Familiar places and faces
Las Vegas Travel Blog› entry 52 of 59 › view all entries
October 21st, 2008 – by: jagnroz
This morning was cool and clear. October is one of the few times Kingman is pleasant. The motel is being upgraded (I hope). It really needs work. Things are falling apart and certainly do not come up to the standards of Quality Inns elsewhere. Jag thinks we stayed at this place or one in the same location just prior to moving into our house in Kingman back in 1969.
As we drove through town, memories of our past came bubbling up. In some ways Kingman has not changed. The old landmarks are still there for the most part. The Mohave County Museum has at least doubled in size and has a nice mural on one outside wall. Although we left this town in 1971, it still feels familiar - like an old relative you haven't seen in years. One thing for sure: Kingman has grown quite a bit. The area past the I-40 overpass in the eastern part of town is now covered with new construction - mainly motels and the attendant tourist services.
As we headed north we could see the incredible growth of Golden Valley. There was nothing there 38 years ago except a shack selling land and a few ramshackle trailers. The highway is a pleasure to drive, but Jag stuck to the speed limit like glue. We both remembered the nasty Arizona Highway Patrol officers. They stop out-of-staters with very few excuses.
We thought we might drive out to the Temple Bar Marina on Lake Mead while on our way to Las Vegas.
Back on Highway 93 and on to Hoover Dam. We wanted to see how much progress had been made on the huge bridge being built to get traffic off the dam itself. It will make the drive much faster and probably less dangerous, if they ever finish (the project is at least a year behind schedule). The road curves leading from the Arizona side of the dam to the dam itself are sharp and the road is steep. I suspect there have been many accidents in the past. The water level of Lake Mead is still down a great deal. From one angle it looks as if one of the penstocks was high and dry. It wasn't, thank goodness. I so remember the days in 1983 when the water was so high it was flowing down the spillways on each side of the dam, roaring and churning and throwing up such big waves we were all wishing Georgie could launch her boat for a ride down and through them.
The drive next took us down the hill to Lake Mead and the National Recreation Area.
After lunch we left for Las Vegas and the familiar faces of our dear friends, Baba and Clara Vichare. They live in the far western part of Las Vegas and, for once, we missed the main commute time. Last time we came for a visit we got caught in that mess - just like another Phoenix or Los Angeles. Clara is looking better than I had expected after her lung cancer surgery and chemotherapy. Baba now seems almost fully recovered from a serious heart problem resulting in bypass and pacemaker surgery.
Baba, Jag and I went out for dinner at the Red Rock Casino, a new place in this part of town. It is huge and we got ourselves turned around and confused looking for the restaurant in the casino. Clara is still not up to going out where there are masses of people. The place was very busy. As the restaurant was somewhat short-handed, it took quite some time for a waitress to take our orders and serve our dinner. Jag and I both had Cobb salad. It was one of the best I have ever had. After dinner, I threw away some money in the slot machines. Jag wanted to play craps, but the minimum bet was $10. I guess the days of the $1 and $2 bets are long gone. We returned home instead. Speaking for myself, I am pooped. It was a busy day and a lot of fun. However it is late now and I want to sleep. I will try to post photos to this entry tomorrow morning.
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