While driving from Las Vegas to New Hampshire this past two weeks, I sent Email to friends describing the roadscene. This post is a compilation of those observances. It was a relatively quick trip, for almost 3,000 miles; two weeks at an average of 215 miles per day, although I stayed for two days at Flagstaff and Springfield, MO. I only made a few side trips, and nothing very far off my route northeast.
The object was to get to New England for a visit with my daughter, a side trip to Loon Mountain (in the White Mountains of NH), a get-together with friends in Boston, and an appointment with the surgical team that replaced my right wrist, just nine weeks ago.
My love of the “blue highways” had to be filed under ‘too slow for this trip.’
I had spent about a week in Las Vegas, where I rescued my vehicle from storage. A long-time friend who is a gambler now living in Nevada , was in a ‘ slot tournament ‘ at Harrah’s on the Strip. I had flown in from New Hampshire, post surgery, and stayed at the Imperial Palace for two nights. I wanted to be sure that my vehicle was roadworthy after eight months of being stored in the sun. Doug came into town a few days later, and we visited for a few days.
I was spending my nights out at Las Vegas Bay campground, on Lake Mead. It is a beautiful desert site just 20-odd miles from the Strip. The story goes that the once –Las Vegas Wash operators of the nearby marina complained to Lake Mead Park Service that the name didn’t compete with the Boulder Beach and CallvilleBay marinas, for inducing boaters to use the facilities. The name was changed to the more attractive Las Vegas Bay, although today, there is not as much water in Lake Mead, and the marina has closed except for storage. Eleven years ago, I remember that there was a small gulch with water that some campsites bordered, but it’s a dry gulch now. There are two mens and womens comfort stations, and potable water is available, but no showers.There is a campground Host on-site, and the Rangers have a station near the marina. From the distance it appears as an oasis, with palms and desert blooms. The views from the campsites are of the distant mountains, Lake Mead and broken gulches and ravines.
Sunrise is spectacular, as are the sunsets, and the nights are peacefully quiet after a day in the city. The howl of coyotes is not uncommon.
After a week, with the maintenance chores complete, I drove south to the casino town of Laughlin. I went just after sunset, so as to travel in the relative cool of the evening. Approaching Searchlight, NV (Harry Reid’s hometown) it was cool; the town is up high, as the name suggests. Then up into the mountains, before a plunge down to the Colorado River. Laughlin is a pretty sight in the distance, as you descend to the bridge to Bullhead City, AZ. After that 100 miles, I stayed on the Arizona side for the night.
Next installment is (Part 2)