Friday, 29 August 2014

Day 8: Mesquite, NV - Lake Havasu City, AZ

It is now 8:40 pm and I have just got back from buying milk.  It is 42° C out there.  So, a fair bit cooler than when I arrived, when it was pushing 48°.  And there is an "Excessive Heat Warning out for Yuma, AZ, tomorrow.  Guess where I'm heading?

Lake Havasu City.  Let's get the obvious out of the way:
A bridge, yesterday
Yes, that's the old London Bridge.  Sort of - it's the stone cladding of the 1831 original over a concrete core.  And Robert McCulloch knew full well what he was buying - anything you may have heard about Tower Bridge is bollocks an urban legend.  Also it's full of speed boats.  I keep expecting God (played, of course, by James Mason) to show up, saying "Noah!  Build me an Ark!"

Rewind to rejoining I-15 this morning.  The stretch of said freeway from the Utah state line to Las Vegas is unremittingly dulk.  Watch an episode of "CSI" where the victim is found out in the desert.  It's like that.  For about eighty miles.  No thanks.  Instead I turned off to follow NV-169, a.k.a. "Northshore Road", because it follows the North Shore of Lake Mead.  Geddit??  Well, it follows the wet at a distance of about a Several of miles, but it's not the freeway and is pleasingly three-dimensional in places.  Also the entrance station to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area was firmly shut, so I didn't have to pony up ten bucks to use it after all.

This brings you out close enough to the Hoover Dam as makes no odds, where much has changed since I was last here in 2010.  For a start, They didn't want to search the Mudstang.  And the dam is no longer part of US-93 as the bypass bridge opened to traffic about a month after my last visit.  You can now get a much better view of the dam from the bridge, though those of a nervous disposition should be aware that the bridge deck is 880' / 270m above the Mighty Colorado.
The Hoover Dam.  Big, but not particularly clever.
The bridge is officially known as the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and there are some spiffy plaques up at the deck to tell you all about the pair.  Of them.  Interestingly, the biographical sketch of Pat Tillman fails to mention that his death in action in Afghanistan in 2004 was the result of a friendly fire incident but I suppose that rather goes against the grain.  It's not a bad bridge, but give me the Viaduc de Millau any day.
I couldn't be arsed to walk all the way down to the centre of the dam as while it was not yet midday it was still 100 of those Fahrenheit thingies, and the vicinity is full of people who park like fuds.  No, Sir, you cannot stop dead in the middle of the roadway with your motor-car and collapsible caravan combo in the vain hope that someone is going to free up a parking space.  Especially since all the spaces there are for cars.  Cars with trailers, GBFO motorhomes, buses etc. will have to go to the Nevada side and pay up.  Or go halfway across the dam, drop the clutch and turn sharp left.  Your choice.

Also new is the fact that you cannot get out onto US-93 at the Arizona end.  Emily had this sussed since she was purchased after the bridge was opened, but Idiot Boy here didn't pay attention.  I made it out eventually, drove over the bridge, turned round and drove back.  They've built the walls high enough that you can't see anything from a normal-sized car chiz.

So back towards Vegas and then south down US-95.  There are a Several of reasons for going this way to Laughlin / Bullhead City.

  • It's shorter.
  • It may be less thoroughly dulk than US-931.
  • It passes through the intriguingly named "Cal-Nev-Ari" which, in spite of appearances, is not a firm of minor-league villains from Finsbury Park2.

Laughlin is famous largely for the River Run Riot of 2002, and has a fairly anonymous bridge o'er the Mighty Colorado to Bullhead City.  Laughlin has the casinos, Bullhead City the hotels and "gas" stations, since motor-spirit appears to be about fifty cents a gallon cheaper in Arizona than it is in Nevada.  Bullhead City goes on for miles with a 45 mph speed limit and about a thousand sets of traffic lights, perfectly phased to ensure that you have stop at Every Single One.  This is made of Fail, so it was a relief to cross back into Nevada on the Aztec Road bridge.  I personally wouldn't have named a road after a notoriously bloodthirsty bunch from south of the Rio Grande, but back in Logandale there's a Yamashita Street.  I hope it's named after someone other than the Tiger of Malaya, especially as the USA executed him for war crimes in 1946.

The Nevada side is only about half a mile long, though, because the road makes a discreet entry into California and runs parallel to the Mighty Colorado down to Needles.  Very bumpy and with lots of dips to accommodate the flash floods coming out of the mountains to the west.  Not today, obv., as it's 117/47 in Needles.  Which has a bridge, but not a very exciting one.

Onto I-40 for a bit.  I think I missed this part in 2010, but I didn't miss much.  Then south on AZ-95 to Lake Havasu City and London Bridge.  And a lizard in my room.
Obligatory "Reptilian Overlords" nonse goes here
As long as he sticks to scoffing insects rather than my toes, I'm happy to share.

I've also learned today that the Mudstang has a USB port and if you plug the iPod into it, you get a Ford logo on the screen and, I imagine, the ability to control it from the car stereo rather than having to prod the iPod itself.  But I don't know, because in their infinite wisdom, Budget didn't supply The Fucking Manual with the motor-car, so I now have to peruse the downloaded version instead.

On The Lizard Alliance: It may just be a coincidence that a lizard with the longest ration of lizard:tail I have ever seen shows up in my room while outside are these:
Entrances to the Lizard Alliance's SEEKRIT Bunker?
Or is it?  OR IS IT??  ["Yes.  Yes, it is" - Ed.]
  1. It wasn't.
  2. Cal-Nev-Ari looks like a trailer park with ideas above its station.


  1. The iPod in the Ford Van of Mrs Rob is controlled by the wheel-of-many-of-buttons on the left hand side of the games-pad-steering-wheel... Not that that helps any...

    1. In the Mudstang, I have discovered, one may use the "Media" button on the right side of the steering wheel to select the USB port and it's all seamless from there. Until such time as it takes exception to The White Stripes "Jumble Jumble". Or perhaps it had just wilted in the heat...