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Legends of America - A Travel Site for the Nostalgic & Historic Minded
Legends Letter April, 2015


Boondocking at Amboy Crater, California, February 2015

Legends' boondocks at Amboy Crater, February 2015.


It's apparent to me that the time it takes to recoup from being on a long journey is in direct proportion to the amount of time it takes to coax Kathy back into the travel trailer to help clean it out.  After being on the road for two full months, it was two weeks before I could get her to even consider stepping foot back in the camper. This of course was not a big issue for me, as I too was a bit wary of leaving my nice spacious office, shipping garage and home to get back into our mobile motel.  But now that we've had some time and space, I can look back on our adventure to the southwest with a big smile and say "Yeah, let's do that again.... just not for a while."


Dave & Kathy meeting a Legends' fan for the first time. Meet Diana Beatty. She was great fun!We were in the Kingman, Arizona region when I wrote our last newsletter.  Had a great time, spending a week in Golden Valley, traveling parts of Route 66 through Oatman, and visiting with great friends, like author Jim Hinckley and retired Nurse and RV'er Diana Beatty.  Lot's to explore in this area of Arizona, and even more up into Nevada and California. The trip is laid out in our Photo Blog, which I will share in the "What's New" section of this newsletter. 


What you won't read about in the blog are the challenges that arise along the way. Besides keeping two dogs and Kathy happy in a 22 foot trailer, there's those unexpected obstacles. Like the look on the gas station owners face in Needles, California when I asked for air for our tire. "You do realize that's ready to blow?  You gonna ride that until there's nothing left?"  Well, yeah, that was my original thought process, but after realizing I still had to hook the trailer back up to leave Golden Valley, it was decided to make the investment.


While at the local tire shop I got a real dose of American freedom when, through conversation with a couple of customers and the shop manager, the subject of gun rights came up. I was then treated to stories of the local militia, bug out kits (complete with demonstration) and all three of them pulling out their handguns for show and tell. Love our country's freedoms, and our constitution, but I must admit a feeling of unease sitting in the waiting room of a tire shop with three handguns floating about. Although, I will say that Arizona probably tops my list of places to go if there is ever an invasion by another country, or aliens for that matter.


Alien Bar & Grill (Brothel), Amargosa Valley, Nevada


Speaking of Aliens, ever been to an Alien Brothel?  Yeah, me neither, but we spent some time across the highway from one in Nevada. The idea was to get close to Death Valley, but not actually stay in it. Kathy's great at finding RV Parks that work with our agenda, but the spot in the road at Amargosa Valley was a bit out of this world. Only thing here was a convenience store across the highway, with a grill inside the back, and an attached brothel off to the side. Oh, and I shouldn't leave out the fireworks joint next door. They made sure everyone was aware they sold loud boomers by setting off a few every time cars had to stop for some road construction.


There was disappointment in myself after a trip to what had to be the biggest candy store I've ever been in. The Death Valley Nut & Candy Company in Beatty, Nevada features isles of deliciousness that presented many of my favorites of yesteryear. So many in fact I was overwhelmed, and feeling a bit forced to make a decision so as not to spend an hour drooling. I finally picked some kind of rocky road dark chocolate confection that was too heavy on the marsh mellow. Shoulda stuck with the gummies or chocolate covered raisins (or jelly beans, brownie bits, licorice, bridge mix, etc). There I go drooling again.


With these kind of eating habits, it's no wonder I broke a molar in Pahrump. Thank goodness we found a dentist that could squeeze me in between appointments, 'and' actually create a permanent crown the same day.  Spending up to four hours in the chair though, and tensing up quite a bit while they were hovering over me, somehow led to a leg injury that I'm still limping along with over a month later.


Fog in Kent, Tx leaves a frozen spectacle on everything it touchesThen of course there was our final push home, complete with meeting back up with Ol' Man Winter in Texas, and colliding with a pot hole half the size of our front end in Oklahoma. Our poor Highlander has likely seen it's last trip with the trailer, and depending on the repair costs, maybe its last time with us.. but hey, it got us home, and has new tires!


Oh, and along the way Kathy was contacted by yet another production company that has her flying out to El Paso late next week for a show about Lawmen, again on the American Hero's Channel (AHC).  We'll keep you updated on when the Gunslinger show that she interviewed for in December, and this one, are completed. 


I'm sure I'm leaving out some other gems, but with every adventure there are challenges. Thank God we have the opportunity to face them, as we both love our job!


Dave 'Limpalong" Alexander



In this Edition:


New Additions and Featured Stories


Route 66 - Seligman, AZ & Ghost Town Stretch to Kingman


Old West - The Chuck Wagon, Real Queen of the Cattle Trail


Featured Product - Tea for Me!


Feedback and Suggestions




More to See:


Legends General Store - Supporting our website since 2003


Legends Photo Prints - Our growing gallery of Vintage and Modern images available in various print sizes. Shop, or just enjoy browsing.


Legends Travel Blog - Follow us on our travels and catch special announcements.


Legends Photo Travel Blog - Follow our travels in pictures with interesting historic tidbits to boot.


Legends of Kansas - Our website dedicated to the state Legends was born in.


In Social Media:


Legends Facebook Page - Daily posts of all things American History.


Ghost Towns of the American West Facebook Page - Occasional posts of all things Ghost Towns.


Native American History Facebook Page - Occasional posts of all things Native American


Legends Photo Prints Facebook Page


Legends General Store Facebook Page


Legends on Twitter


Legends on Pinterest




Kathy Weiser-Alexander doing her thing in Pahrump Nevada

Kathy doing her thang in Pahrump, Nevada.


New Additions and Featured Stories  



Winter History Tour - Our two month journey to the southwest to escape Winter provided an opportunity to explore Route 66, Death Valley, ghost towns, the old west and much more.  Here's the links to the photo blogs that resulted.


Intersection of 4th Street and Route 66 in Albuquerque, New MexicoRevisiting the Mother Road - Western New Mexico - We revisited parts of the Mother Road we hadn't been to since 2004, including some great ghost towns and historic stops along the path.


Along the Painted Landscape of Arizona Route 66 - Continuing our journey westward along Route 66, we enter Arizona in grand fashion with gorgeous landscapes of the American Southwest.


Eclectic Path to Kingman - Our journey through western sections of Route 66 in Arizona was an eclectic mix of history and icons of the Mother Road.


Motherload on the Mother Road - Route 66 in the area of Kingman provides visitors with a plethora of things to see and do, from the wonderful museums to a feel of the Old West in Oatman.


Death ValleyOur Journey To Death Valley - Our journey from Arizona into Nevada and California brought us to the area of Death Valley, where we found ghost towns and plenty more.


Death Valley to Yuma Via the Salton Sea - We wrap up Death Valley, hit the Mojave Preserve, Amboy and more on our way to Yuma.


Journey Home Via Arizona, New Mexico and Texas - We had quite the journey home after Yuma, enjoying Arizona Ghost Towns, Fort Bowie, Mexican history in New Mexico, and West Texas winter.


Of course, all this travel leads to updated and expanded stories. Fort Bowie, Arizona, 1894


Fort Bowie National Historic Site - This was a fun trip that provided us a sense of the lonely isolation that the soldiers experienced while stationed there as well as seeing numerous sites where history was made.


Scotty's Castle, Death Valley, CaliforniaScotty's Castle, California - Hidden in the green oasis of Grapevine Canyon in far northern Death Valley, California, the Death Valley Ranch, or Scotty's Castle, as it is more commonly known, is a window into the life and times of the Roaring '20s and Depression '30s. It was and is an engineer's dream home, a wealthy matron's vacation home and a man-of-mystery's hideout and getaway.


Walter Scott, Better Known as Death Valley Scotty - A prospector, performer, and con man, Scott was made famous by his many scams involving gold mining and the iconic mansion in Death Valley, popularly known as Scotty's Castle.


When Traveling Route 66, visitors make a choice whether to go through Yucca or Oatman.Kingman To California on Route 66 - There are two Route 66 alignments from Kingman, Arizona southwest to the California border. The pre-1952 alignment along the Oatman Highway is by far the most beautiful, providing numerous photographic opportunities, legendary Route 66 icons, and a peek at the wild old west in historic Oatman, Arizona. The later alignment, bypassed Oatman, allowing travelers to move through more quickly via the Yucca Bypass. This is an update to an old story with new information and photo gallery.


It's not all about this trip though. Here's an updated story from our 2011 winter trip to Texas


Building ruins in the El Polvo area of Redford, TexasRedford & the Lost Mission of El Polvo, Texas - A farming community today, Redford is located about 16 miles southeast of Presidio, Texas along Farm Road 170, which follows the Rio Grande River through both Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park. The settlement of Redford was officially established in about 1876, but, the area had been inhabited for centuries.


We also had the honor of including the story of The Death of Sheriff Tom Logan - Author Jackie Boor writes about her great-grandfather, Nevada Lawman Tom Logan, and his murder in Manhattan, Nevada near Tonopah, at the hands of Walter Barieau, which made headlines in 1906.


Be watching for plenty more updates and new stories via our What's New page HERE.


Native American Proverbs

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. - Minquass

With all things and in all things, we are relatives. - Sioux

Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it. - Arapaho

Force, no matter how concealed, begets resistance. - Lakota

Our first teacher is our own heart. - Cheyenne


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Words of the West

"We are rough men and used to rough ways." - Bob Younger to a newspaper reporter following the 1876 Northfield, Minnesota raid.

"A jail is just like a nutshell with a worm in it, the worm will always get out."  - John Dillinger several weeks before he bluffed his way out of the Lake County Jail in Crown Point, Indiana.

''I'm not afraid to die like a man fighting, but I would not like to be killed like a dog unarmed.'' - Billy the Kid in a letter to Governor Lew Wallace, March 1879.

"This thing of being a hero, about the main thing to it is to know when to die. Prolonged life has ruined more men than it ever made." -- Will Rogers.

"I take no sass but sasparilla." - John Wesley Hardin, explaining his deadly disposition.

"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." - Mark Twain


Route 66 - Seligman & Ghost Town Stretch to Kingman


Havasue Fred Harvey House in Seligman, ArizonaWhen pioneers along the Beale Wagon Road passed through this area in the mid-nineteenth century, it was known as Mint Valley. Later, when the Prescott & Central Arizona Railroad planned to connect the area to Prescott in 1886, the settlement was called Prescott Junction. Completing the tracks, the train had to run backwards to Prescott Junction because there wasn’t a turntable in Prescott.


Before long, the Railroad went out of business, shutting down the junction. However, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad took over the abandoned rail line, and the town changed its name to Seligman, in honor of the Seligman brothers, who helped finance the rail line south.


As railroad traffic increased, the Havasu  Fred Harvey House was built. Opening in 1905, the hotel included 60,000 square feet, housing numerous hotel rooms, a large kitchen, a lunch room and a news stand.


Continue reading more about Seligman, its history and pride in the Mother Road.


Ghost Town Stretch of Route 66 to Kingman


Just west the Grand Canyon Caverns, old Route 66 meanders into the lands of the Hualapai (“Wall-ah-pie”) Indians, a reservation that encompasses more than a million acres, including 108 miles of the Colorado River and a portion of the Grand Canyon. A beautiful stretch through the high-desert Hualapai Valley, the old pavement runs closely parallel to the Santa Fe Railroad tracks, passing through the ghost (or near-ghost) towns of Peach Springs, the tribal headquarters of the Hualapai Indians and the only access to the west rim of the Grand Canyon; Truxton, which was born specifically to cater to Route 66 travelers; Valentine, the home of an old Indian School; and Hackberry, which got its start as a mining town.


Peach Springs – Home of the Hualapai Indians


Peach Springs, Arizona Trading PostPeach Springs is about 12 miles west of Grand Canyon Caverns and is the tribal headquarters for the Hualapai Reservation.


The "People of the Tall Pine” have been occupying these lands for more than 1,400 years, where the west rim of the Grand Canyon and the river below, has long since provided food sources and medicinal needs to the tribe. It was from the Haulapai's west rim, that the earliest visitors accessed the wild Colorado River below.


Euro-Americans became aware of the springs during explorations in the 18th and 19th centuries. Beginning in 1858, emigrants along the Beale Wagon Road increasingly used Peach Springs as a rest stop and watering place.


Continue reading more about the Ghost Town Stretch to Kingman.



Featured Product:

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What our readers are saying about Legends Of America.

So interesting!!! I hated to leave the site and go back to work after break! - Gail, Tennessee

I love love love the site. It was pure accident I dropped on but I'm glad I did... Please keep up the good work. Lots to see and read about. Brilliant. Love - Denise (Dee) and her dog Dash, Edinburgh Scotland

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I found this website and am thrilled. Being a genealogist I find that many of the traditions and family folk lore is true! Most of all, BEING A REAL COUSIN OF JESSE AND FRANK JAMES; I love the stories and information I get from your newsletter. Carry on my friends! - Pamela, SC, Georgia, Tenn., Missouri


Old West - The Chuck Wagon, Real Queen of the Cattle Trail  


Chuckwagon Diagram


Outside of the “round-up,” there just might be no more identifiable image for the cowboy and cattle trail of the Old West than that of the Chuck Wagon.


Some people may think that a chuck wagon was part of every traveling caravan, however, this was not the case. The chuck wagon was invented specifically for the use of the Texas cowboys who were driving their herds along the trail to the closest rail head or market.


While some form of mobile kitchens did exist along the overland trails and had for generations, the invention of the Chuck Wagon is attributed to Charles Goodnight, a Texas rancher and co-founder of the  Goodnight-Loving Trail.


Before the railroad reached Texas , competition was stiff in recruiting good cowboys willing to spend the long weeks on the cattle trail driving large herds to the Kansas rail heads or markets in other states. In the early days of the great trail drives, each cowboy was responsible for his own meals and had to make do with what he could carry with him.


Charles GoodnightCharles Goodnight saw this as not only a problem, but also as an opportunity to hire the best cowboys and soon came up with a solution. In 1866, he created the prototype for the chuck wagon by purchasing a Studebaker wagon, a durable army-surplus wagon, and hiring a good cook. With the help of the cook, the two outfitted the wagon with steel axles that could withstand the hard terrain, and added boxes, shelves, and drawers for the cook. The two developed an efficient layout with a "chuck box" at the back of the wagon, which was a sloping box with a hinged lid that lay down to provide a flat working surface. Inside the chuck box were drawers and shelves to hold cooking tools and supplies. Beneath the chuck box was a “boot” to hold larger items such as the ever present dutch oven. The average chuck wagon was about 10 feet long and 38-40 inches wide.



Continue reading The Chuck Wagon - Real Queen of the Cattle Trail




Very informative and interesting. My curiosity sought culture migration to the West. Thanks for the research. Ella, Wisconsin

What a fantastic site. I was looking at parks in Denver Colorado, Cheesman in particular, and came across your website. I have been on it for two hours now, and still haven't finished exploring!! - Ellie, CO, PA and England


Hi Dave, just read your beautiful words in the newsletter about your dad and wanted to express my condolences. What you wrote really touched me. Your words conveyed the same sentiments I feel about my own dad, who has been gone now for several years. Amazing just how much our parents give us!

Thanks so much for sharing with your readers. - Jim in Missouri


 [Thank you Jim, and all our readers who reached out to us about the passing of my father.  Your kind words lifted me up when I needed it the most, and for that I am truly thankful. - Dave Alexander]


Did you know?


You can see daily stories, from the Old West to Route 66, on our Legends Facebook Page? We also have a page dedicated to Ghost Towns, and Native Americans, as well as our General Store and Photo Print Shop. it's a daily dose of Legends sure to please!





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Legends of America


A Travel Guide for the

Nostalgic & Historic Minded


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Kathy Weiser-Alexander


Dave Alexander
Owner/Operations Mgr.


Email - Kathy
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