Your Turn: 4 reasons why recreational marijuana has a shot in Arizona

Beginning in 1996, when California became the first to legalize medical marijuana, state after state has joined California's trail-blazing path. To date, 30 states – including Arizona – and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and 10 of those jurisdictions have fully legalized marijuana.

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Mitchell Caverns Tour in Mojave National Preserve

The Mitchell Caverns in Providence State Park are one of the only show caves in Southern California. They finally reopened after being closed for over five years, and if you haven’t explored them, do it now. The caves are only accessible via a guided tour that happens two days a week and is hard to book, but it consists of 1.5 – 2 hours of exploring the caves and learning about the area’s history. Here is all the information.

Details

  • $10 per person for the tour and $10 to park
  • Must call to get on a tour, they told me you could only call on Mondays currently. More information here.
  • Location: 38200 Essex Rd, Essex, CA 92332

Getting There

From Southern California, it is a long drive to get out to Mitchell Caverns, and I would recommend you consider spending the night at Hole in the Wall Campground or something so you can make the most of your time.

Take the 15 North to Barstow then head East on the 40 Freeway. It’s about an hour and a half from Barstow with no gas or food so get what you need before leaving Barstow. When you get to Essex Rd, you will get off and head north into Mojave National Preserve. Follow signs to the caverns and park in the lot.

The Tour

Since it is so far away, we ended up getting there about 40 minutes early. We took the time to explore the small visitors center they have, as well as walked around on the short trail to see cactus and a few historical plaques. There are two bathrooms here as well.

When it was time for the tour to start, they gathered up the 15 of us and started by telling us the history of the area and the Mitchell’s who ran the cave.

The short history is that the Mitchells moved out here in 1934 and they ran the caves as a desert resort and Route 66 attraction for 20 years. Jack built all of the stone buildings here and gave cave tours himself. He also developed the road that got here from Route 66, which was 22 miles. They left in 1954 when they were both in their 70’s, and that is when it was sold to the state parks system.

After learning this history, we headed out on the trail for about a third of a mile hike to where the cave is.

Along the way, we stopped multiple times to learn about the plant and animal life as well as the gold mines that were here. Lots of the plants and animals in this area are only found in this location and not anywhere else in the world. It is called a sky island.

When you round the bend and see the two eyes which are the entrance to the cave, it is a pretty cool sight.

After crossing the small bridge, you will be walking up a hill and will then reach the cave entrance.

The Caverns

From here the tour gets incredible and you spend the next 45 minutes or so in the cave.

The formations here are mind-blowing, featuring a column, which is a connected stalactite and stalagmites. Only 1 in 4,000 caves have a connecting piece like this.

The cave has many rooms that you will get a chance to spend time in and learn more about. I was fascinated by how impressive this cave was to explore; it was much better then I expected.

There are also formations called cave shields here, and they are only found in 60 caves in the USA.

The tour goes up and down stairs, through small tunnels and into large rooms, it’s fantastic.

We also learned about some of the animal life in here including the packrat, you can see his nest in the below photo.

The tour ended in the large room in the second part of the cave. This room was massive and let in some light, so it was easy to see without the man-added lights in the cave.

When you leave the cave, it is about a half mile back to where you parked, completing your time at Providence Mountains.

I loved my time at this park, I am so glad it is open again, and I hope others get a chance to explore this unique Southern California site. Let me know what you think if you go in the comments.

Mitchell Caverns Tour in Mojave National Preserve

The Mitchell Caverns in Providence State Park are one of the only show caves in Southern California. They finally reopened after being closed for over five years, and if you haven’t explored them, do it now. The caves are only accessible via a guided tour that happens two days a week and is hard to book, but it consists of 1.5 – 2 hours of exploring the caves and learning about the area’s history. Here is all the information.

Details

  • $10 per person for the tour and $10 to park
  • Must call to get on a tour, they told me you could only call on Mondays currently. More information here.
  • Location: 38200 Essex Rd, Essex, CA 92332

Getting There

From Southern California, it is a long drive to get out to Mitchell Caverns, and I would recommend you consider spending the night at Hole in the Wall Campground or something so you can make the most of your time.

Take the 15 North to Barstow then head East on the 40 Freeway. It’s about an hour and a half from Barstow with no gas or food so get what you need before leaving Barstow. When you get to Essex Rd, you will get off and head north into Mojave National Preserve. Follow signs to the caverns and park in the lot.

The Tour

Since it is so far away, we ended up getting there about 40 minutes early. We took the time to explore the small visitors center they have, as well as walked around on the short trail to see cactus and a few historical plaques. There are two bathrooms here as well.

When it was time for the tour to start, they gathered up the 15 of us and started by telling us the history of the area and the Mitchell’s who ran the cave.

The short history is that the Mitchells moved out here in 1934 and they ran the caves as a desert resort and Route 66 attraction for 20 years. Jack built all of the stone buildings here and gave cave tours himself. He also developed the road that got here from Route 66, which was 22 miles. They left in 1954 when they were both in their 70’s, and that is when it was sold to the state parks system.

After learning this history, we headed out on the trail for about a third of a mile hike to where the cave is.

Along the way, we stopped multiple times to learn about the plant and animal life as well as the gold mines that were here. Lots of the plants and animals in this area are only found in this location and not anywhere else in the world. It is called a sky island.

When you round the bend and see the two eyes which are the entrance to the cave, it is a pretty cool sight.

After crossing the small bridge, you will be walking up a hill and will then reach the cave entrance.

The Caverns

From here the tour gets incredible and you spend the next 45 minutes or so in the cave.

The formations here are mind-blowing, featuring a column, which is a connected stalactite and stalagmites. Only 1 in 4,000 caves have a connecting piece like this.

The cave has many rooms that you will get a chance to spend time in and learn more about. I was fascinated by how impressive this cave was to explore; it was much better then I expected.

There are also formations called cave shields here, and they are only found in 60 caves in the USA.

The tour goes up and down stairs, through small tunnels and into large rooms, it’s fantastic.

We also learned about some of the animal life in here including the packrat, you can see his nest in the below photo.

The tour ended in the large room in the second part of the cave. This room was massive and let in some light, so it was easy to see without the man-added lights in the cave.

When you leave the cave, it is about a half mile back to where you parked, completing your time at Providence Mountains.

I loved my time at this park, I am so glad it is open again, and I hope others get a chance to explore this unique Southern California site. Let me know what you think if you go in the comments.

Boating and Waterways Begins Control Activities in the Delta for Aquatic Invasive Plants

The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) announced today its plans for this year’s control efforts for aquatic invasive plants in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). Starting March 5, DBW will be controlling water hyacinth, American spongeplant and Uruguay water primrose along waterways entering the Stockton Deep Water Channel via mechanical harvesting. The use of herbicides will start on Monday, March 12 for the following aquatic invasive plants: water hyacinth, Egeria densa, South American spongeplant, Uruguay water primrose, curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, fanwort and coontail. Treatment start dates may change depending on weather conditions and plant growth/movement.

View the official news release here.

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The Monterey Hotel in Historic Downtown Monterey

This room was provided free of charge; all opinions are my own.

The Monterey Hotel is situated right in downtown Monterey, a stone’s throw from Fisherman’s Wharf. It is a beautiful old Victorian building that is actually part of the Monterey Historic Park, and it was a great home base for two days of exploring both Monterey and the Big Sur coastline. Here is all the information on this hotel.

Details

  • Book Here
  • Continental breakfast included
  • Parking offsite or valet for an added charge
  • Location: 407 Calle PrincipalMontereyCalifornia 93940

Getting There

Take Highway 1 to towards Monterey and exit 401A for Aguajito Road. Turn left onto Aguajito and then left on Fremont St. You will continue onto Alvarado St, and the hotel will be on the left. There is no parking lot, so you must valet or park downtown.

The Hotel

When I first saw this hotel while exploring the historic park, I loved the beautiful exterior with its Victorian charm. The inside retains that historic vibe, but with many of the modern amenities you have come to expect from upscale hotels like this.

Since we were gone most of the day exploring the area we elected to valet park each night when we got to the hotel. It is a nice experience as the car was always waiting for us when we needed it.

We booked a king room in the recently redone part of the hotel, and it was a large, spacious room complete with a bed, couch, and fireplace.

The bed was comfortable and spacious while the included couch and fireplace (activated with a light switch) made it a beautiful place to relax with a glass of wine as well.

The bathroom was large and well lit with a nice shower that got hot fast. The included continental breakfast was a great addition to the hotel experience as it had lots of pastries and fresh bagels as well as large bowls of fruit and, of course, coffee.

Once you got your food, you dined in a beautiful historic room right off the hotel lobby.

The hotel proved to be an excellent spot for exploring the Monterey area as you could easily walk to Fisherman’s Wharf for restaurants like LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle and the Old Fisherman’s Grotto.

You could drive to Cannery Row in about 5 minutes as well, which has the aquarium and which is a great place to walk around and explore the city.

The Big Sur coast was only about 25 minutes south, and Carmel is about that distance as well.

All in all, this was a great home base for our two days of exploring and fun hotel to relax at. Check it out if you are in the area and let me know what you think in the comments.

Olathe East tenor sax player chosen for National Jazz Band

Besides California Trail, four other Olathe middle schools placed in the top 15 among 28 teams competing: Oregon Trail, fifth; Indian Trail, 10th; Prairie Trail, 11th, and Pioneer Trail, 13th. At the high school level, Olathe North placed second overall while earning 27 medals, while Olathe Northwest placed …

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Paint a wagon, build a cabin: Trail Center’s March programs

Trail Center volunteer Billie Phillips demonstrates how to operate a spinning wheel at the California Trail Interpretive Center. SUBMITTED. Facebook · Twitter · Email; Print; Save. ELKO – Paint a watercolor of a wagon, and build a log cabin out of pretzels and peanut butter at the California Trail …

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What’s Happening Around Elko

ELKO – The California Trail Interpretive Center is presenting a variety of family friendly programs throughout March. The following programs are free and open to everyone: March 3, 10 a.m.: The Heat is On: Fighting Wildfires in Nevada. March 4, 2 p.m.: Junior Ranger Program: Paint a Wagon. March 11 …

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Idyllcreek A-Frame Cabin in Idyllwild

This experience was provided free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Idyllwild is a nice mountain town near Palm Springs that’s a popular destination for people that live in lower elevation like myself. I have been many times over the years but when I saw some of the A-frame cabins available on Air BnB I knew I needed to go back. For this trip, I worked with Experience Idyllwild who manages eight properties, two which are A-frames, and Amie and I headed out to spend 24 hours relaxing in a cabin.

Details

  • You can book this cabin here, but it is popular so book it in advance
  • After booking, you will be sent information on how to get there and all the stuff you need to know about the cabin.
  • Pet-friendly but requires an extra fee

Idyllcreek Cabin

We arrived shortly after our check in time and had no problem reaching the cabin and getting set up.

It was just as beautiful as I hoped, with two bedrooms, a full bathroom downstairs and a half bathroom upstairs.

It also had a large kitchen, dining room table and living area with a TV and fireplace.

I didn’t even turn on the TV while I was there, but I got a ton of use out of the fireplace.

The cabin had central heating which was nice since it got down to the 20’s at night when we were there.

The main draw though is, of course, the excellent A-frame design that has been so popular on Instagram over the last few years.

Complete with market lights, outdoor fireplace, and seating, this was a great spot to hang out and to take photos while we stayed there.

There is also a spa out here which is a fun addition, especially on winter nights.

One of the biggest draws for us was that the property was pet-friendly and we could bring our old bulldog. He loved being able to explore the area and sleep by the fireplace.

We hardly left the cabin while we were there, but if you are looking to explore the town, there are some great food options and other spots to check out that you can read about in this post.

Thanks to Idyllcreek for hosting us and check them out online if you want to visit as well.

What’s Happening Around Elko

ELKO – The California Trail Interpretive Center is presenting a variety of family friendly programs throughout March. The following programs are free and open to … The California Trail Interpretive Center is located eight miles west of Elko on I-80, Hunter exit 292. The Center is open Wednesday through …

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