"I don't want to know what lives in that hole."

Trip Start Feb 22, 2006
Trip End May 2006

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Wednesday, March 8, 2006

"I don't want to know what lives in that hole. I don't want to see what lives in that hole."

Las Vegas, Nevada
March 5th, 2006

Lake Mead, Nevada
March 6th and 7th, 2006

Cedar City, Utah
March 8th, 2006

Rejected Titles:
And he said "Dam it!" So they did.
100 Years of Solitude (well, it seems like it)
Ocean's 1 (well, that would make two. So really it's just Ocean)
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

My camera and I aren't speaking. Not only did I miss a chance to take pictures of the javelinas, but as I was leaving the Grand Canyon, I saw FOUR moose. They were eating grass right next to the road and didn't pay me any attention. It would have been the perfect photo op. I've never seen moose before, after all!!! But, no. Stinky-McStink-Stink camera decides it's too cold to work. Bastard. I was this close to tossing it over the South Rim.
Anyway, I got on the highway and headed west (still) to the Hoover Dam. Insert some dam joke here. Lots of people visit the Hoover Dam. I mean, it was packed. Go figure. But it is pretty amazing. It sits right across the dividing line between Nevada and Arizona, so one of the towers on the dam has a clock for the Mountain Time zone and the other has a clock for the Pacific Time zone. Exciting stuff, I know. There's a monument for all the people that died to build the dam, and one to commemorate J. Edgar Hoover, who the dam was obviously named after. There are all kinds of tours and souvenirs to buy...but I didn't need those to tell me that a crap load of water moves through that thing.
It was a pretty sight amongst the mountains and the weather was beautiful. So, I took a bunch of pictures and headed over the dam to Boulder City. There weren't any hotels in my price range there, so I drove the extra few miles to Vegas. Vegas is insane, let me tell you. I guess I had a brain fart because I was driving along the strip, wondering why so many people where around. Surely there can't be that many tourists here year round. But, DUH! It's spring break. And I guess I was lucky to get a hotel room for cheap since a tidal wave of psycho frat boys was about to descend on the city.
I mean, I left my room like once that afternoon to get something from my car only to be greeted by two drunk boys carrying bottles of Jose Cuervo. "Happy Arbor Day," they said. Uh...yeah. Vegas should not be ventured upon alone.
So, I spent the night in to watch the Oscars. Or should I say "any excuse to mention George Clooney." Seriously, he was like the centerpiece for the show. Which isn't necessarily bad. And Russell! Russell was there to talk about biopics. John Stewart did an excellent job. That joke about Bjork not being able to make it because Dick Cheney shot her was hilarious. And those campaign commercials were freaking great.
But enough about the Oscars.
I spent two nights in the lower campground at Echo Bay on Lake Mead. To be honest, it was kind of junky. The view of the Lake was great, and the water is crystal clear. But it's got a RV park, a permanent (and crappy) resident area, and a "resort" (really it looked like one of those dirty seafood restaurants). A lot of the hills and mountains that I hiked in were scattered with litter. But the marina was pretty. It had a floating store with food, clothes and boat rentals (I almost rented a boat but it was little out of my price range). I met this lady named Sheri who worked there. She pretty much told me her life story while she fed the ducks and fish. (Oh my God! The fish were scary! They were like a foot or two long and there were like a MILLION of them all swimming on top of each other to get food. Before I saw that, I was ready to go swimming. But I think if I got in the water, those fish might mistake me for a piece of white bread and carry me off!)
Tuesday, I got up and headed out on a hike with my pack. Though it was really windy, the sky was clear and it was warm enough for shorts. So I hiked out away from the settlement, along the lake to a private cove. It was really nice because I got away from the noise of all the generators and cackling seniors. I did wade a little bit but the water was quite cold (and you know if I say its cold, its friggin' cold). For most of the morning, I sat on my towel, snacking, writing (until my pen died-I swear, why does my equipment always malfunction?) and taking pictures. Of course, my camera's batteries were low. I wouldn't have been surprised if the Loch Ness monster came up out of the water to ask for Grey Poupon at that point, since my camera always seems to die at the most inopportune moments.
I caught some rays and some z's on my private beach before a fisherman drifted by to say hello. I didn't tell him he could just get some bread and pick the fish out of the water with his bare hands at the dock. Fishing is a guy thing, anyway, right?
After I hiked back, I wrote some more and chilled out the campsite. Beans for dinner, again. Two of my neighbors (seniors) seemed supremely concerned for my well-being and stopped by my campsite. My neighbor, a 76 year old man, told me to come to his site if I had any trouble. "Have you heard the coyotes? There are quite a few out here." Another lady, who I had seen earlier and had been wondering about her hair, came by to check on me. Turns out she's a hairdresser. (*raucous laughter*) She and her husband invited me to dinner that night, but seeing as how I'd already eaten I turned them down. Old people are really the only people who go camping, it seems. But I guess it's nice to be thought of or something.
Today (Wednesday), I left Lake Mead and drove via Overton and I-15 to Cedar City, Utah. The drive was gorgeous! It's hard to take pictures while driving, so you'll just have to take my word for it. I stopped at a hot spring called Rogers Spring near Lake Mead for a quick dip. It's hard to tell in the pictures, but it really is like an oasis. The landscape is rocky and dry, without any big trees and then all of a sudden palm trees spring up (I didn't really mean to make a joke).
Anyway, Utah is beautiful! I have to say it was one of my favorite drives coming through the Virgin River Gorge through to the Rockies and SNOW!! My hotel rocks, btw. It's got a heated pool, hot tub and sauna. I've already been to all three.
Tomorrow, Zion National Park!
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