We are exhausted as I write this… in the Valley of Fire, NV, and at the same time I am overwhelmed by the terrain here… What happened?… I start wondering myself… I just have to stop living in my own world and start staying in touch with at least one reality called the weather! Yes, it has been windy every night, rocking and rolling to the point where… hate to say it… my Dish fell! One center anchor does allow it to pivot on itself as I also came to the conclusion that the “survey” tripod also folds on itself… Still worked, the arms of the radio did a good job protecting it. But last night was the worse… by 11pm I had to take the top of the camper down… 60mph with gusts of about 90 I was told… Once the top is down, well, there is not much room if any left…
No way to sleep and wrongly not worried about the Dish, it had 3 additional straps now, anchored… strongly… that is what I thought anyhow, till I heard it again! Oh! no… wind blowing, hail, ice, at this point who knows what is coming down… I look… and hey! it really is starting to look like my bike now… it is the GS of Dishes! The radio got hit again, the case this time… I take it in and sit all night… It was a long long night… curled up on the short bench, feet hanging down… Spirit snoring not helping a bit as he is getting used to bad weather. The picture is after the first fall… it is worse now! And yes… Plan B… take the Dish and arm down in heavy winds… once the tripod is set it only takes a few minutes to put it back up and get a signal… Did I say… it is still working!… amazing as I was told to always pack it real well when traveling. Took me three hours to pack… 3 changes of clothes… soaked… crawling in the camper every ten minutes to warm up, there was not a single tent in the campground that was standing… the whole place looked like a war zone… and it was not over.
Of course when I put the top down I could not tuck it in because of the wind… I left as is… and things were not any better near town… I finally found a covered casino parking that had enough clearance for the camper, of course in no time 3 parking valet run toward us and tell me that I cannot park there… it is 9:30am!… who in their right mind is coming to gamble right now anyhow?
Explaining the situation they finally even help me get it all together… we leave town!
I tried to run away from the bad weather… this has been going on every night, taking the road adjacent to Lake Mead through the National Park and finally here, in Valley of the Fire… I wonder how many of you have been here…
I wonder how many of you have ridden from Lake Mead drive to the Valley of Fire?
This tops it all… finally Big Bend has lost its first place in my book!… But right now… sorry for the tease… I have to tell you about the scooters!!!… because they are cool too… Unless an emergency evacuation I will be here for a while!
A couple scooters were sighted, then a few more and suddenly swarming like bees a dark cloud of them are coming up the road toward Red Rock Canyon!… That was when the weather was still decent by the way… windy however and some were riding in the bicycle lane and the good smell of the two stokes little buzzing engines was everywhere.
Had to stop, had to find out what was going on… 7th Annual Las Vegas Scooter Rally…
Even a couple with sidecars! They had come from everywhere as far as Europe including England and just about every town from the USA.
Most of them with their own scooter attire reminded me of the sixties, not much had changed… mega mirrors and mega lights… stickers, corduroy jackets adorned with a multitude of patches and buttons, colorful tennis shoes…
Some Vespas… some Lambrettas… some I had never seen before. So I am invited to follow them… yes, well, Spirit is and since I am the one riding I follow them. Can you tell that again he is getting all the attention?
This is their last event and it is taking place at an Elks Lodge parking lot. Forget the Red Canyon loop… I will just follow some of the riders and as we get there, a huge parking lot, I park, well, in the middle not thinking too much about anything else. As I am busy taking pictures suddenly the lot fills up and there is my rig in the middle of them all… honestly feeling out of place.
There is a crowd around Spirit… he has his Doogles and coat on… he is posing for the pictures!
I ask if I should move the rig, no… you are fine, we love your dog! Slowly the lot empties, everyone is going through a gate and I am wondering of course where? Come on I am told… lets go and eat… I had no idea of the fantastic set up they had… grilled chicken and all kinds of meats, salads, beer station and vendors… Just a fantastic crowd… there is even the new, to me, 3 wheel scooter… that leans in the turns, I hear very popular in Europe.
Just a great day, new friends and some education… from young riders and older riders…
If you ride one, make a point to attend next year. Most dealers have the dates and the hotel were they all stay, a few hundreds rooms are already booked for next year!
A departure from the ride we had planned… a pleasant surprise… it makes living on the road all the more worthwhile! From Valley of Fire… good night!… looking forward to some real sleep.
Ara & Spirit