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  • Writer's pictureSandra

Nevada – Nelson, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam

On Saturday, August 13th, 2022 we reached the state of Nevada (also called the Silver State), which is known for its desert and as an entertainment stronghold.

Thanks to a recommendation from my favorite german inspection examiner, we were drawn to the ghost town of Nelson in the Eldorado Mountains.

The town was once called Eldorado when the Spaniards discovered gold in this area and this location became the scene of Nevada's first major gold rush. However, if you expect Nelson as an abandoned city “in the traditional sense” you will be disappointed; I would rather describe this place as a special kind of junkyard. Unfortunately, there is no longer any gold in today's Nelson, but "only" a collection of historical and curious vehicles that the operators have accumulated over the years and staged in a pseudo ghost town setting.

Needless to say my favorites were the old school bus bodies, pimped to the bone.

I would take over a few of the extraordinary ideas if Skoolie didn't have to pass an annual inspection called (german) TÜV. 🤷‍♀️ After my excessive photo frenzy, in which I had photographed almost all the vehicles, we left Nelson in the late afternoon. Next stop: LAS VEGAS, baby! Actually, I'm not a fan of big cities, but literally ignoring Las Vegas was out of the question 🎉. At least once in my life I wanted to drive the Skoolie through the epicenter and marvel at the sea of ​​lights from neon signs. When we reached the city at 9 p.m. it was (unfortunately) still daylight.

I decided to drive up and down the strip, after all it has to get dark at some point. There was a lot going on in the Nevada Den of Sin and the traffic was slow, but that was a good thing.

So there was enough time to look around without even putting a foot or tire in front of the bus. To be honest, I was glad not to have to fight my way through the crowds and to be able to watch the goings-on from the sublime point of view of a school bus driver.🚍💜

I occasionally kicked Sebastian out to take a few photos.

I was in LAS Vegas with my Skoolie - isn't that amazing??? Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize that what I'm seeing and experiencing is REALLY happening!🌟


Actually, this day couldn't have gotten any better and I rarely cared about a place to sleep as much as I did that late evening. It was about 9:15pm when we arrived at the Sunset Scenic Overlook (3/4 hour from town). The sunset was long over and also expendable. The parking lot was empty and the area was super quiet. In the meantime it was pitch dark and I didn't know where we had actually ended up. The next morning I was woken up by the babble of voices from a film crew… in that case I have to say – thank goodness. Because otherwise I would have missed this gigantic sunrise, which was obviously the reason for their presence.

Secretly I wondered why the Outlook was called Sunset and not Sunrise Overlook. Doesn't matter! The view from this parking lot was even more impressive during daylight, which again caused me photo and video fever.

After the successful drone flight, it was time to conquer the Hoover Dam.

This forms the dam on the border between Nevada and Arizona, almost 45 km east of Las Vegas in Black Canyon. The gigantic structure dams the Colorado River to Lake Mead (where we stayed the night). Sebastian had the brilliant idea of ​​accompanying the Skoolie on the drone ride across the dam. But as feared and, in retrospect, completely understandable, flying drones is strictly forbidden there. I would not have dared to do it anyway with the many high-voltage lines. ☠️ We or the bus were also inspected more strictly by the security staff before "entry" than with any trip across the Canada or USA border. Before crossing the dam, however, we first went to the pedestrian bridge with an impressive view of the more than 220 m high dam.

What we weren't aware of is that the Hoover Dam ride is purely a scenic ride with a dead end, meaning you inevitably have double the fun.

It costs nothing but diesel... and that little bit really doesn't matter anymore!🤑


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