Bullhead City. Weather? Hot, hot, blast furnace hot, hot enough you don't have to light up the barbecue grill, the reflection of the mobile home or the trailer wall is enough. Grill a burger, fry an omelet, melt your mind. Nobody cares, everyone's overheated, saturated with sun, and the water runs forever in this desert oasis, just runs and runs, finally ending in border runoff .
I should have stayed there, in Laughlin, at least a night. The food was good at the Black Bear diner. The rooms are cheap. The Mexicans own the border these days, but we own the water. Not sure which is more pressing, but drug trafficking won't stop, until we stop demanding it. All the water in the Colorado is diverted, dammed, channeled, carried by canal or aqueduct to California Arizona. The Mexicans get none.
Jet skis skim the water like flies jumping in the morning on a cool trout stream, cash-fat casinos drain wallets of sweaty travelers who like the cheap alternative to Vegas. Laughlin is small time. Bullhead City is the border town. Draws in all types of folk, you see them in the back alleys and the gravel drives, mostly staying indoors though, in the heat. They come out at night. The old run down trailers gather together in the trees along the shore of the Colorado, riverfront property, sheet metal homesteads on blocks.
The town looks hit and miss, come and go, people on the run, looking for the quick fix. They move on. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't think so. They're there. The signs are all around if you know what to look for. Liquor stores on the odd corner, out on the highway standing alone. Asian Massage. Low rent rooms, all night buffets across the river, motorcycle shops and four wheel drive after-market parts where they put anything on a vehicle and make it desert-ready.
Down river, the Parker Strip is jet boats, water skiing, campgrounds, moveable vacation homes on wheels, an upscale version of Bullhead City. Floating beer bars. A veneer of respectability. But not much. It's beer soaked, less rust, but it still has that feel about it, like people there don't have too many choices.
Maybe I'm wrong. I don't think so.
Maybe I'm not seeing something. I don't think so.
I'll look, next time. Try and find what I'm missing. But I don't think so.