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Durham, United Kingdom
October 27, 2003
First stop was the Hoover Dam. Right on Las Vegas' doorstep, spectacular, got some good photos, set our watches forward an hour, and set off across the desert. I liked the drive, as it turned out, with the long, straight roads and red-rock backdrop. We stopped in Kingman for a sandwich (not much to see here), then pressed on towards Flagstaff. This was about the time that the flaws in the "plan" started to become apparent. Basically, the road starts climbing, which my cursory glance at the map had not really taken account of very well. As the road climbed, the scenery continued to be impressive, but it started to get very cold outside. About 20 miles to go to Flagstaff, we noticed that there was snow lying by the side of the road. Needless to say, we weren't dressed for the event. Arriving in Flagstaff, we quickly checked into a Best Western (about $45, if I remember rightly) and tore down to a mall just outside of town to buy some warm clothes (jeans and fleeces).
We grabbed a quick bite, then headed back for an early night. Not much sleep, as it turned out, as the constant honking of the interstate rail freighters all night long put a stop to that. If you're not used to this type of thing, you might find it impossible to sleep through - like we did.
In the morning, it was even colder. It was also raining heavily. It was clear that the Painted Desert would be colder still. We headed back and stayed 2 nights in Bolder City, Nevada. Best decision we ever made.
Bolder City is neat, pleasant, has good places to eat, the lovely Lake Mead on its doorstep, and also the Hoover Dam. Which, after all, is the reason it exists at all. I'd recommend anyone who stays in Vegas to spend a couple of days there, just for the contrast. We stayed in a motel on the main junction in Bolder. Can't remember what it was called. There's a nice Chinese restaurant to its left, and a great Mexican to its right. You must eat your breakfast in the "Coffee Cup." It has a good atmosphere, food, and doubles as a shrine to Andre Agassi.
From journal Getting married in Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
October 26, 2002
Mt. Charleston is about two hours out of town (depending on which side of town you are on) and it is cool relief from the heat.
The lodge has decent food, a great view, and nice rooms for a weekend getaway. Many people have their wedding receptions there. A golf course, horseback riding, hiking and camping are also available.
Bonnie Springs is at Spring Mountain State Ranch Park. It was one of the first ranch houses in the area and you can tour the house and the grounds, listening to what it was like to live in Nevada over one humdred years ago. A petting zoo, and an "old west" town with "gunfights" are nice diversions (a little hokey but not a horrible way to spend a few hours). As you drive there, you might see some wild burros, or a bighorn sheep.
In the summer, there are outdoor theater performances at Spring Mountain Ranch.
From journal Living in Las Vegas