Packed, loaded and on the road

7:28 am and I was driving out my driveway beginning the first day's journey en-route to the High Sierra Mountains in Yosemite National Park. 

As I backed the Santa Fe out of the Garage, I heard a crunching sound, believing it to be a seed pod from the Acacia tree next to the garage. But, with the vehicle now out of the garage I saw that my sunglasses were lying on the garage floor. Oh *&%#@, I really liked that pair too. Getting out and picking them up I thought I might be able to straighten the bows, only to have one break off, then one of the nose guards. Well, that pair bit the dust, or rather the trash can. 

So, now, on the way, I had to stop at Wells Fargo to withdraw cash AND buy a new pair of sunglasses. Since Walgreens were not yet open I just continued to drive until after 8, then found a CVS and there bought a new pair of sunglasses for this trip. Sunglasses are highly recommended in Yosemite, as they say the sun glare off the granite can be intense. Other than maybe a 20 minute delay, I was still ahead of my schedule and was soon merging on US-60 heading toward Wickenburg and points beyond.

I reached the new Hoover Dam Bridge around 12:30, detoured off the highway  so that I could come back to the bridge and capture the view from along the bridge walkway looking down to the Hoover Dam. After a short trek up some stairs and ramps, I was out on the bridge. It was pretty awesome although it was extremely windy up there. I walked about half way across, right over the middle of the Colorado River below, and then went back to my car and got my prepared lunch out, eating it in a shady area nearby. 

Las Vegas traffic was busy, but no bottle necks. I got off track around the city and then had to get directions, back tracked several miles, and using my iPhone GPS, I got back on the highway to Pahrump, NV. By 4 p.m. I arrived in Pahrump and have settled in at the Best Western Motel. Once I got out of my car, I felt very, very tired. So, I'm glad to have landed for the night and will be rested and roaring to go tomorrow. Today's mileage to Pahrump was 350 miles, a decent day's travel distance.

Tomorrow, Friday, I will only go 156 miles. But that drive will be taking me right up the middle of Death Valley. No problems are anticipated nor expected. I have over 15 gallons of water in the car, the road is blacktop all the way, and until late afternoon, the temperatures should not exceed 115, which is not much different than a really hot day in Phoenix. By the looks on things on Google Maps, this is a frequently travelled road also, so no need to fret about getting stranded.

On the way to Pahrump, the horse stables at Toulemme Meadows in Yosemite called to give me an update and itinerary with items to take on that portion of my HIgh Sierra adventure. I'm not so keen on having to wear a helmet, but, they have their rules and reasons, so I will forego fashion and abide with their dress code.

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A view from high above the highway of Mohave Lake (Colorado River) about 10 miles south of the Hoover Dam.

A view of the Hoover Dam (Mike O'Callaghan/Pat Tillman) Bridge before crossing over it.

And there it is, THE HOOVER DAM. What a view!

And to think ALL the traffic used to have to cross over that roadway atop the dam until this bridge was constructed.  A major reason for building the bridge was because of 9/11 and possible bombing attempts by terrorists. Traffic still crosses the dam but not in the high volumes as in the past. There are checkpoints on either side so that everyone is monitored before reaching the dam. You can also see the "bathtub ring" around the edges of Lake Mead behind the dam. Water levels have been below capacity for many years during our drought. Still, there is a LOT of water behind the dam and back as far as Lake Mead extends - many, many miles.

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Giving a perspective of the bridge and me upon it.

Bracing myself against the high winds, before being blown across the Nevada State Line.