Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bakersfield, CA to Laughlin, NV - yawn.....

We left Bakersfield yesterday for a relatively easy drive to Laughlin, NV, about 240 miles.  It's drives like this that bring up conversations about how amazing it is to think about the early settlers coming west, and even the initial stringing of power and phone lines across the desert, as well as the railroad tracks and how they created the tunnels with what today would be considered primative tools.

Coming through the Tehachapi Pass, we saw one of the largest wind farms in the world.  The turbines are operated by a dozen private companies, and collectively produce about 800 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, enough to meet the residential needs of 350,000 people every year.   It was pretty cool.  I couldn't get any pictures because of course that was the time the batteries decided to quit.

Here are some shots of scenes along the way.  It was a long drive with not much to see.  There were no animals to comment on - no cows, no horses, no sheep, nary a bird to see.  I wonder who owns much of that land.  With both Edwards Air Force Base and 29 Palms nearby, maybe it is all government land.

Roundabout Rhonda (the GPS) wanted us to take US Hwy 95 up to Laughlin, but based on a suggestion from Kim's folks, we elected to go through Needles, and then come up Arizona 95.  It was a nice drive, some lovely Colorado Radio views and back in agriculture areas, so some farm crops on which to speculate.  We are staying at the Riverside RV Park, across from Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort.  Although the park address is the same as the resort, the park is across the street.  You don't see the 'turn here' sign until you are almost up on it, so be in the right lane.  The registration office is at the end of the first driveway, and around the corner.  There are about 4 pull through spaces for registration.  Registration was quick with a friendly attendant.  We were assigned a back in site on level 3.  Yup, back in.  Our first experience.  Lucky to say, there were no cross words exchanged.  Kim and I did have to clarify what was meant by 'when the back tire hits here....'  Is the back tire, the back of the last tire, the front of the last tire, the front of the first tire....We got that figured out, and with a few adjustments, Kim back us in perfectly.

Cement pads with sandy gravel around the pad.  Technically, it is 2 sites, but if the park is not full, you can use the gravel area to park the car/truck, and set up chairs or tables.  There are no picnic tables with this site.  We did have full hook with 30 amp service.  For our rig, the utility hook ups could be a bit better placed, more toward the center of the pad.  We had to back to the end to get the living room slide out.  So the area to the left of the door is actually another side, without cement pad.  You can see the blue space identifier there.  I'm praying the spot stays empty for the duration of our stay. 

This is the view from outside our door.

We went over to the casino for dinner.  Had the Friday night seafood buffet.  It was passable, keeping in mind Kim was a commercial fisherman and we are seafood picky.  We played some video keno in the non-smoking section.  The Riverside does have a fairly good sized nonsmoking gaming area with a large selection of machines, and a few live games.  Only roulette and blackjack were open, however, for the hour we were there.  Kim lost his $20, but I won it back for him by hitting 5 out of 6 on a Power Ball Keno machine with the last number drawn being one of mine, thus quadrupling the prize.  We played a few games of live keno, and made a $9 contribution to the Riverside's profit. 

It is an easy walk back to the park, using the overpass and cutting through the parking garage.  Considering it was a Friday night, and essentially we are right on Casino Drive, it was very quiet and we slept soundly through the night.  BTW, cable hook up is clear (and free), and our Verizon Wireless card is working great.

Today, we are off to explore the other casinos, walk the strip and stop at a grocery store for some bottled water.  The water at the site has a definite minerally taste to it.

I looked up my lucky numbers on my numerology program, and we are set for the day.  Temperature is to be about 80 degrees with a light breeze.  Can't complain, that's for sure!

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