My itinerary for the day spans the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada, to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, a 60-mile journey that I’ll be doing not by boat but Sea-Doo personal watercraft. Launching from the beach at Harrah’s Casino, I can’t help but marvel at the mini-Vegas that lies upriver. Laughlin started in the 1940s as little more than a motel and bar to serve workers constructing the Davis Dam, gold and silver miners, and fishing enthusiasts. When the workers left in the 1950s, the town withered in the desert heat until Las Vegas casino owner Don Laughlin took interest in 1964. By 1966, the 14-story Riverside Resort had joined that original motel; others soon followed. Today, the city attracts nearly 2 million visitors annually who casino-hop via water taxi and, when they’re not dreaming of hitting it big, soak in the area’s attractive mixture of sunshine, low humidity, and beautiful scenery.