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"There are two ways to learn lessons in life, the first is by observing and learning from the behavior of
other folks and second is by getting hit in the face with a 2 x 4 yourself. Both will help you learn the lesson,
but one is certainly less painful."
~ Jefe Smith from his book, LIFE, AMERICA and the ROAD

Hoover Dam

This is the view looking down the concrete face of 726 foot-high Hoover Dam. The dam also happens to be 660 feet thick at the base. That is one pile of concrete. The dam was a Works Project completed in 1936 during the Great Depression and it still holds back monstrous Lake Mead. I wonder how many cell phones have been dropped down this face as people tried to take this picture.

A group of five of us decided to ride the desert again in late April to beat the heat. After riding through Borrego Springs, Box Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park, we spent the first night in 29 Palms, California. Next day we rode two-lane desert roads including a section of Route 66 up to see Hoover Dam in Southern Nevada..

This pic is looking off the top of the dam down the river. Though you can still drive over the top of Hoover Dam (after going through a serious security check point), the new bridge carries the new highway over the canyon below the dam. Coming off the bottom of the dam after running though some old, but effective electricity producing turbines, that water is around 55 degrees – damn cold, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Black Canyon, where Hoover Dam is located has some hot springs to temper the cold water in places and son Tyler has been known to kayak down there below the dam with friends and to occasionally do some cliff jumping.

We rode down to Kingman,Arizona for the second night. This trip was plagued by bad margaritas at every place we stopped and the restaurant at which we ate in Kingman was unfortunately no exception. Why the hell does every bar have to put so much sugar into these to make them taste like a straight Mountain Dew instead of the sophisticated cocktail they should be. The third day saw us riding down through Oatman on Route 66, Lake Havasu City and then we spent an afternoon at Foxes, a floating bar on the Colorado River in Parker AZ with covered bike parking, before wandering over to the Blue Water Resort and Casino for our last night out on the road. At the Blue Water, we sipped another bad margarita (we kept hoping someone would make a good one) outside the Cantina along the river before entering their very nice steakhouse to celebrate a fine trip. Our final day saw us riding through he desert again over to Palm Springs and then up over the mountains to San Diego. Before we disbanded we had lunch at the Paradise Grille where a bunch of men and women hiking the nearby Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican border to the Canadian border had stopped about 150 miles into their journey for a square meal and to take a dump in a real bathroom.

Another tremendous ride with some very fun guys. From the left, Greg, Jim, Jefe, Edmundo and Tom-the-Libertarian.

 

 

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