Saturday, April 20, 2013

4/20/2013, Saturday: We’re at Barstow, California today. Another new state, new rules. There’s a BLM campground nearby, but it sounds like it is about 5 miles of dirt road to get there, and we’re not even sure what the campground area looks like. We’re going to try Walmart for the night.

Yesterday we got to Las Vegas, Kings Row RV Park. It’s only $16 with full hookups, but it’s a really old park. It’s near an airport so there’s airplanes flying overhead constantly. We checked in and then took the Jeep to the Las Vegas Strip. It took a while to figure out where we can park free at the casinos, but found a parking garage at Treasure Island Casino. From there we walked the strip south and back north. Curt didn’t want to stop in Las Vegas. He doesn’t like driving in big cities and had no desire to see Vegas itself. I owe him big time. We walked for hours, up and down steps, through buildings. I found out looking at the map today that we did miss a couple casinos, including seeing the Sphinx. I’m glad we stopped, but I’m sure we won’t be back. Going in the evening probably would be more glamorous-looking with all the lights and all, but we were so tired we came back home. There were so many people; all nationalities, all languages. We aren’t used to people being so rude and so forward, and the sleaziness of the area. Men and women handing out cards for “ladies”.  People don’t care if they run into you or not. Oh well. I did get 4 “smashed” pennies out of it.

 At the Flamingo inside Habitat

People dressed up as characters, then charged for pictures with them

Thursday we were at Atlatl Rock Campground, Valley of Fire State Park, in Nevada. Full of hills and strange rock formations, from reds to yellows to whites. We got here around noon and found a camping spot and then went to the visitor center for a map of the park and trails. We went on 3 trails, totaling 3 miles, and we were tired at the end simply because the trails are almost all sand. Hiking in beach sand with hiking boots on is not fun. One of the trails was some rock climbing down, and if we hadn’t seen people on it, we wouldn’t have known for sure if it was even the trail. They’re not marked well at all, even if there are signs at the beginning to stay on the trail. It was fun though, with a high of 69 degrees. Not very good cell phone service in the whole park, just a few areas where you get a few bars. It’s $20 for no services or $30 for water and electric. We went for the water and electric. It costs about $8/day to run the generator so we opted for the electricity and can recharge batteries.


 Cabin built by the CCC

Atatl Campground

From Monday through Wednesday we were at Boulder Beach Campground in the Lake Meade Recreation Area near Hoover Dam. We toured the dam in the morning and then found the campground after that. It is a National Park Service Campground, no amenities, for $10. We did have a little view of Lake Mead. We decided to stay a couple days because of the wind ~ gusts up to 30 again.

Lake Mead

Hoover Dam is huge. I was totally impressed; Curt no so much. He’s seen so much on TV about it, I think he expected more. It’s not real wide, but really deep.  Vehicles have to go through a checkpoint before you get there; campers had to be inspected. We had to get out and Curt had to open our basement compartments. Another guy asked to go inside so I went with him. He just walked to the end, looking around, peeked into the bathroom (door was shut) and came back out. Not what we expected for an inspection. From there you go on to a parking lot if you want to walk on the bridge over the dam. So we go from Nevada to Arizona, back to Nevada again. It was really windy on the bridge. From there you take some winding roads down to the actual dam area. Being in an RV we had to park on the Arizona side, up the hill a ways and walk down. We opted not to take any of the tours (from $11-$30), or even go in the visitor center which was $8 each. We’ve seen documentaries on Hoover Dam and expect that’s what they would have been about. They did have a gift shop though where I got a smashed penny. Lots of people all over; again all nationalities.

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