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Archive for May 6th, 2008

After a late night of music and a mini-run at the craps table we grabbed some skillet eggs and sausage in the morning and packed up the bikes for our return trip to Las Vegas. 

The morning opened another day of perfect riding weather.  There are roughly 350 sunshine days a year and the vegetation truly reflects the heat.  A number of people buzzed out of Laughlin early as most of the vendor booths were shut down and we saw a lot of the riders on the road by mid-morning.

It was 6 years ago (2002) that the Laughlin River Run changed forever, but this year we didn’t have any Mongol/Hells Angels shoot-out and everything went as planned.  In large part due to the high-profile police barricades, law enforcements take everyone prisoner attitude along with the easy going crowds the promotional bikes were raffled off, there were bikini contest winners, poker run rides and the Insurance Gecko lizard drag races went off like clock work…everyone left Laughlin with a good feeling behind.

Dal-Con Promotions, Inc is the originator and official promoter of the event.  Dale Marschke was a franchised HD dealer in southern Ca., looking for a destination to ride with his customers.  He came to the area once known as South Point and was acquainted with Don Laughlin, who re-opened a bankrupt casino in 1966.  The town was renamed after Don and the first River run was in 1983 with less than 500 motorcyclists.  I’m sure the numbers are in the 50-60K range for this year’s attendance.  The Bullhead City Police statistics and LV Metro statistics were down this year and the good news is another year of no only two fatalities!

At any rate we rode out of Laughlin through Bullhead City on AZ 68 toward Kingman.  We caught H93 north out of Kingman and headed toward Hoover Dam.  This is about as long and flat of road that you’ll find and is approx 90miles to Hoover Dam.  We passed a town called Chloride, Arizona.  You blink and almost miss the turn off the highway.  We didn’t participate, but supposedly it was part of official Laughlin Poker Run.   Riders collect cards to make a poker hand for a chance to win cash and Harley merchandise.  Chloride was founded in 1862 with the discovery of silver ore. The name comes from the type of silver ore (silver chloride, a.k.a. cerargyrite) mined there. It was once home to more than 75 mines and 2,000 people. The town has seen stage coaches and trains and still maintains the oldest continuously operating post office in Arizona.  It’s declined to about 250 residents in this internet age.

About 10 miles from Hoover Dam there is a Homeland Security/Police check point because it’s listed Hoover Dam as one of several terrorist targets in Southern Nevada.  The check point is operated by private officers under a contract with the Wackenhut Corp., and man both the Nevada and Arizona checkpoints.  I guess those Bureau of Reclamation employees are too expensive?  We rode in from the East side and looked over the dam.  Hoover Dam holds back one of the largest reservoirs in the world: Lake Mead. It covers a surface area of 247 square miles and rests in parts of southeastern Nevada and northwestern Arizona.  We made our way across the dam and retreated into the gift shop for some air conditioning and grabbed a little lunch. After doing the tourist gig we headed out to Boulder City and into downtown Las Vegas to drop off the bikes.

Rondo and the Dealer Transport truck were ready for our bikes and we walked across the street to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for some atmosphere and cold buckets of refreshments prior to a taxi ride to the airport.  We had aspirations of chilling with Paris Hilton and flashing wads of cash during the poolside MTV concert but a minor run in with a security guard who didn’t like JR’s rapping “G-Unit” spectacle denied us access to our fans in the pool.  We’ll throw “hundreds” next trip.

It was truly a great motorcycle trip with excellent weather, riding and camaraderie with friends.  If you get a chance to participate in the Laughlin River Run — jump on it.

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