Las Vegas, Nevada
We couldn’t continue our journey to Arizona without stopping for a day or two in ‘Sin City’. We picked Lake Mead National Recreation area as our home for a couple of days and found a site with a wonderful view over the lake and mountains at Las Vegas Bay. Our site was on the rim of Las Vegas creek which feeds the lake from the West. The lake is a shadow of its former self, unable to keep up with demand for water and power for California, Nevada and Arizona’s growing need in the face of climate change. The main source of water for the lake is the Colorado River with controlled output from Lake Powell via the Glen Canyon Dam. The Lake Mead water level fell from its high of 1225 feet in 1983 to a record low of 1072 feet on July 1, 2016 and the Hoover dam, which created Lake Mead, is being fitted with new low velocity turbines to cope with the reduced flow. If current conditions continue, there is a high likelihood that lakes Powell and Meade will cease to be viable sources of power and water by 2040. Despite this, we enjoyed our stay there, giving us a chance to relax before planning a night on the town.
Neither of us wanted to drive the 24 miles back to our campsite after a night on Las Vegas so we booked ourselves into Circus Circus, the only RV park with walking access to the ‘Strip’. It was a parking lot but we didn’t plan to stay in the van for long. We found ourselves next to a pink converted school-bus which turned out to be the mobile home of the band ‘Let’s Be Leonard!‘ They seemed a friendly bunch and, fortunately for us, didn’t have a band practice that night.
From Cheryl: The Tauber family had been to Vegas quite a bit back in the 70s, and that was the last time I was there. As he had no other hobbies, my father liked to gamble (it was his adult Disneyland, he always said) and so very often was the resident doctor on call at the Rivera Hotel (hotel was imploded in 2016). I remember days by the pool and the amazing night time entertainment. I remember my father speaking to the ‘pit bosses’, then walking us Tauber kids to the front tables of the show room, complimentary tickets for such top acts as: Elvis, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Don Rickles, Debby Reynolds, Tony Orlando & Dawn, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Cher, and Barbra Streisand. We experienced so much of Vegas, at the Rivera as well as other hotels, where anatomy lessons were included, for example: The Folies Bergère. So I wanted Colin to experience the general craziness, a topless show, and the massive scale of gambling that is Las Vegas. Neither one of us put money in the slots or on the tables, but we were amazed at the number of people betting on getting something back from their hours of ‘toil’. So we walked the Strip and I decided to ‘treat’ Colin to a risqué dinner spot and show. Our waitress was beautiful, a fun lady even if the outfit was a bit drafty in the behind. I admit I loved her tush as much as Colin did so I told her how exquisite she was; no other motives, really! We also took in a topless show which had music, dancing and a comedy act. Well past our usual bedtime, we headed back to our Circus Circus RV bed for the night. The next morning, leaving the crowds of people behind, both of us breathed a sigh of relief as we headed into the desert for more touring.
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Downtown Las Vegas