A while ago I posted a piece about flying to Charleston, SC. Well, this one is about flying from Fabulous Las Vegas to Manchester, NH.
As I last reported, I was camped at Lake Mead at one of the facilities provided by the National Park Service. At the southern end of the lake, near Boulder Dam, is Boulder Beach campground. There was a campground near the northernmost reaches at Overton, but I believe it is closed. Near the middle of the western coastline of Lake Mead, thirty five miles from Las Vegas, is Callville Bay campground. It is also a full – service marina. My personal favorite is the campground less than thirty miles east of the Strip, called Las Vegas Bay. There is (was) a marina there, but the public landing/launching has been curtailed due to low water in Lake Mead. The Colorado River has so many demands on it, that the water levels are as much as one-hundred feet lower than the recent past! ( Crossing the Glen Canyon Dam near Page, Arizona, I had observed the same alarming conditions in Lake Powell.)
A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a picture of the new bridge going up adjacent to Boulder Dam in Nevada. Showing the death-defying feat of completing the span across Black Canyon, it was an extremely dramatic view of the area, as well. Last week I was on U.S. Airways again, travelling from McCarran airport in Las Vegas, to Manchester/Boston airport in New Hampshire. The route followed my land travel previously described, and as we flew over the desert heading into Arizona, I could clearly see that the span was completed, and that the supporting structures for automotive travel were well underway. The traffic will no longer cross the dam. All cars and trucks were required to execute hairpin turns after crossing, and then climb precipitous inclines to the top of the canyon. The new bridge will make all that un-necessary.
As the aircraft proceeded eastward, I could easily follow I 40 down below from my left window seat, while we overflew the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff. Gallup, Albuqueque, and on into Texas; places where I had stopped while on the westward trip. The skies were clear throughout the flight until we reached the Ozarks. There, a frontal system contained a blanket of clouds stretching north as far as one could see. At about this time the sun was setting, and the waning rays illuminated the tops of the cumulous clouds, and sparkled through the atmosphere, creating momentary rainbow effects.
The wonder of my aerial view was to continue as we entered into North Carolina airspace. The clouds dissapated, and I could make out the lights, and keep track of all the cities we passed over, until we landed in New England. By the way, Pennsylvanians, Philly is phenomenally beautiful at night, spread out in a gleaming panorama, thirty-five to fifty thousand feet below!
FABULOUS Las Vegas ! I took a circuitous, but quick trip from Hillsborough, NH, where I visit my daughter in the summer. After travelling 1500 miles to Kissimmee, FL to pick up new registrations and insurance papers, I set out for the west. There was some impetuosity in the decision, since I am used to spending the winter in Florida, but I love the west and felt that I should be there for a while. At my age I have to weigh what things are important enough to experience before I cannot do them again. The 3000 mile voyage with the car and RV are in that category. I’ve never figured out how to live in the west, and still remain close to my family. They couldn’t be transplanted out of New England with a pitchfork. Oh, well……I love to be on the road.
It turned out that a friend, who resides in Laughlin, NV was in a bind! He had booked a flight from Las Vegas and needed to get his conversion van from Mesquite, NV, where he was “comped” in the Casablanca Casino (He is a gambler), to Hurricane, UT to a storage facility. He was going EAST as I was going WEST. His destination was Cherry Hill, NJ to visit family for the holidays. Problems arose. His van broke down and required a new steering column. We had figured that if I didn’t dally, which IS my custom, I could meet him in Utah and drive him back to Nevada.But his mechanic let him down (Wow, that NEVER happens!), and instead of meeting him as planned, I drove to Mesquite and met him there. I stayed there that night.
Second problem: ( colliding coincidences ) We were booked into hotels in Las Vegas before his van was going to be fixed, with no way to change the reservations. So we drove there and he checked in to Harrah’s and I checked into the Imperial Palace on the Strip. Two days later we got word that the steering was restored. We drove back to Mesquite, NV, and I followed him to Hurricane, UT where he left the van, pulled down the door, and we headed BACK to Las Vegas for the rest of our stay. Three hundred miles round-trip. I took him to the airport at 5:30 AM last Wednesday, and finally got to relax. I spent the next four nights at the wonderful campground at Las Vegas Bay on Lake Mead. Private sites among palms and other plantings, with views of the lake and desert scenery . More about this trip in my next post.