We got a great night’s sleep at the cabin in Flagstaff and awoke to a bright, beautiful day. After a delicious breakfast made by Charlie of eggs, fruit, and toast, we packed the camper back up, said goodbye to our Arizona friends, and started driving again. We had had a nice couple days of not much driving, but now we needed to get back on the road. Hoover Dam was our next destination.
On the way to Hoover Dam, we saw a great deal of desert. We stopped at an overlook on US 93 to view the Colorado River and Lake Mohave. One of the kids saw what we called a mountain goat just as we were getting out of the van. I was astonished at how good a mountain goat’s footing is. It was walking around on the side of a very steep, rocky cliff without a care in the world. We watched it for a while and read the signs at the overlook. Here we found out that these were actually called Desert Bighorn Sheep. They live on both sides of the highway and have had overpasses created especially for the sheep to travel back and forth. We had a great deal of fun watching them.
We finally reached Hoover Dam where we had to go through a vehicle inspection to make sure we weren’t going to blow up the dam and cause widespread destruction to all land downstream. After that, we were able to park and walk out on a bridge to view the dam. It was amazing to see such a marvelous work of engineering. One of the attendants at the vehicle inspection station explained to me that the dam was 726 feet high and 660 feet thick at its base. After walking out on the overlook bridge, we climbed back into the van and were able to drive over the top of Hoover Dam and view the underside of the bridge and the Colorado River. Wow!
We kept driving and drove to Las Vegas. After attempting some quick shopping on the outside of the city, we decided to try to see some of the outlandishness and lights of this crazy city. We drove around for a little bit and then decided to keep going. Las Vegas was not a place we wanted to WalMart camp. After driving around on the interstates and seeing some of the horrible billboards that were there, we decided that we wanted to get out of there as fast as possible and hopefully never return. I don’t know how people can even think about raising children in such a city when just driving around you see immoral signs.
We thought we would be able to drive a little farther and find a place to camp, but basically there is nothing. We found one exit that we thought may be possible, but it turned out to be just more casinos and such so we kept driving. We drove for another three hours before finding a place to stop in Barstow, CA. There is pretty much nothing between exit 1 in Primm, Nevada and Barstow, CA. You are driving through the Mojave Desert and may see a gas station every once in a while, but otherwise there is nothing. Of course, it was also pitch black while we were driving, so we weren’t able to see any of the views of the desert. We broke the “no driving at night so as not to miss the scenery” rule again.
When we finally pull into the WalMart in Barstow, we got the kids to bed without any problem. It was so quiet – the kids went to sleep immediately, including AnaClaire (who has been rather fussy at night several times but has been getting better with each passing night). Tomorrow we get to meet up with my brother, Rob, who lives in Pasadena.