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2017 Quilt Away

Destination Las Vegas - Spring 2017


I just couldn't seem to get my act together to prepare for this trip. I did manage to get my Health Insurance in plenty of time so that was a plus - the only plus. After that - I was useless. Everything was last minute.

A week before leaving "I fought the Jeep and the Jeep won". OK, so I dealt with insurance and estimates without a hitch, then on Sunday I wondered if maybe I needed an accident sticker from the police before crossing the border. Well, duh! Of course. Thank goodness I was able to get hold of Karen - otherwise he wouldn't take my report unless, as he put it, I wanted to report I was in a hit and run - thus explaining why I don't have the information about the other car.

Between Thursday and Sunday, I had an oil change, tire rotation, rugs cleaned, two trips to Fabricland, worked Friday, prepared 60 quilting kits, took Snoopy to the Vet, visited with Deb and Sally, had lunch with Donna at Saigon Bistro, spent a frustrating 45 minutes at the Police Station, washed my bedding (including a trip to the coin laundry for my quilt), washed my car inside and out, went to the bank, gassed up, took Snoopy to the kennel - and finally packed!

I'm exhausted. Now I need a holiday just to rest from the preparation.

Somehow it's 11:30 Sunday night I'm organized, packed and ready to load the car tomorrow. Two things on the agenda for the morning - call Telus for my roaming plan and get my tires torqued.



Monday, May 8 - Calgary to Kalispell, Montana
I managed to get my Telus roaming set up, tires torqued and out of town by 11:00 am. Highways today were hwy 2A and hwy 2 south to the border then US 89, US 2, State 40, and US 93 south to Kalispell. Google Map

Crossing the Border was quite entertaining. It went something like this:

  • Where are your from? Calgary.
  • What do you do? I'm a paralegal. (Long confused stare - I guess I'm too old.)
  • Where are you going? Las Vegas.
  • Are you driving or flying? Driving.
  • Why this crossing instead of the Interstate? I don't like driving on Interstates.
  • How long are you going to be in Vegas? Two weeks. (Are you crazy stare.)
  • Do you have a place there? No, it's a time share.
  • What are you going to do in Vegas for two weeks? Quilt. (Did I hear right stare.)
  • So you have a bag of clothes and you're just going to Vegas for two weeks? Well not just clothes. I also have my sewing machine and all my sewing supplies.
  • Can you roll down your back window please. (Scrutinization of my back seat.)
  • Are you meeting anyone there? No.
  • Why cant you stay home and quilt for two weeks. (My turn to stare.) It's my retreat.
  • Any alcohol? No. Tobacco? No. Fires arms or ammunition? No. (My thoughts - no guns - just my rotary cutter blades and a whole bunch or vicious pins, needles, seam rippers and scissors.)
  • Have a nice day ma'am.
Going to Las Vegas and quilting for two weeks seems perfectly normal to me - but apparently not to the border agent! These young guys just have no sense of adventure. Why do I always feel like I'm the strange one when I cross the border?

Cool Cats

The panel I picked this year for my travel quilt is Cool Cats from Loralie Designs. A lover of cats, Loralie designed Cool Cats as one of her first collections to express with vibrant color and cool attitude, the fun personality of kitties everywhere. I'm a total fan of all Loralie's designs.

Whitefish Quilts and Gifts

This shop is one of my favourites and I usually manage to visit if I'm in the area. It is right on Central Avenue with street parking outside the front door and a whole parking lot out back. The owner creates her own beautiful "huckleberry" batik fabric. The front part of the store has a variety of Montana and Whitefish memorabilia, rustic home decor, and locally made crafts. Whitefish Quilts and Gifts.

Glacier Quilts

Glacier Quilts is also a favourite of mine. Glacier Quilts has over 10,000 bolts of fabric together with kits, books, patterns, and notions. The also have sewing, embroidery, and serger machines. I've attended a couple of appliqué classes here and I always have a hard time leaving the store without a bag full of goodies. Today, I controlled myself and just bought my fat quarter. Glacier Quilts

Homewood Suites, Kalispell, Montana

This is the second time I've stayed in the Homewood Suites. It is absolutely fantastic! They have a complimentary dinner Monday to Thursday and a full breakfast every day. Each room has a full size fridge, dishwasher, microwave and countertop stove. These are not rooms. They are mini homes. To top it off, the nightly rate is considerably less than the other hotels in the area. Homewood Suites is within walking distance of Glacier Quilts and Walmart and is surrounded by a dozen restaurants. I love it here and will never stay anywhere else when visiting Kalispell. Homewood Suites


Tuesday, May 9 - Kalispell to Lewiston, Idaho
What a beautiful drive today - entirely through mountains and everything is totally green. Highways today were US 93 south, State 82 east, State 35 south, State 209 east, US 83 south, State 200 west to Missoula, and finally US 12 the rest of the way to Lewiston. The road between Missoula and Orofino was 175 miles of curves. It follows the path carved by several creeks and the Lochsa and Clearwater Rivers through the mountains. Great fun to drive. Google Map

US Highway 12

US 12 runs 2500 miles from Michigan to Washington. As a thoroughfare, it has mostly been supplanted by I-90 and I-94. It crosses the Idaho Panhandle from Lolo Pass to the Washington state line in Lewiston - generally along the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition. It is known as the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway.

Lolo Pass

There was still a lot of snow pack at the top of the summit. The pass is 5,233 feet but temperature was quite warm and the snow was melting rapidly. I stopped briefly to stretch my legs and use the washroom.

The Lewis and Clark party crossed this pass September 13, 1805, westbound for the Pacific after a long detour to the south. From the headwaters of the Missouri they had crossed the mountains to the Salmon. Finding that river impassable, they traded for packhorses, hired an Indian guide, and came north to an Indian trail across the mountains here. Tired and ill-fed, the men were to have a hard struggle in early snow along the steep ridges which the trail followed for most of its 125 mile course west to the Clearwater River. Lolo Summit Historical Marker

Deer Country Quilts, Seeley Lake, Montana

Deer Country Quilts is without a doubt my favourite shop in Montana. They have a great selection of fabric with a large section dedicated to rustic - just for me. Located in cottage country, the shop features a cozy cabin atmosphere. I found two fat quarters and got myself out the store before I was tempted to check our the Kansas Troubles rack! I'm very proud of myself. Deer Country Quilts

Material Girls Quilting Etc., Orofino, Idaho

Material Girls Quilting, Etc. is right on hwy 12 in Orofino. The store is not restricted to quilting. They also have wool and embroidery supplies. I had an enjoyable visit with the ladies in the shop, found two fat quarters that I liked and headed on my way.

Lewiston, Idaho

I'm staying at the Hampton Inn tonight. I had trouble finding the hotel so had to phone them to get turn by turn. I was quite lost - and a long way from the hotel. The good news is that the quilt store is just up the road - so at least I know where I'm going in the morning. Then, getting out of town and on the right highway might be another challenge.


Wednesday, May 10 - Lewiston to Sisters, Oregon
I had another wonderful day winding through the mountain roads. Highways were south on WA State 129, OR State 3, west on State 82, I-84, and State 244, south on US 395, west on US 26 and finally west on State 126 to Sisters, Oregon. Google Map

Becky's Fabrics, Lewiston, Idaho

I stopped at this shop before leaving town. I had already mapped it out last night. I had to wait until 10:00 am for the shop to open. It is a small shop but has a good variety of fabric together with Bernina and Janome sewing machines. I bought two fat quarters - a pink and turquoise. Becky's Fabrics

God's Rock Garden

The flowers were in full bloom on the rock cliffs beside the road. It looked like a well planned rock garden for several miles. I stopped a couple of times to take pictures but the sun was shining on them and it was hard to see the flowers in the pictures.

Sled Springs Stage Station

This Historical Marker is on Oregon State Route 3 in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. When I searched the Historical Marker Database, I found out that this marker had not been reported. I did the submission and will post the link once it is published. Historical Marker Database

Inscription: "Early day travelers used the clearing west of this sign as a stop-over and resting place during their journeys from Lost Prairie, Flora, Paradise and other points north to Elgin. Travel was by saddle horse, stagecoach, or wagon. It was known as the Sled Springs Station and was operated for several years before 1900 and to about 1925. In later years this same area was the site of a railroad logging camp. About 300 people lived in the vicinity. Wallowa-Whitman National Forest."

Oregon Route 82

Oregon Route 82 is the main route from remote Wallowa County to the main hub at La Grande providing access to Interstate 84 and US 30. Oregon Route 82 is part of the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway.

Hells Canyon Scenic Byway

Hells Canyon is America’s deepest river gorge. The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway was designated a National Forest Scenic Byway on April 19, 1992. It was later made an Oregon State Scenic Byway on February 19, 1997. The All-American Road designation was applied on June 15, 2000. Along its route, Hells Canyon Scenic Byway hugs the Wallowa River and runs through the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Claudson's Sew & Soak, La Grande, Oregon

I stopped to gas up and the lady in the station directed me to this shop. It has a strange combination or fabric, sewing machines and hot tubs. I found three fat quarters - pink, green & red. After visiting for a few minutes, I headed on my way. Claudson's

US Hwy 26 Oregon -
Journey Through Time Scenic Byway

The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway was designated as an Oregon State Scenic Byway on February 19, 1997. The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway stretches 286 miles and meanders through ghost towns and small farming communities. The Wild and Scenic John Day River parallels much of the route.

Sisters, Oregon

I booked ahead at the Best Western Ponderosa Lodge in Sisters. Once my room was set up I switched routes and took the scenic hwy 244 from north of La Grande to Ukiah. It was a bit slower but totally worth it. I arrived in Sisters about 8:30.


Thursday, May 11 - Sisters to Klamath Falls, Oregon
Only two highways today - US 20 and US 97 south. I stopped at Lava Butte in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument but didn't do any other sightseeing. It was cold, windy and raining so I decided to stop early at Klamath Falls. Google Map

Stitchin' Post, Sisters, Oregon

First stop this morning was at the Stitchin' Post. I found two fat quarters - a blue and a red. I also bought a panel and matching fabric from the "Bee Inspired" and "Bee Creative" by Deb Strain for moda. I'm not sure if I'll just quilt it or fussy cut the sayings for the center of a block. Stitchin' Post

Lava Butte

I've driven by this area several times and decided today was a good time to stop and visit. Once inside the part, the road takes you to the top of the cinder cone and the climb circles the cone like a spiral. Once at the top there is a short climb to the lookout tower. It was cold and windy at the top so I didn't stop and read all the information. By the time I was back in my car it was pouring rain.

There were several other areas within the park to explore including the Lava River Cave (a mile long lava tube), Lava Cast Forest (an old-growth forest cooled to form casts of the trees), the Newberry Caldera (containing the Paulina Lake, East Lake and the Paulina Falls). It was just too cold and wet to be able to enjoy spending more time in in the Park so I continued on my way.

Lava Butte is just one of over 400 cinder/spatter cones on Newberry Volcano. The cinder cone rises 500 feet above the surrounding area and the crater is 150 deep. A two-phase eruption formed Lava Butte about 7,000 years ago. This small cinder cone is just west of US Highway 97 about 15 miles south of Bend, Oregon. Lava Butte is part of a system of small cinder cones on the northwest flank of Newberry Volcano.

Lava Butte Lookout

The current Lava Butte Lookout was constructed in 1998 and is the fourth structure at this site. Many lookouts In the early 1900s were as simple as a platform in a tree top, also known as a "crows" nest. Lava Butte was one of three lookouts first established in the Deschutes National Forest.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Newberry Volcano is a large active shield volcano located 40 miles east of the Cascade Range and about 20 miles southeast of Bend, Oregon. The volcano is 25 miles in diameter. It possesses a large oval-shaped caldera 4 by 5 miles in diameter. Newberry Caldera was formed when a magma chamber collapsed. Over time the Caldera filled up with water that created two lakes, Paulina Lake and East Lake.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument was designated on November 5, 1990, to protect the area around the Newberry Volcano. It was created within the boundaries of the Deschutes National Forest and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. It includes 50,000 acres of lakes, lava flows, and spectacular geologic features. US Forest Service

Homestead Quilts and Gallery, La Pine, Oregon

What a wonderful shop out in the middle of almost nowhere! I spent a lot of time browsing all their wonderful art displays, fabrics, and notions. Owner Cathy has meticulously decorated the shop with vintage memorabilia and antiques that fit the space beautifully. I found three fat quarters - two pink and one multi-coloured yellow with flowers. They had a quilt made from my Cool Cats fabric. Homestead Quilts

Klamath Falls, Oregon

I didn't want to continue past Klamath Falls today. The next leg is through the mountains to get to US 395 south. It was cold and raining and I suspected it would be snowing over the passes. I stopped about 3:30 in the afternoon and booked into the Holiday Inn. There was a quilt shop listed in the book in the downtown area, so I got directions from the hotel staff. I was greeted with the "for lease" sign.

Joann Fabric, Klamath Falls, Oregon

I saw a Joann about three blocks from the hotel. Undeterred, I went back to the hotel and printed some coupons and happily headed up the road. I found two fabrics - a yellow and orange polka dot and a multi colored green polka dot. I also bought the binder rings that Marilynn has been searching for. I think they might be too big, but I bought them anyway. Joann Fabric and Craft


Friday, May 12 - Klamath Fall to Lone Pine, California
Highways today were State 39 OR, State 139 CA, and US 395 to Loan Pine. It was still quite cold and windy. I hit snow/sleet at the higher elevations as the temperature dropped to 30°. All of the passes over the Sierra Nevada Mountains are all closed and it's easy to see why. There is still snow in the hills along the road. I gassed up at Bridgeport and it was a cold, windy 41°. Google Map

Tater Patch Quilts, Merrill, Oregon

When you open the door to this shop you are greeted by a warm welcome. There was a long arm class going on so I watched the ladies practicing for a while. The shop is right on main street with easy parking outside the door. I found three fat quarters and also bought some red polka dot ribbon. Tater Patch Quilts

Jacks Valley

I only visited one historical marker today. There were quite a few Monuments and lava beds along the route but it was just too cold and windy and I wouldn't have enjoyed them so I just passed by. This historical marker was just off the road so I stopped to read the information.

Inscription. "Named for John "Coyote Jack" Wright who left here in 1869. By 1880, five wagon roads converged here which resulted in various establishments over the years including a stage station, saloon, sawmill, dance hall, logging camp, and agricultural inspection station. This water trough built in 1913 for the benefit of travelers, is the only one its kind in northeastern California." Historical Marker Database

Lone Pine, California

I booked a room at the Best Western Frontier before I left this morning. I was glad I did. By the time I reached Lone Pine there was a No Vacancy sign. Tomorrow I'll cut through Death Valley National Park then into Vegas.


Saturday, May 13 - Lone Pine to Las Vegas, Nevada
Not a lot of miles today. I cut through Death Valley National Park to Pahrump and into Las Vegas. Highways where US 395 south, State 136 and 190 through Death Valley National Park, State Line Road/Bell Vista Road to Pahrump, and State 160 NV to Las Vegas. Google Map

Death Valley National Park

The Sierra Nevada are still white right to the bottom. It was 51° when Turned into the Park. Quite unusual but not unexpected as the temperature has been unusually low most of my trip. By the time I reached Furnace Creek, it was a pleasant 75° and I still had on my sweater. I gassed up. Why I would gas up at Furnace Creek and pay at least $1.50 extra per gallon, is beyond me. I guess I needed the break.

The highway damage that I saw last year has been repaired and all roads were open. I was tempted to take some extra time and do some of the side loops - but saved it for another year. I was in Vegas mode!


May 13 - 29, Las Vegas

Saturday, May 13 - Let the Quilting Begin

I arrived in Vegas about 1:00 pm. My room wasn't ready and they said they would phone me when it was. What to do while I waited? Of course, head for the Christmas Goose. I then went to Quiltique - just because.

Christmas Goose - Pajama Party

Well, this is first time I've gone to a pajama party on my travels but that's exactly what I did. The Christmas Goose was having a Pajama Party 6 to midnight and they just happened to have a spot available. Some of the ladies arrived in their pajamas and two had the same ones - pink with sewing machines on them. It was so much fun. Since I'm travelling alone, I don't have pajamas. It just wouldn't be right to arrive in what I sleep in!

The shop provided dinner - chicken, salads and a pile full of deserts. Some of the regular ladies also brought treats. There were hourly sales with the final one from 11: 00 - 12:00 being 30% off all fabric. I was just too tired to shop. (Is that possible?) The Christmas Goose

I decided to start sewing the bindings on the placemats for retreat. I actually got 12 done. I finally conked out about 11:00 - but then still had to go grocery shopping.  It was 12:30 before I got back to the hotel and by the time I lugged my sewing stuff into my room and parked the car it was after 1:00.  I didn't get to bed until 2:00!

Sunday, May 14

Happy Mother's Day to all moms. I often think of my mother when I quilt. Mother's Day always seems to happen while I'm here. I remember many years going to Kelowna for the Mother's Day weekend to help her plant her flowers. So now, instead, I'm here quilting and thinking about my mother. I wish I could share my projects, my flops, and my UFO's with her. I miss you mom.

I crashed until 11:30 this morning. First things first - coffee and breakfast. I brought my Keurig so I can finally have a decent coffee. My room is on the 3rd floor facing the lazy river. At least I can stand on my balcony and look over it. I actually sat on my balcony and drank my coffee. I truly love it here!

I'm being lazy today. Doing some laundry and setting up my sewing stuff. No plans - except to clean out my car and maybe go the Outback tonight for dinner.

On the Wall - Placemats

I figured since I got such a good jump on binding the placemats last night, I would continue working on them today. It was nearly 4:00 before I got started and then I took a break to go to Outback. Finally at 9:30 pm they are all finished. I can't take credit for these placemats. It was a joint effort between Sally, Marilynn and myself.

Monday, May 15

I managed to get out of bed earlier today - 10:30. Ha! I think I'm going to sleep my holiday away. I went to The Christmas Goose in the afternoon to find border fabric for Paul's quilt. Once I got it home, it wasn't quite right so I'll go to Quiltique tomorrow and see what they have. I may end up having to order it online.

I booked myself into two Sit and Sew days for the next two Wednesdays at the Christmas Goose. I also enrolled in a class on Friday called Hope Chest Quilt. For the charm squares, I bought Kansas Troubles Thistle Farm, Sunflower Song and Bees 'n Blooms. I also bought a rust zinger from Bees 'n Blooms and the green floral from Thistle Farm for the border.

Thistle Farm

Sunflower Song

Bees 'n Blooms

Tuesday, May 16

I think I'm getting back to normal. I was up and rolling by 9:00. I had coffee and breakfast, read my emails, cleaned up my suite, had my shower, started the dishwasher and headed to Quiltique - all before 10:30.

Quiltique

Success! I found the matching fabric for Paul's Quilt. It is from Bee Inspired by Deb Strain. So now I can finish the borders. I also bought some grey and black from the same line to add to the fabric I got in Sisters. And, for no reason at all, I bought some black and white polka dot. Quiltique

2017 Row by Row - On the Go

Quiltique had some of this year's Row by Row fabric so I bought the strip panel, license plates and road trip for the back. I'll have to watch for it along the way to pick up some of the solid coordinating fabric. I find this years fabric a bit drab compared to previous years. There is a "Quilt Stories" fabric complete with pictures, sayings and patterns. I think I will get some of that when I go back to Quiltique. I might want to use it for the back instead of the road trip fabric.

On the Bed - Yellow Brick Road - Play Your Song

After messing around for almost a year, I finally have this quilt finished. There isn't a wall wide enough in my room to hang a quilt and I couldn't take the pictures down so I had to lay it on my bed for the picture. I really like the way these fabrics play with each other, truly having distinct light, medium and dark with great transition fabrics making a good combination for the Yellow Brick Road pattern.

A friend of mine is a fiddle player. He's retiring soon and one of these days he will be moving home to Ontario. I decided this musical fabric would make the perfect going away quilt for him.

Play Your Song

Play Your Song is a classic collection designed by Wilmington Prints with musical motifs in black, gray, white, ivory, gold and tan. I added a few extra blacks and dark golds to deepen the overall effect. For the back I'm using The Celestial Collection by Jason Yenter.

Wednesday, May 17th

I went to the Sit and Sew day at the Christmas Goose from 10:30 to 5:30. There was a lady there that taught a class I took in July 2014 plus another lady that I had met before. It was a fun day with lots of laughs. Some pretty interesting stories came out - not going to repeat all of them here - but most interesting was that one of the ladies knew a murder victim that was featured on America's Most Wanted. I remember seeing the episode.

On the Wall - Victoria's Quilt #1

I made a Victoria's Quilt from a panel fabric. Then cut the scraps up to start a modified Sixes and Tens. I bought enough orange fabric for the zinger on the second quilt and both bindings. I'll work on the Sixes and Tens tomorrow. I had to fold the quilt in four to get it on the wall. No more climbing up on the dresser in the bedroom to get a picture. It's too dangerous. Besides I'm afraid of heights.

On the way home from quilting, I stopped at the Outback for some take out. I started to cut the sashing for the Sixes and Tens then went down to the hot tub before calling it a night.

Thursday, May 18th

I got off to a slow start this morning. I did some laundry and cleaned up my suite. It was noon before I started sewing. I continued with the Sixes and Tens then at 2:30 headed to Quiltique to buy the Quilt Stories fabric.

It is still quite cool 65° and really windy today - 50 mph. This is like a blizzard here - blowing dust, power outages and trees blown down. Apparently the same weather system that is causing snow in Colorado is causing cold weather and wind in Vegas. They reported on the weather forecast that the wind will disappear and Vegas will get back to normal - expected 95° by the weekend. The weatherman said "after today, we can say goodbye to 70° weather until sometime in October".

Row by Row - Quilt Stories

This is a really fun part of the Row by Row fabric this year. Someone called it "Quilt Stories". I love the pictures and sayings in it. My favourite is "No Quilt Police".

There are all sorts of graphics including pins, sewing machines, thimbles, a tomato pin cushion, quilt blocks, scissors and buttons.

I particularly like the Quilter's Rules:
  • You can never have enough fabric.
  • If you see a quilt shop, you must step in to pet the fabrics.
  • You must build a stash to fill up at least one large closet.
  • Sewing daily is required, doing housework is completely optional.
  • When travelling, you must drive to all quilt shops within a 30 miles radius of your final destination.
  • Yes, it's official, quilting is a form of therapy.

Friday, May 19th

I was up early again this morning and off to the Christmas Goose for the Hope Chest class. This is a really neat block - a disappearing four patch. I managed to get four of 35 blocks done, then just started cutting the rest. The Charm Pack I'm using is Thistle Farm by Kansas Troubles. I'm not sure if I'll manage to get this one done before I leave. I have some other quilts I want to finish first.

I checked with the Concierge to see what shows are playing and found out that I could get tickets for two shows for $20.00 if I take in the sales promotion breakfast. Ok, works for me. I get breakfast and two tickets. Hope they aren't too pushy. Next week I'm going to Cirque Du Soleil Beatles Love at the Mirage and Menopause at Harrah's.

I went to Stir Crazy Mongolian Grill for dinner. It's quite different than the Hu Hot experience in Kalispell - not quite as much fun and no showmanship at the grill. The food was just as good though.

I'm not going to do any more sewing tonight. My shoulder is sore from sewing all day. I'm heading down to soak in the hot tub - then off to bed.

Saturday, May 20th

I went to the presentation this morning but ended up not staying for it. The good news is that I still got the vouchers for the shows. I caught the shuttle to the Mirage and Harrah's. I'm going to Beatles Love on Monday and Menopause on Tuesday. Just a half hour in the two hotels reminded me why I don't want to be on the Strip. A week of that and I'd go crazy. I couldn't get back to Tahiti Village fast enough.

On the Wall - Victoria's Quilt #2

This quilt is a modified Sixes and Tens - my name for it - "Something Shiny". It was made from scraps from the panel fabric. There is still enough fabric to make another quilt - but I'll save that for another time. At this point I'm getting tired of this fabric and want to move on.

I spent the afternoon quilting then did some grocery shopping and stopped at the Outback for dinner. I had to do some housecleaning tonight. What a mess I have! I could really use a vacuum - but there isn't one in the cupboard. I still have two more days before I get housekeeping!

Sunday, May 21st

I slept late again this morning so it was afternoon before I got quilting. I started working on Sharon's Canada 150 Quilt. There was enough fabric left over from the fat quarters to make two quilts - at least the blocks. I cut the left over fabric into 5 inch charm squares so will have to find a pattern and buy some extra background material. I'll head to the shops tomorrow to see what I can find.

In the evening I went to Target to pick up some Zip Lock bags and some fruit. Then back to finish the Canada 150 Quilt - at least up to the borders.

Monday, May 22nd

By the time I went to Quiltique and The Christmas Goose and back to the hotel, I only had two hours before I needed to leave for the show. I cut the fabric to finish the Canada 150 Quilt and started to cut some of the fabric for my Cool Cats Quilt. I caught the hotel shuttle at 6:00. It stops right at the Mirage.

Cirque du Soleil - The Beatles Love

What an incredible show. The music of course was all Beatles but not so much the early days. That, for me, was a bit of a disappointment but they really covered all their music - start to finish. The show wrapped up with "All You Need Is Love". The advertisements say "The Beatles changed the world. LOVE, Cirque du Soleil's interpretation of their legacy, has changed entertainment."

The show plays at a specially built circular theatre with seats 360 degrees around the stage. Apparently, the furthest seat from the absolute center of the stage is only 98 feet. The light displays were like none other I've ever seen. In true Cirque du Soleil form, the costumes, choreography, acrobats, music and dancing were totally "Beatles" right down to the constant use of Volkswagen"Beatles" as stage props. There was even a flower child Volkswagen Van.
By the time I got back to the hotel, it was 9:30 and I went Denny's to eat. I didn't get any more quilting done but I have nothing to do tomorrow until I leave to see Menopause. Now, if I can just get out of bed - I might get something done!

Tuesday, May 23rd

At least I was out of bed at a decent time this morning. I did some housekeeping, dishes and garbage detail then settled down to quilt. Today was a bit more productive. I finished Sharon's Canada 150 Quilt and started on the Cool Cats before getting ready to head to the strip for Menopause.

On the Wall - Canada 150 Quilt

Finally - Sharon's Canada 150 Quilt is on the wall. I hope Sharon appreciates the extra little treat I slipped into the quilt to satisfy her "moose" affection. Take a close look at some of the red pieces! I forgot to bring the outside border we had picked for the quilt so had to use a different one. It's almost the same and just as effective.

Menopause - The Musical

OK - Menopause - where do I begin? This is the funniest show I have ever seen. I laughed so hard I was crying. How can they turn something so normal, something so frustrating, something that happens to every woman - no exceptions - into something so incredibly funny. The words to the songs were all changed to describe symptoms of menopause. I tried hard to remember everything they said and sang but there was just too much. It just kept coming - bang, bang, bang - until I couldn't remember anything. All I did was laugh my head off and wipe my eyes.

Luckily, after the show they had CD's and a Music Book - with ALL the words for sale. I bought them. At least I can look things up and re-read what they said and hear again everything they sang. What do four women - a Soap Star, a Businesswoman, an Earth Mother, and a housewife from Iowa - all shopping at Bloomingdales in New York have in common? Menopause. Add to the mix "Shirley" from Laverne & Shirley and you have a recipe for something beyond belief.
They talked and sang about everything - hot flashes, night sweats, the urge to kill, the urge to cry, weight gain, a shrinking bladder, memory loss, and sexual problems and at the same time trying to deal with husbands, children and aging mothers. One liners about armpits growing another armpit, the skin under the arms flapping in the breeze, and looking in the mirror and seeing your mother all reminded me of a certain friend but I wouldn't dare say who without her permission.

How they could turn songs like Puff The Magic Dragon YMCA, My Guy, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Great Pretender and California Girls into explaining menopause is an amazing feat in itself. At one point the Soap Star went into the audience singing Hot Flash and the lucky guy she picked on now has an experience he will never forget. I think the funniest part was the Iowa housewife singing "Only You" to her pink vibrator. That did me in. I laughed so hard watching her antics I didn't even hear the words.

Only you can make my world seem right
Only you can make this darkness light
Only you and you alone can thrill me like you do
Forget my man, for now it's only you.
It was nearly 10:00 by the time I got back to the hotel. I watched the end of the Dancing With The Stars Finale so I didn't get any further quilting done. I packed up my sewing machine and project to take with me to the Christmas Goose for the Sit and Sew tomorrow.
The weather is finally Las Vegas normal. It has hit 100° twice this week. Hard to believe it was at 60° when I arrived. It's nice to sit on the deck. I have sun in the morning and shade in the evening. It's lovely.

Wednesday, May 24th

Temperature was over 100° again today. I'm sitting on my balcony with my computer and coffee. It's still 95°. Someone told me it snowed in Calgary today - hard to imagine when it's this hot here.

Today was the Sit and Sew at the Christmas Goose. One of the ladies asked me to bring my pattern for tissue box covers today so she could do one. We both made a cover. I'll email her the pattern when I get home. I finished cutting the rest of the Hope Chest blocks but didn't start to sew them.

It been a lot of fun socializing with the ladies that I've met of the last two weeks and it was a bit sad to say good-bye. See you next year!

Tonight I continued working on my Cool Cats. So far there are three on the wall. I bought another panel at the Christmas Goose today because there are two cats that are too big for my pattern. I'm going to find another pattern to put them in - so will eventually end up with two quilts - or maybe some Kiddy Kat quilts.
The Wall

Thursday, May 25th

I decided to take a trip to Oatman now rather than spending the extra time when I leave. Highways today included I-215 and I-515 east, US 95 south, State 163 east to Laughlin, then AZ State 95 south, Boundary Cone Road (County 153) east, Route 66 (County Road 10) to Oatman, Historic Route 66 to Kingman, US 93 north, State 68 west to Laughlin, and finally US 95 and I-515 and I-215 back to the hotel. Seems rather convoluted but it's the most fun and scenic way to go. Google Map

It was after 8:00 before I got back to Vegas. No quilting done today.

Roxy's Quilt & Sew, Fort Mohave, AZ

I got to town early so I went to Walmart first. I picked up some tops and a skirt - loose of course! I then headed to the quilt store. I couldn't find the one I went to before, then then stumbled on a new one - Roxy's. it is a nice little shop packed full of fabric, notions, and a classroom. I picked up two fat quarters that I thought would go with my Cool Cats. Roxy's Quilt & Sew

Fort Mohave

Brenda was not going to Oatman today so we had lunch at Vito's Pizza - all you can eat pizza and a great salad bar. It was good to visit with her and get caught up on all the "donkey news". With a smile Brenda said Duke was good - just being Duke.

Apparently the herd decided one day to head north into Bullhead City and that caused a bit of a ruckus trying to get them back to the Oatman area. For some unknown and weird reason, they head into the wind and that day it was blowing from the north. The really good news is that Jackie, Belle and Peanut are all doing good. Apparently Peanut had trouble birthing her last baby and needed help. Brenda said she would not have made it if she had still been out in the mountains. It still amazes me that they can leave town in the evening and return the next morning with a baby trotting beside them

Oatman, Arizona

Lunch over, I headed to Oatman and wandered around town for an hour or so. I have to admit, I really didn't recognize most of the donkeys other than April (and even at that I wasn't so sure). With Harley gone, and Belle, Jackie and Peanut in safe retirement homes, there are none left from our early visit. Duke wasn't in town today - not that I saw anyway. Brenda's Chuckwagon was closed for the day but someone was missing her!

Ed's Camp

I decided to take the rest of Route 66 into Kingman and head north back to Vegas from there. This camp along the way has a bit of history. Ed's Camp was established around 1920, by Ed Edgerton. Ed originally came to the area as a miner in 1917 and it didn't take him long to realize that the real gold could be found servicing the Route 66 travelers. Today the camp is deserted.

Cool Springs

Cool Springs camp and service station, established in the mid-1920's, was an important stop for motorists traveling Arizona's Route 66. In the 1930’s, James Walker built 8 cabins, improved the station, and ran a restaurant. Remarkably, it has survived nearly a 100 years of fire, bombs, destruction and the completion of I-40. The refreshing stop that never gives up.

Connie's Quilter's Hide-A-Way, Kingman, AZ

I stopped at Connie's Quilters Hide-A-Way in Kingman before I turned north to Vegas. This shop is right on Beale Street - the original main street of Kingman. I've been to Connies several times now so it was good to see it was still there. I bought a pink fat quarter and headed on my way. Connie's Quilter's Hide-A-Way

Friday, May 26th

I spent the whole day and night watching the pool at Bally's. It was great to visit with old friends and acquaintances, get caught up on all the news and watch some great pool again. Yesterday was 9 Ball. I watched Leon plow his way through the A Side and then get knocked down to the B Side in the final match.

I also watched Darrell lose his first game and then relentlessly work his way through the B Side to reach the final match. In the end - the final B Side match is going to be between Leon and Darrell. They play Sunday morning. All that work and two guys from Calgary lord over a few hundred players and end up playing each other! Sheesh they could have done that at home any night of league or Friday night at the pool hall.
I was totally exhausted when I got home at 1:00 am. Being a spectator is hard work - plus I was frozen to the bone. I forgot that I should wear socks and shoes and bring a sweater. Leon reminded me that Karen and I always brought sweaters when we came to watch. Now, if he could remember that - why couldn't I?  I did a lot of snuggling up to Mic and Leon - just to keep my shoulders warm of course. I wont be going back to watch the 8 Ball matches and I will be gone before the team play. I can still keep track of everyone's games and progress on the tournament website. VNEA Tournament Results

Saturday, May 27th

I slept late again but that's wasn't surprising after the day I had yesterday and the late hour I got home. I did some laundry and cleaned up my suite before starting to quilt again. I'd like to get the Cool Cats blocks done before I leave. After supper, I finished the Ohio Stars and started cutting the Spinning Stars - six to go. I then went to the spa for a hot tub. Twenty minutes in the tub does wonders for tired legs and feet.
The Wall

Sunday, May 28th

One more day and now the pressure is on to finish the cool cats. The Spinning Stars went faster than the Ohio Star - no points to match. I have some cats left over, so maybe I'll use them to make another quilt or some Kiddy Kat Quilts.

The Wall

Once I finished the stars, I started to pack up all my sewing stuff. I called for a bell hope to help me load everything into my car this evening. In the morning all I have to do is drag my suitcase so it will be easy. I'm really looking forward to getting home. I feel like I've been gone forever and I really miss Snoopy.

I'm going to drive home through the mountains rather than I-15. It will take an extra day but it's a much prettier drive. I'm booked into Cactus Petes tomorrow night. Then I'll go to Missoula or Kalispell on Tuesday and home on Wednesday.


Monday, May 29 - Las Vegas to Jackpot, Nevada
Highways today were north on I-15, US 93, State 318, US 6, back on US 93, a 40 mile jaunt on State 229, I-80 east back to US 93 to Jackpot, NV. Google Map

US 93, Nevada - Great Basin Highway

US Route 93 in Nevada is known as the Great Basin Highway throughout the state. It begins at Boulder City and runs through Henderson and Las Vegas. US 93 merges with Interstate 15 for approximately 21 miles before heading northwest towards Alamo, Wells and finally passing through Jackpot into Idaho.

The 500 miles of highway today passes through some very sparse areas. Several small towns, communities and ghost towns dot the map but I've never paid too much attention to them. Some are inhabited. Others I've never seen. I decided to Google them and see what I could find out about each of them. It certainly helps to pass the time on the long boring drive by watching for the next town - even if they don't really exist!

I got into Jackpot early and settled into my room at Cactus Petes. It was fun to read about the history of these communities. I didn't realize there were so many of them along this route. Their history includes the Morman Trail and the California Trail, The Donner Party, mining towns, and stage stops. Very interesting reading tonight.

Some of the small towns that may or may not exist (other than on the map) include:

  1. Coyote Springs - 60 miles north of Las Vegas. A planned development shut down due to water issues, environmental concerns and allegations of political favoritism. Wikipedia
  2. Alamo, Nevada - 90 miles north of Las Vegas. An oasis where we stop for a break. Alamo is an unincorporated town founded in 1901. Wikipedia
  3. Ash Springs - 100 miles north of Las Vegas. Another traveller's oasis. Ash Springs is an unincorporated community with naturally occurring hot springs. Wikipedia
  4. Crystal Springs - 110 miles north of Las Vegas. Crystal Springs (now on a private road) is a ghost town. It was a mining town and provided water for people travelling the Mormon Trail. Wikipedia
  5. Hiko - 116 miles north of Las Vegas. Hiko is a living ghost town. It was a mining town from 1867-1871. Not much remains of the old town except the cemetery, some mill ruins and a red rock building that was a general store. Wikipedia
  6. McGill - 13 miles north of Ely. McGill has a population of 1,148. A post office was established at McGill Ranch in 1891. Wikipedia
  7. Currie - 77 miles north of Ely. Currie is now a privately owned living ghost town with a population of 20. Currie was a railroad town until Ely copper smelters closed on June 20, 1983. The railroad closed one day later. I saw the abandoned Currie Depot but for some reason didn't stop to take my own picture. Thanks to Mark Hufstetler and Wikipedia for sharing the photo. Wikipedia
  8. Arthur - 138 miles north of Ely on State Route 229. Arthur is an unincorporated community and a ghost town. A post office opened on April 21, 1881 to serve ranches in the area. Wikipedia
  9. Wells - 139 miles north of Ely. Wells is a junction town with a population of 1,292. The site of Wells began as a resting place along the California Trail in the mid 1850's. It was also a railroad town along the Transcontinental Railroad. Wikipedia
  10. Melandco - 15 miles north of Wells. I was not able to obtain any information about this town.
  11. Wilkins - 26 miles north of Wells. Wilkins is a ghost town. It has a post office from July, 1948 to April, 1963. Howard Hickson's Histories.
  12. Henry - 22 miles south of Jackpot. I couldn't find any information about this town.
  13. Contact - 15 miles south of Jackpot. Contact was a mining town in the 1890's. It struggled through the boom and bust days until finally in 1942 fire destroyed the town. Wikipedia
  14. San Jacinto - 9 miles south of Jackpot. San Jacinto is a ghost town. Interestingly, it holds the record for the lowest temperature in Nevada −50 °F recorded on January 8, 1937. Wikipedia
  15. Delaplain - 4 miles south of Jackpot. I couldn't find any information about this town.

Lund, Nevada

About 207 miles north of Las Vegas on State Route 318. Lund, named for Anthon H. Lund, is a small town and census-designated place in White Pine County. Lund was settled in 1898 on land that the United States government had given The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in lieu of land that had been confiscated under the Edmunds–Tucker Act. The first settlers were Mormons, and the LDS Church still has a ward in Lund. The population of Lund as of 2010 was 282. Lund, Nevada - Wikipedia

Joseph Smith Leavitt

Photograph of Joseph Smith Leavitt and family, Lund, White Pine County, Nevada. The family is gathered in front of a tent, with wagons behind them, and in the distance, a house or a station. Joseph Smith Leavitt (1860-1936) was born in Santa Clara, Washington County, Utah, and died in Mesquite, Clark County, Nevada . He was an early Mormon pioneer of the region.

Joseph Smith Leavitt - Circa 1902
Photograph Information: Gelatin dry plate negative. 5 in. x 7 in. Courtesy of the George Anderson Collection, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. By George Edward Anderson (1860-1928) - George Anderson Collection, Brigham Young University Library, Public Domain.

Ely, Nevada

About 240 miles north of Las Vegas at the junctions of US 6, US 50 and US 93. Ely is the largest city and county seat of White Pine County. Ely was founded as a stagecoach station along the Pony Express and Central Overland Route. Ely's mining boom came later than the other towns with the discovery of copper in 1906. Though the railroads connecting the First Transcontinental Railroad to the mines in Austin and Eureka have long been removed, the railroad to Ely is preserved as a heritage railway by the Nevada Northern Railway and known as the Ghost Train of Old Ely. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,255.

Ely is a tourism center, and is home of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. Nearby are Great Basin National Park, Cave Lake State Park, and Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park, as well as the state parks of Lincoln County, Nevada. The railroad museum features the Ghost Train of Old Ely, a working steam-engine passenger train that travels the historic tracks from Ely to the Robinson mining district. Ely, Nevada - Wikipedia
Photograph Information: Railroad Day , September 1906. Photographer Shipler Commercial Photographers. Shipler, Harry Commercial photo taken on assignment, published circa 1906. Ely Mercantile Company, Ely, Nevada, Digitized by. J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah

Halleck, Nevada

At the junction of I-80 and State Route 229 about 159 miles northwest of Ely. Halleck is an unincorporated community ghost town in central Elko County. Although it is unincorporated, Halleck has a post office, with the ZIP code. The post office was established April 24, 1873. The Halleck post office continues to operate from one of the two remaining buildings in town as it serves the many local ranches. Halleck, Nevada - Wikipedia

The community's name originates from Camp Halleck, established July 26, 1867 (1867-1879) by the U. S. Army, to protect the travellers on the California Trail and the construction workers of the Central Pacific Railroad. It was named for Major General Henry Wager Halleck. It then became Fort Halleck (1879-1886).

Photograph Information: Timothy H. O'Sullivan - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration


Camp Halleck
Nevada State Route 229

I had plenty of time to get to Jackpot so I decided to take a small road that cuts through the Ruby Mountains from US 93 to I-80 at Halleck. It added an extra hour but was well worth the experience and the history lesson. Wikipedia

The Hastings Cutoff

The southeastern portion of SR 229, between US 93 and the junction of SR 767, follows the alignment of the Hastings Cutoff, a route which at the time was thought to be a more direct route of the California Trail through the northeastern part of Nevada.

The Hastings Cutoff was an alternative route for westward emigrants to travel to California, as proposed by Lansford Hastings in The Emigrant's Guide to Oregon and California. The ill-fated Donner Party famously took that route.

Between 60 and 75 wagons traveled with Hastings on his cutoff. They endured a difficult descent down Weber Canyon, a waterless drive of 80 miles across the Great Salt Lake Desert, and a lengthy detour around the Ruby Mountains. Despite the usual trials of overland travel, they arrived safely in California.

The Donner Party

The Donner Party, following in the wake of this initial party in 1846, had an unsuccessful experience with the Hastings Cutoff. They had arrived about a week late to travel with Hastings' party, and on his suggestion pioneered an alternate route to avoid Weber Canyon. The road building required through the Wasatch Mountains and the grueling Great Salt Lake Desert delayed them.

When they had arrived at the California Trail, they were delayed about a month. The party arrived at Donner Pass just as an early winter storm rendered it impassable. After becoming snowbound in the Sierra Nevada, many died of starvation, and some of the emigrants resorted to eating their animals and the deceased members of the group.

Hastings Cutoff - Wikipedia

Secret Pass

The fifty-one mile drive crosses a "hidden pass" called Secret Pass. From the east the road travels through the desert, goes across a low swampy area then turns north to drive beside the mountains. I was wondering how and when I was going to reach the pass when I realized I was in it. The pass is actually a low lying lush valley - complete with the official greeting committee. The little one watching me from the long grass was adorable.

Tuesday, May 30 - Jackpot to Helena, Montana

Now that I'm in home mode, I'm in a hurry. I decided to take the Interstates so that I can get home in time to pick Snoop up on Wednesday. I stopped at Twin Falls for lunch and booked my hotel in Helena for tonight.

No extra sight seeing today. Highways were US 93 north to Twin Falls, I-84 and I-86 east and I-15 north to Helena. Google Map

Wednesday, May 31 - Helena to Calgary

I was on the road about 9:00. There were no delays at the borther and I managed to get into Calgary in time to pick up Snoopy. No extra roads or touring today. Roads were I-15 north to the border then hwys 4, 3 and 2 to Calgary. Google Map



 

 

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