Vegas via Grand Canyon West to Needles,CA

Trip Start Mar 14, 2007
Trip End Jun 12, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Saturday, April 21, 2007

19/04/07 - Zion to Mesquite - Best laid plans. Intended to drive through Zion NP to the "North Rim" of the Grand Canyon. But I was told that the North Rim was closed until 15th May 2007. So unfortunately, I had to give Zion a miss and pick up the Grand Canyon, later, on the West Side.
Headed towards Las Vegas and stopped off at Mesquite. (mess-keet)
Part of this place is in both Nevada and Arizona, and they observe "Mountain Time" (which means an hour behind Zion) It has 6 golf courses and as many Casinos, together occupying more square miles than the rest of the town. Which makes it quite a small place and a more densely populated golf area than Myrtle Beach! (which won't mean a lot to some of you, sorry) Tried to play "Falcon Ridge" and "Wolfcreek" but there were no times available. Ended up playing "Palms GC" with Ken, Jerry, and Larry. (See photos). 4 birdies, 1 eagle, 1 double bogey, 7 pars and 5 bogeys, (that makes me +1). Weather warm with a slight cooling breeze.

20/04/07 - Arriving in Las Vegas - Left Mesquite @ 6.00am and arrived in Vegas @ 7.30 (80 miles). After surfing the web for an hour (in a hotel car park) searching golf courses and prices, I made my way to "Painted Desert" - but no availability until 13.30. So ended up at Palm Valley GC. (+4)
(Whilst I remember I need a new 3 & 5 wood anyone any ideas?)

I guess that many of you who haven't been to Vegas, think of it has dry, hot, flat and in the middle of nowhere (an oasis in the desert). Not today, even though it is the driest city in the US, it must have been waiting for me to arrive before it rained on one of its 26 days of the year! Also, the city has grown so much over the years that now many of the Golf courses are situated in the hills overlooking the city. As for its remoteness, it is no different from any other city in this part of the world. So, having paid $100 for a round of golf that would have cost $30 in Phoenix I decided to drive down Las Vegas Boulevard (the "Strip").
What possessed me I know not, but I'm glad I did. Surprisingly, I didn't see any other RV's doing the same! But what a dump, this city is, certainly no Oasis! And it's very, very false - I didn't even see a tribute to the 747 in "Con Air" which landed on the strip!)
I guess it's a city to see and do, at night - "Bright lights, Soho, Wardour Street, I hope you make friends with the guys that you meet" - with friends, Bachelor or Bachelorette Party. No place for me, I've come to learn that these kind of venues present "dangerous situations".
There are too many people and too many temptations for my addictive personality. Which reminds me, speaking to the guys I played golf with yesterday, most people in this area love Casinos and in England, this habit would be classed as an "addiction" - a mental illness - the like of which would require counselling! And I think it would drive me to alcoholism.
I did intend to stay for 2 weeks, but I'm Leaving Las Vegas tomorrow. As you can see I wasn't impressed and as such I will remember Vegas as "a boulevard of broken dreams".
"Viva Las Vegas!"

21/04/07 - Vegas to California (via Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon West (GWC)) - 272 miles. Set off through Boulder City (high contrast to Vegas -only 25 miles south, clean and subtle)
All the brochures tell you the directions, bit they don't tell you the road conditions. GWC has only been open 3 weeks(so i guess i'm one of the first eurpoeans to visit) , and there is a stretch of road 14 miles long between Dolan Springs and GWC, which is unmade. The brochures don't tell you that. So I ask and they tell me that until that stretch of road (which is "reservation" property and not "county" property) reaches a certain volume nothing will be done. I also find out that prior to opening, 36 vehicles passed through per day, now its 1200! (They will begin "re-surfacing" in June - so much for being a pioneer!)
The cost is understandable ($49.95 to enter and $25 to walk the "skywalk"- plus tax approx 40); they want to recover their development costs.
In 12 months, I guess the cost will go down to $20 all-inclusive and photos allowed from the skywalk. But by then, all the dangerous overlooks will have been fenced off. Currently you can commit suicide, or accidentally fall or feel really vulnerable, without notice, which is more intimidating and a bigger adrenaline rush than the skywalk, and its free!. (Good things never last). And it's another, "I've been there and done that"
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