It was 122 degrees as I took this dam picture.
Monday started early at 8AM at the Ballagio Hotel. Lulu found a daily car rental with Avis for $24. In minutes we were driving our bright red Fiat 500L north on I-15 toward the Valley of Fire.
The Valley of Fire is the oldest state park in Nevada. It is a valley full of bazaar monadnocks of red sandstone sticking out thru the local darker topography. During certain times of the day they look like fires - thus the name Valley of Fire. We had the place to ourselves - we were able to picnic - heck - we could have run around nude.
After the valley - we headed south to Lake Mead. It is the largest manmade lake in the USA - it is formed by Hoover Dam. It has 600 miles of shoreline. It provides - flood control - farming water- drinking water - and electricity. It made the desert bloom.
Next we stopped in Henderson NV - then Boulder City NV. We had lunch in this company town that was built just for the workers building the Hoover Dam. US 93 heads south form here to Hoover Dam.
Hoover Dam is often called the 8th Wonder of the World. It is much higher on my list. The dam is 700 feet high - and produced millions of kilowatts of virtually free electricity. It is made of steel and poured concrete. We love touring the plant - and seeing the big generators
They built a new bridge for the highway to by-pass the dam. Route 93 used to cross the dam breast. You still can drive on the dam breast - but most of the beast traffic flies overhead on the new suspension bridge. We did both yesterday.
Next we drove back into Vegas. We wanted to see the pawn shop of Pawn Stars fame. It really exists although none of the starts were there. You can easily recognize scenes from the show.
As we passed the Riviera Casino beckoned us in with a sign offering $1 Black Jack. We free parked the Fiat - and found 4 tables with a $1 hand minimum. Lulu and I sat next to each other - each starting with $40. We played for 2 hours - and ended up with $33. We had so much fun with the players and dealers as they came and went. This one guy - from Tallahassee - actually gave the dealer $1 every time he got Black Jack. At a one dollar table Black Jack only pays one to one. But you could not stop this guy sharing his job. I know the odds are bad - but for us - two hours of entertainment was easily worth $7. We were gambling like the big boys :-)
Finally - we went to Circus Circus in honor of Betty Cox. She is a high roller there and they comp her everything. Lulu played the slots there and hit for $10.
At 10 PM - I took the car back - put the key in the mail slot - and walked across the street to our Paris Hotel. Our Vegas adventures were over - or so I thought. Wait until you read the Tuesday story.
Valley of Fire State Park
OLur Fiat blended in with the sandstone.
The dam only took 5 years to build.
Cars still drive over the breast of the dam.
Lake Mead extends back from the dam 100 miles
That new bridge carries US 93 cars from LAs Vegas to Phoenix.
Here I am driving on th edam breast.
The Pawn Stars weren't there - but it was still a fun free visit.
That is me under the pawn shop sign on The Strip.
Lulu is standing in the spot where he grandmother fell on a trip to Vegas and spend a month in the hospital with a broken hip. It runs in the blood.