Saturday, July 13, 2013

Leavin' on a Jet Plane! - (Part one, #2) - The adventure continues.

The next few days were spent visiting with family and getting the BRT ready for the drive to Southern California.

On the way to Barstow California.....(yes Barstow)......we stopped near Clear Lake and the hogboys did a little mining for Obsidian. They are becoming quite the rockhounds. Or would that be rockhogs?

When we left Alaska the temperatures were in the mid 70s, when we arrived in Northern California it was in the mid 60s, and in Southern Oregon it was in the low 80s. Not too bad for us Alaskans...but...oh baby...when we arrived in the Mojave Desert it was in the 110-120s...

Needless to say we found RV parks with swimming pools. 

RV parks....kinda a new thing for Alaska we are used to just pulling off the road and spending the night.....can't do that in most places in the lower 48.

We stayed in a great KOA just east of Barstow. The park was nice and the staff was friendly, all with a great sense of humor, which is important when dealing with a hogfamily...from Alaska...when it's 120 degrees...

The game room was nice and air conditioned.

  Even Robot and Ken got into playing pool...

Now how did Robot talk Ken into this?

You know this is not going to turn out well...


While in Barstow we went to Hesperia California to visit the Express Super Pawn shop. This was our first visit there. We returned later in the week. (The reason for that will be explained later).

In Barstow we visited the Harvey House. It has the Western American Railroad Museum and the Route 66 Mother Road Museum. Both are fun and worth the time, (and are air conditioned).

Next was the Route 66 Mother Road Museum.

Who remembers the Burma Shave signs?

Why did we really end up in Barstow you may be wondering.

We had the opportunity to do some digging in a turquoise mine near Barstow. Why a turquoise mine? 

Many, (many, many), years ago I worked in a turquoise mine near Searchlight Nevada. It was one of my most favorite jobs.

Our boys became very interested in geology, rock hounding and especially turquoise after hearing my stories of working in the turquoise mine.

We spent two mornings digging for turquoise. We would get to the mine at about 5:00am and dig until the heat drove us off at about 9:30am.

Sunrise over the Mojave Desert. 

Next it was off to Las Vegas!

Breakfast stop at Peggy Sue's 50's Diner.

A fun place with great food and staff.

Robot insisted that he should be spiffed up for Las Vegas.

There are several "reality" TV shows that the hogfamily likes to watch, Duck Dynasty and Barter Kings being our favorites, hey you have to do something on those long cold Alaska winter days.

A few others that we like are Counting Cars, Rick's Restorations, and Pawn Stars. They are in Las Vegas so of course we had to visit them. 

We did not get to meet any of the main characters but it was still fun to see where the shows are filmed.

Count's Kustoms.

Rick's Restorations.

Pawn Stars.

What is this? Robot is serving Shane Pie?

Oh how nice of Robot. Now what is he doing with that fork?

Oh Robot, you ate the rest of the pie?

I think he was celebrating that we didn't pawn him at the pawn shop.

 A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, uh, well many years ago, I lived and worked in Searchlight Nevada and Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mojave.

The Searchlight Museum is a small and fun museum.

Next we went to Cottonwood Cove for a swim.

On another day we went to Red Rock Canyon. It is a few miles out of Las Vegas.

No visit to Las Vegas would be complete without checking out the Fremont Street Experience.

Here is a riddle from Michelle. What is the meaning of this photo?
No, it's not "hogdaddy is in trouble for taking a photo of a girl's backside", really Michelle insisted that I take the photo. Of course being the good husband that I am I had to follow her wishes.

We celebrated July 4th with family in Boulder City. We had a pic-nick and watched fireworks.

On the way back to Northern California from Las Vegas we stopped at the Express Super Pawn in Hesperia California.

Express Super Pawn is the set for the TV show Barter Kings. It is one of our  favorite reality TV shows along with  Duck DynastyDuck Dynasty is a great family show with positive family values.  

One of the reasons that Express Super Pawn is our favorite, especially our boys, is that Antonio, one of the two main characters, has Tourette Syndrome. Why is this important?

All four of our boys have Tourette Syndrome.

They have varying degrees of Tourettes from mild to moderate. They also have varying degrees of Dyslexia and ADHD all of which often accompany Tourettes. (Their doctor claims that all boys have ADHD and that it is what makes them boys).

In Barter Kings Antonio does not hide his Tourettes.

When our boys first saw Barter Kings two years ago they were having some difficulty with their Tourettes. When they saw how Antonio did not let Tourettes get him down and that he has a successful life with Tourettes it inspired them and they decided that if Antonio could do it so could they.

We did not get to meet Antonio or Steve, the other Barter King, as they were filming in Utah. Antonio called us during their filming and we spent about half an hour talking with him. We hopefully will be Skyping with his family when we return to Alaska and he offered to Skype with our school. (Oh great another thing to learn on a least I won't have to type).

The staff that we met at Express Super Pawn were great. 

Curtis teaches Daniel the art of haggling.

Daniel makes the deal!

Dave, Patty, and Curtis.

After our visit we headed back to Northern California.

So why is this episode Part 1 #2? Why was the first episode Part 1 #1? Does this mean there will be a Part 2? Does anybody really care?

There will be a part two. I split my leave time and went to work for a shift. Michelle and the hogboys stayed with family in No. Cal. I will be back with them in a few days and we will continue our adventures. Lucky you eh?

So stay tuned for Part 2 coming to a computer near you!


  1. You always seem to have a lot of fun going out on your family adventures. I'm jealous about how your kids are getting into geology and you take them mining. Seeing the turquoise in the rocks and mining it out must be fun.

  2. Didn't realize how large Shane's eyes could get until I saw the Las Vegas chorus girls' photo.

    ADHD is also called "multitasking", an essential attribute of computers.

  3. In order to post a comment I have to "prove you're not a robot."

    How does that make Robot feel?

  4. Can't wait for part two. I especially loved seeing the turquoise in the raw. Oh, and the obsidian.

  5. Oh yea, the boys with the showgirls picture was priceless.