Late February and early March a special times in our family as that’s the time when my Dad and Grandpa both celebrate their birthdays. This year was pretty significant as my Grandpa was turning 90! We managed to get a good chunk of the family together for these occasions in Laughlin, NV. Why Laughlin? It’s always been a favorite of my Dad and Grandpa for being alongside the Colorado River and the many attractions that come with it. This was a weekend affair and even though it was going to be a good 1,200+ miles round-trip for me, I surely wasn’t going to miss it.
Laughlin is 90 miles south of Las Vegas on the southernmost tip of Nevada. You cross the Colorado river where it is sprawled out, and you’ll find yourself in Arizona. It is best known for the casino scene, but there are many water recreation activities, fine dining, museums, hiking, fishing and a relatively large outlet mall. There was something for everyone. Laughlin is the third most visited casino destination in Nevada and one of the top five RV destinations.
Here’s what my drive looked like. I took a bit of a detour on the way back through Gallup. Total miles: 1,300+
I set out Friday morning to make the 10hr drive from Las Cruces to Laughlin. Sun was shining and winds were down…great way to start the drive! I wasn’t on vacation yet though. Before officially setting out, I had to drop off some proposals for work in Deming, NM.
Here’s the municipal building where they were to be delivered.
On the way!
I checked the weather for Laughlin that day and it looked like I was going to something I’ve missed for months…rain!
As I drove further north, the clouds started to form. Here are some neat little stops I made along the way:
Here I took a short pit stop at the Burro Creek Canyon Recreational area near Bagdad. Yes, there is a “Bagdad” in Arizona! That will be worthy of a future blog post.
Next stop along the way was, “Nothing.” Once an unincorporated settlement (founded in 1977) with just four inhabitants, it used to be a gas station, then a pizza place and then a mini-mart. Now, it’s literally just an abandoned wide place in the road.
Here’s when it was a “happening” place.
And here’s how it looks today. This is the only building that remains.
My trip computer estimated that I had “523” miles to empty. Must have been a tail wind since I normally get 430.
Many more miles and rain showers later, I was getting close to the destination.
And I finally arrived in Laughlin!
The venue for the ‘bash was at the Golden Nugget Casino.
That evening, I met up with my Dad and Nena. It was great to catch up and relax after a long day on the road. My Dad being a Laughlin regular (he comes about once a year) showed me around. Most of the rest of the crawl would be rolling in later or early in the morning.
The river walk…
Next morning, breakfast was first on the agenda.
The mighty Colorado River was peaceful in the morning.
The big party was going to be in the late afternoon so I met up with my Grandpa and his friend Kelly to kill a few hours looking around. Here we went to a classic car show in the Riverside Resort.
Here’s Grandpa next to a ’29 Model sports coupe which rolled off the assembly line the same year as his first car, a ’29 2-door sedan.
1970 Dodge “Super Bee”
The classic 1955 Ford T-Bird
This mint 1940 Graham had an amusing license plate. Wonder if I could get a custom one for the TL!
Gorgeous 1954 Corvette
1966 Mustang Convertible
The most impressive for me was this display of Emilio Scotto’s 1980 Honda Gold Wing GL1100. Scotto holds the Guinness record for the world’s longest motorcycle ride. That was a ride that took him around the world. 10 years, 279 countries with a total distance of 457,000 miles, this guy is my hero!
Check out these stats of his adventures:
- 12 batteries
- 9 seats
- 86 tires
- 250 gallons of oil
- 13,000 gallons of gas
- Learned 5 languages
- 15 tickets (13 of those were in California)
- 90,000 photographs
I must say, this motivates me to do something grand with the TL!
Here was a really nice pearl blue 1963 Stingray
In addition to the old cars, a lot of antique machines were on display.
More and more family were rolling in for the party later in the day. One of my cousins from San Diego showed up in his recently purchased RLX! This car is impressive in person.
Acura seems to run in our family:
- 1 TL (me)
- 2 MDXs
- 1 RLX
- 1 CL
I need to get everyone together soon for an Acura photo-shoot!
Dad and me relaxing by the pool
Party time at Saltgrass Steak House!
Between family and friends, a total of 34 people showed up for the big birthday dinner for my Dad and Grandpa. It was an amazing turnout.
I highly recommend the Saltgrass Steakhouse. Mighty tasty!
Here’s my Grandpa with Aunt LaVonne, Dad and Uncle John.
Grandpa with all the great grand kids. It certainly was one terrific night!
Next morning before everyone departed, we had to get a group photo.
This trip goes in my book as one of most memorable. Thank you all for coming along. Until next time…