Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chilly (a bit) in Yuma

As planned, we left Salt Lake City for Yuma Monday morning.  It was only snowing lightly, but colder, snowier weather was predicted for the next few days -- not just in Salt Lake, but also in Cedar City and Las Vegas which were on our route.  Per Jim, forecasters in SLC are also predicting a wind chill dropping temps to minus 25 to minus 40 tonight.  Ouch.  Glad we left when we did.

For the most part the roads were OK.  But in Utah County -- especially in the Provo-Orem area -- it looked like I-15 hadn't even been plowed.

We spent Monday night in Henderson, NV, just south of Las Vegas, at a Hawthorne Suites.  Not fancy, but it's dog friendly, clean, and barely off our route.

The  big story on the Las Vegas TV stations was a predicted New Years' Eve snowstorm.  Reporters were passing along ideas on how to save your desert plants (wrap them in old fashioned Christmas lights) and pointers on how to avoid hypothermia while partying on the strip (dress in layers and don't forget hats and gloves; my advice, however is: stay home.)  Jim just checked the Las Vegas weather and it's 31 but feels like 19. If it feels like 19, my party is definitely moving indoors.

Meanwhile, we arrived in Yuma yesterday afternoon, where it's a chilly 43 as I write and a little windy.  It's winter-jacket-but-no-boots weather.

Happy New Year everyone!

Driving on I-15 near Provo's Center Street exit about 9:30 Monday morning.  Did Provo forget to collect taxes for snow removal or something?
Highway 95 going south toward Yuma. Much more pleasant.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A couple of Christmas photos

We had a fun Christmas Eve (stayed up until 1:30 in the morning playing a card game called 31 and also Cards Against Humanity with our daughter and SIL, plus Shad's sister and spouse Jessica) and a wonderful Christmas.  Luckily the kids did not get up too early, so we opened gifts about 9:30.  In the afternoon we had dinner at the home of our friends John and Deb. 

If the weather cooperates, we'll head back to Arizona Monday.  It's been a nice visit.

Annual holiday matching PJs photo.  Left to right top row:  SIL Shad, daughter Ashley, Bev and Jim.  In front are grandchildren Mia and Marshall.
Marshall got a Ninja turtle doll to go with the ninja turtle shirt he has worn every day since last September (he will wear PJs at night,  however, so his Mom can launder the shirt.
Granddaughter Mia got a ukulele from her Uncle Paul in Ohio.

While the weather has been fairly warm and clear (for December in Salt Lake City) since we arrived, this photo of our mailbox was taken Christmas morning.  Another snowy blast starts tonight.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Yuma to Utah

My Mom is on my case to post something, so I guess I better get writing.

After three weeks in sunny Yuma, we drove the 700 miles to Salt Lake City to spend Christmas with our daughter, son-in-law, grand kids and friends.  We've been in Salt Lake since December 11. This is the fourth year in a row that we've driven our tow car from Arizona to Utah for the holidays. Usually we put the motor home in a storage lot, but this year we paid for a campsite at the Yuma Proving Ground RV Park, left the RV hooked up to electricity, and gave the keys to some neighbors just in case.  It was so much easier than draining the tanks, taking the tire and window covers off, driving the rig to storage, putting the covers back on, etc. etc. Instead, we just packed and left.

We would not rank Yuma as an exciting town, but it's a great winter place. It's warm, the people are great, and Jim and I got into a comfortable routine that was fun for us but didn't give me much to write about.  (Except the Ohio State Buckeyes!  I should have done a post on them.  Never did I think I'd be happily yelling "We're number four!  And then Jim's team -- the Oregon State Beavers or the "other OSU" as I call them -- actually he calls the Buckeyes that, too -- lost their long time coach to Nebraska so we've been following that.) We go to the military base gym every day, read, watch some TV, socialize a bit, drive the 25 miles into town to Yuma, and generally take it pretty darn easy.

Now that we're home in Salt Lake, we have a little more to do but it's hardly a tough life. As I'm writing I'm drinking my daughter's wine and eating chocolate truffles.  Like I said, life is not tough. However, I get up about 6:15 to help get my grand kids ready for preschool. Jim and I finished our Christmas shopping and did some errands -- doc appointments, car to the shop, hair cuts, stuff like that. I had to go to the Apple store today because I downloaded something I should not have and ended up with ad ware that changed my search engines and we couldn't get rid of it.  But I think Apple succeeded.

Anyway. We will celebrate Christmas with our Salt Lake family and friends. And we're having a nice time.

Arizona sunsets are amazing.  They can color 360 degrees of the horizon.
Typical scenery near the Yuma Proving Ground.  The day after I took this photo some folks in a big Class A motor home drove in the same location and got stuck.  It took a tow truck three tries to pull them out of the sand. 
I was walking from the commissary to our campground when I saw this soft looking branch over a sidewalk and pushed it aside with my hand.  I should have remembered a ranger's advice that everything in the desert "sticks, stings, or stinks" because this tree has thorns. Ouch. 
We've had nice visits with our neighbors at the Yuma Proving Ground RV Park.  Several couples have standing "everyone come on over" times in the late afternoon.  The gathering above was held at our neighbors Mike and Carol, who are from Wisconsin and have a rig directly across from us on the campground road. The guys were all outside (that's Jim in the third chair from the right) ...

...While the women chatted in Mike and Carol's tent.  We also played a card game called "Sequence" where teams try to get five chips in a row on a board.  I am not a game person at all, but this was fun.
Jim loves the burros that roam near the Yuma Proving Ground and occasionally (more than occasionally last year) make their way onto the military base.  This one was at the side of Imperial Road, the road to the base.
Back in Salt Lake, grandchildren Mia and Marshall work on a gingerbread house. It looks like Mia may have part of it in her mouth.
Jim and Bev with our friends John and Debbie.  John is the library/media specialist at a Salt Lake City elementary school and Deb is the deputy director of the Salt Lake City Library  They are both from Ohio (like Bev is) and I've known them for 40 years. We'll have Christmas dinner at their house. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blast Off

We’ve been warm in Yuma since November 17.  But today it’s cool enough to wear a sweatshirt and a little rainy, which will probably be the big story on the TV news tonight.

We’re staying at the Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), an army base about 25 miles north of the actual city of Yuma.  Another big story on the news tonight will be the YPG’s involvement with a NASA program that will eventually take humans to deep outer space, including Mars. The spacecraft is called Orion and is scheduled to launch an unmanned test flight tomorrow morning from Cape Canaveral.

YPG personnel are involved in testing large parachutes that will get Orion -- and by 2021 its four human occupants -- safely back to earth.  Per a YPG web site, the parachutes will "slow the hurtling capsule to a languid 17 miles per hour upon splashdown in the ocean.”  To read more about YPG’s role you can click here.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Be careful what you ask for, vehicle edition

We stayed at Lake Havasu a day longer than planned because it got windy with gusts up to 55 miles an hour.  Wind like that makes RV driving no fun. So we hunkered down an extra day, then headed further south.

Now we're at the Desert Breeze Travel Camp at the Yuma Proving Ground, a military base 25 miles north of Yuma. After we arrived, we did some long-neglected chores, like laundry and rig cleaning. Then we took our tow car to the local Honda dealership as the engine was hesitating when the key was turned. Jim thought it was a starter problem and it turned out we needed a new one.  Since the car wouldn't be ready until the next day, the dealership offered us a loaner from a rental agency. 

The car rental place picked us up at the dealership in a shiny, brand new, freaking big pick up truck. Jim kiddingly asked the driver if we could rent the truck. After some paperwork but no further discussion, we were handed the truck keys.  Guess Jim's kidding nature did not come across clearly. That truck seemed as long as our motor home.

Good news, though:  After we paid $750 for a new starter and retrieved the tow car, we decided to spend our spare change on a beer in downtown historic Yuma -- and discovered the brand new Prison Hill Brewing Company. There is always a silver lining.
Lake Havasu on the day we decided to sit out the wind instead of driving to Yuma.  
Jim standing between the loaner truck from the Honda dealership and our rig.  We could have used it as a tow car, with the truck pulling our motor home instead of the other way around.
Jim and his Prison Hill IPA at Yuma's Prison Hill Brewery, which opened the end of August.  The brewery's name comes from the Yuma Territorial Prison (now a museum) which held murderers, polygamists and more from 1876 to the early 1900s. Then it was a high school whose nickname was "the criminals." The new brewery/restaurant is across the street from another place we like: a pub called the Pint House.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Last year we made a short stop at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and Jim wanted to go back as it's a great place to kayak. I had some sort of bug that first trip and spent most of our visit “upstairs,” as we call the sleeping compartment over our rig’s cab.  This time I got in two paddles and Jim did three. All the photos below were taken from Bev's kayak.

From what we’ve read, there are times of the year when the actual lake (created by the Parker Dam about 40 driving miles south) is so busy, boaters can walk from one boat to the next across the lake and not get wet feet. Luckily for us, the lake and the city were more sparsely populated both times we’ve visited.

The town came to be when developer Robert McCulloch started buying lake shore property so a company he owned could test boat motors. (McCulloch was also in the chain saw business -- Jim said he used many a McCulloch chainsaw during his days with the Oregon State Department of Forestry.) The city was formally established in 1963 and now has about 50,000 residents. 

The London Bridge is a Lake Havasu tourist attraction.  Designed in 1799 and opened in 1831, the bridge started to sink due to heavier traffic of the 20th century so the city of London put it up for sale. Lake Havasu City founder Robert McCulloch bought it in 1968 for $2,460,000 and had it transported from its original spot over the River Thames.   

Close up of London Bridge's stones and railing.  Click on the photo to make it larger and you'll also see a line of swallow nests. 
A guy takes a photo of a catfish caught by his wife in the channel near the London Bridge.  Before they tossed it back in, they told me it measured 28 inches. (Jim guessed it weighed 8 pounds.)  The secret to catching catfish, they said, is usually chicken livers -- but this one was caught with anchovies.
Per Lake Havasu's visitors' guide, Lake Havasu has 24 light houses -- most of which are 1/3 replicas. That's Jim in his kayak to the right. We camped not far from this lighthouse at Lake Havasu State Park for $30 a night. 
Mountains north of Lake Havasu City. Besides Lake Havasu City, Robert McCulloch also founded Silverlakes, CA; Fountain Hills, AZ; Pueblo West, CO; and Spring Creek, NV. And no, we haven't heard of any of them.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Meeting a long-lost cousin

My Mom has an older brother and a younger sister.  My immediate family was/is close to my Aunt Helen and her three daughters. But my Uncle Russell left Ohio (where my family lived) when I was young, and I only remember meeting him once. Russell was tall with wavy hair, and in my little girl mind he looked like the handsome Red Skelton I saw on TV.  

After Uncle Russell left Ohio, my Mom occasionally received thick postcards from him in the mail. The cards consisted of glossy pictures that folded out into one big line of connected photos, and came from far away states like Florida and Texas. As I remember, there was never a return address -- at least not one where he stayed for long -- and the only message said “Love, Russell.”  After a while, the cards stopped coming.

Just like we didn’t see Uncle Russell, we also didn’t see Russell’s ex wife and three children, who moved to California after Russell and his wife divorced.  When I was older, however, Mom would tell me about letters she received from her nieces and nephew, about photos they sent of their kids, and sometimes of phone calls. I met one of the cousins, Sonney, when he rode his motorcycle to our farm. Sonney was grown and married; I’m 11 years younger and was in high school or maybe junior high at the time. I never met the girl cousins.

Five years ago Jim and I drove our new-to-us RV to Salt Lake City from where we’d purchased it in Banning, California. Afterwards I talked with my Mom about our trip. She said our route on I-15 must have taken us close to Adelanto, California, where one of my girl cousins -- Bobbie -- lives.  I had no idea.

This time when we drove through California, I was only slightly better prepared. Jim and I travel a little bit by the seat of our pants, and don’t plan many of our stops very far in advance. But I called my Mom to see if she had  Bobbie’s contact information in case we ended up near Adelanto, a town in the high desert between Barstow and Los Angeles. She had Bobbie’s address but not her phone number. With the little Internet connection I had, I confirmed that the address was probably right but could not find a phone number on line.  

Once we got out of Death Valley, we had cell phone coverage so I called Mom again.  She’d found Bobbie’s phone number and had left me a message, but it didn’t get through the non-connectivity that is Death Valley (at least if you have Verizon). Jim and I found a place to camp near Barstow and I called Bobbie. Her husband, Claude, answered.  After I introduced myself and asked for Bobbie, he handed her the phone saying “It’s a long-lost cousin.”   Bobbie agreed to a visit the next day, and even invited us to her home for lunch.  We went. And it was lovely.  

Thank you for your hospitality, Bobbie and Claude. I hope we keep in touch.

Bev, first cousin Bobbie, and Bobbie’s husband Claude.  Bobbie and Claude have five children, eight grand children, and a house-full of beautiful family photos.  Claude retired after a career with the City of Pomona, CA, while Bobbie had a cake decorating business. And, of course, they both raised those five kids.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Death Valley and more

We’ve had limited phone and Internet access before on our travels, but never so little connectivity as since we left our home in Salt Lake City November 2.  It was a tad unsettling, at least for Bev.

But we're now in Lake Havasu City, AZ, with good Internet connection. Here’s some of what we’ve seen/done since we last posted:

--- Southern Utah’s Snow Canyon State Park is a beautiful place.  We really recommend it, especially if you like to hike.  The park has 22 hiking trails -- many are in the easy to moderate categories -- and over 170 technical climbing routes if you are more adventuresome. There’s also a three-miles paved biking trail plus equestrian trails.

One caveat about Snow Canyon:  As we mentioned in our last post, our campsite was very narrow -- 12 feet wide -- as are all the sites with electric and water.  There are a couple of great dry camping RV sites, however, plus a very pretty tent camping area.
---Next we spent two nights at Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park, about 50 miles north of Las Vegas.  Valley of Fire has two spectacular campgrounds nestled in red rocks; about 25 spaces in the Atlatl campground have water and electric. We did four hikes, all of them off White Dome Road which starts near the Visitors' Center.  The hikes were short but not that easy; several of the trails were sand slogs and/or had sandstone steps covered with slippery grit.  But beautiful and worth it.  

--After Valley of Fire we went to Death Valley National Park, the hottest, driest of the national parks.  As the park brochures says “To the uninitiated Death Valley National Park appears to be a vast, empty wasteland, but to the aficionado it is a place of wonder and endless stories.”   As expected, Death Valley lacks much in the way of the color green, but the mountains, hills and flats of Death Valley includes all possible shades of brown, gray, white, and rust. 

--Then we made a stop in Yermo, CA, where we had decent cell phone but spotty Internet at our campground, so again no post.  We did have a lovely experience, which I’ll write about later.

Jim on the Johnson Canyon Trail in southern Utah's Snow Canyon State Park.  The trail led us through a sheltered canyon with red rock cliffs, trees, a spring and a 200 foot long arch. This trail is closed from mid March to mid September; fellow hikers told us the closure was to help protect the endangered red spotty toad.
Jim peering into one of two lava tube on the Lava Flow Trail at Snow Canyon State Park in Ivins, Utah.  Lava tubes are formed when the surface of flowing lava cools, but molten lava below keeps flowing and eventually drains out of a sloped lava field.
Our large campsite at Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park, north of Las Vegas.
Bev on the Fire Wave trail at Valley of Fire State Park.
The Golden Canyon Trail at Death Valley. Jim scrambled to a ledge in the middle of the red mountains in the distance, but I turned back after I bonked my head on an overhanging rock.  Despite my goose egg, it was a pretty hike.
While the park newsletter said this spot at Death Valley is the lowest point in North America, nearby signage claims it's the lowest spot in the western hemisphere. Per the local lore, Badwater got its name when a pioneer lead his mule to nearby water and the mule refused to drink. 
A salt-flat path at Badwater Basin. Brackish water is maybe six inches below the surface and could be seen in several holes along the way.
Some of the mountain/hill views in Death Valley reminded me of melting Neapolitan ice cream, heavy on the chocolate.  This photo was taken  on Artists Drive, a 9-mile paved road through volcanic and sedimentary hills.
View from our rig's backup camera at our spot at Death Valley's Furnace Creek Campground, where we dry camped for two nights. The campground is a huge gravel parking lot with 300 spots, plus overflow.  We were told you can usually get a camping space at Death Valley, no matter how busy the season.
Scotty's Castle in the northern part of Death Valley National Park, is named after cowboy and con man Walter Scott who got people to invest in a fake Death Valley gold mine.  One investor was wealthy Chicago businessman Albert Johnson and his wife Bessie, who became Scotty's friends even though he'd duped them.  The Johnsons built this vacation home for themselves, plus a home for Scotty.  They said Scotty paid them back "in laughs."
View of the Scotty's Castle from Scotty's grave site. A natural spring allowed Albert and Bessie Johnson to create an oasis in an area that averages about two inches of rain a year.
After we drove up and down a 9 percent grade to leave Death Valley NP via its west side, we came upon the gas prices listed above in Panamint Springs. I thought the marker to the right maybe declared Panamint Springs had the highest gas prices in the US. Instead it said that the original store and restaurant was once run by a cousin of Buffalo Bill Cody.  We bit the bullet and bought 20 gallons of gas. 

This view not far behind our campsite at Death Valley's privately run Panamint Springs pretty much sums  up the campground.  Panamint did have a great restaurant, however, with good service, good (but pricey) food and a great beer selection.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

On the road and blogging

We on the road and blogging once again.  Not without a few problems, however.

We planned to leave Saturday, November 1, but the weather forecast changed to windy with predicted 60 mph gusts.  So we pushed our departure back a day.

Saturday night we hooked up the tow car to the rig so all we’d have to do was attach the electrical cord and the brake, then be on our way Sunday morning.  But I not only left the key in the car, but in the on position, which killed the battery. That added "jumping the battery" to our Sunday morning to-do list.  

We decided we’d drive separately for a while to charge the battery, with Jim in the rig and me in the tow car. Just before the rest stop in Scipio, Utah -- where we planned to get gasoline and hook up the tow car -- a coyote ran in front of the rig.  There was nothing Jim could do but hit it. From my vantage point several hundred yards behind the rig, I saw Jim swerve slightly, after which the coyote and his innards rocketed out underneath our motor home. Jim felt bad -- in all the driving he did for the Oregon State Department of Forestry, not to mention in our RV -- he's never hit and killed an animal other than a bird. 

After that there was snow and sleet -- sometimes coming down pretty hard -- for much of the remaining 190 miles.

But now we are in in southern Utah's beautiful Snow Canyon State Park surrounded by red cliffs, black lava flows and sage.  And today's weather forecast says sunny with a high a 58. 

Where the poor coyote contacted our RV.  Looks like we'll be getting repair work done soon.
When we reserved a spot at Snow Canyon State Park, the website said the campsite we were looking at was narrow and that it might be difficult to use slides or awnings.  That's not a problem for us, but we also had to maneuver around just to be able to open our door.
But we like Snow Canyon; it's beautiful.  Here's one view from the campground.

Friday, October 17, 2014

In Utah for a bit

We're home in Salt Lake City. We've actually been here about a week, and will probably stay through the end of the month. We're itching to get on the road, but our grand children have a Halloween parade at my daughter's office October 31 and I'd like to see that. So if the weather stays moderate we'll remain in SLC through Halloween.  If the weather turns, we might head south.

In the meantime, some of the things we've done since out last post:

On our way home, spent a couple of days in Boise and one night in Snowville, Utah.

Celebrated a fifth birthday with granddaughter Mia.  

Got reinforcement  that 2-year-old grandson Marshall is a big Ninja Turtle fan when I tried to dress him in a non-Ninja shirt. Did not go well.

Cleaned our tow car and rig.

Cooked a lot, as Jim's current food intake has considerable decreased my on-the-road cooking duties. (We jokingly refer to it as the "oatmeal, watermelon and beer diet" after his three constant foods.  But it's working -- he's lost 30 pounds.)  Our daughter and SIL are both runners and are willing to eat more than Jim does, so it's been fun for me to experiment.

Spent time with friends and are looking forward to doing more of that.

In Boise we took in some sights, including the state capitol (above) and cafes and shops in the towns 8th street area. Boise's population is 214,000 which makes it bigger than Salt Lake.  That surprised me, but Salt Lake City's metro area is larger (969,000 for SLC versus 617,000 for Boise).
The Jackson Building in downtown Boise was kind of cool looking. While in Boise we camped at Boise's Riverside RV Park; it wasn't much as RV parks go (gravel parking spots, cracked cement "porches" as they called the small patios between spaces.)  But we were  right next to the Boise Greenbelt, a 25-mile hiking/biking/walking path that follows the Boise River.
Bev with a sampler tray at Sockeye brewery in Boise. 
My sampler tray when I was all done, presented as proof that I didn't drink all all of them (and Jim drank at least two).  Am I sounding defensive? 
After Boise we spent a night at the Lottie-Dell campground in Snowville, Utah (just five miles from the Idaho border) before heading home.  That's our rig and tow car to the right. We got to Salt Lake at 1:30 the next day; by 3: 30 we'd unpacked and taken the RV back to our storage lot.  We've got the system down -- at least this time.
A neighbor at Lottie-Dell.
Grandson Marshall peering at me through a sliding glass door.
The birthday girl and her birthday breakfast.
Coincidentally there was a "princess party" held on Mia's birthday at a local high school. The kids got a cupcake and a glass of punch, plus a program put on by ten "princesses" including Snow White, Elsa from Frozen, Rapunzel and Tinkerbelle, the latter of which I did not think was a princess, but oh well. I wasn't too excited about the idea of 200 little girls ages 2 to 10 hearing words of wisdom from cartoon princesses.  But they said things like "to be a princess you need to follow your dream, be true to yourself, etc, etc," so the message was better than expected. Kind of like Oprah for kids.
Mia (center front) not paying much attention to a visiting princess.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Crane, Oregon: Crystal Crane Hot Springs

We'd never heard of Crane, Oregon, until we started looking for someplace to camp east of Bend.  Crystal Crane Hot Springs -- 25 miles south of Burns, 3 miles north of Crane, and in Oregon's southeastern corner -- fit the mileage, so we booked a spot for two nights.

Their web site made it sound and look cool, but we had no idea what it would really be like other than it was probably small and definitely out in the middle of nowhere.

Turns out we were right on both those counts. It was also charming with a handful of full hook up RV spots, a lot of dry camping spaces, some small cabins, a few private hot tubs, plus its centerpiece: a good-sized pond heated by hot springs, .

We're not talking fancy, although I read on line that you can arrange for a massage (we weren't offered that service; I'm not sure if massages are still available or we just don't look like massage types.)  Instead, we're talking hot water coming out of plastic pipes into a pond.  Unfortunately, there is a boarded-up, beat-up-small-motel-looking place near the office, and our site's view included a storage yard.  But for the most part it's rustic rather than junky.

During our weekend at Crystal Crane, we saw couples with kids, singles, guys who looked like hunters, people just passing through and a few folks on obvious romantic getaways.  We met a woman whose husband had dropped her off while he went motorcycling; she told us she was reading, soaking, napping and having a great time. That's what we did too (minus the nap but adding TV football watching) with the same result.  
Sunrise view of our campsite, which was on a small hill overlooking the heated pond and the dry camp area.  The rest of the full hook up sites were in a row off the gravel entrance road.  We think we lucked out on the spot.  Cost for full hook-ups:  $25 a night with a two night minimum, plus $3 a night for Cooper.
Day time view of our campsite from a different angle.  Few dry campers were here, so we almost had our area to ourselves. This would be a great place to do something contemplative, like write a book.
The heated pond.  Per the campground, the water contains calcium, sodium, magnesium, silica, iron, and potassium, which is absorbed into the skin during a soak and good for you.  I don't know about that, but sitting in it is pretty nice. I took two early morning dips; Jim took one.
I climbed the ladder on the back of our rig to take this shot of the heated pond and the tiny, cedar-covered cabins that rent for $54 a night.  You can also see a tee pee that has a private hot tub and rents for $55.  We peaked inside and it looks like it's BYO air mattress and sleeping bag.
Jim and the beautiful desolation near Crystal Crane Hot Springs.
After soaking in the "hot pond" and watching the first half of the Ohio State-Maryland game, we decided to visit the nearby town of Crane.  When we got back from the tour, the fourth quarter of the same football game had just started.  In other words, Crane is very small.
View of Crane, Oregon, from an adjoining road. According to the website, Crane's heyday was the early 1900s when the railroad came through.  Back then, Crane had "five restaurants, four hotels, two general merchandise stores, a dance hall, a newspaper, a bank and a movie theater." But a series of fires -- the last in 1938 -- devastated the town.  Today, says the website, there is post office, service station, cafe, tavern, and a local realtor. We saw signs of all of those except the gas station. We also saw small homes, several churches, a rodeo corral, horses, cattle, and farm equipment.
A very cool thing about Crane is its high school, which serves a 7,500 square mile district and includes dorms for kids who live a minimum of 20 miles away.  The school's 100 students come from as far away as 150 miles.