Hoover Dam

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Virgin River Canyon, UT–Death Valley, CA

We stopped by the Hoover Dam today. What a zoo! There were as many people there as at Disney World. And you have to go through a police checkpoint now to drive across it. The policeman was basically just waving everybody through, I suppose looking to see if you were white first. The last time I saw the dam I think there was only one other family there.

Before that, we drove though Las Vegas, stopping at an In-N-Out Burger for breakfast. In-N-Outs are only in the California area. They have six items on the menu: burgers, cheese burgers, double cheese burgers, fries, milkshakes, and drinks. There are no sizes. It’s a very simple menu and quite cheap. They use all fresh ingredients. Their fries are made from potatoes peeled that morning. Their buns have no preservatives. They’re a family owned business that has refused to franchise. The bottom of their cups say, “John 3:16.” We got two double cheese burgers “animal style,” which isn’t on the menu. We’re not really sure what that means, but Brandon Downey told us to order them that way. Berck thinks it means they sautee the onions in mustard. I think it means they put Thousand Island dressing on them.

Now we’re heading up the pass of death toward Death Valley. Berck is running the AC like an idiot. It’s funny; we left snow and below-freezing temperatures last night, and today we’re in the Nevada/California desert, and it’s HOT.

Well, we made it up the first hill okay. We filled up with gas before leaving NV to make sure we could make it through Death Valley. $2.08 for regular unleaded! The credit card wouldn’t let us use pay-at-the-pump. Apparently, it’s nearly impossible to use a credit card for anything in Nevada; the cards are summarily flagged as possibly stolen.

We made it as far as the Nevada/Utah border last night and broke down and settled for a room at a casino for $24. Sheets! A hot shower! Of course, even though the motel was huge, the floors creaked, and we could hear every movement of the family upstairs, especially their kids and dog. For some reason they had to get up at 4:30 and jump up and down.

We drove I-15 through the Virgin River Canyon last night, a road under construction and so tight that over-sized vehicles are prohibited. It took all of Berck’s skill as an X-Wing pilot to navagate the narrow canyon. The scenery was probably beautiful, but it was dark, so who knows. But there was too much snow to camp in the middle of Utah, so we had to keep going.

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