Monday, January 23, 2017


I tried a new canyon today, Grapevine Canyon. It was delightful even though I could not rock scramble to hike too far along the trail.
The trail was very narrow, but since it was usually deep set between rocks, it was great for me because I could hold on to the rocks as I went along slowly.
The trailhead can be reached easily from the parking lot by walking a wide arroyo that was easy to walk.
You can see how easy the walking is along this arroyo

At the trailhead were some of the most amazing petroglyphs, so one could enjoy this hike without much difficulty.

 Gradually this fairly easily hiked trailed evolved into a narrow space between the large rocks.

 This served as a good landmark so as not to get lost.
 I stopped when I reached this area.  Here the water must flow in rainy seasons.  Over the years it had eroded the rock and left some very interesting swirls and channels.

 I just am too old now to scale these slippery rocks, but my hiking shoes were a great help.  They would actually stay put on these smooth rock surfaces.

I went part way in.  I stopped when I reached a point where I would have to do a good bit of rock scrambling.  I have to be careful with my age and my physical difficulties. 
I met a young girl and fellow who were the only other people in this place. They told me about what I might encounter up ahead and that they had gotten lost coming out due to different trails.
Hard to imagine getting lost as long as the stacked pile of rocks was there to guide.
They had not seen much of anything, but that is because they had not looked.  This is one of my favorite petroglyphs ever and it was easily visitl from the trail.  They just missed it.
My shoes are perfect.  These hiking books grip where there is not grip.  So coming down the face of granite with little hand hold was really easy. 

Once the couple passed me and went to their truck, I was alone. I did not want to fall and depend on my cell phone, although there was reception.
In fact, some asshole promoter called me while I was there. Now that was a strange experience, a phone promotion in the middle of Grapevine Canyon.
 This was my favorite find, this petroglyph of the three mountain goats.  It was up high and easily missed by quick hikers.

Always interesting to me is that the hike back reveals a totally different look.  Perspective changes and the shapes and patterns are new.

 Back at the trainhead I study the petroglyphs

 The drive to and from the canyon is a bit of a trip in itself.  It is an unpaved road.  However, it gave my Kia rental no difficulty as Long as I went slow.


Back at Harrah's and looking for breakfast, I discovered that the buffet only serves evening meals.
So, I decided to eat in Oatman or along the way if I saw something.
Here I was greeted by the locals who would not let me drive by without stopping for a chat.

Oatman hotel and restaurant was a good choice for lunch.  I had a double mushroom, onion, tomato hamburger with chips and a large bowl of chili. The chips were just Ruffles. I should have asked for the homemade chips I saw pass me.
I also had a bit of maple fudge which was low in sugar, but still off the diet. It was good, but not luscious.
The entire restaurant is decorated with dollar bills with slogans and signatures.  Every wall is full and much of the ceiling as well.  It was bizarre.

 They did have room for one Mexican bill as well
 Okay,  this had been a promotion for these patches, but all the cards were gone.  I can't imagine wanting one.  But to each her own.
 Here was old Clark Gable.  Long dead.  Carol Lomabart and Clark honeymooned here in Oatman, but it could not have brought fine memories because she also died in a plane crash not far from here just a short while afterward.

Mike came in with his guitar. I think he is the same fellow who later does the shoot out on the street. Leather cowboy hat and two six guns and spurs jangling.
His songs were country from Willie Nelson to the old Ghost riders in the Sky.
It was fine to be entertained over lunch.
The service was great. The servers were all very friendly. I did not get the double I had ordered right away, but the rushed to add the other burger, I did not eat the bun. I should have ordered it with no bun.
This was one of three meals I paid for over my 20 days in Vegas. I spent $23 and added a $5 tip. The other two times I paid were because I was with my sons.  
I watched most of the shootout, and it was pretty corny and fun. 

Interesting wall monument

I wandered down to the rock shop to see if they had $1 pieces of stone as they had last November. No luck.
I stopped in the post office and bought some forever stamps to mail a couple letters. Very pretty birds are on these.
I passed this tractor

I decided to drive the back road out of Oatman and toward Kingman. It is really amazing! It goes up very high and then winds its way down. Since there was no traffic pushing me from behind, I could go my slow pace and that allowed me to look at something besides the road. Not too long.
It was frightening to realize that just one small slipup and I'd be a goner.
At the peak I got out and walked the small circle. It was very fine. There is a small cemetery there.

On the flat stretch of road just before Kingman I passed a wild burro right up to the road. I did not see him in time to slow. After that I kept my eyes peeled and a few miles down the road there was a whole herd of burros. I got out to take photos and as I approached they trotted away, but when I stopped, they stopped and looked at me. It was funny. At this point my camera disc was too full for more photo.

In Kingman I first stopped at the Tourist Bureau  which is the oldest reinforced concrete building in Arizona. It was a power station and now has a small museum. I poked around, but did not pay to see the museum because I was getting tired and wanted to beat the darkness back to Laughlin.
I went from there to Walmarts. It took me a long while to find it. It was not in my old GPS and the phone was stuck on a walking pattern. I could not figure how to get to a driving pattern. I drove into the center of Kingman and saw a few interesting buildings. Then I got the thing to work and went to Walmart.
There is was a madhouse. Xmas shopping had begun. And these folks seemed rather disoriented as did the three young kids they often brought around.
I asked an old guy in the Entertainment section for directions to the discs and he took me, hobbling along in the slowest way possible, but he would not stay with me while I looked.
"These are all locked in here, so when you decide, call me."
And off he went to the next aisle over, not to help a customer but to continue a conversation with another employee about recent movies they should see.
Finally, I found one on sale with good memory and then I sought him out and he came and unlocked it. They he had to put it in a certain box, so I could not steal it on my way to finish my shopping.
It was annoying. I had assured him I was going to buy one. Why not go in and get the special box while I shopped and then come out to help me. 
Oh, I know why.
He would have missed the movie conversation.
The crowds could not negotiate space. All I wanted was nuts, a couple bananas, a bit of peppered salami and more grape tomatoes. It was a chore.
Were I to live in Arizona, I would not want to live in Kingman. Or perhaps I would not go to Walmart where I really began to think everyone was related to one another through inbreeding.

The drive back to Laughlin was on highways and very simple and easy. That makes a fine loop, getting the hard and beautiful driving out of the way early and saving an easy stretch for the end. NPR was there with me although I needed to click up or down the channel bar when reception petered out on one number. The seek feature did not pick up the NPR radio. But I found it there in the 80's where it so often is located.

Back at the hotel it was just getting dark. I went swimming. I figured I would pay dearly in muscle cramps after all the hiking and then the swimming, but in the pool at least I did not have much pain. 
I did the hot tub trick. I also only swam for an hour.
Again I was by myself and although I had slept through sunrise that morning, I now caught the rising of the moon. It was in a mist tonight, but it looked full. I was contented, so I did not feel the need to howl.
It was good I was out of Walmart, however, because in that environment I'm sure the hair would cover my arms and face, my nails would grow long enough to scrape flesh, and a few dozen inbred Kingmanites would lie dead and bleeding in the aisles. 
And such tragedy just before Christmas, too.

I used an American Casino Guide 2 for 1 and they were happy to give me 50%. I had enough points on my Harrah's card from the Flamingo poker play to pay it off. Another free meal.

No poker tonight. Good thing. I'm tired. Just not enough people.

I wanted to amuse myself and get a cognac, so I put $20 in a Texas Tea and played just three lines at a nickel each. I was lucky. It got to around $34 and I decided to play it to $30, having been amused enough. At $30.05 I bet just one line for one Nickle and all five of the airplanes lined up, pushing my score above $40. Again I played it up and down for a while, sipping cognac and cashed out at $40.
This is my first winning day in Vegas. 
And this is the way I like it: free buffet, free cognac, and a $20 profit. I check out tomorrow and that almost pays for my room which was just the resort fee of $20 and $2 tax.

I was back in the room and tired out by 8 PM, and up again at 3 AM. However, tonight I did not pay for the hiking and swimming with muscle pain. It was there, but just mild. What a great treat!


Andrew Stoltenberg said...

Really enjoying your adventure. Love your writing style and tone. Can tell you taught English as I currently do.

Dewey said...

Thanks Andrew. I hope there is some useful information somewhere in the mix. If you get to Laughlin between classes, this is really a great hike.

Andrew Stoltenberg said...

Ill have to check it out. Thanks for the heads up.