Brad & Barb Wright - Southwest Trip 2009/2010 travel blog

Our coach at Boulder Oaks RV Park, Boulder City, NV

Lake Mead

Sightseeing Boat on Lake Mead

Hoover Dam from the Arizona side - Visitor Center in background

Hoover Dam

Inside Hoover Dam

Colorado River feeding into Hoover Dam

New bridge being built over Hoover Dam

Our first view of Las Vegas

First Casino we came to on the strip

View looking down the strip

Fountain show at the Bellagio

Superman, Barb & Brad & Spiderman on the strip

Freemont St. Experience

An illuminated sign outside a casino

Eiffel Tower in front of Paris, Las Vegas at night

Statue of Liberty in front of NY,Ny. Notice the roller coaster in...

Ex Caliber Casion at night

Lion in front of MGM Grand Casino

Buildings in front of the New York, New York Casino

Restaurant in the Venetian Casino

Gondola ride inside the Venetian Casino

Entrance to the Casino in the Venetian

Unique floor pattern in the lobby of the Venetian


We left Lake Havasu City and travelled to Boulder City, Nevada on Feb. 4th, a distance of about 130 miles. You can tell the financial problems in California by the roads. We came up Route 95 and you could tell when you crossed the line from AZ to CA and from CA to NV by the condition of the road. Both AZ & NV were in much better condition. We are in a very nice RV Park - Boulder Oaks RV Park - which is about 7 miles down the road from the Hoover Dam and about 20 miles from Las Vegas. It is very quiet and looking out our front and dining area windows we can see Lake Mead while on the opposite side we are looking at a mountain which we are in the foothills of. We can watch hummingbirds, bunny rabbits and I even saw a road runner a couple of days ago.

Friday we went to visit the Hoover Dam. It was very interesting - an engineering marvel for it's time. The dam was built in the 1930's. They are getting very concerned about the traffic over the dam (Route 93 from Kingman, AZ to Las Vegas goes right over the dam) and are now trying to limit it. There are backups as you have to stop at an inspection station before crossing it. One of the tour guides told us on New Years Eve it was a 6 hour backup. They are in the process of building a new road that suspends high above the dam. I am enclosing pictures of the bridge now under construction. This road & bridge are supposed to be open in the fall of this year. There is some question about what will happen to the current road over the dam. The engineers would like it to be for foot traffic only. Currently, the dam is financially self-sustaining with the water power they sell as well as the tourism. I think there is some concern that if they don't allow vehicles to cross the dam it will drastically impact the number of people stopping to see the dam. I'm attaching some pictures of the dam, the new bridge and Lake Mead, a man made lake which was formed when the dam was built.

Later on Friday we took a ride into Las Vegas. It's like nothing we've ever seen before. The casino/hotels are huge. There are masses of people (mostly young) walking up and down the streets on the strip with drinks (no laws here against open containers of alcohol beverages on the street) & blatent advertising for prostitutes (also legal). Trucks are going up and down the strip with huge billboards advertising for girls. Then you go further north between the strip and downtown and you get the wedding chapels along with bridal shops. I think I spent most of the night with my jaw hanging open! The first problem was where to park the car. We finally saw a sign for self parking and turned in there - it was the parking garage for the Paris Casino/Hotel. Once we got the car parked it was quite a walk down through the casino and shops to the front door to get out on the strip. We wanted to see the water show at the Bellagio across the street. We didn't see anyone crossing the strip so we walked down the street a ways to go and over a pedestrian bridge (probably didn't see people crossing because we were to gaga eyed over everything we were seeing - sensory overload!) By the time we got to the Bellagio and back and got into the casino at the Paris our feet hurt and we wanted to sit down. We sat at the penny slots (last of the big spenders, I put in $3.00 and Brad played $4.00) I came out with $4.83 and Brad came out with $.18). Vegas is not going to get rich on us. We headed out of the city at 5:30 amazed at the steady stream of traffic headed in.

Saturday it poured all day long so we didn't go far, Brad got a hair cut and we stopped at the grocery store.

Sunday morning we got the coach all disconnected and ready to go to Acton, CA our next stop. I was in the car out in the road waiting for Brad to pull the coach off the pad but he didn't move. He came out to tell me to pull the car back in - the right front jack wouldn't come up. After calling Coach-Net our RV Service Plan (terrific response), we waited less than an hour for a mechanic to come. He couldn't get the jack up so he finally jacked up the coach with his jack and removed our jack that wouldn't come up. When he checked it he found the gears in it were shot. He is not an Atwood dealer so he put the jack in the car for us. The jacks are still under warranty so we would have to contact Atwood on Monday. The bigger problem is that the computer doesn't recognize that the jack isn't still down and won't allow air into the suspension system so we can't move the coach. We contacted Atwood and Brad brought the damaged jack into a garage yesterday. Hopefully today it will be fixed. We got a call last night saying they had the jack, they will just have to get Atwood's approval this morning. It could be worse two couples we have met on the road have been or are laid up with jack issues.

Hopefully we will be on our way tomorrow to Acton where we will see a cousin I have never met before. I am anxious to meet he and his wife and to see the LA area.

Feb. 12 - we are still waiting. Supposedly, Atwood shipped the jack out overnight yesterday and when it comes in today they will come out and put it on. I doubt it will be in time for us to leave today, but we should be on our way tomorrow. The jack we were told they had was owned by the technician who had "picked it up for a song when another company went out of business" but in order for us to get that jack, we would have had to pay the company for the jack and 3 hours labor to put it on (it took the first technician 10 minutes to take it off (4 bolts and unplug 1 wire) - $1100.00 and then we would have to box up and send our damaged jack back to Atwood ourselves and submit our bills to Atwood for reimbursement. We didn't like that option at all. The other option was to do it the conventional way, have Atwood ship Precision Services a new jack and then they would install it and we would pay nothing all the paperwork & reimbursement will be between Atwood and Precision. The only thing we should have to pay is for the overnight shipping which we requested. We have made two more trips into Las Vegas while we've been waiting for the jack to be fixed. One of them we went in late afternoon and went downtown to the Fremont Experience. It's one street that has been blocked off and a huge canopy arced over the street. When you look down the street from either end it looks like a huge tunnel. There are casinos, gift shops, restaurants, etc. on the street. At night there is quite a light show that is shown on that canopy. Unfortunately, we didn't realize that until after we left the area and hadn't stayed there until dark. We stopped to get our parking validated in one of the Casinos and played for a little while. I lost $3.00 and Brad won $6.50. We then went down to the New York, New York Casino/hotel to walk around. Outside there are replicas of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, & the NY Skyline including the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, and a roller coaster running through and around them. Inside the area where the shops and restaurants are looks like downtown Manhattan. You walk up and down streets where there are all sorts of shops and restaurants. Our next trip in yesterday we went to the Venetian. There is a canal running through the shop area with gondolas. We took a gondola ride and our gondolier seranaded us in Italian. He also told us a lot about Venice as well as the Venetian. The Venetian is in the Guiness World Book of Records for being the largest hotel - it is all suites and there are over 2000 of them in the hotel. The shop restaurant area is set up to look like Venice. This used to be the Sands Hotel where the original Rat Pack performed. The hotel lobby is a replica of the Sistene Chapel in Rome. We got real daring in the Casino, we each played with $20.00!!! Brad lost all of his and I came out with $15.32. We have spent a lot of time this week just sitting around in the coach waiting for phone calls, had a couple of days of rain - so were bored during those days. I did a lot of reading and cross stitching while Brad spent a lot of time on the computer. But we had some fun also with the trips into Vegas. We are ready to move on....hopefully by tomorrow.

I need help - I have managed to lose all our Grand Canyon photos. I did not delete them, they are not in the recycle bin. They pop up every once in awhile on the screen saver. I must have managed to save a file over them. When I download the photos from the camera in Zoombrowser, they download into an individual folder by date taken. I then highlight the folder, right click on rename and name the folder. The only thing I can think of is that in renaming a subsequent folder I clicked on the Grand Canyon folder and renamed it to the subsequent set of pictures. Then must have thought for some reason it didn't take and renamed the right folder and in so doing overrode the Grand Canyon pics. Does anyone know how I can correct it and get the pictures back so we can view them?

Barb & Brad



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