Day 381 – Driving from the North Rim to Lake Mead

Coming down from 8000 feet in Northern Arizona was a little rough on the ears. Everyone was dealing with the pressure change. Las Vegas is at about 1500 feet and although we made our decent in increments, you feel it.

We had to travel North to eventually go Southwest around the Grand Canyon. This put us back in Utah for a short amount of time.

We found a road side Hamburger/Pizza stop in Utah with diesel fuel truck pumps. Its hard to find gas stations that you can get a 64 foot rig into and out of without having to disconnect the Jeep or, at the very least, back up.

Remember that you can’t backup when you flat tow a vehicle. The front wheels of the tow vehicle just turn and lock in one direction and then things start breaking. So, finding an easy access gas station in the middle of nowhere was a true find that I wasn’t going to pass up.

We grabbed a nice enjoyable lunch and got back on the road with a full tank of diesel. We drove for a while in Utah through valleys of rock walls and dried up river beds. The altitude change caused the temperature to rise up into the 100’s and we started up the generator to run our three AC units as we traveled down the road.

All the towns we drove through were very small and not very inviting. We all wondered what it would be like to live in these places. It felt like a tuff like growing up in this part of Utah. It was very flat, dry and extremely hot.

We eventually came upon St. Georges. This was a large city with a very modern feel. They also had every store known to man. They had lots of palm trees which came as a surprise to us, being in Utah. I always think of Utah as a cold place but, I realized that we were very far south and at a very low altitude.

We found a great place to grab some organic food and restocked our RV. Its been about a week since we left Salt Lake city and we haven’t seen any grocery stores since then.

Next on our list was a new bike for Caitlin. Her last bike had a host of problems and blew a flat tire during our trip to Mt. Rushmore. I’m not sure how the tire went flat while being transported but, that was the last straw and it found a dumpster in South Dakota.

We found a Dicks Sporting Goods and I managed to get the rig into yet another small parking lot to do our shopping.

The store had a bike that Caitlin loved. I honestly thought she wanted a pink or purple bike but, when she saw all the bikes, she went straight to an orange bike and said that this is one I want. It had 18 speeds and fit her perfect.

We added a water bottle holder, kick stand and a bell to make it perfect. Away we went to the check out and within 40 minutes we were back on the road again towards Las Vegas.

We are camping out tonight at the RV campground in the Lake Mead Recreation Area. This is a national recreation area attached to the Hoover Dam and its roughly 40 minutes from Las Vegas. Since the AC went out in our Jeep and the outside temperature was 115 degrees, we decided that it would be best to drive the Las Vegas strip today instead of trying to drive back here with no air conditioning. So, I put the Mirage into our GPS and drove the Las Vegas Strip.

The kids were blown away by all the hotels, the statue of liberty, the Eiffel tower, roof top rollercoaster, huge coca cola bottle, water fountains and of course the pyramid with the sphinx.

It would have been nice to spend some time walking around but, there was no chance of finding a 65 foot parking spot here.

We continued our drive from Las Vegas to Lake Mead. When we arrived, after our long day of travel, the campground office was closed. I was thankful to find an envelope attached to the front door with my name on it and inside we found our campsite number and directions. Just as I released the air brake to find my campsite, a staff member came flying in on his golf cart to lead me to my site. That was a welcome site. He took me straight to my site and saved me from making any wrong turns along the way. We setup to camp for the night at Lake Mead in 116 degree weather.

The sun had set and it was still incredible hot outside as we went to bed. I woke up at 3am and it was still 98 degrees. This was a very hot place.

Our view of Lake Mead from the campsite.

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