Saturday, March 29, 2014

What a difference 24 hours makes - Vegas, Death Valley, a movie location and SNOW!

March 26 Davis Country Campground - Bullhead City - $27 with power and water

We left Sedona on a different highway than we came on and saw more amazing red rock formations on the way to the Village of Oak Creek. Sedona was definitely been a highlight for me. We are on the Colorado River again across from Laughlin. We can see Casino buildings across the river through the cloud of dust that we travelled in today due to very high winds. Saw more parts of the Mongollon Rim which I will need to do some internet research on. Part of our travels today were on another section of historic Route 66. It was only 9C in Flagstaff and with the wind felt much colder. Jeans, socks and shoes today. By the time we climbed from 4300 to 7300 ft then dropped to 400 ft here in Bullhead City, it was up to 24C. 4 days ago we were on the Colorado River on the California side looking over to Arizona. Today we are on the Colorado River again, but on the Arizona side looking over to Nevada.

 March 27 Indian Springs Casino parking lot- $0
We drove through Las Vegas - and I do mean right down Casino Row past the Venetian, Bally's, the Bellagio. Daryl had read about free RV parking in behind Bally's but it was just a crowded parking lot so we headed off. Hit a outlet mall for a few hours and then continued on to Indian Springs north of Vegas. We had chicken fried steak for dinner at the small Casino. This town has 2 gas stations, a hotel with $20 rooms and a casino. When we left for dinner there were a few truckers and a few RVs. When we finished dinner the lot was pretty full so I guess this is a popular stop. Tomorrow morning we will enter Death Valley from the East Gate. Marach 28 BLM Lands Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA - $0 Short night as the freight trucks around us start up their engines early; like 4 AM. We were on the road at 7:45 and entered Death Valley National Park around 9 AM. It really does have an amazing variety of scenery. We drove to Badwater and the lowest point in North America; 282 ft below sea level.

Temperature changed dramatically too. It was only 7C as we neared the park, but as we descended to sea level and lower, it went up to 22C. Still cool for late March. Highest ever recorded temperature was 134F.
Leaving the park was a stressful drive as we climbed up to 5000 ft, descended to 1000 ft then again climbed to 5000 ft on a narrow road without pulloffs. Hard on the truck and driver and the steep grade downhill had me putting on the brakes even though I wasn't driving! I don't think we would take this route again.

 Our next camping spot is near the small town of Lone Pine, on a BLM site called Alabama Hills. Really spectacular scenery here and Holllywood has filmed several movies over the years. The wind is up still so it's a little cool as the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains have snow on them.   We have an amazing camping spot and the dogs are able to be off leash as there are no other campers in the vicinity. This afternoon we watched rock climbers across the valley using binoculars. It was a pleasantly warm day and overnight temps were mild too.

March 29th Super 8 - Lake Tahoe - $65
We left the BLM land and headed towards Reno with the plan to stay in a Casino Parking Lot in Stateline. which is near Lake Tahoe. This took us over mountain passes up to 8,000 ft elevation and temps down to 3C. As we followed directions to the Casino, we realized at the point of no return, that we had a problem; Stateline is over another mountain pass and the temperatures dropped to -1C and by the time we got near the Casino it was snowing. There are no RV parks open at this time of year, so I decided a motel was the way to go tonight. Snow is contenting to fall as I write.

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