Sunday, October 18, 2020

2020-29 LAST REPORT OF THE SEASON, Nelson Ghost town, Laughlin NV




along hwy 95, south of Las Vegas

Nelson, silver and gold mining town, Ghost Town/attraction

Nelson, an old mining Ghost Town/attraction


Laughlin/Bullhead City

Campground: Cal-Nev-Ari Rv park. $25.00 full hookups. Basic desert campground. Just an overnight stop.

Campground: Riverside Rv Park, Laughlin Nv. Part of the first casino that started allof Laughlin Nv. $109 per week. Discount price this time of year. Full-hookups. Includes cable tv, though I was not able to get a signal. Good over-the-air Tv signal. Good Verizon signal.

Laughlin NV, casino row

Riverside Casino Rv park
300+ campsites on terraced hillside


one of two Palm Tree Oasis I came across
Mohave Desert, NV

Well folks, it’s been an unusual summer to be traveling throughout the western U.S. But with my new to me, Class C camper, Zippy, It has been one of the best experiences I could have imagined. Along with Little Zippy the E-bike has been just a perfect compliment to the camper. Both keeping me safely distanced from other folks and any possible Covid contact.

Trying to stay safe and avoiding all the bigger crowds I’ve been able to tour some out of the way places that have been as enjoyable as any national park I could have visited. And many of those places were much less crowded making for a peaceful and enjoyable visit. My highlight was definitely staying in the Kanab Utah area for a month. There were so many places to explore including being able to bike around town and along a nice bike path. But the best was being able to visit Zion National Park while it had only limited access. I was able to drive into the park. Park the camper and use Little Zippy to tour the park at my own pace. No vehicles or shuttle buses were on the main tour route. Only hikers and folks with bikes. What an awesome, once in a lifetime experience. To be able to experience this awesome park as if it was 25 years ago with a very limited number of tourists. I will hold that experience close to my heart for years to come.

Raw mountains in the desert
constantly changing with the light of day

Heading back to Tucson Az


After leaving Valley of Fire, I did pass through Las Vegas only to check on a part for the camper. I had already checked and there currently are no Passport America campgrounds in the Vegas area. Since I was heading to Laughlin, a pretty large Casino town, there was no need to spend any time in Vegas.

On down hwy 95 I had discovered the ghost town of Nelson. Not far from the Colorado River, where at one time ferry boats plied the river. That is until they built the dams. The mining town of Nelson once had quite a bit of silver and gold in them there mountains. Today, a couple of the buildings are being lived in by private owners and the rest of the town is part of a ghost town attraction including tours of some of the buildings as well as the mine. I missed out on the tour so

one of the homes that someone is actually living in.
exterior still maintaining it's historic feeling

so many great vintage vehicles

I opted for the $10 charge to walk around and access a couple of the buildings on my own. The price included being able to take photos. They told me their liability insurance has gone up to $10,000 a year. Lots of vintage vehicles in various stages of disrepair. Some neat buildings to check out and of course lots of photo opportunities.

it's such a dry heat out here

the three story barn

so many photo opportunities

too many photos to show, you'll have to go to the link 
at the end of this post to see the rest of them

After touring, I headed a bit further down the road to stay overnight in the mini-town of Cal-Nev-Ari. I’ve always wanted to stop at this hole-in the wall place pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Obviously between California, Nevada and Arizona. The bar/restaurant and Casino closed this spring due to Covid. The 85 year old gal who owns it all has no real desire to reopen. Oh well, it became just a stop along the way.

Laughlin Nevada.

The Colorado River in the middle of a desert

Not being in any hurry to head on to Tucson until the 1st of November, I’ve stopped in Laughlin and am once again staying at the Riverside Casino Rv park. The $109 weekly rate special this time of year is quite the deal and I enjoy the area. Time to visit with my former co-worker and friend Paul. Unfortunately his wife is currently back east so no chance to catch up with her as well.

the six and a half mile road to Telephone Cove

Using Paul’s truck, we took an excursion to check out a BLM free camp site along the Colorado River. Called Telephone Cove, it’s approx 6.5 miles off the main hwy 163 leading into Laughlin NV. By using Paul’s truck, I could check out the road leading in, without having to attempt driving my camper. As it turned out, the road is all relatively hard packed sand and is washboard most all the way in. Though quite doable with a two wheel drive vehicle and most Rv’s would have no problem.

Telephone Cove can be quite busy, but the day we went (Oct 17th) there was plenty of space to camp with some cottonwood trees being the coveted locations for some shade. I liked the location and would probably only plan a stay of a few days as the drive in and out along the washboard road would not make it conducive for driving into town, etc.

first peak down into Telephone Cove

one of the few free camping areas along the Colorado River
at least in this area.

bathrooms and large dumpsters are the only amenities 

Our next excursion was to Grapevine Canyon, along Christmas Tree Pass. There are some awesome native Indian Petroglyphs on both sides of the canyon entrance. It’s a short walk from the parking area, but walking down in the dry wash area is very soft sand and I’d recommend staying on top to get to the petroglyphs. Lots of line drawings with a few figures as well. Paul had never been to the site and I was more than happy to experience it again.

Thanks to Paul for driving and exploring with me.

Today I took “little Zippy” out on the heritage Trail and Davis Dam Trail along the Colorado River. It amounted to about 4 miles each way from where I started with the climax being able to drive on the closed road leading across the dam. Only bikes and hikers are permitted on the top of the dam road. Really breath taking views and only a couple other bikers were up here the same time as I was. Perhaps because it is quite a climb to get to top of the dam. Either that or many may not even be aware we are permitted to ride the road to the top. Especially with all the barricades in place.

bike trail leading out of Laughlin NV

from a distance all you see are road barriers
it's only when I got closer that I could see this entrance
lots of camping, both primitive and full hookups on the Bullhead side 
of the Colorado River

walking and biking trail

once again I found my happy place
early morning ride

the original Bullhead, now mostly 
under water
on top of the dam, what great views looking back to Bullhead City
and laughlin

Davis dam, with 5 hydro power generators

Interesting views and early morning bike riding made for a very pleasant ride. My E-bike is surely the best accessory I could have gotten to go with Zippy, my class C camper.

Well folks, it’s been quite the journey this past summer and I’m sure glad you’ve been along for the Ride. I do hope you’ll drop me a line if you have a chance. I sure would like to hear how your doing and what your journey this past summer has been like. You can e-mail me or text on my phone as it’s a quick and easy way to keep in touch.

A special thanks to all those who have taken the time to write to me during my summer journeys. Your efforts have truly filled my heart and put a smile on my face hearing from you and being able to keep in touch.

Most of my followups will be on FB so if your not a FB fan, it may appear like I’ve dropped off the planet for a while. For those on FB I’ll keep sending out pictures and any interesting things I may come across this coming winter season.

Please be as safe as you can be and we’ll hopefully all come out of this pandemic in good shape.

More pictures:

Heritage Trail and Davis Dam Trail, Laughlin NV

Telephone Cover and Grapevine Canyon, NV

Nelson mining Ghost Town, NV