Activities during our last week in Mesquite have been all over the map! We had more fun with Boise friends Mike and Paula, a history lesson, met RV celebrities and enjoyed a camel experience!
I traveled back in time and back to St. George to visit Brigham Young’s Winter Home. Brigham Young was born in Vermont, raised in New York, and eventually traveled with his followers to the area now known as Salt Lake. He not only lived all over the map but expanded the map when he coordinated the establishment of more than 400 communities. One of those communities was St. George where he was one of the first “snowbirds” spending winters in this home-office from 1873 until his death in 1877.
As a historic sight for the LDS church, it is meticulously maintained and available for free tours.
All of the available wood for construction and furniture making was pine. Craftsmen painted pine to resemble other woods such as oak, maple, mahogany and walnut. There were many examples of this in finish work and furnishings throughout the house.
This was Brigham Young’s chest of drawers. He traveled frequently because of church and territory responsibilities and this chest went with him. The drawers were removed for loading and travel and put back into place on arrival. No need for a trunk!
We went the other direction (again) to Las Vegas and had lunch with the RV Navigators, Ken and Martha. We have listened to their very popular RV Navigator podcast (10,000 downloads monthly) for many years and have always enjoyed their banter. They travel extensively all over the map by RV, cruise ship and other modes and share their experiences with listeners. We hit it off splendidly and hope to join them on an adventure someday – maybe the Galapagos Islands in 2019.
The Camel Safari farm encompasses 176 acres and has 31 camels of two types. Dromedary camels, from Africa and Arabia, have one hump. The endangered Bactrian camel, from central Asia, has two. Contrary to popular opinion, humps do not hold water. Humps store fat which can be converted to nutrition in times when food and water is scarce. It is also wrong to assume camels like to spit. They regurgitate their food as a defense mechanism. Get out of my face or ugly stuff is coming your way!
This is Barton, the camel Randy rode. He was very vocal and Randy imagined him complaining about having to carry a load today.
After our ride, the camels started peeing, and peeing… Although we were only in the peeing vicinity for about 5 minutes, we were told they can maintain the flow for 15 minutes. And when one starts, the next one starts and so on.
Camels can drink up to five gallons of water a minute and rehydrate faster than any other mammal. They usually require water every 10 days but can be trained to go longer. We are happy to say that all the camels on the farm seemed to have good access to food and water.
Adult bactrian camels weigh up to 2200 pounds and their shoulders stand 7 feet in height. Dromedary are slightly smaller.
Camel feet have two toes with nails, but do not have hooves. The foot is divided into halves, covered by a thick protective sole and joined by webbing. The foot spreads and flattens to avoid sinking in soft sand.
Llamas and alpacas also have two toes and are in the camel family. These alpacas also live on the farm with a variety of other interesting residents.
There were a number of armadillos we could meet and touch. This small four band armadillo can virtually roll up in a ball for sleep or defense. The armadillo boys and girls are housed separately as they multiply prolifically and the farm doesn’t want to be responsible for armadillos taking up residency in southern Nevada.
This is Ambien, a two toed sloth who was very active during our visit. Ambien does everything upside down except urinate. She lived in a small pen in her previous home but can now be inside or outside depending on the weather and her whim.
We were impressed by the care and concern the owner and workers at Camel Safari had for all their animals. There were several they had acquired from less fortunate situations and are now able to enjoy a better life.
We are always amazed at the unexpected things we find here and there in our travels. Who would have thought there would be camels near Mesquite, Nevada! We really enjoyed our visit and learning about animals from all over the map!