Garmin Info with Maps
|Las Vegas trike|
We had such a fun time in Las Vegas but it was time to push on. We met really nice people, saw a terrific show and took care of all kinds of errands. Neither of us are gamblers so we walked away winners.
Las Vegas is very interesting to visit. There's no other place like it and trying to come up with a comparison city is impossible. The razzle dazzle is exciting and seeing the buildings that are so famous from television makes it seem so familiar. After a couple of days, I found the overwhelming excess starting to become too obvious and the sparkling veneer of the city became thinner and thinner. Las Vegas is a newer city built from the desolate desert sands in the middle of nowhere on the backs of casinos. It feels like a completely fake place where real people live, play and work. Las Vegas has grown into a very big city with everything that big cities have but it is still reliant on a constant stream of tourists from all over the world to leave their money behind. Las Vegas definitely has a boom or bust economy and the city was ground zero during the economic collapse. So many people came here during the boom years and, like most tourists visiting the casinos, ended up losing everything. The economy is now recovering and the boom has started once again.
|Leaving Las Vegas.|
We checked out of the Circus Circus and started riding out of the city. We found a good bike boulevard for today's short ride. There aren't a lot of towns outside of Las Vegas and we saw that going any further today would make for an uncomfortably long day. The ride was also not very interesting. Henderson really is just a suburb of Las Vegas. Another very new city. We have found casinos in Nevada usually offer cheaper rooms but this wasn't the case in Henderson. Since the ride was only 18 miles, we had lots of time to look at other alternatives. We ended up at a tired but clean room for $45. The reception lady's sister had unexpectedly died that morning. She was, not surprisingly, very upset. She only needed to rent out 2 rooms and she could close for the day. We were happy to be able to help her out. Maryann's room was large enough to fit both trikes.
|Not a safe road out of Henderson|
In the morning we went to a casino next door for breakfast before getting packed up and on the road. Getting out of Henderson we had to climb through a long construction zone. The last few hundred feet at the top felt very dangerous and we were lucky the traffic was patient. Even though the road was legal for bikes the road wasn't safe. The construction crews had put large cement barriers next to the fog line of the shoulder and we didn't have any room. I took photos thinking to write a nasty email to the Nevada Department of Transportation but I never did send it. The day was very windy mostly at our side through the hot dry desert. The scenery was barren with no places to stop and, after a descent into the desert, the road was a gradual climb for most of the day. From the summit the road turned and we had a screaming downhill with a huge tailwind into the small town of Searchlight. After 46 miles with 3,000 ft of climbing it was dark when we arrived in town. There's only one place to stay in Searchlight, the El Rey Motel. I had called earlier to make sure they had rooms and the guy just laughed. Yes, they had lots of rooms available. We got checked in for $40. This time I took both trikes into my room.
|Long road across the desert.|
|Still climbing at the end of the day|
|Famous 10 cent coffee|
The El Rey Motel is just a block from a casino that has a cafe which is famous for it's 10 cent cup of coffee. I figured they charged 10 cents for refills too but no, the coffee is only 10 cents. The breakfast was big enough for Maryann and I to share one order.
From Searchlight, the screaming tailwind continued and we had lots of downhill. Yahoo! We went through the nothing towns of Cal-Nev-Ari into Palm Gardens which is less than a mile from California. From there we turned onto Hwy 163 and the wind was strong at our side. We had a few miles of climbing and then a huge descent into Laughlin. It was a precarious ride with lots of sweeping turns. The strong wind gusted to 40 mph. On the trike this was actually fun. At the bottom Maryann yelled out 'Holy Schnikey!' which I thought summed up the ride perfectly. We crossed the Colorado River and took pictures of the Arizona border sign before turning to check out Davis Camp Park. This campground allows tents but didn't have anything out of the wind. The sites were next to the river in the soft sand. There wouldn't be anyway to stake the tents and I wasn't sure we could even get them up in the 30 mph wind. We decided to go into town and get a hotel. Motels in Bullhead City are more expensive than we have seen recently. The Desert Rancho hotel wasn't good but we got checked in for $50. It was run down and lots of strange people were living there. I had a downstairs room, and luckily, both trikes fit in it. This place didn't feel safe enough to leave the trikes outside and getting Maryann's trike upstairs would have been difficult. After settling in, we went out to find beer and ended up having a nice sushi dinner.
Screaming downhill to Laughlin
|Strong side wind and a big downhill|
|Welcome to Arizona, again!|
|Trikes sharing the hotel room.|
|Maryann struggles with a rear flat in Needles.|
|Needles on Route 66|
Leaving Bullhead City, we had another huge tailwind pushing us down Hwy 95 through Fort Mohave into Needles. Once we crossed the border into California the road surface improved hugely. The road was super smooth and was a big relief from the roads we had been on in Arizona. Route 66 runs through Needles and every business has a reference in the name or mural painted on the walls. Maryann had a rear flat just out of town and as we were getting started again, I saw that I also had a flat. We both had flats from tire wires in Needles, haha!
From Needles, we had to get on I-40 over a small pass. The road, again, was very smooth and we flew down the other side to the turn off for Pirates Cove campground. We set up our tents in a beautiful grassy area right on the Colorado River. Once the sun went down the temperature dropped. It was only 5pm and much too early to go into the tent. There was a group of girl scouts spending the night working on special badges. One badge was making a campfire. Wow did they get a good fire going! I went over after our dinner and enjoyed meeting them while warming up.
|View from our campsite at Pirate Cove.|
|Goodbye Terry skirt.|
In the morning we almost had a serious catastrophe. We were cooking oatmeal on the alcohol stove and the fuel had burned up. Maryann didn't realize I had refilled and lit the stove and she poured more alcohol onto the flame. It shot out so fast exploding down the table. This alcohol burns fast and hot. The small bag I use to keep utensils and my cycling skirt both caught fire and actually melted. We threw them to the ground and stamped them out. There are so many horrific stories of accidents using alcohol stoves on the trail. We were very lucky the wind was blowing down the table and not at either of us.
After our scare for the day, we got packed up for the ride into Havasu Lake City. A triker from BROL had invited us to stay with his family. We had to get back on I-40 riding about 19 miles to Hwy 95. Once we crossed into Arizona the road surface was terrible again. There was a long slow climb for the first 7 miles and then a gradual downhill the other side. Hwy 95 was really terrible. The road surface was rougher than I-40 and there wasn't enough room. I get so irritated when a road is legal for bikes but isn't made safe for bikes. Arizona really needs to step up and improve their roads. After crossing the border, we noticed lots more political billboards and bumper stickers. Mostly pro NRA and anti Obama or Obamacare. We even saw bumper stickers to impeach Hillary Clinton. As we were riding we felt like drivers were responding to us politically as well. Even though there was plenty of room for the cars and trucks, they would ride closer than they needed to and gun their engines as they went passed. It wasn't close enough to feel threatened but they certainly weren't going to move over the center line! It was like we were commie liberals simply because we were cycling. I had the feeling drivers were listening to political radio while driving. Just inside Lake Havasu we stopped at a Walmart for supplies. Here we saw shoppers with guns holstered to their shorts. I know it's legal but why would you need to bring a gun to shop at Walmart? It felt very political and antagonistic. This Walmart also sold guns. You can buy an AR15 or AK47 assault rifle along with your groceries. I've never been around guns and found it all to be quite shocking.
|View from the road and the surface was excellent|
|Ride into Lake Havasu|
|Bill from BROL|
We continued to our hosts home up the hill from the lake. Bill welcomed us warmly. He rides a trike and a Borealis velomobile. Bill lives with his parents and a very cute scottie dog, Skye. They have a very nice home with a view of Lake Havasu. The next day Bill drove us around Lake Havasu City to the London Bridge and the surrounding area. He also drove us down the road we would take next to show us what was ahead. His mom and dad, Donna and David, made us some wonderful meals. They were all very sweet. Donna also sent us off with a terrific pumpkin spice holiday bars she had made.
|Bill with his parents and Skye, the sweet 3 month old Scottie puppy.|