Tuesday, March 14 (continued)
I don’t want to drive on no stinkin’ interstate today! It’s too much fun rolling across the desert. Set my own pace.
We’ll go over the New York Mountains to Searchlight!
“Good plan, eh, Reg?”
Before reaching the mountains, we come upon an oasis.
A few buildings huddle in a grove of cottonwoods. There’s a trading post with a cafe with vehicles lined up in front. A “historical hotel” sits behind the cafe. Lots of vacancies at the RV park.
“See the rail, Reggie? That’s where the cowboys hitched their horses so they wouldn’t run away. Kinda’ like your tether.”
In January of 2016 Nipton (population: 6) was put up for sale. Asking price: $5,000,000. I don’t know if the town is still available for purchase.
Another Fun Fact!
A Nevada husband and father of four bought a MEGA Millions ticket in Nipton and won $446,292. A California ticket holder won $188 million in January of this year.
The Nipton Road (Route 164) slices through the land of creosote bushes.
The drive over the mountains is easy. There’s hardly any traffic today.
As we go over the mountains and across the desert on the east side, I look for potential boondocks. Not for tonight, but possibly in the future. Searchlight is on a common route for going north to south or vice versa.
A few miles before town we come upon a couple of large, flat spots along the road.
I park in one.
Reggie is such a good traveler. He deserves another walk-about. Hmm. . . This site is large enough that one wouldn’t have to camp right up along the road. Probably very little traffic at night, even less than now.
I should remember this place. I’d rather camp here than in the hustle, bustle, and noise of Searchlight. Good for an overnight stop in cooler weather.
In town I stop for gas.
It takes a few moments for my ears, eyes, and brain to adjust to this environment!
RVs are parked behind Terrible’s while their owners take advantage of the laundromat and showers.
Up the street we pull into a casino parking lot.
I want to go online and research a few places to camp — Cottonwood Campground and boondocking at El Dorado Canyon, among others.
Well, it all comes down to . . . where do we go to be comfortable in this heat wave? These places are unappealing today. I don’t want to stay in an RV park. If we had some shade, we’d be fine.
RVers do camp in this casino parking lot.
Since I won’t be hanging out in the casino, I’d rather not stay here!
Shade, shade, where can we find shade?
I study the Benchmark atlas page lying open on my lap.
Gee, we could be at Las Vegas in an hour. . . . I know where there are shady camps! The campgrounds at Lake Mead!
With jazz playing on the PTV’s tinny radio and air rushing through my open window, we shoot up Route 95 and turn east on Route 93 to Boulder City.
This time we’ll camp at Boulder Beach, rather than at Las Vegas Bay Campground.
Ooh, there’s that beautiful blue!
At the entrance to Lake Mead Recreation Area I show the guy in the booth my interagency senior discount card, as well as my ID.
He returns my items and remarks pleasantly, “Enjoy your visit!”
I drive through all the loops at Boulder Beach Campground.
Now I remember why we’ve never camped here. I don’t want to look at RVs all around us, let alone listen to their generators. . . . or their kids screaming. What’s the point of that? Sheesh, this is getting on my nerves . . .
The PTV heads for the exit.
My jaws are clenched so tight I fear I’ll break a tooth!
A few minutes later . . . .
Ahh, good ol’ Las Vegas Bay Campground . . . .
I tuck the Best Little Trailer into the shade of cottonwoods and oleander at a campsite in the No Generators section, allowing the Perfect Tow Vehicle and her solar panel to bask in the bright sunshine.
DID YOU KNOW?
More about Nipton!
“Clara Bow, the famed ‘IT Girl’ of the Hollywood Silent Film era, moved to a cattle ranch about 16 miles from Nipton in the late 20s. Her husband, Rex Bell, drove their cattle overland to Nipton for shipment by rail to the slaughter yards. Clara accompanied the cowboys to Nipton, where she picked up her fan mail from the post office . . . . Clara, it is said, preferred Room #3 in the Hotel Nipton for her stays. Today Room #3 is called the Clara Bow Room. Clara and Rex often entertained the Hollywood crowd at Nipton and on their ranch. Trainloads of guests would arrive in Nipton for the overland auto ride to their Walking Box Ranch.” —desertusa.
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