Desert Diamond Casino -- Tucson, AZ
The Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson allows RVers and truckers to stay for free in the level paved parking lot on the south end of the property. Enter from the south entrance on Nogales Highway. They actually paid me to stay there since I got a free buffet for joining their club and won almost $5 on a slot machine. One night a truck parked next to me and ran their engine all night, and occasional trains go by on the other side of the highway sometimes sounding their horns. Verizon internet was good, as was local TV reception.
Amboy Crater is a volcanic cinder cone that has a day use area with picnic tables, vault toilets, and a viewing awning. Three hours is recommended for the hike to the crater, I did it in a little less but did not spend long since it was getting dark. I forgot to take my camera so all the pictures are from near the parking area. The bottom of the cone is just some cracked mud, with slopes of black and red volcanic rocks in every direction.
Since I was the only person there, I don't feel guilty about spending the night in the main lot rather than moving to the small paved overflow lot. The train tracks aren't particularly close, but the frequent trains can be heard quite well. Verizon internet connection was slow but usable.
As you may have noticed in prior pictures, there is now a beige Chevy Tracker following my around. The 4wd models of the tracker (also sold by Geo and Suzuki) is towable 4-down. Mine is a 2002 4-door model with over 160k miles, but both the inside and outside don't look it. Unfortunately it did need some engine work, which delayed me for a few weeks in Medford. The tow bar I had installed is a Roadmaster Falcon All Terrain. The bar in the front of the car does come off, but since I did not plan on driving it much in the few days I stayed where I took the pictures I did not bother.
It snowed while I was at this BLM land in the eastern Sierras. The reason I chose this spot is the hot-spring fed pool shown to the right, one of several in the area. If you want directions ask me, I am deliberately not publishing the exact location.
Nevada State Railroad Museum -- Carson City
The Nevada State Railroad Museum is on Business 395 (Carson St) south of downtown Carson City. Open Thursday-Sunday, 9-5. Admission is $6, train rides (weekends/holidays) are extra. Many of the trains have been restored to close to original condition, most of the displays are inside either in the main building or the annex. One of the volunteers gave me a tour of the annex, showing off the trains used to give rides and other cars and engines. This museum is doing a good job of preserving history, rather than watching it decay as I have seen too often.
Collier State Park and Logging Museum
Collier State Park is 30 miles north of Klamath Falls on US-97. The campground has over 60 sites, many full-hookup and a few pull-through. A few back on the Williamson River. There is a 1/2 mile trail to the Logging Museum, mostly beside Spring Creek, crossing under the highway at the "Romeo and Juliet" bridge and over a footbridge. Verizon signal is good. This year (2013) the campground will be closing October 1 for some work on the water main. Sites are $22/night. ($19/night tent only.)
The logging museum is mostly outdoors, somewhat organized into eras of logging based on the power used. (Horse/oxen, steam, early internal combustion, post-wwII, modern.) (The modern is a single signboard with no equipment.) While there is a loop trail, many of the exhibits are not on it and you need to wander around to see the whole thing. If you are interested, it is easy to spend a full day doing so.
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