Photo: Slot machines inside the Golden Nugget Casino, Las Vegas.
From Oatman, Arizona, we took a dirt road for ten miles over to Bullhead City, Nevada, on the Colorado River. We had been talking to my sister, Lisa, about meeting her and her family at her place in Tulum, on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, so we stopped into Walmart at Bullhead City where there was supposed to be a travel agency. It turned out the travel agency had moved two years ago.
Photo: The Tri-State area, where we entered and exited the state several times, eventually heading west into Death Valley, California.
When we returned to our truck, in the Walmart parking lot, there was a Mexican guy trying to brake into an older model Cadillac. We could see he was having trouble so we offered him a couple of devices to aid his efforts. Nothing was working until Janice decided to stick her arm through the two inch crack at the top of the window.
Then the extra loud car alarm went off…
No matter what the guy did he couldn’t get it to stop. I flagged down another guy in a pickup, who had a wrench, and he disconnected the battery terminal. We gave the Mexican guy, an off-duty chef, a ride to his house so that he could recruit his roommate to help him resolve the situation. He was very grateful, offering to make us dinner. We refused because it would have meant having to stick around Bullhead City all day and we were staying in Needles, California, about twenty miles down the road. On the way home, Janice and I were chuckling about the fact that we never even asked him if the car was his in the first place.
I bit into a plum last week and somehow hit the pit, breaking the end off of it – the pit, not the tooth. It’s a different tooth than I had had shaved off in Algadones. After the plum incident the tooth was super sensitive and I couldn’t chew on it. By Wednesday morning the pain was getting severe. I searched ‘dentists’ on the internet and got an appointment for noon the same day, back in Bullhead City.
We pulled up camp at Needles, just across the state line, and moved to the Snowbird RV Park in Bullhead City, Nevada. We hastily set up camp there and I was in the dentist’s chair half an hour later.
The dentist x-rayed the tooth and said that I had cracked it. It was a goner. Of course when he tried to pull it, it broke. He dug and gouged and drilled and yanked and, finally, the rest of the tooth gave up. It was a bottom tooth, near the back, and helped anchor my partial so; it will be an issue to deal with when we get home. Luckily it didn’t result in a gap-toothed smile.
Following the dentist visit we found a travel agency and booked our flights to-and-from Tulum, for April 9 through 17. We’ll be flying out of Vegas, with stopovers, both ways, in Atlanta.
With my mouth still frozen from the dentist, I decided to try slurping a cup of Chili at the Mad Dog Saloon while Janice dug into a chicken burger. After lunch we went for a short tour of Laughlin. The towns that make up civilization here: Needles, California; Bullhead City, Arizona and Laughlin, Nevada are called the Tri-State Area.
The dentist had given me a prescription for pain killers and I was sure happy that Janice talked me into filling it because later, when the freezing came out, the wound started screaming bloody blue murder.
The trouble was, the prescription for Lorcet Plus, which is some kind of narcotic mixed with Acetaminophen, hardly touched the pain. I was awake most of the night popping another pill every couple of hours, to no avail. Thursday morning it was still very sore so I called the dentist, asking if I could take two of the painkillers at once. He said to go ahead, and to take four Ibuprofen at the same time. I did. The pain was gone ten minutes later.
We pulled up camp and headed across the river to the Avi Hotel and Casino, which has a large RV Park and a big pool complex at the hotel. RV Park customers are welcome to use the pools. By mid-afternoon the mercury had climbed to ninety-seven degrees so those pools were surely a welcome feature.
We had to walk through the casino to get to the pool otherwise we never would have stepped inside. I can’t stand casinos for two reasons: 1. The clatter of noise. 2. Because I loathe the idea of handing over my money to people a thousand times richer than I am.
Photo: The pools at the Avio Casino.
Today, Friday morning, is April 1. We left the Avi Casino and took Route 66 bound for Williams, Arizona, which is less than an hour’s drive from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It should be about twenty degrees cooler there.
At this point we took a trip to Arizona for a few days, visiting the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Those events are chronicled in the Arizona blog.
As soon as we returned from Arizona, setting up once again at the Avi Casino and RV Park, I went to the clubhouse to check our email. There was one from a certain Vince Croswell of Kamloops. Vince is the brother of our good friend Howard Croswell, and his wife Leia, whom we’ve known well for fifteen years or more. Howard and Leia are from Barriere but they house-sit Vince and, and his wife Maureen’s, townhome in Kamloops while they winter in Mexico.
Anyway, months earlier, Howard had told me that Vince would like to receive this blog, so I put him on the list when we left. Over the years we’ve been to two of Vince and Maureen’s houses for dinners with Howard and Leia. We’ve also been to their cabin at East Barriere Lake. We knew a lot about their lives but, still, we’d never met them.
Vince’s email to me said that they were enjoying the blog and that they were in Laughlin, on there way back from Mexico. I emailed back and said we were near there, at the Avi Casino. Would they like to meet?
When I got back to the trailer Janice was standing talking to the neighbour, who turned out to be none other than Vince. Unbeknownst to us, he and Maureen had been set up right beside us! We sat and had happy hour with them and a couple of their friends, from Kamloops and Vernon, whom they’d travelled to Mexico with. They were all going to the two-for-one meal at the Casino but I had to decline because the dental work was still really sore. I’m still on Yogurt, bananas, V8 Juice, muffins, scrambled eggs and pasta.
We had another prolonged meeting with Vince and Maureen in the morning. What a small world, and how amazing we would end up in exactly the same place, side by side, so far from home.
Photo: Vince, Maureen, and us.
While Vince and Maureen are headed to San Francisco to see some friends, we pulled up stakes for Pahrump Nevada. Yes, that’s right, Pahrump. I asked Janice how she thought Pahrump might have come by its’ name. Without a hiccup she replied, “Well it’s from Pahrump Pa Pum Pum, of course.” The truth, apparently, is that it’s a native word and its’ meaning has something to do with water under the ground.
Anyway, we set up at the Preferred RV Park right behind Terrible’s Casino. Pahrump is an hour either way between Vegas and Death Valley, so it’s a good base for a few days before we fly out to Tulum.
Wednesday morning in Pahrump we woke to cloudy skies, so we decided to put off our trip to Death Valley until the next day. Our hot water heater was making a funny noise anyway so it was an opportune time to give the Mobile RV Repair Guy a call. He arrived before noon and replaced the check-valve. Cost $72.00. It’s always a good idea to ask in the RV Parks if there is a mobile RV guy around because they work cheaper than the dealers, and usually come recommended, or not.
Because we’re only taking carry-ons on the plane to Tulum, we went and got Janice a used one at the thrift store. We spent the rest of the afternoon getting a few more details in order for the trip.
Photo: An unidentified cactus at the Preferred RV Park in Pahrump. The blooms are six to eight inches across.
We made a trip to California’s Death Valley the next day but those events are chronicled in the California blog.
I thought I had better get this blog off today because tomorrow evening we’ll be flying out to Tulum, via Las Vegas, where we’ll spend most of the day. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to take the computer. If I don’t it’ll be ten days or so until the next blog.
In order to avoid paying the full rate while we were away we had to move our trailer to the storage area at the RV Park. We hooked up bright and early. Janice was inside readying things and I was unhooking the trailer, which I’ve probably done a hundred or more times on this trip, always without a hitch. This time though I had forgotten to block the wheels. The trailer was on a slight incline and as soon as the hitch came clear of the ball, the trailer starting rolling backwards. It happened so fast there wasn’t a thing I could do. Luckily there was a sturdy chain-link fence a couple of feet behind the trailer. It was able to absorb the impact of the trailer’s weight without damage. Janice was suitably impressed of course but we were both happy it happened there, not where we’d been parked lakeside or near a steep hill or drop-off. If the incline had been the opposite way I could have been pinned between the trailer and the truck. Lucky us!
We took the hour’s drive to Vegas, where the partying starts early. Many people were walking the streets, drink in hand, at 11:00am. We went for lunch at PF Chang’s and then strolled along The Strip before catching a bus to Freemont Street and The Old Strip.
Photo: Party girls on The Strip dancing disco at noon – well on their way to a wild day, no doubt. What happens in Vegas…
Photo: The gondola at the Venetian Hotel.
Photo: Freemont Street; the Old Strip.
We spent about eight hours wandering the streets, our last stop being the new Aria Hotel, where we had parked the truck, for a drink. The hotel is enormous and has a bunch of bars. The first one we stopped in, as we looked around, looked to be pretty swanky. There were a few guys that looked to be high rollers sitting next to us at the bar and I overheard something about “Laying down $500,000.00.” I asked the bartender if we were at the expensive bar and he confirmed that, “Yes, you’ll pay double here. There‘s another bar just down the hall to the left.” I thanked him for the information and we ducked into the cheaper bar.
Janice had a glass of house wine and I had a bar scotch – $24.50. With tip, just about thirty bucks. We were happy we’d inquired at the previous bar.
Photo: A drive-by parting shot of The Strip as we headed for the airport.
Following ten days in Tulum, Mexico, we landed back in Vegas about 11:00pm and drove the hour back to Pahrump. We crashed immediately and slept like logs. The events of the Tulum trip are related in the Tulum blog.
The two days we spent in Pahrump after our return from Tulum were pretty quiet. The first morning we went for a big breakfast at Terrible’s Casino, right behind our RV Park, where I had two eggs, two pancakes and five strips of bacon for just $2.99. Of course Janice had to blow the budget and had bacon and eggs with toast and hash browns for $3.99.
We toured Pahrump a little more, discovering it’s also the home to a large penitentiary, and then spent time lazing around the pool in the afternoon. The pool’s dome had come down while we were in Tulum, which means: It’s Spring! In the pool we played Pig in the Middle with a couple of twelve-year-old twins. We won.
It was sunny and hot as we left Nevada. We took 178, south, through Shashone, California, and then hooked up with Interstate 15, eventual destination; Yosemite…