Familiar places and faces

Las Vegas Travel Blog

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Andy Devine Street in Kingman, AZ
Last night our computer had me ready to tear out what little hair I have left.  It kept getting slower and slower.  The cursor jumps all over the place when one is typing and it is very frustrating.  Our internet connection was not the best, but the faults are with the 'puter itself.

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.
View of now populated Golden Valley outside Kingman
  I do not remember, but I will take his word.  I just remember
El Trovatore just down the street. 

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.
"Sam and Mira" join Bubbie on dock at Willow Beach
  There was very little there during our time.

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.
Willow Beach Marina on the Colorado River
  However, when I checked with Roada, I found the marina was 30 miles from the main highway.  We just did not want to drive that far.  Temple Bar was used by my old boss, Georgie, as her take-out after river trips during the late 1950's, the 60's and the early 1970's.  I never did get to see that place - by the time I began rafting with her in 1977, she had shortened the trip and took out at Pearce Ferry.  Instead we went down to
Willow Beach on the Colorado River below Hoover Dam.  It is a beautiful place with many ducks and coots swimming and diving in the river.  The water is so clear you can see the fish swimming close to shore.  There was a gorgeous male teal swimming with the mallards.  It is the first time I have ever seen one in the wild.  There were many boats at the marina and people were having a great time boating and fishing.
Beautifully colored male teal
  We went over to the fish hatchery at the end of the road.  The numbers of trout and carp being raised there are phenomenal.

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.
Ajja, "Sam and Mira" at fish hatchery
  As always, the area around the dam is crowded with tourists (including us).  Jag didn't want to pay for parking, but it was our best choice in the hot weather.  We were going to visit the museum, but the security turned up Jag's pocket knife.  I thought he was going to go back to the car and leave it there, then return to the museum so that we could check it out.  I waited and waited.  No Jag.  He finally showed up and had decided he didn't want to pay for the entry into the exhibits.  I was so frustrated I could have caused quite a scene.  He was testy for quite some time, claiming he told me he did not intend to see the place.  I did not bother to go in alone because I do not enjoy doing things without him.

The drive next took us down the hill to
Lake Mead and the National Recreation Area.
"Sam, Mira" and Bubbie near sculptures at Hoover Dam
  Jag spotted the sign that said "Fee Area" and was ready to turn around.  I reminded him of the pass we have that gets us in for free.  Whew!  We wanted to sit down for a picnic lunch and found they have thoughtfully provided shaded picnic areas.  It gets so hot in the summer and those covers probably help save lives. 

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.
Close-up of new bridge construction: see beginning of the concrete arch?
  It is so delightful to be with them.  They make us feel right at home.

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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Andy Devine Street in Kingman, AZ
Andy Devine Street in Kingman, AZ
View of now populated Golden Valle…
View of now populated Golden Vall…
Sam and Mira join Bubbie on dock…
"Sam and Mira" join Bubbie on doc…
Willow Beach Marina on the Colorad…
Willow Beach Marina on the Colora…
Beautifully colored male teal
Beautifully colored male teal
Ajja, Sam and Mira at fish hatch…
Ajja, "Sam and Mira" at fish hatc…
Sam, Mira and Bubbie near sculpt…
"Sam, Mira" and Bubbie near sculp…
Close-up of new bridge constructio…
Close-up of new bridge constructi…
Mural on wall of Mohave County Mus…
Mural on wall of Mohave County Mu…
Tailings from the old Duval copper…
Tailings from the old Duval coppe…
Winding road leading to Willow Bea…
Winding road leading to Willow Be…
Descriptive sign at Willow Beach
Descriptive sign at Willow Beach
Carp seen in the very clear river
Carp seen in the very clear river
Oasis of palm trees at Willow Beach
Oasis of palm trees at Willow Beach
Cute coot
Cute coot
Mommy Mallard takes a bath
Mommy Mallard takes a bath
Male teal and two companions
Male teal and two companions
Pair of mallards eat algae off roc…
Pair of mallards eat algae off ro…
Looking downstream at Colorado Riv…
Looking downstream at Colorado Ri…
Just a few of the thousands of fis…
Just a few of the thousands of fi…
The new bridge being built over Bl…
The new bridge being built over B…
Shore of Lake Mead near picnic area
Shore of Lake Mead near picnic area
Las Vegas
photo by: maka77