Blog 2, May 25th Arizona

24th May 2022


The city of Las Vegas presents itself very well.  There are 3D sculptures of the local animals all over and the infrastructure-big highways etc are well presented.  There are colourful plantings all around the place.

As you leave the city limits you see the vast solar panel arrays and their mass of battery banks that are all helping to power the city in the desert.

We drove the coach over a new bridge/bypass by the Hoover Dam where we got a good look at the low levels of Lake Mead.

We arrived in Arizona a week ago.

We spent a night in Kingman on the north western edge of the Mojave Desert.

Kingman is a small place that is known for being on Route 66.  It’s just a place to stop on the way to central Arizona which is where we are now.  Currently we are in between Phoenix and Flagstaff at a place called The Ranch in Anthem.  This is not a tourist town, it is the real thing.  This is about as ‘western’ as a place can feel, Spaghetti Western country!  We’re back in the Sonoran Desert with Saguaro cactus and dust.  We’re in a very nice camp site that we’ve been to before in 2018 and 2019.  This place has a great pool area that we have enjoyed with lots of shade which is essential in the 100 deg heat.

One day we saw a bull snake slither through the sun beds.  People said that it was unusual to see a snake but the next day a rattlesnake came through, -even more unusual!  They take a lot of getting used to.  Well, we are in the middle of the desert.

There are 4 Pickleball courts here and many enthusiastic players on the court every day at 8am.  These guys play everyday and are good but they welcomed us in as beginners and helped to improve our game.  They were all patient and encouraging with us.

We’ve played everyday except for one.  On our one day off we met up with some residents here that we knew from a previous visit.  Dave and Joanne took us out to breakfast at Rock Springs.  We ate at a true authentic American western diner.  Very nice.


I went out for a walk from The Ranch one day.  I walked along a country road to take in the landscape and do some photography.

The landscape is stunning with it’s mountain backdrop and western desert foreground.  I passed a horse ranch and chatted to a cowboy.  I could see from standing at the gate that the stable block was air-conditioned, which is good, but the horses were outside standing on dirt.  It occurred to me that this is horse country, yet these horses don’t know what it is to stand on luscious grass like the lucky horses back home.

We enjoyed lots of pool time, pickleball and good company at The Ranch.  Our last evening was spent having dinner with Dave and Joanne.  Dave cooked up a delicious Philly sub and coleslaw dish.  Very nice indeed.

We really enjoyed listening to Joanne’s family history.  Her great grandfather’s brother was Arizona Charlie, also known as Charlie Meadows.

He was born in 1859 in Visalia California during a rare snowstorm.  Charlie was friends with Buffalo Bill.  Joanne has photos of all the family going back that far, even photos of Buffalo Bill himself.  Charlie Meadows father was killed by Apache Indians in 1882.  In 1884 Charlie, now the head of the family, started a rodeo in Payson Arizona which is still America’s oldest continuous rodeo.  Charlie won many events at the Rodeo on his horse, Snowstorm.  He was a sharpshooter but during a rodeo act in Buffalo Bills Wild West Show he was supposed to shoot over his horse’s head but his aim was off and he shot the horse in the head and killed it-bummer!

He became a gold digger during the Klondike Gold Rush and became rich as he struck it lucky but lost his mine claim during a poker game.  Apparently he was most enterprising, opening a brothel which became a theatre in Dawson in the Yukon.  It’s still open today and  called the Palace Grand Theatre.  He also had a dance hall in Dyea and a saloon in Stone House.

Some say he died in a traffic accident.  Other’s say he was self operating on his leg.  Either way he died in Yuma on Dec 9, 1932 and it snowed that day!

We had an uneventful drive from Anthem Arizona to Yuma California.  If we were staying longer we would go looking for Arizona Charlie’s grave but we move on in the morning.  We are now camped on the edge of the Colorado river.

The river has travelled a long way to get this far south and looks like a pretty small river.   Still it’s nice to see water after the dry desert.