Monday, February 20, 2012

Carlsbad Caverns

We've been here before and so have Jim and Lynnae, but we all wanted to visit again, so here we are.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is in South-East New Mexico and has a real neat bat cave.

We entered it on a ranger-led tour.

This is the summer home of thousands of Mexican Freetail Bats.

They roost here from March to October, hanging from the ceiling by day and hunting insects by night.

It's February now, so no one is home.

They are big eaters, consuming 1/2 their body weight in one flight.

 In some places in the cave, guano is on the floor to a depth of 40 feet.

This ladder was installed in 1924 during exploration by the National Geographic Society and descends 90 feet into a lower cave.

Here is Judy checking for spiders with her new LED flashlight she bought in Quartzsite for $2.

    You can learn a lot more about caves and bats at ;  www.carlsbad

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Native American World Championship Hoop Festival

The Heard Museum in Phoenix is a wonderful tribute to Native American Culture.
It contains over 38,500 artifacts relating to First Nation life.

  Educational and cultural events take place here the year around,
 including the World Hoop Championships each February.

                                    Tony Duncan-- Five time and 2011 World Champion

Dallas Arcand, 2006, 2007 and 2012 World Champion

Each performer is judged in 5 skills-- precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativeness, and speed.

The variety of designs is very intricate, including animals, butterflies, birds and globes.

The hoop represents the circle of life to Native people, and hoop dancing is often a part of Native American ceremonies.

Colorful clothing design represents many aspects of tradition and culture.

 Over 50 hoops may be used in  one performance.

This event brings almost 60 contestants and 7,000 spectators to central Phoenix

 Traditional Frybread is one of my favorites.
   Learn much more about the Heard Museum and its' events at

To see videos of the champions dancing to the beat of North American drums try;  Hoop Dance Champion Videos

                                                            The smile of champions

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Salvation Mountain And The Slabs

If you're an RV'er and you want to find your god, this is the place for you.  

It covers an area the size of a football field.

This three story work of art was begun in 1984 and is now three stories high.

It is covered with over 300,000 gallons of paint in many layers.

It is one man's dream and, with donated paint, has been constructed almost entirely by himself.  

Traveling RV'ers bring this paint from all over the country and Canada.

One has to walk through and over it to get a feel for the place.

                        When we first came here in 2002, the creator greeted us and took us for a tour.

Two months ago he was placed in a nursing home, and will never work on his mountain again.

The future of Salvation Mountain is unsure, so you had better get over to it soon to be sure and observe this unusual work of art in its' magnificence.

So who is this man that so many people all over the world have come to know?

This paper is found in a room in the Mountain.  It can be enlarged by clicking on it.  Much more can be found about Leonard Knight and Salvation Mountain on your computer. 

Slab City is what remains of an old military base North of Niland. California and East of the Salton Sea.  One passes this old guard house just after leaving Salvation Mountain.

"The Slabs", as the area is also called, derives its' name from concrete that remains from the old military installation.

There is no real government jurisdiction here, so it is mostly self controlled.  As a result, the area is rather shabby, with some very nice RVs and a superb collection of not so nice RVs. Some people live here the year around.