfast in the date grove at Furnace Creek Ranch put on by the local high school. For $6 we get pancakes, bacon, juice and coffee. By 8:30 AM we are on the road to Shoshone about an hours drive out of Death Valley. Shoshone is a wide spot in the road but each fall while the 49 er’s are in Death Valley, they take advantage of the people coming in to hold their fall festival. There are arts and crafts, a BBQ, music, and the museum is open. We spend about 45 minutes looking at everything. It is the same each year so we know what to expect.

Then it is off to Tecopa to the hot springs for a soak. The baths were open to the public with no charge for years but the county took it over a few years ago and now charge $5 admission. They are in the process of upgrading the bathrooms and showers so the charge is justified. The pools are segregated by sexes with the men in one building and the ladies in another. A shower before entering the pool is mandatory and no clothing is allowed. A twenty minute soak is adequate as the temperature can approach 104 degrees. It feels so good!!!! I meant to post a picture of the Hot Springs but forgot to take the picture while we were there.

After the soak we drove south to China Ranch for a date shake. China Ranch is off the Old Spanish Trail and down in a canyon reached by a steep dirt one-way road. Date trees were planted here by a Chinese man many years ago. The dates are processed locally and sold locally or by orders. The little store sells several kinds of dates, date nut bread, cookies, and of course date shakes. They also have southwest arts and crafts.

From China Ranch we back tracked to Shoshone and drove East to Pahrump, NV where we purchased propane, fuel for the truck, stopped at Burger King (it is handy to the grocery store) and bought groceries. We returned to Death Valley via the Pahrump Road which put us back in camp about 4 PM. The weather in Pahrump was nice but it was really hot in Death Valley when we returned.

I cooked a chicken casserole for dinner and Deanna supplied a very nice cabbage salad. Dessert was pound cake covered with banana cream pudding, bananas and blue berries with a dollop of whipped cream. The blue berries were from Washington and had been in my freezer since July. Very tasty!!

Nobby and Deanna left early this morning. With day light saving time going in to effect last night, many people were up early so the camp was too noisy to sleep in this morning.

We have over cast skies this morning so I tilted my solar panels to get more amps into the batteries. Normally I just leave them flat as the 175 watts from the panels keeps the batteries charged.