Macabre Blog – Talking about Wickedly Decadent items

Tag: road trip

Macabre Mercantile Returns to the Grand Canyon

by on Sep.27, 2019, under News

We just can’t get enough of the Grand Canyon. The Macabre staff returned to the south rim of the canyon this past week for a few days of camping and sightseeing.
It was just as beautiful as we remembered from our last trip and we had a few new surprises.
Media Minion discovered a short trail down to a rock outcrop below the rim to take some wonderful shots. Somehow he managed to not take a long dive to the bottom of the canyon – the trail was rather craggy, steep and covered in loose gravel so it was a bit treacherous.
Our Dark Mistress actually did battle with her fear of heights and approached a rim overlook. She got within 10 feet of the rim which is amazing for someone with a phobia of heights.

Our Hellhound Kali got up an close and personal view of a bull elk who walked right through our camp, luckily she was so perplexed by what this huge creature was that she stayed still and silent. The video at the end of the pictures captures him wandering through.
In fact, we had an entire family of elk wandering around us every day. We saw a bull and 3 full-grown females along with 2 very young ones. It was amazing watching them wander by, often as close as 10-20 feet from where we stood. At one point another younger male came wandering over and after a lot of trumpeting the older, larger bull chased him around the campground and off into the distance. It was like being in a Disney nature video.
We even caught one of the babies getting a quick lunch from mom.

At some point we want to visit the North Rim, but with winter coming it’s about to close for the season so probably next year.

Oh, the reason there’s a picture of food and some people included is that we were having lunch of some sushi and suddenly realized that a busload of Japanese tourists were offloading behind us. It made us giggle because, well, we’re four years old mentally sometimes.

Here are a few pictures we shot and a video of the bull elk. Enjoy.
As always, you can click on the image for a larger version. The panorama shot was left full size and is well worth popping open.


 

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Bull Elk wandering through our campsite

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Macabre Mercantile vs Lake Mojave – and Aliens

by on Sep.19, 2019, under News

OK, we’re not Storming Area 51 because we plan to have our store open this weekend but we did take a quick trip south of Las Vegas to Lake Mojave.
Its the more southern part of the Lake Mead Recreation Area near Searchlight, NV.
Along the way, Media Minion had to pull over to take a shot of ‘his stretch of highway’. It’s a whole 1/10 mile stretch dedicated to Cold War Veterans. After all, he thinks he defeated communism single-handed so it’s HIS highway. It’s part of a stretch of the Veterans Memorial Highway with stretches dedicated to just about every war for the last 100 years.
After leaving the road in Searchlight, we drove 14 miles through the desert to the lake. Wow, what a beautiful place. It’s a small facility but unlike many of the Lake Mead proper sites which are basically falling apart because the lake retreated from their shores, this facility is still thriving.
There’s a lovely little campground with a beach a short distance away. There’s a nice motel but at $140 a night we think we’ll come back to camp instead. The marina has a store and a cafe and the lake itself is BEAUTIFUL.
We just hung around for a while drinking in the surroundings and then headed back home but on the way, we took a quick detour into Boulder City to see The Flying Saucer, a store we somehow never spotted before on our visits. Made new friends there as we browsed their alien-themed store. Kind of cool and we carry some of the same alien products as them – lucky we’re many miles apart so we don’t compete.
On the road north, we did see the most amazing sight. A pickup was gaining on us and there were strange shapes visible on the roof. It wasn’t until it passed that we realized the shapes were half a dozen tall green alien mannequins in the bed of the truck. We assume he’s off to #stormArea51. We laughed ourselves silly but weren’t able to get a picture as he was racing by at about 90 and we couldn’t get our camera out fast enough.

A nice fun outing overall.

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Valley of Fire and Lake Mead

by on Aug.25, 2019, under News

The Macabre staff went on another excursion near Las Vegas. This time we visited the Valley of Fire state park and Lake Mead. We actually visit Lake Mead quite often as there is just so much to see and with an annual pass it’s an easy destination.

We saw lots of interesting rock formations, found 4,000 year old native petroglyphs at the top of a very tall rock which Media Minion only discovered because he decided to see what was at the top of the staircase which was built against the boulder – the sign at the bottom was unreadable due to sun and sand erosion.

We made friends with desert chipmunks who were very daring and came right up to us several times. We also stumbled across a spring in the middle of one of the parks with rushing water and a natural pool. It was very high in mineral content and had quite the rotten egg stink but it was really neat to see. Of course, if you notice the signs, you don’t want to go swimming or else you’ll get a potentially fatal amoeba infection. We also came across a memorial marker with the saddest story on it.

The desert is HOT during the day but it’s not bad at night for camping.

Here’s a small swath of pictures – we took a lot more but this selection should give you an idea of what the area looked like. We left the pictures of the petroglyphs full size so click on them to see the detail of these incredible rock carvings from 4,000 years ago.

There are also a couple of videos we took of critters, petroglyphs, and the spring.

 

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Macabre Mercantile vs Joshua Tree National Park

by on Jul.31, 2019, under News

The Macabre staff decided to go for a drive toward California … just because.
Then we had the idea that the route should take us to Joshua Tree and then we said – “Why not go camping?” Media Minion was there once 30 years ago with two friends so it would be like reliving his youth.
Heck, it’s summer, it’s the desert, what could possibly go wrong?

We mapped out a simple route down US 95 which all the maps showed as connecting to Rt 62 which made it a simple straight shot – that wasn’t quite right though.
We found out that where 95 intersects I40 the road suddenly turns into a gravel road and abruptly ends at a sign declaring that we are at the Heart of the Mojave. Media Minion checked his GPS again and yes, it showed us on 95 and showed the road going onward. Look at the picture…. there’s NO ROAD, just desert. So we detoured.

This was a good thing, we traveled down some small roads and along old Route 66 for a bit and even saw Roy’s Motel and Cafe

There are Route 66 signs painted on the highway in front of the cafe – people were clustered there taking pictures.
Let me repeat that – signs painted on the HIGHWAY and people TAKING PICTURES in the road. We managed to swerve around the kneeling idiots and not turn them into road pizza. They didn’t seem to care that cars were whizzing toward them at 65 MPH. Somehow, no one was killed.
We really don’t understand how Darwin didn’t claim these people.

We finally reached Joshua Tree. It was much cooler than Vegas, comfortable in fact. Media Minion went bouldering and we hung out. The boulders are neat, one of them is Skull Rock, which looks a LOT like a skull.
We saw some bunnies, squirrels, and chipmunks running around the boulders and even climbing up them. The silence of the place was wonderful. Sure the occasional person could be heard or a car arriving or departing but otherwise, it was just the wind.
After nightfall, we looked at more stars than we could remember seeing in many years.
It was wonderful – well except for our resident Hellhound Kali, she wanted to go home to her chair and comfortable AC, she’s a very civilized Hellhound.

On our way out we went through the Mojave National Preserve and did more sightseeing. We saw the Hall of Horrors rock formation – it didn’t seem all that horrible.
We found a strange roadside church with the happiest looking man’s picture on the front and a sign off to the side saying “Save the persecuted Christians.”

Really? Persecuted? The same group who has their holy days celebrated by the ENTIRE country? The same group who basically fill every government position? How about saving the persecuted Wiccans, atheists, and LGBTQ+ folks?

We also encountered these 2 strange statues just sitting alongside the road. Large Chinese lion statues about 10′ or so tall just all alone. There was a sign indicating land was for sale but for the life of us we couldn’t figure out the why of the two lions. Other than that we traveled through many small – mostly dead – towns and saw some very strange folks living and just wandering around in the desert. I think the California desert is stranger than the Nevada one.

Oh and before we go, Hellhound Kali is NOT doing something rude and smelly in one of the photos, she’s just hunching because she’s really unhappy with the terrain there.

As always, click on a picture to see a larger version for more detail.

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Macabre Mercantile vs the Extraterrestrial Highway

by on Jul.23, 2019, under News

With all the talk online about storming Area 51, the Macabre staff decided to play advance guard and take a road trip out to the Extraterrestrial Highway (AKA Nevada State Route 375)  to get the lay of the land and see if we could see any black helicopters or alien spacecraft (we didn’t).

The views driving up to the ET highway were spectacular. It’s a lot of open desert out there and when you stop the only sound you can hear is the wind. Creepy yet relaxing at the same time.
It was a balmy 105 degrees Fahrenheit when the staff ventured into the wastelands in search of ET and let me tell you, if you do this, make sure your AC is working and bring plenty of fluids and hats, etc. for shade.

We stopped at all the standard tourist destinations such as the sign at the entry to the highway and the infamous Black Mailbox where we left some calling cards from Macabre Mercantile and Edmund de Wight. BTW we put in our cards AFTER taking the first photo of all the ‘offerings’ left there,  so don’t expect to see them except in 1 photo.

We even learned some science – it seems there are eastern and western varieties of Joshua Tree which meet right there on the ET Highway. We’re not saying it’s because of aliens, but…… aliens.

We visited a cute store called the Alien Research Center which is a metal Quonset hut with an ENORMOUS metal alien outside, you can’t miss it. It has lots of cute merchandise and a Marilyn Monroe being menaced by inflatable aliens inside. We found it humorous that they carry some of the same masks which we do. We took a picture of someone lurking outside the building but for some reason, it came out pixelated… was it an alien or maybe a MIB?

We bought souvenirs and then set out for the Black Mailbox and the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, NV where we had a wonderful lunch and chatted with the locals and petted the cutest puppies before returning to Vegas. There are a couple of interesting signs there telling about the history of the area and also a monument commemorating the filming of the film Independence Day at the site.

On the way home, we realized we were passing these 2 large lakes. Yes, there are lakes in the middle of the desert. The Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful spot to visit. They allow camping. We think we’ll give that a shot once the weather is cooler.

It’s a fun trip for both scenery and kitsch. If you’re planning on storming Area 51 this year, check out the tourist stops along the way.

FYI, the images with signs have been left full size. It’s worth clicking them to read the information if you’re so inclined.

 

 

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