Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Visit to Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, NV…


We sure are enjoying our stay in Pahrump Nevada at the Preferred RV Resort. So much so that we added more days! Our first excursion was a drive over to the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge to see the Devil’s Hole, a geothermal aquifer-fed pool within a limestone cavern.  Fortunately for us it was only about a twenty minute drive from our park through the scenic high desert.


Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a unique refuge in that it was set aside to protect one species, the Devils Hole Pupfish. This little fish (known scientifically as Cyprinodon diabolis) is often called the world’s rarest fish with population numbers in the low 100’s. Considering how many eggs fish lay that is an alarmingly low number.


Worse news for this endangered species is the fact that all attempts to establish populations elsewhere have all failed. Combine this with the fact that their population is dwindling since first landing on the endangered species list, the future looks mightily dim for these poor guys. Not to mention the last known population can be found in Devil’s Sinkhole and with more and more water shrinking due to irrigation for agriculture I cannot imagine this tiny creature has a chance of existing much longer.


(NOTE: If you click on the above photo and enlarge it you will see a bat that is getting a drink right in the middle of the pond… it was very cool to see it swooping by and sipping water…)

Seeing Devils Sinkhole and the tiny pool of water below makes one wonder why a species becomes so narrowly specialized that it results in it’s own annihilation. As a Darwinian believer I can only surmise that this species being one “one of the weakest’ has for some reason decimated itself for the good of others. How? Nobody surely knows…


Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge also had a very nice wooden boardwalk that took us along a spring which feeds the wetlands in this desert valley. Along the way birds were seen flitting from tree to tree. We saw mostly various sparrows as well as a few warblers with an occasional butterfly being spotted as well. Other desert pupfish can be seen in the crystal clear spring waters that have ponded in a few locales. With the desert mountains in the background this was quite a serene hike..


NOTE: We just left Pahrump Nevada and are moving over to Hemet California for a week…

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Great Escape from Wind and Chill…


Our overnight stay at the Bonanza Inn and Casino in Fallon, NV was uneventful. We did do a short walk around the town mostly made up of tired and worn buildings typical of many of these small towns in the Great Basin where harsh weather eventually takes it toll on everything. One of the casinos in town gave us some free play and we enjoyed using their money to gamble while also enjoying the complimentary beers. We do love Nevada because of the comped beverages while gambling.


The next morning we hit the road once again staying just behind the storms kicking up winds  to our south. Our goal was to seek warm weather and no wind. To do so meant we would only travel about 75 miles and we stopped in the town of Hawthorne Nevada where we pulled into the El Capitan Hotel and Casino RV park. At only $15 per night it was a bargain although there sure wasn’t much to see or do in Hawthorne.


Unfortunately the wind picked up again and we heard yet another wind warning advisory  We were thankful to be settled in and not traveling as gusts to 30-35 mph were common. Looking for something to do we found out about the highlight of Hawthorne which is the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum. It was only about a 15 minute walk from our RV park into the wind and dust so Sharon had to swap her contact lenses for her glasses to be able to survive the walk.


When we arrived we were sad to discover that the museum was closed on Sundays. Nonetheless there were some interesting munitions and an old tank outside that we enjoyed. This free museum is a neat little place to visit for travelers who pass through town.


The next morning after checking the weather it appeared we could make it to Beatty Nevada some 200 miles south so off we went. When we made it to Beatty we pulled over on the side of the road to check out their RV parks. The RV parks were not to our liking  so we found a good station to fill up with diesel and decided to continue south  to Pahrump Nevada.


After another 75 miles or so, we pulled into Preferred RV Resort (a Passport America Park) and were finally in the warm weather with no winds!

NOTE: We are now in Pahrump Nevada and glad to be back in shorts again… Will stay here at least three nights before moving towards San Diego for our November stay…