We really have remarkable luck when it comes to finding good places to park Shiny. However, we were thinking that it had run out when we discovered that there were no empty sites at the Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area in Laughlin, Nevada. So, making the best of a not so good situation, we signed up for one of the last spots at Don Laughlin’s Riverside RV Park. This was a big one with 750 sites. Many of them bordered the main drag where the casinos are. Shiny’s luck pulled through again when we found our site on the top level facing the mountains. We were also a short distance from the shower rooms and laundry. Both, ahem, were needed! It wasn’t a very friendly place. Unlike many parks, no one gave us more than a curt nod. Maybe they were afraid after having read the signs posted everywhere about, “Beware of Scammers!” I never thought we looked like a scammer but…

Desert Buggy Races

Things got a bit noisy when the 2020 King Shocks Laughlin Desert Classic got started right near our site. The first day it rained but that didn’t stop the action.We were regaled with the whine of desert buggies racing until 1:30 AM. Larry knows the precise time because that is when he finally fell asleep. 5 helicopters circled the event all day long. I suppose they were filming the live action. We thought we might take a look at the race just out of curiosity until we found out that the tickets were $70 apiece.

We drove past Nevada Solar One off of route 95 on the way in to Laughlin. It is a huge Solar farm that went on for miles along the highway. This picture doesn’t do it justice but it was very impressive. It was nice to see such huge alternative energy production.

While we stayed a the Casino Resort, we drove a short way to Grapevine Canyon which is a part of Lake Meade National Recreation Area. A .3 mile walk led us to a splendid array of Petroglyphs. I was thrilled to be there and took about 500 pictures. It’ll take me months to paint each of those.

In the photo below, maybe you can see a figure of a man on a ladder similar to ones we use to pick apples. It has one leg on the bottom and splits off into two pieces with hand rails in between. Some people have suggested that the makers of these petroglyphs used these ladders to reach some of the higher spots.

Secret message or graffiti?


I am continuing with my daily drawing and painting of petroglyphs. I enjoy it immensely. I recently saw a splendid sketch made by one of my nephews and I felt like I should just throw out my paints because my work looks so feeble compared to his. Then, I reminded myself what was important to me was how I felt when I was drawing. It isn’t about production and selling and even anybody else liking it (although that’s cool, too). Who am I being when I paint? I am curious and open and filled with awe and respect and curiosity. That’s why I paint. It just took me a bit to remember that! What do your creative projects do for you???

After Laughlin, we headed into Lake Meade National Recreation Area and set up camp at a much quieter Callville Bay Campground. We had a great hike at the Redstone Dune Trail. The rock formations were beautiful beyond words. We pretty much had the place ourselves. It’s so amazing to think that this whole area used to be part of a big ocean.

Lake Meade was formed by the creation of the Hoover Dam which blocked the flow of the Colorado River. For a man made lake, it is actually very beautiful.

The dam was built during the Great Depression between 1931 and 1936. It was originally called Bolder Dam. Over one hundred workers lost their lives while building the dam. We walked along the historic railroad trail. It passed under 5 massive tunnels that were built to be tall enough to allow huge turbines to pass onto the dam. Below is a photo from Wikipedia of a ‘Jumbo Rig’ used for drilling the tunnels.

Callville campground, were we stayed was a great little place and we met some nice people there from eastern Oregon. Joe and Glenda played guitar and keyboard. Larry joined them with his fiddle to some lovely old Country tunes. They invited us up to their camp in the mountains. That sounds like fun! We did some great rock hounding and spent several days just puttering around, going for hikes, playing the fiddle, knitting and getting to know people including our very helpful campground host, Jason. He was a wealth of information about the area.

We really love the raw, wide open feel of this part of the country, warts and all. And, we are looking forward to our next explorations just up the way at the Valley of Fire State Park.


    1. No, John, this isn’t the date place but we do plan on writing about it two episodes from now. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode!

  1. Hi Susie and Larry!! Deb and Marty from Vermont here. (You stayed with us before your big adventure.) Love to read about your adventures! And the pictures are amazing! So happy to see you two healthy and active!

    Now that Marty and I are off work due to schools being closed here for the rest of the year, I have time to catch up with you two!

    Just wondering how things are going and how difficult it is to find open campgrounds with all the quarantining going on? We had reservations at the Outer Banks for Spring Break, but looks like they will be closed for a long time, possibly even the season. Any suggestions or recommendations?

    1. Hi Debbie, Great to hear from you. Larry and I are both shaking our heads trying to come up with ideas. Everything is changing so rapidly that it’s really hard to say. We are currently staying on a friend’s property south of Tucson. We use their electricity and WIFI and lunch with them every day. We have quarantined with them and have very limited interactions with the rest of the world. We can go about 2 weeks before we need to dump the tanks. Maybe you have friends that have property somewhere. Another idea is BLM land which so far is not restricted. Not sure how much BLM is on the east coast. Some states still have campgrounds that are open but that’s a day by day proposition. Price of gas is in your favor. it’s hard to be super sanitized when you’re out and about pumping gas etc. Let us know what you decide. We are looking for ideas too. Be well!

      1. Thanks so much for the info! We are looking at Army Corps of Engineers land as the closest BLM land to us is in Wisconsin. Will keep you posted! Take care!!

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