We started today at Hover Dam with the quick powerhouse tour. It was pretty interesting! There were lots of kids taking the tour and Joe and I were imagining ourselves showing Hazel and Aria these amazing things when they get a little older.
After the tour we got back on the road as soon as we could and headed to Las Vegas. There we had lunch at the In and Out Burger warehouse store. and talked to a number of people about our trip and JDRF. Then took the long way out of town by way of the Las Vegas Strip and pointed the Millennium Bird north toward Lake Tahoe. Since there were a couple of hours of desert landscape to drive through. We decided to head west and cross Death Valley. With the help of Google maps and a AAA map that we picked up along the way, we found the route with the better road. In hind site, we should have checked the elevations of the three passes and chosen another route that is lower. We went from 3,500' feet to 4,300 and then down to -245 feet elevation as we drove, then up to 5,000 feet to about 1,000 and finally back to 4,100 feet. We did all this in about 45 miles in a 50 year old vehicle that has been having trouble with over heating and running at elevation, but the Milinimuem Bird did great! The temp was in the acceptable range, however the cruise overloaded and quit when the car was trying to hold 60mph up a 5.5% grade at 4,500 feet . This was not a big problem for us, though.
When it started getting dark we were running with the bright lights on. We saw burros, small fox's, jack rabbits, and kangaroo rats on the road. We didn't want to mow any of them down, hence the brights. After about 30 minutes the lights started to blink off and on, and off and on again. Joe asked if I was getting bored and doing that with the switch, I was wondering if we had packed the extra replacement light switch when I remembered about the circuit breakers on the electrical system. I dimmed the lights, the low beams came on and we continued with no further shenanigans. We were glad we were on a straight stretch when it happened, so no animals were hurt in the writing of this blog.
At the end of the day, we finished up in Lone Pine. Tomorrow we head toward Napa Valley, CA for some wine and a slower day.