April 19th - 23rd
Enroute to Hoover Dam on US 93. It went on forever in a straight line.
Hoover Dam - a view from the top.
Beautiful Lake Mead which was created by Hoover Dam. Notice the drop in water level.
London Bridge re-erected in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Laughlin, Nevada welcome sign at the head of town.
John was up almost all night because Sissy wasn't with him. He made the best of it though, and was looking forward to meeting her in Las Vegas on the 25th. Hooking up took longer than usual and it took 2 tries to get the bike inside the trailer.
Update on Sissy - her plane was unable to land in Baltimore, Maryland due to weather and was diverted to Detroit, Michigan. The airlines provided a hotel room at the Sheraton complete with a coupon for dinner. Both she and Jerry flew to Baltimore the next morning and drove to Virginia Beach in a rain storm. They made it to the hospital first thing to see their sister who was still hanging onto life.
John made it to Kingman after about a 2 hour trip through the mountains and desert. Kingman, centrally located to several sights and only about 130 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada, was a perfect place for him to spend 5 days awaiting Sissy's return. The trip was not the same without Sissy being there to enjoy it also, but John tried to stay busy doing laundry, cooking for himself, taking pics, chatting with the locals and riding the bike.
John's trip to Hoover Dam began about 0700 on Saturday. With leathers on, he headed out of town and north on US 93 which went on forever in a straight line. With mountains at either end and flat desert in the middle, the 80 mile ride went well despite the 50ish temperature.
Navajo Indians were selling their wares at a scenic view pull off so John took the opportunity to buy Sissy a gift. After the negotiations were over, he snapped some pics of the mountains, canyons and river before continuing onto Hoover Dam. At the dam, there were police checkpoints at either end. All commercial and recreational vehicles were searched for bombs but the traffic went smoothly.
Hoover Dam was a sight to behold, and plenty of tourists did just that. The viewpoints of the lower portion of the dam were closed off due to security, but plenty of pics were taken from the upper portion. John also took the side trip to Lake Mead taking pics all along the way.
It was time to thaw out and take a nap after returning from the long bike ride so that's exactly what happened. A neighbor, Ron, banged on the camper door but left after being ignored. A short while later other campers began arriving and John met Bill and Janet from California. They were on their way to Flagstaff and the surrounding area for a week before returning home. We all spent the afternoon and early evening chatting, talking about future plans and Sissy.
Sunday morning it was up bright and early so as not to miss breakfast with Bill and Janet. They were leaving (toward Flagstaff) and were wanting to go eat before hitting the road. We left the campground and headed for Cracker Barrel just down the street. We exchanged personal information and made a date to see them at their home in La Mirada, California when Sissy returned and after our Las Vegas visit. After breakfast John headed back to the campground to get the bike and ride to Lake Havasu City, Arizona (60 miles away) to visit London Bridge.
The trip (down I40 and then US 95) was wonderful but a little windy and chilly. Lake Havasu City is only about 575 feet in elevation so the farther John went the warmer it got. By the time he arrived, the leather jacket came off while he was stopped. London Bridge was hard to find because the signs were not visible to the out of town traveler. After asking directions from a local drug store clerk, the bridge could have slapped him in the face. Well anyway, the bridge was there with all kinds of tourist traps around it. There was no really good place to take pics unless you were staying in one of the many condos nearby. It kinda reminded John of Waterside in Norfolk because there was a marina, and boats traveled underneath the bridge all day long.
On the way back, John stopped at a rest area to pee and a biker from the Black Mountain Riders pulled up. He looked like a throwback from the 60's with his ponytail, beard, earrings, tattoos, calf-skin vest, patches, pins, limp and all. John looked for the 1% patch, but didn't find one so he felt safe. Anyway, the trip back went well and John drove down the historic Route 66 to the campground. Shortly thereafter, it was a trip to the swimming pool (he was the only person there) and then a bath for the bike at the local car wash. A shower for John was next and then chilling out until Sissy called.
Monday was a planned work and relaxation day with browsing at the local Harley Davidson dealer first on the agenda. The Kingman dealership recently moved to a new location (Thursday) and the building was huge. John purchased some gifts for Sissy and a T for himself, and then it was grocery shopping next (did he have his priorities in order or what). The local Wal-Mart wasn't a Super Wal-Mart so John headed for the Big K-Mart and accomplished that task. Dropping the vittles off at the trailer and changing clothes, John filled the bucket up with water and headed for the local car wash. Yup, it was bath time for the truck to get the dust and bugs off.
Ok, the work part was over and it was time to tip and few with Ron and Joyce (from Illinois) and dip a few times in the campground pool. Unlike yesterday, the pool already had some folks in it including Jerry and his wife (Mary) from Monterey, California. Jerry, a retired Captain from the Monterey Sheriff's Department, was in Kingman for the Laughlin River Run scheduled to kick off on Wednesday. Most of the folks in the campground were also here for the LRR. The campground began to fill up with Harleys and biker wanna-bees like John.
On Tuesday morning Sissy woke John up at 0345 local time (0645 Virginia Beach time) to chat and give him kisses and "I love you's." John didn't mind that at all because he really missed Sissy being with him on the trip. Next it was coffee and getting ready for a bike ride to Laughlin before the heat of the day arrived. Laughlin was about 15 degrees warmer than Kingman during the day, and Kingman was in the upper 80's.
This year, the locals expected about 50,000 bikes to participate in the River Run (a week long event similar to Daytona Bike Week, Sturgis and Laconia Bike Week though not as large). John was leaving for Las Vegas Wednesday morning, so he wanted to get to Laughlin on Tuesday. He figured there would be plenty of bikes already, and the locals advised him on Monday that the vendors had already begun setting up.
John's ride to Laughlin and Bull Head City (just across the Colorado River) was very pleasant through the mountains from Kingman. There was very little traffic, and once off I40 (75 MPH) the 55 MPH speed limit was just right. Laughlin was somewhat of a disappointment however, because John thought it would be larger. Very few bikes were on the road, the campgrounds were about half full, and the strip was only about 10 blocks long. And, besides the hotels and casinos, there was very little there including vendors! In any event, John decided to get breakfast at the Pioneer ($5.95 buffet), and then get some pics before heading back to Kingman.
All photographs are Copyright @ 2002 - 2008 by John T. VanderHeiden.
For information concerning your usage of any photographs, please see our User Agreement.