Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Day 5 - Kingman to Death Valley

Millie and I spent the night at a KOA in Kingman, Arizona. This was Millie's second night at an Arizona KOA and she was not too happy about the desert doggie bathroom facilities! But she finally learned to poop on gravel.

Today, we drove north of Kingman into Nevada, passing over the Hoover Dam on our way to Las Vegas and then up to Death Valley. I hadn't been to the Hoover Dam since before 9/11, and wow, what a change. They are finishing up a gigantic engineering project to build a 4-lane highway bypass way above and behind the dam (you can see the bridge supports in the background).

It seems within a year or so, you will no longer be able to drive across the dam, which is a shame, because it is really cool. But since 9/11, they've had sheriff guards doing vehicle inspections at stops on both sides of the dam. At least the guards have a sense of humor. When I stopped, the guard told me his partner wanted to check out my "love wagon"! Not for national security reasons, but just simply another T@B gawker wanting to take a look at my trailer! Too funny!

Once I reached Vegas, I stopped at a Super Wal-Mart to get some groceries and provisions for going to Death Valley. Something about that name just makes you want to buy 2 tons of food, water, and supplies before you go there! Saw lots of gaudy-looking old ladies at the Wal-Mart. Vegas Wal-Marts must really attract them more than other towns-- these gals all had fancy hairdo's bright red lipstick and lots of big fake rings and jewelry on....to go to Wal-Mart!

The drive from Vegas to Death Valley is sheer desolation. Nothing visually attractive or interesting about the Nevada desert. That must be why there are so many bomb testing ranges there, and prisons.

Fortunately, as you cross the border from Nevada into California and drive down into the large expanse of Death Valley, the landscape becomes far more interesting and unusual. Death Valley is the lowest, hottest, and driest spot in all of North America, and I arrived just in time for a rain storm!

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