Thanksgiving Party with Uncle Clay

Pahrump, Nevada
November 22-28, 2017

For the Thanksgiving holiday we had the great joy of welcoming my brother Clay into the Fitzgerald Family insanity for almost a week.  We met up at one of our favorite campgrounds – Preferred RV Resort in Pahrump, Nevada.

He rented one of the cabins right next to our campsite where we enjoyed some classic American luxuries like watching football on Thanksgiving afternoon, enough floor space to leave a puzzle out for multiple days, and having an oven big enough to cook a full-sized turkey.  Neither the cabin nor our camper had a table big enough for us to enjoy our feast, so we took advantage of the perfect weather and had a Thanksgiving picnic.


Thanksgiving Day, RV park style.

The next day we made the trek over the Death Valley National Park.  We only spent 1 afternoon at this park last year, and had absolutely loved our time there.  We were eager to be in Pahrump for an extended this stay to visit it on multiple occasions. Since Clay was with us on this visit, we spent more time looking for some of the filming locations of the original Star Wars trilogy.  Pahrump is still home to an actual VIDEO RENTAL STORE, so one night we rented A New Hope and found all of the scenes from Death Valley.

This super wacky but awesome blog post was pretty helpful… 

Family pic at Dante’s view. “Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” ―Obi-Wan Kenobi (This quote may have been heard more than once during Clay’s visit.)
We went looking for sand people in the ravines of the Artist’s Palette area. Very nearby is the filming location where R2D2 rolls through the desert at the beginning of Episode IV.  
Enjoying the low point of North America. It’s all up from here!
What isn’t captured in my photos is the insane colors of these hills – purple next to green next to white next to red. So beautiful.
Uncle Clay & Coral feeling victorious at the Artist’s Palette in Death Valley.
Races in the sand dunes of Death Valley at sunset.
This handy little guide was on the back of the bathroom door in Death Valley. Thanks, NPS, for helping to educate us about the target urine color!

We spent one afternoon exploring Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, which protects the largest remaining natural oasis in the Mojave Desert. It also boasts the highest concentration of endemic (only found in this 1 area) species in North America, and is home to Devil’s Hole, an over 500 foot deep hole filled with water in the desert, of which the bottom has still not been found.

This vivid blue water is coming up from Crystal Springs, where 2,800 gallons of water bubble up from the ground each minute, at 87 degrees year round. They call it “fossil water” because it is melted ice from the last ice age. The 15 foot deep pool is also home to an endemic species of playful pupfish that could be seen swimming around in the warm currents.

On another day we drove toward Vegas to explore the Red Rock Canyon.  One guess why they call it that…

Vivid, fascinating rock formations for days. 

Yes, the rock there really is that red!

In one part of Red Rock Canyon, we found some petroglyphs behind a dry waterfall.

It was such a great week.  We had a blast showing off this campground to Uncle Clay – from the indoor pool to the sewing room to the TV room where we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to the dozens of bunnies that come out of the desert at night to nibble on the soft green irrigated campground lawn.

We took advantage of many of the Preferred RV Resort’s amenities like this outdoor eating area surrounded by goldfish ponds. Nothing got as much of our attention, though, as the indoor pool!

It was so fun to be back in a familiar campground and hosting a family member.  It definitely made this Thanksgiving more fun and memorable.

2 Comment

  1. Clay says: Reply


  2. Marie Scanlon says: Reply

    i’m fascinated by Devils Hole. what is the origin of the name? i’ve never thought about the Devil living in the middle of the earth. i guess it is hot there.

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