32 is Magical

It’s been one week since I hit the road and already my personal hygiene is starting to suffer.  Not a lot, but I didn’t take a shower today and am wearing the same jeans I wore yesterday.  And yesterday I wore the same bra that I wore the day before.  But before you think I’m a smelly, greasy cretin, I would like to mention that I haven’t neglected my teeth – brushing 2x/day and flossing every morning. And the MoHo has gotten washed twice since last Friday so taking care of business on that front too.  So there.

Okay.  Las Vegas.  Going there and NOT staying at some posh hotel was a first for me but I was up to the challenge.  My dad lives in Vegas and he was kind enough to chauffeur Juno and me around town in his Prius while I was in town (the MoHo was at an RV park).  First up was Seven Magic Mountains which I had seen from Hwy 15 on my way into town.  I showed a picture of it to my dad and his response was “Why do we have to go there?  I’ve just seen it on your phone!”  Yeah dad… we’re going.  We both enjoyed it and I got some good pix too – my dad is standing by the rainbow column (shows just how tall they are).  If you’d like to know more about this installation, check out this link: http://sevenmagicmountains.com/

After an excellent early dinner at Lazy Dog Restaurant in Summerlin where they also have a lovely menu for dogs (Juno had the hamburger and brown rice), we collapsed for the night. It was the first time sleeping in the MoHo since last November!  But the bed is still super comfy and both Juno and I slept like rocks.

Tuesday took us to Hoover Dam (nee Boulder Dam) which I was glad to see, but was not quite as exciting as the Grand Coulee Dam IMO. I think it’s because the spillway wasn’t letting any water through so it was just a damn dam.  You will notice in the pix how low the water level has gotten…  You will also notice another cross-state picture where both my dad and I sat/stood on the border of Nevada and Arizona.  I would cross the bridge the following day when I drove to Arizona.

After a quick stop at Roberto’s Taco Shop for lunch (note: had NO idea that Roberto’s had taco shops outside of San Diego so I was STOKED to get me some rolled tacos with guac!!), we meandered over to Fremont Street Experience.  We did this mainly because it’s outdoors but covered so it’s not too hot and therefore okay for Snug.  With all the various street performers, scantily clad women and bucket drummers, wanna guess who was the most popular attraction there?  If you guessed Juno, you get a gold star!  Yep – my little unicorn was by far the hit of the afternoon.  I love him so much.

I said goodbye to my dad Wednesday morning and made tracks for Arizona for the 3rd time in two months (spring training, Hoover Dam and finally in the MoHo with Juno).  Yes, I can finally add Arizona to the official state count.

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I’ll be honest, I’ve had some doubts about getting back on the road – whether I would enjoy it as much, whether the driving would get to me, would Juno and I be able to hack the heat of the south in the summer, etc etc.  But once I got off the main interstate and onto Hwy 66, the doubts disappeared. I love being on the backroads – it’s really the best way to travel.  Nothing makes me happier than a long stretch of empty road… and the kitschy Burma Shave ads that intermittently appear along the side of the highway just add to the enjoyment.

Quick note – in case you are wondering whether I’ll be hitting the Grand Canyon, the answer is no.  I’ve already been there – took a river rafting trip a few years ago.  Totally amazing but since I’ve already checked that box, no need to go again.

Anyway, I meandered up Hwy 66 to Peach Springs.  Peach Springs was the inspiration for Radiator Springs in the Cars movies – it’s pretty dam cute.

Peach Springs is home to the Grand Canyon Caverns and as you know from part one of my roadtrip, I’m always up for a cave tour.  This one was pretty good – the most amazing thing is that they set up a hotel “room” in the cave.  For $850, you and up to five friends can sleep 21 stories underground.  Two notes on the pics:  the skeletons of the humans are fake – the skeleton of the bobcat is real!

After a pleasant evening at the adjoining campground, Juno and I set off for Arcosanti this morning.  My friend Sarah (Scares!) told me about this place – an urban community started by Paolo Soleri, who was also known for making incredible wind bells.  The tour wasn’t all that great as the guide spent only 45 seconds talking about how the bells are made (which is really the reason I was there!)  so I snuck out early with Juno, went back to the gift shop and bought a bell.  The best part of the tour was a sign I saw – my favorite part of the day’s activities? Watching out for scorpions and snakes.  Hilarious.

I had planned to head to Scottsdale and tour Taliesin West but when I discovered it was going to be 102 degrees there today, I took a pass and ended up going to Prescott instead. Had never been there before and was pleasantly surprised to find a charming town full of good restaurants, bars, art galleries and so on.  Had a fab lunch at The Barley Hound (highly recommend the duck burger) and then took a stroll around town.  I made sure to hit Whiskey Row and the famed Palace Saloon for a mid-afternoon cocktail.  The history of this place is incredible.  I sooooo wanted to see Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday walk through the doors and say “I’m your huckleberry.”  Sigh.

The day is nearly done and I’m holed up at an RV park right next to Watson Lake so a hike tomorrow morning is a must!  I’m then going to meander up to Jerome and then will stay somewhere in the Tonto National Forest tomorrow night before heading to New Mexico.  Before I sign off, two final pictures – the first is of a restaurant that I passed but didn’t partake, the second is what happens to gummy vitamins when left in the MoHo all day in 90+ degree temps.

Next post will be coming to you from Walter White’s hometown.  Woot!!

State count: 32!!!!

p.s. Hopefully all you Lakers fans and/or basketball fans out there got the double entendre of the title.

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