After eating lunch at the High Scaler Cafe on the Nevada side of the dam, it was off to ride through the Lake Mead National Recreation area close by. Taking Hwy 93 back for 3.5 miles leads to a right turn on Lakeshore which in turn leads to Northshore Drive, the two roads that take you through the Lake Mead area, and they seem simply made for two-wheeled travel. On a weekday afternoon, traffic of any kind is virtually nowhere to be seen as you take one scenic curve or hill after another, each one revealing another stunning vista with the lake’s turquoise blue contrasted by the surrounding land’s orange, pink and yellow. I know of few other areas in the country where the landscape is so startlingly beautiful as in the desert southwest, and this is one of the most picturesque areas of them all. If you are anywhere close, it is an area not to be missed.
Another motorcycle-friendly feature of the area is the ability to find lodging close by, as roads leading west away from Lake Mead head straight into Vegas, about an hour’s ride away. One of these roads is the Valley of Fire Highway, which has the added attraction of leading you through the crowning glory of this area, the Valley of Fire State Park. You simply run out of adjectives to describe places like these after a while, and words only diminish them. All you can do is let your eyes absorb a landscape that you could swear belongs on another planet, except you can breathe the air. We arrived just in time for a full moonrise in the eastern sky, in one of those rare photographer’s dreams when every part of the scenery combines for a one-of-a-kind photographic opportunity.
By the time we got through touring from Route 66 to the Valley of Fire, it had been a very long riding day. After getting the bike back in the trailer we headed for Las Vegas, getting a room at a Hampton Inn on Dean Martin Blvd.
With the forecast of colder winter weather in the following few days, and the requirement to get to Seattle by the end of the weekend, we decided to head north by the fastest route. On Friday morning we took I-15 through Utah and into Idaho, and on Saturday, we traveled through Oregon towards Washington. As we neared the Washington border, we got rain, and in the eastern sky a double rainbow appeared over a huge area of open farmland. It was our last stop for photographs and the only time I ever remember seeing a full unbroken double rainbow, let alone having an opportunity to get a photograph of one. It was another amazing sight in an amazing travel week. Arriving in Seattle at about 7 p.m., I was happy to see Lora, and have a week of great travel behind us. After 2,700 miles and some great riding days, it was good to be “home” again. B