|Thu, 23 Oct: Familiar roads and visiting special friends...
After five days playing and visiting in Las Vegas, the time is now to head out. We had a great time visiting with our sister Nancy, neighbors Ed & Rae Molinsky and new friends from Anchorage, Bill & Linda McNeal. Duck Creek turned out to be a friendly place to stay.
We left late (for us), 1010 to be exact. A bit of maneuvering on city streets, including a U-Turn (that's always exciting) and we were back on I 515 heading south and east out of Vegas. Near Henderson we picked up US 95 for the trip south to Laughlin. US 95 is a nice divided highway now and we made excellent time despite the 25 mph speed trap called Searchlight.
South of Searchlight we turned onto NV 163 east toward Laughlin. This is always an exciting road since it has long and steep downgrades with some fairly sharp turns. Letting the engine brake keep the speed at 50-55 proves to be a good compromise and definitely keeps the blood pressure within range.
Just a few minutes before noon we pulled up to Ray and Cathie Bailey's home. We visited for a bit and then drove to the Pioneer Casino for lunch at a new restaurant called Bumbleberry Flats. The portions were huge and they're not afraid to load on the bacon. Cathie had bacon waffles and Sandi meatloaf with bacon. Even the veggies had bacon.
We visited for about two and a half hours, but we still had miles to cover so we reluctantly bade farewell at a quarter past two. Bob took the helm for this leg, which took us south on Needles Highway into California. The contrast at the Nevada/California border couldn't be more stark. From a nice two lane road with broad lanes Needles Hwy becomes a narrow, rutted, hilly monstrosity that really shook Carpe every way but tomorrow. What does the "true blue" State of California do with all the tax money it collects?
We were very happy to pick up Interstate 40 in Needles, and even happier when we crossed the Colorado River into Arizona. We continued east on I 40 a few more miles and then took AZ 95 south toward Lake Havesu City, Parker, and Quartzsite.
Other than the jillion of Red Lites (notice that nobody ever calls them "Green Lites"?) thru Lake Havesu City, it was a nice run and Bob pulled into the Bureau of Land Management camping area north of Quartzsite a few minutes after five. Today was a 220 mile day with overall fuel usage at 7.55 mpg.
We settled in and enjoyed a spectacular sunset. Since the temperatures were still in the mid nineties we ran the generator (and air conditioners) for a few hours until it cooled down enough to open the windows and sleep.