Editor’s note: Before you continue reading, if you haven’t already, read Cheri’s article from last week about preparing for this trip.
The time was fast approaching to depart on my long, long RV trip. For me, trips like this always bring on a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Thankfully, not in equal measures.
I also know that once I get going, most of the anxiety melts away… at least most of the time.
As I had done everything I could to prepare well for the 6 months or so cross-country journey, I relaxed. I went out to dinner with my family, hitched up the next morning, gave more hugs all around, and hit the road.
This week’s stops: RVing to Las Vegas
- Day 1: Peggy Sue’s Diner, Yermo, CA
- Days 2, 3, 4, 5: Las Vegas, NV
- Day 6: Boulder City, NV
- Day 7: Kingman, AZ
Peggy Sue’s Diner: Vegas-bound blast to the past
I had a long journey ahead of me, and after being more or less housebound for the previous six months, I wanted to ease myself back into RV life.
There’s no better boondocking first stop when RVing to Las Vegas from Southern California than Peggy Sue’s iconic 1950s-style diner, a kitschy tourist oasis situated in the middle of the desert.
Do yourself a favor and skip the chain restaurants of Barstow Station and stop at Peggy Sue’s instead. They have darn good diner food and soda fountain favorites. Plus, the gas station next door usually has the best prices this side of the Nevada line.
Peggy Sue’s was only about two hours from Orange County, where I spent the last six months. But I knew there was plenty of RV parking there, regardless of whether or not you have a Harvest Hosts membership.
Some RVing friends who live in nearby Adelanto decided they needed a break and came out to meet me and join in on the boondocking fun.
After stumbling out of the diner, full from burgers and fries, pork chops, and chocolate malts, we went back to the RVs for an impromptu party. (We were so full we didn’t have room to try the incredible-looking pies!)
Peggy Sue’s has grown substantially since I last visited more than 10 years ago. There are now several more dining buildings, plus an outdoor park complete with duck ponds, dinersaur (get it?) sculptures, picnic areas, and tons of photo ops.
Inside there is plenty more room for the owner’s massive collection of movie and music memorabilia, plus a ’50s-style ice cream soda fountain and candy shop.
RV parking is level and plentiful, but there is substantial highway noise.
For me, who spent a lot of my life living and working on the road, highway noise and 18-wheeler generators are as soothing as ocean waves. But if highway noise bothers you, you might have trouble sleeping at Peggy Sue’s.
As the diner sits directly across the street from an active military base, we drifted off to sleep to the sounds of taps playing gently in the background and woke up the next morning to Reveille.
After a hearty American diner-style breakfast, my friends and I said goodbye and I hit the highway towards Las Vegas.
Las Vegas RV Resort
After reading countless stories of campground overcrowding and canceled reservations, I was slightly concerned when things seemed to go too smoothly when reserving a spot at the Las Vegas RV Resort.
I needn’t have worried. This is one of the best-run RV parks I have encountered. My reserved space was empty and waiting for me.
An adults-only RV park, the Las Vegas RV Resort was quiet, especially at night, and impeccably clean, including the bathrooms and showers. The power was steady, even in 100-degree heat and running the air most of the day. There were always friendly employees around to help, if needed.
There’s a pool and hot tub and occasional social activities for those seeking to mingle. For instance, a poolside Cinco de Mayo party was taking place during my visit.
In short, I could not have asked for a better home base to explore “Sin City” than the Las Vegas RV Resort. It was also a convenient place for local friends to come and visit.
Las Vegas Cannabis Tourism
I was in Las Vegas to cover some new cannabis tourism opportunities for my website.
If you are an RVer who loves cannabis, you should definitely check out Las Vegas Cannabis Tours. They offer various tour packages that include visits to popular dispensaries, grow facilities, glass art studios, and more.
Their sister company, Las Vegas Cannabis Weddings, can even arrange a cannabis-themed wedding. There are all-inclusive weed wedding packages for all budgets that include the facility, officiant, photography, catering, and more.
You can even get a “Green Wedding Cake.” It’s not cannabis-infused, as per Nevada law, but makes a beautiful and delicious cannabis-themed centerpiece for your weed wedding nonetheless.
Weed weddings can take place in a grow facility surrounded by all those beautiful fragrant plants, or at Planet 13, the world’s largest marijuana dispensary.
Even if you don’t plan on getting married, it merits a visit to this ENORMOUS tourist attraction dispensary. Not only is there a superb variety of products to choose from, but there is also an exhibition kitchen where edibles are made, and interactive exhibits and fun features like an hourly dancing drone show.
If you’re hungry, step on over to Trece, an on-site gourmet restaurant serving Southwestern and Southern cuisine and lots of sharable appetizers.
After spending a day shooting videos and catching up on work at the resort, I headed out towards Boulder City to meet up with my friends who live there, Marilyn and Barry.
RVing from Las Vegas: On to Boulder City
I parked the rig at the Hoover Dam Lodge and Casino, which has an enormous parking lot and welcomes overnighting boondockers. Park to the right side if you are facing the casino, and you will have the Hoover Dam Lodge trailhead hike directly out the door.
The Hoover Dam is truly an engineering marvel and even those with a passing interest can’t help but be astounded at its magnificence, beauty, and sheer enormity. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time for the full dam tour. Next time!
Take time to explore the casino while you are there. In addition to gaming and a variety of restaurants, there are fascinating historic exhibits throughout detailing the history of the building of the Hoover Dam. A short documentary film plays on a loop in the lobby and it will blow you away.
Marilyn played tour guide and drove me around to the sightseeing spots while Barry prepared a delicious BBQ.
The water in Lake Mead is shockingly low right now, as evidenced by the photo above. Where the white rocks meet the brown behid the dam is usually where the water level is. In fact, it is so low, bodies long-buried are beginning to wash up!
Before heading off the next morning, Marilyn took me to the Coffee Cup in downtown Boulder. As Guy Fieri made the place famous on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, you know it was hearty!
I drove off via the spectacular Mike O’Callaghan/Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which connects Nevada and Arizona. I was glad Marilyn and I had walked the bridge earlier, as the incredible views would have made it difficult to keep my eyes on the road.
RVing to Kingman, AZ
I drove under two hours to a fabulous Harvest Hosts stop in Kingman, Arizona. The Desert Diamond Distillery is a small, family-owned business that is Arizona’s oldest and largest (even though they are tiny) craft distillery.
The spirits made here are all made 100% from scratch from a base of blackstrap molasses. And they have been racking up international awards.
The distillery tour is fascinating, led by the owners—who clearly have a passion for their craft. Visitors can enjoy tasting flights or cocktails. Food is available, along with a quiet, level place to park.
My Verizon Wi-Fi was strong. I got some work done and even caught up on watching Ozark!
RVing to Las Vegas: What a Week!
Whew! That was a lot to pack into one week. Not to mention I caught up with five old friends along the way, and spent two of the four days in Las Vegas busy at work writing and shooting videos for my YouTube channel.
Living on the road is all about balance.
When RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury asked me to write this series, he asked me to put my thoughts and feelings about living on the road into it as well as travel info.
I promise I will. But this first week was just too active and I am out of space!