Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vacation Hindsight - A Bridge too Far!

We've headed for the Southwest for vacation for years now.  Mostly because we collect a lot of the art produced there and have made many friends.  With the economy the way it is our collecting has slowed to a snails pace, if at all, but the friends remain and the visits are just as rewarding if not more so.

We have the time now, too, to allow for following whims.  The first two days are pretty routine.  Pocatello the first night.  Las Vegas the second, enough time for a really great dinner and the obligatory loss of our slot machine budget which usually takes about 32 seconds.  Nothing changed there!

For years, since 9/11, traffic to and from Vegas heading south has been encouraged to take an alternate route rather than crossing Hoover Dam. If you chose to anyway, your car would be perfunctorily searched.  Not you, just your car.  The worry being that someone would try to blow up the dam.  How, I'm not sure because to do the damage anticipated one would have to get into its bowels and that might tend to be a tad difficult.

So they built a new kazillion dollar bridge that was finally opened last fall.  You can walk out on it and look down on the dam, which we did.

You had to go through the security check point before parking so technically your car could have been searched.  Ours was not.  Neither were we nor anyone else.  Nothing.  Nada.

The bridge walkway was packed with tourists of every stripe.   English was the unusual language to hear.  With every currency known to man stronger than ours, people from abroad are flocking here for holiday. Yet not one bit of serious security.  Of course I'm no engineer, but I could just imagine an RPG slamming into the base of that dam coming from the new bridge where millions of viewers congregate. Not likely? Probably done more easily than getting into the dam to where you could be effective. It just amazes me that so much money was expended on the new bridge yet those who use it have absolutely free access.  Those very same people cannot get on a plane without what amounts to a strip search.  I am not suggesting, however, that such measures be instituted!

Okay.  We've been there, done that.  Since London Bridge was in the general vicinity we decided to visit it too.  We were curious as to how well Lake Havasu City was utilizing the old bridge as a tourist attraction.

Well, it was there.  It could have been any bridge from anywhere.  The fake British storefronts stood mostly unoccupied.  If it weren't for the hype, which of course is what it's all about, it could have been any bridge anywhere.

I'm sure it's packed during the tourist season, regardless of the amenities, but somehow it just didn't belong. 

It lacked London!  Even modern day London has an aura about it that Lake Havasu does not.  It's just a town on a lake depending on the tourist dollar for it's existence.
It seemed rather sad to me.  I love old historical sites.  There is usually a sense of history that is palpable.  Not here.  So that stop has been checked off our 'really ought to see it while we're so close' list.  It was, after all, an absolutely gorgeous day!

Next stop was Wickenberg's Desert Caballeros Museum for the Cowgirl Up western art show.
It was superb.  One of the best shows we've seen in a very long time and all women artists.  But of course!  What else would you expect?

Tomorrow, if you can stick with this, it's on to Indian country.  I really didn't want to get into Karzai being encouraged by the Pakistanis to side with them and China against us!  Even out of place, the London Bridge sits better with me!

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