On Wednesday May 18, we left Cottonwood, AZ at 9am with Acey’s mileage 84,864.4 and Thor’s 102,809 and still 1,994.6 miles on our bicycles, since we did not ride at our last stop. Jim had to make a phone call, so Linda drove for about 45 minutes. We stopped in a shopping center parking lot to make lunch in Kingman, AZ stopped again at a TA in White Hills, AZ for fuel (another $400+). When we started out on the road in May 2020, we were averaging 28.3¢ per mile – now it’s costing us 68.8¢ per mile – and it seems to continue to increase. We had a sunny and hot but clear day to drive!
Driving Route 93 thru the Lake Meade Recreation Area the scenery was awesome!
We went over the bridge by Hoover Dam and could see the dam as we crossed the state line into Nevada. The 4-lane bridge was built at the cost of $240 million and re-routed traffic from the curvy 2-lane road over the dam. Notice how low Lake Mead is!
We arrived at the Thousand Trails Las Vegas RV Resort at 4pm. The spaces are very tight here – some of the smallest parking areas we have been in. But we have full hook ups and probably won’t be spending much time in the motorhome anyway. We got set up and added Nevada to our map; just 3 more states to visit in Acey!
On Thursday, Jim’s nephew David came to see Acey and then took us on a driving tour of Vegas.
We had lunch at Soul Belly – a yummy place for BBQ brisket, and his wife Cynthia joined us! We went to HUDL Brewing – Jim had a pint and Linda had a flight.
David had a pint and Cyn sampled a cream ale and had to leave us to go to work. Our next stop was Able Baker Brewing.
The brewery had a duck theme that ties in with Nevada’s history – love a good story!
The tap handles had ducks and many of the beer names were “ducky” themed!
Dave drove us around Vegas and pointed out several places, including the “Pawn Stars” store which we visited on a previous trip here. It was 102° — a record heat day, so we didn’t walk around much today!
Friday was a much cooler day – but windy! We caught up on paperwork and such and after lunch we went to David’s home. Their dog Leroy was barking at us when we arrived but warmed up to us later!
We had been here a few years back when David’s son Douglas graduated High School in 2017.
Upstairs, David named his bar/arcade area after his grandfather Chuck.
Cynthia had fixed a lovely – and tasty – charcuterie board and more!
Dave cooked some delicious ribs for dinner on his Pit Boss smoker/BBQ – it’s quite a bit larger than the one we recently purchased!
Steve came home from work, and we enjoyed a yummy dinner with sweet potatoes, salad, bread and the ribs. Cynthia came home from work, and we had a fun evening.
Saturday morning Jim had a few maintenance chores to do with parts we had ordered and sent to Dave’s place, The pressure regulator we bought 3 years ago when we purchased Acey had gone bad, a latch holding the screen door to the outer door also had broken. Always something!! Then we left to go ride our bikes before it got too hot. We rode in the Clark County Wetlands Park – no shade on this paved trail
There were several fun “roller-coaster” hills!
In the distance, we could see the big casino/hotels that made Las Vegas famous.
There was indeed some water running thru the wetlands park, the Las Vegas Wash. In the area where you can ride bikes, it is mostly a dry and sandy desert landscape.
We rode just short of 10 miles and got back to Acey for showers and lunch. Afterwards, we drove out to the salon where Cynthia works, and Linda got a professional haircut. Dave and Cyn came over for dinner – we had tacos and played Mexican Train. They had not heard of the game and enjoyed playing.
On Sunday morning, we zoomed with our Sunday School class, finishing up our study of Colossians and then worshipped with Stephens Valley Church, watching on YouTube the service from May 8. The sermon title “What Happens is Shocking” – a story of God’s incredible mercy.
After lunch, we met up with Dave and Cynthia at Grape Expectations – a wine-making school where they had joined with a group of friends to make some wine – and today was bottling day!
Dave retired in January, so this was a fun activity to be with some of the guys he had worked with – here he is with Brandon and Marcus!
After breakfast on Monday, Dave picked us up and we went to lunch in Boulder and went to see the Hoover Dam. What a marvel of engineering it is! We were here in January 2002 – 20 years ago! The water level of Lake Mead was quite a bit higher than today – notice how high the water was on the intake towers.
We saw an old postcard showing the dam with the reservoir filled to capacity., and the spillways are in use. Apparently, the lake level has not been that high since 1983!
The water level has drastically been reduced in 20 years – much of the intake towers are revealed high above the lake level. We heard on the news that this is a record low for the lake.
We parked up by the spillway, where the water could run over to prevent a breach of the dam. Seems hard to imagine the water level being high enough to go there!
The little bridge over the spillway, where traffic used to be routed (it’s now only in use for visitors to the dam) was a model for the new bridge built 80 years later.
The “Winged Figures of the Republic” statues near the dam with their nearly 30-foot wings are quite interesting – but we couldn’t get close to them – the monument plaza is being refurbished. It is said to bring good luck if you rub their feet, and their toes seem to be shiny for that reason!
The dam itself is just amazing – it took 5 years to build — over 100 workers lost their lives in constructing it.
The platform at the bottom of the dam has 2 stairways coming out from the dam. Linda is fairly certain that when her family toured the dam in 1962, they went out there. Also, on the surface of the dam are some vents/windows and she seems to recall her father holding her up to look out; it was scary to a 5-year-old!
The bridge is the one we drove over on our way to Las Vegas.
Dave pointed out a structure on the hill above the parking area – a machine gun pillbox – a relic from WWII to defend the dam from possible saboteurs.
After visiting the dam, we stopped off at Boulder Dam Brewing – the original name of the dam was “Boulder Dam”, being near the city of Boulder – but has been called Hoover Dam since 1947. Dave had a flight – Jim and Linda enjoyed a pint or 2. We had a fun day!
On Tuesday, Dave picked us up to have brunch at Biscuits and Bourbon – he and Cyn had talked about this place and how good the biscuits are – and the jellies they serve with them! Reminded us of the Loveless Cafe in Nashville, and we wanted to check it out. The biscuits were a bit bigger than the ones at Loveless and YUMMY!!
After our delicious meal, Dave took us into the Lake Mead Recreational Area – and we used our National Parks Pass to forgo the $20 entrance fee. We drove near the ONLY remaining boat ramp for Lake Mead. The water level is so low, all the other ramps have been closed. This sign was quite a way up from the shore, indicating where the water line was last year. The Southwest REALLY needs some rain!
We drove around to the Callville Bay marina; no boat ramp for now, but the marina is still open; you can rent boats there – even rent a houseboat!
It was a clear and warm day as we drove along… the landscape was so interesting!
We stopped to take a look a desert spring
There were some fish in the spring – little, tiny black ones (and bigger black ones) and some 2-tone black and white ones
Jim said he saw a big goldfish and we were razzing him “Sure you saw one!” As we were leaving, sure enough, there it was!
We drove on to see the Valley of Fire State Park
Lots of red rock here!
We took a short hike to see elephant rock!
Dave got a notification that UPS dropped off our package at his home, so after our touring, we headed to his place. Cynthia was busy fixing dinner and Leroy was glad to see us!
After another delicious meal with David and Cynthia, Dave took us back to Acey and we made a few preparations for our departure in the morning. We sure enjoyed their hospitality and spending time with them! We never did get to the Strip to see Freemont Street or walk through the casinos, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Las Vegas! Wednesday, we head to Utah for 2 stops – Circleville and Layton.