April 15 – Las Vegas, Nevada

Oh what a horrible drive from Twenty Palms to Las Vegas. It was windy with cross winds about 20 miles per hour. Try and keep 432 square feet (windward side of RV) on the road. It was tough and after 200 miles thru the desert, I was white knuckled and exhausted. And you have to remember that the road was rough and there was a dip at every ditch that ran across the desert. When we got to the park, I told Brenda I was just sitting and relaxing, no exploring or driving anywhere.

Duck Creek RV Park was on the southeast side of Las Vegas, not in an overly crowded part of town. It is a nice park but small sites, near road. When we arrived we had a little rain and it was a cool 69. No pickle ball.

On the way to Las Vegas, we stopped at the Mohave Desert National Preserve, the Kelso Depot. This was an old train depot that was quite fancy in the middle of the desert. The government is preserving it to remind us of what happened in our past. While there I did not see a video, but instead heard a presentation of the railroad in the desert. I did get the stamp.

The Mojave Desert’s biggest problem is losing the Desert Tortoise, in fact it is now endangered. They had all kinds of fences and signs to protect the tortoise.

Saturday was our day of catching up and some shopping. Later we visited Brenda’s Aunt Bobbie, who lived in a 55+ community on a golf course. Bobbie was selling her house to move back to Missouri (her home state and where her kids are). Had a great visit as we discussed past memories. We also saw Bobbie’s sister, Becky and we went out for pizza.

Sunday we went to church (late service) and there was only 7 in attendance plus the choir of 7. I would assume the early service was the better attended.

After church we went on the strip looking for Guys Fieri’s Vegas restaurant. Found it and had one of his famous $20 burger. The calories were there as he brags about. Didn’t need dinner that night.DSC_0048

All I can say is WOW! There were so many people, so many ornate buildings, shows and entertainers. It was overwhelming as this was my first time to LV. I can see why they call this the Entertainment Capital.

Monday we went east to Hoover Dam. An awesome engineering project. We could only do the Power plant tour and the visitor’s center. Another thing that was unexpected was the security. It was just like the airport and the TSA inspection except we did not have to take our shoes off.

The dam was breathtaking. The whole development of this project came with the idea of flood control and water control and rights (7 states had to agree first) and development of the Southwest followed. It is amazing that they were 3500 workers monthly and they were able to build the dam back in the 30’s.

We had lunch at the Boulder Dam Brewery in Boulder City. Did you know that it is illegal for casinos to be in Boulder City?DSC_0056

Didn’t know this but they only release water from the dam (and generate power) when there is a need for water downstream. Again, water control rights at work.

After visiting the Hoover Dam we stopped at the Lake Mead National Reservoir. This is the lake that was created from the Dam, supposed to be the largest volume of water for a manmade lake.

Tuesday I rode 21 miles along the River Mountain Trail from Henderson to Lake Mead. This was a paved trail that took me over the mountains through the desert. Had an elevation rise of 1100 feet, it was a struggle but I made it. Didn’t see any animals except lizards, though they had warnings about Desert Long Horn Sheep.

The frustrating thing about the trails in the desert is that they build them with dips and the sand has a tendency to cover over the trail.

Tuesday night we went downtown Las Vegas, the strip and Fremont Street. DSC_0138

And oh what an experience. LV is even stranger at night. The lights and action was something to remember. We saw anything you could think of at night. Brenda even got her picture with “Elvis”. We enjoyed the time on the strip.DSC_0201

We saw the water show at the Bellagio.

We saw the volcano at the Mirage.

Fremont Street Experience was something else. It was loud, noisy, vulgar, strange, magical, and on and on! We stayed a short time and even made it past midnight that night.

I do have to admit, I did not lose any money gambling nor did I will. I don’t mind gambling with friends but when you are the only one, it didn’t excite me, so I skipped playing Jack Black. I was looking for $5 Jack Black and all they had on the strip seemed to be a minimum of $25. I was about to sit at this one table and realized it was out of my class.DSC_0260

Wednesday I was able to find a blood donation location and I gave them a pint. Later in the afternoon we had dinner at Brenda’s Aunt Bobbie. I, being the only male, was the grill master and we had steaks and red wine.

Thursday is exit day to Zion National Park.

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