Today would be another non-travel day. A day to sit back, put the feet up, sleep in, and take a few naps. Oh wait, that was Aria's day. Mine was spent planning the trip back to the Midwest as well as seeing a few things around the area. I was definitely not a desert person, it was crazy how quickly the temperature rose once the sun began to wake up, not that it got very cool last night but I was hoping the heat would have held off just a little bit longer. Upon my return from breakfast, I was in time to hear the local news announce that the area was experiencing it's hottest temperatures for this time of the year. Of course, they were, why would I get here when they were experiencing "below normal" temps. Mother Nature was just plain evil at this point.
The day was, without a doubt, slower to start than the others but there were still errands that needed to be run. First on the list was a stop at the local Jiffy Lube to have the car serviced, this station wasn't quick about anything and an hour later I was finally checking out only to have my bank card declined. Thankfully, my credit card was stilling working. The local Wal-Mart was next to pick up the GPS I had ordered online, the phone was officially done misdirecting me to my locations. Upon leaving the store I also picked up some sunscreen and a few other items only to see, once again, that my bank card was denied. A swipe of the credit card had me on my way and calling the bank. After being on hold for several minutes even the representative couldn't figure out why my card had been locked as there were no unusual purchases. The only thing he could conclude was the Wal-Mart I was at had a high rate of fraud; great. My card was now unlocked and I was on my way back to the hotel to pick up Aria.
I returned only to find her enjoying the air-conditioned hotel with not a care in the world. A few minutes later she was leashed up and we were off to explore a local trail. One step out into the rising heat had Aria looking back towards the hotel room as if to say, "I'd rather go back". But she didn't fight it and into the already warm car, we went.
We headed out towards Lake Mead to check out the Lake Mead Historic Railroad Trail which was a mile away from my hotel. There had been a nice, gentle breeze that had been blowing through the city but once we hit the trail the wind disappeared and the heat became unbearable. With a water bottle in hand and camera around the neck, we continued on. Considering we were both not use to this kind of heat we took it slow and was only able to see about 1/3 of the hike which took us close to thirty minutes. Even with the several water stops, we made during that time, Aria's tongue was still dragging and my breathing was becoming short and shallow. We turned back and returned to the car, neither of us needed to have a heat stroke while visiting.
The Lake Mead Historic Railroad Trail was all that remained of the tracks that brought supplies in to build the Hoover Dam. The original track was build in 1931 and had trains running 24 hours a day that would haul gravel, supplies, and machinery to the construction site. Its last year of use was in 1961, dismantled in 1962 and became a National Historic site in 2015. The trail was 3.7 miles long, hugged the large hills, had several tunnels along the route and would end near the Hoover Dam Visitor Center. The trails were well-groomed and easy to follow with placards throughout to further explain the history of the tracks. There was no fee to park near the Alan Bible Visitor Center off of Lakeshore Road.
Pets were welcomed on the trail as long as they were on a leash. There were no watering stations and very little shade until the tunnels, glad I came prepared. They even had warning signs that highly recommended no hiking the trail from June-September because of the extreme heat during that time period. There were beautiful panoramic views of Lake Mead along the trail.
We arrived back at the car where another bottle of water was waiting for us. Both of us took healthy drinks from it while the car tried to cool down. A few minutes later we crawled in and the cool a/c from the car began to revive us both. Afterward, we drove into Las Vegas and down Las Vegas Boulevard. Once again, I was visiting a town I hadn't been to in a really long time. As I drove down the road and looked at the buildings, I couldn't help but chuckle that every block had a wedding chapel and a pawn shop. Some of the chapels were busy and the pawn shops had people waiting in long lines outside the building.
I couldn't leave Las Vegas without checking out one more thing, The Haunted Museum. Yes, I'm a Ghost Adventures fan but not a fanatic, I watch the show when I can and there are things done that I disagree with but was still intrigued when Zak Bagans announced a museum full of haunted objects he had collected over the years. Actually, it was the history of the building that caught my attention more so than the objects. I love historical buildings, photographing them and love visiting museums.
The never-ending promise that it would be "opening soon" had me wondering if the place truly existed, it did and I could see why he was drawn to it. It was simple but tasteful and smaller than I pictured, from the angles of the filming he had done I expected it to be bigger. The energy that surrounded it gave me comfort and peace. Despite what he and his visitors say, now that it is officially open, I found it to be very relaxing and hope to tour it one day.
Although I would prefer a private tour to get a true feeling of the place. A few photos and a drive around had me back on the main road.
After two hours in the sun and heat, Aria and I headed back to the hotel and it wasn't long after that we crashed for an afternoon nap. Que weird, dark and crazy dreams; maybe the museum impacted me more than I thought.
It was hard getting up after that but eventually did to do more cataloging of photos and journaling of the trip. The sun had started to set and there was a slight decrease in the temperature. Aria and I headed out for a walk and then went to find supper, upon return I noticed that my phone was beeping and buzzing every few seconds. Thinking it was an emergency I reached for it and unlocked it.
To my great surprise, Zak Bagans had responded to a tweet I had sent about visiting the Haunted Museum and his fans had also responded. That was cool and I smiled at the response and hoped that one day we would meet face to face and he would offer a private tour of his museum. Until then, I silenced the phone, did a little more work and then Aria and I called it a night. The next day would be a long one up to Wyoming as we made our way back to Wisconsin.
Driving across country can bring about some interesting situations. Broken down on a day by day basis enjoy my adventures and set backs along the way to some beautiful destinations.