Thursday, December 22, 2005

Vegas, baby!

We are at the Oasis RV resort in Las Vegas (map). While there are boondocking opportunities in Vegas (contrary to popular belief), we needed to do laundry, vacuum, pressure-wash Odyssey, and otherwise do some errands which made a commercial campground with hookups a good choice. It also gives us a chance to top off the batteries before we spend four days boondocking in Death Valley. The campground we prefer there does not permit generators, so we will need to stretch the batteries as long as we can, although I am still expecting to have to pull out of the place in the middle of our stay to put on a charge.

When we arrived here, we first tried for the Silverton RV park, which is adjacent to a hotel/casino complex. We stayed there in February and found it clean and pleasant, and it would have been nice to just walk to the hotel for dinner. However, it closed for good on just a week ago, something which we knew was coming. Too bad, really.

In any case, our chores are done, including washing the coach with our brand new pressure washer (much easier than jockeying around in a self-wash stall, and more delicate than the hurry-up truck washing professionals), and we are just about to head out for Furnace Creek by way of Pahrump.

Yesterday morning found us in the parking lot of a Lowe's in Surprise, Arizona (map). We felt right at home, as we had spent over a month in a Lowe's lot in Baton Rouge. Of all the big-box stores in Surprise, we chose this spot because there was an Olive Garden in the same parking lot. Lowe's got something out of it, though -- we bought a new air compressor. The little Senco nailer compressor we have been using, while compact, light, fairly quiet, and very low current draw, has proven simply incapable of keeping up with the air demand. I had been constantly going outside, excavating to it in the crowded wet bay, and resetting its little thermal overload button. Plus it would run for 20 minutes at a stretch. This new Porter Cable unit produces five times the CFM, and while it draws more than twice the current, it only runs for three or four minutes at a time.

For all our Phoenix-area readers, we can now whole-heartedly recommend the restaurant in Tempe in which we invested last year -- Sonoma Rotisserie and More. Located on Elliott at Priest, in front of Costco Home, the theme is inexpensive excellence. We had lunch there Tuesday, and it is every bit as good as the original store in San Jose, CA, where we dined at least three times a week when we lived there. A second area location in downtown Phoenix is scheduled to open next year.

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