Sunday, March 17, 2019

Asses and Dams

Friday morning we decided not to stick around Havasu and to carry on. One place Chris had wanted to visit was a little town called Oatman about an hour further north. The original plan was to leave the trailer in Havasu and do a day trip, but looking at the map we figured that rather than backtrack, lets just take the trailer with us. It turns out the road was a little rougher and more windy than I would have liked, but we all survived it.
Oatman is an old mining town that had its heyday in the late 19th and early part of the 20th century. Like a lot of places in the southwest, it owes its existence to gold.
Oatmans attraction now is its artistic population and the descendants of the original burros that were left to run wild after the gold ran out. While technically still wild, they hang around town looking for handouts from the hundreds of visitors that come through here every day.

There are signs all over the place warning people to keep their distance but these things are so tame! I hear that they will bite and kick if they get annoyed though so there are signs all over the place warning people to give them their space.

Lots of places in town sell little food pellets so you can feed them. Somehow I don't think these things go hungry!

While climbing up the hill from the valley floor, we could see patches of orange flowers off in the distance. Once we got closer, I was able to pull off and see that they are Poppies. I'm not sure if they are California Poppies or Mojave Poppies though. There were quite a few large patches of them all over the hills. What with all the rain this winter, there is a full bloom going on.

After finishing up in Oatman we decided to press on to our next planned stop which was Henderson. Chris had found that we could stay at the Railroad Pass Casino for a few nights, so that is what we did. This would also position us nicely for Saturdays planned activity which was the Hoover Dam.
I had been there once before way back in the late 70's but didn't really remember too much of it so I was looking forward to it.
There have been a few changes to the dam in how they manage visitors. They have built a big new parkade and ramped up security a lot. We had to have the truck inspected just to get down the hill and then had to personally go through an airport style security check to get into the visitor centre. We had signed up for the powerhouse tour, so before starting that we were shown a short video on the history of the dam then about 70 of us all trouped into the elevators and were taken way down to the powerhouse.

This is the Nevada side power house. There is another one almost the same on the Arizona side.

The tours were pretty quick and ended up in the interpretive centre. There were a number of interesting displays there that we got to see and play with.

This photo depicts the construction of the dam. After the tours were done, we walked across the dam and back then back to the truck. The plan was to drive across the dam then up and take the new bridge back to Henderson. Apparently they have stopped allowing through traffic as, after crossing the bridge and driving back up the hill, the road was blocked off, so we had to turn around and drive back across in the other direction.

After that, we went back to the casino. We had made arrangements with friends Larry and Val Patterson to meet for dinner. Just before dinner, Chris and I headed over to sign up for their player cards and one of the benefits of that was a 2 for 1 at the buffet. While we were doing that, Larry and Val arrived and Larry signed up as well. Saturday night was prime rib night so we all pigged out on dead cow then headed back to the trailer for a night cap.
Today, after another 2 for 1 buffet, brunch this time, we packed up and moved to a temporary spot in North Las Vegas just across the street from Larry and Vals place. It is supposed to be BLM land so I hope we don't get rousted in the middle of the night. They had invited us for supper which was delish. After supper they took us downtown to Freemont Street. Man was it crowded! It was St Paddy's day so it was a sea of green but according to Larry, it is packed down here every night. We wandered around for about an hour, saw the LED light show and visited a couple of the shops before we all decided we had had enough. One thing we all were noticing was the amount of smoke on the street; not just cigarette but weed as well. It is legal here and a lot of it was being consumed.

After that, they drove us down the strip before heading back.
All in all a very busy and satisfying day.

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