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Filed under: Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Historic Places & Landmarks, Taking Along the Family Pet, Uncategorized

Kingman, AZ to Las Vegas

November 29, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

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We left Kingman, Arizona, on the 21st of July, after having to put down our beautiful, loyal Australian Terrier, Rocky, the day before after he put out is back for the second time in 5 months. We were very depressed and really not in the mood to go on at that point. But we did.

We planned to visit the Dam and the Lake Mead NRA. When we got to the dam, traffic was all backed up due to construction and anti-terrorist inspections of all vehicles. The large construction project included the creation of a separate bridge to carry non-dam-compatible (or will it be all?) traffic between Nevada and Arizona. Our RV was stopped and searched inside and out by a friendly officer.

The dam seemed a lot smaller than we remembered, based on the many movies we’ve seen it featured in. It was crowded with tourists. We remain amazed by how many European tourists are over here; on the other hand, everything in the States is on sale due to the continued weakness of the American dollar, so it shouldn’t surprise us. Many Asian tourists were here as well.  The dam had a single, seemed-like family-run souvenir and snack shop. Based on their location and lack of competition, the store is a goldmine.

Because of the traffic, which was bumper-to-bumper heading toward Las Vegas, and the 110+ degree temperature andsearing winds, we wisely chose to stay in our tow car, pass over the dam and head for the Lake Mead RV Village, which is just over the Nevada border. Maybe we’d return to the dam in the morning for a closer look.

On the way in to the NRA, it seemed like we had found a beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert. Surrounded by mountains, Lake Mead provides a stunning, picture-perfect backdrop to the RV park. We imagined cooling breezes off the lake and picturesque lakeside camping. Well, as they say in New York, FUHGEDABOUTIT. For 35+ bucks, we got a dried-up site in the middle of a very large and abandoned mobile home community. It appeared that the long-term residents had wisely left for the season; to return God only knows when. Our site came equipped with the skeleton of a prospector and his mule. Just kidding.

It was 112 degrees in the shade that first day and not much cooler at night. Exposed skin felt like it was way too close to a sun lamp. For those who complain that RV manufacturers put over-sized ACs in their RVs, we were very happy that they do. We were barely able to keep the inside temperature under 80.

And forget lakeside camping. The primo camp sites were in a line running parallel to the lakeside, which was still seemed like a good mile off in the distance. Maureen and I did take a walk in the lake’s direction, through the cheaper, no-hookups campsites, where we saw a grand total of 3 tent campers, one of whom seemed to be passed out on his picnic table bench. We finally reached a road that was still at least 3 quarters of a mile away from the lake, where we gave up, having run low on water supplies and energy. We didn’t want to add our bones to the ambiance of the place.

We found that we would have had to unhitch and drive down to the lakeside, which we weren’t planning to do.  So, forget about walking down to the beach. It would be at least a 10 minute drive from where we were in the RV park.

Well, although we paid for 2 nights and since we never unhitched, we left the next day, ostensibly to get dinner in Boulder City, but quickly deciding to keep on driving when we found out that Boulder City was a considerable distance in the direction we were heading anyway — west to Las Vegas. We just couldn’t face another night at Lake Mead, which is probably a glorious place during the winter, whenever that was.

While on our way to the Las Vegas, Nevada “strip” (an appropriate name for the infamous main street in this town) for a few non-RVing days at the pyramidal Luxor Hotel and Casino, we decided to check out the Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort. A very classy RV park. They spent a lot of money setting this one up. It has separate Family-Children and Adults-Only swimming pools. The former has a sand beach area and the latter a spa. The RV sites are all paved and equipped with the standard hook-ups, including individual slot machines. Comps for big players include an upgrade to 50 AMP service, free HBO, half-priced tickets to the resort’s karaoke night show and piped-in, chilled Perrier water instead of the lukewarm, chlorinated swill the rest of us had to drink. I’m just kidding; the sites have all of the standard hookups.

Seriously though, the place could use a repainting and the adults-only pool needs multi-language signs stating that they are, in fact, for adults only. We noticed that some of the many foreign tourists ignore/can’t read the English-only, adults-only sign and show up with their whole family; including toddlers with leaky diapers and teenagers who love to practice their cannonball diving techniques.

The large reception building has a restaurant, exercise room, convenience store and a really miserable “library,” (a library is something I always use to measure the quality of an RV “resort,” along with the cleanliness of their bathrooms). The Oasis “library” holds perhaps two dozen dog-eared, cigarette smoke-saturated books, half of which are in German. The rest of the selection consisted of ancient VCR Tapes (does anyone even have a VCR anymore?).

But this place and this city are not about reading. Last night was karaoke night, with $6.95 hamburgers and grilled chicken. The karaoke singers came in from the outside as a group. They provided their own singers, a DJ and an appreciative audience (themselves). To give them credit, they brought along some pretty good singers, most of whom appeared to have professional backgrounds. Maureen was too intimidated by their singing skills to give it a whirl. I felt that she would have been among the best to go up to the mike. They really should have encouraged the real RVers to come up to the mike, but it seemed like they were having their own, private party and ignored the rest of us paying guests.

BTW, we spent the night before our arrival at the Oasis at a Microtel Motel, having gotten lost and never finding the Boulder City Oaks RV Resort, which was our first choice. Hilda, our GPS, just couldn’t locate Boulder City Oaks. But, as it turned out, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. I learned the next morning that they didn’t accept our “kind;” that being RVs less than 22 feet long; no matter how new and shiny they may be. Snobs.

Till next time,

The Traveler

Comments

One Response to “Kingman, AZ to Las Vegas”
  1. Glen Jones says:

    My brother-in-law ran into the same thing that traveler did, there are a lot of so called Rv Parks that will not accept you unless you have a $450,000.00 motor coach.
    It seems a lot of people have forgotten what Rving and camping are all about.

    *******
    Hi Glen,

    While on our cross-country round trip, my wife and I saw several, but not a lot, of motorhome-only parks. I wonder, in today’s economy, how long those parks will be able to continue this policy.

    Our rig was small, at only 22 feet, but it was brand-new and shiny. It isn’t a converted school bus, or an ancient slide on; it’s a well engineered, handsome Fun Finder X trailer that has received many compliments.

    The only other time I felt not wanted was at the Lazy Days RV Resort in Tampa, FL. It’s a really nice place to visit and I know that they’re not responsible for the manners of their visitors. But…

    I was relaxing outside on our carpeted, well-furnished front porch just after breakfast, when my wife asked me to hurry and put the garbage out. She had spotted the collection cart on its way down our street and didn’t want to miss it.

    I hurried out to the street and dropped the bag by the roadside for pickup. I had just turned to walk back to my waiting mug of tea and Tony Hillerman novel when someone standing with a group of women just up the street called out, “Well! There goes the neighborhood!”

    Yes, I’ll admit that I was still in my sandals, tee shirt and flannel PJ pants, but how rude! At first I thought that I had misheard the comment, but then, no, I realized that I had heard it right; I was being seriously “dissed,” as the kids say.

    And so I stopped in my tracks, turned my back to the pack of snobs, dropped my pants, and mooned them.

    No, I didn’t do that, but I sure wanted to. Some people are snobs and just don’t understand what “camping” had always been about: a camaraderie between people drawn together by their love of nature and the open road. Not by the size of their… uh, rigs.

    Traveler

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