During a very brief visit to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Las Vegas, the GUARDIAN came up with a few random thoughts worthy of tossing out for comment, since it is pretty dead this Spring Break week anyway. We are either on the cutting edge or way below the peak of the learning curve. You decide.
Las Vegas is a poster child for GROWTHOPHOBES. Houses spread all over the valley, Lake Mead is down 100 feet, and foreclosures abound. Many of the houses were never occupied and were built on spec.
New bridge under construction over the Colorado River below Hoover dam. Big beautiful cement arch to take traffic off the face of the dam. It took more than an hour in traffic to cross the dam due to high traffic.
Random checks on each side of the dam. Coppers of some sort wave over random cars, pop the trunk, search the vehicle with no probable cause. “Security check” obviously trumps U.S. Constitution.
Lots of cars, campers, and motorhomes from British Columbia, obviously headed north after snowbirding in Arizona.
Slot machines no longer take coins of any sort. Everything is card or paper bill operated. No more noisy clank of quarters when you hit a 10 coin return. The one armed bandits are now just wall street-type electronic devices that silently drain your account.
Airplanes and airport were chock full of passengers, but everything, including security checks went smoothly as we sheep passed through the system hoping the deodorant stick would not be counted as a “liquid or gel” outside the one quart plastic bag. EVERYONE has an electronic gadget, cell phone or computer going all the time–little chance to meet interesting fellow travelers.
Grand Canyon hasn’t changed much since the last visit, but even with snow storm, high winds, and cold temps, it wasst still an awesome site. Also so crowded that cars were parking along the road due to full parking lots. Granted, it is spring break, but we saw people from all over the globe coming to USA to see the canyon.
Seligman, AZ makes a living off sitting astride what was once Route 66. Delightfully tacky would be a fair description. At the convenience store was asked the clerk how to pronounce the name of the place. She replied, “C H E V R O N.”
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Mar 27, 2009, 10:12 am
I read that something like 60% of the mortgages in Las Vegas are upside down. Sounds like you might have a libertarian streak in you. Go Dave!
Mar 27, 2009, 1:19 pm
Loved the anecdote about the gas station clerk!
Although I have spent most of my life in Idaho, I did have a four year hiatus in the great state of Arizona and enjoyed it rugged and arid beauty.
I was wondering how that bridge by Hoover Dam was coming along. Thanks for the photo update.
Mar 27, 2009, 2:44 pm
Nevada no longer has the monopoly on gambling and sin. Boise is one of a few metropolitan areas in the US where legal gambling isn’t a stones throw away. Vegas is a bloated overvalued fat pig much like the houses surrounding it. Now the UAW will do its part to run struggling casinos into the ground, union style.
Mar 27, 2009, 4:41 pm
Sounds like an awesome road trip but you could have at least posted a post card to all your loyal followers. I’m sure you came across more than a few cheesy ones and found one that made you laugh.
You might also want to post your pics as a thumbnail that allows us, those that bow to you, to click on them for a full screen view.
And as an aside, no dams in Idaho have allowed traffic over them since shortly after 911. If “random checks” are the norm in Nevada I’ll settle for the norm, rather than a detour, when out for a drive.
EDITOR NOTE–Lucky Peak and Anderson Ranch both have traffic across them and Anderson Ranch has traffic right to the top and around one side. Heavy trucks do in deed detour around Hoover Dam.
Mar 28, 2009, 6:58 pm
Well, some slot machines still burp coins if you desire but they always stick and it takes several tries by the-person-who-takes-forever-to-get-there to make them work.
We spent a couple of days on the south side of Boulder City overlooking what’s left of Lake Mead in mid-March. And even though the highway was not far away, you really didn’t hear it since the heavy trucks had to go off on 95. It was really delightful.
Seligman has always been delightfully tacky, at least since the late 50s.
Mar 29, 2009, 11:58 am
My random thought…
It’s almost No Pants Day!
“Boise’s 1st Annual No Pants Day was a resounding success with a good time had by all. Agents estimated scenes of chaos and joy created by about 500 throughout the day Downtown, at BSU, and Private Parties. Even Goths at the Mall!
About 30 sans pants citizens boarded buses downtown, and bus a ride to Hyde Park resulted in an impromptu “Parade” down a portion of North 13th Street that inspired instances of spontaneous pantlessness on the street.
Boise’s 1st Annual No Pants Day was a no budget grassroots bit o’ nonsense put together by some people who are old enough to know better and still young enough not to care, and who would like to remind everyone that No Pants Day is Always the 1st Friday in May.”
“In keeping with the “true nature” of No Pants Day, the folks who are “old enough to know better and still young enough not to care” are taking a hands off approach to future No Pants Day celebrations – having brought it to Boise last year, and wanting it to evolve organically.
You are welcome to use any of the copyright free art and photos found @ http://www.BoiseNoPantsDay.com in pursuit of your No Pants Celebration / Event / Special
Mar 30, 2009, 3:59 pm
Did you take a good look at that new bridge? Wow!
Big beautiful arch — very decorative, but seems highly impractical. Floating a zillion pounds of concrete, steel, vehicles and people that high in the air?
I ain’t gonna drive across that sucker, even if I have to detour through Mexico and Canada to get around it.
Hope you’ll be off to the side somewhere with your camera the first time a vehicle goes over the edge about halfway across — and again when the structure finally collapses.
Yeah, it takes a while to drive across the dam, but so what? If you’re in a hurry, fly. If not, drive slowly and enjoy the scenery.
Would be interesting to know what that bridge is costing — and how many thousand miles of surface road could have been built, improved, repaired or whatever with that much money.
Next project: A road to the moon, so we don’t need to use up so much rocket fuel getting there.
Apr 2, 2009, 9:13 pm
Maybe it’s Arizona’s bridge to nowhere?