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Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
The creation of Lake Mead flooded a huge expanse of land, and, as a result, sights of the deep abound for scuba divers. Wishing Well Cove has steep canyon drop-offs, caves, and clear water. Castle Cliffs and Virgin Basin both have expansive views of white gypsum reefs and submerged sandstone formations. In summer Lake Mead is like a bathtub, reaching 85°F on the surface and staying at about 80°F down to 50 feet below the surface. Divers can actually wear bathing suits rather than wet suits to do some of the shallower dives. But visibility—which averages 30 feet to 35 feet overall—is much better in the winter months before the late-spring surface-algae bloom obscures some of the deeper attractions from snorkelers. Be aware that Lake Mead's level has dropped because of low snowfall in the Rockies. This has had some effect on diving conditions; St. Thomas, for example, is now only partially submerged.
American Cactus Divers (3985 East Sunset Rd., Suite B, Las Vegas, NV, 89120. 702/433–3483. www.americancactusdivers.com.)
Desert Divers Supply (5720 E. Charleston Blvd., West Side, Las Vegas, NV, 89142. 702/438–1000. www.nsra.info/desertdivers/divers.php.)
When George Taplin Duncan was struck and killed by an automobile in Kingman in 1947, his obituary recorded that he was a prominent rancher in northwestern Arizona and the owner of the Diamond Bar Ranch (now known as the Grand Canyon West Ranch). What wasn't included was any mention of his previous demise.
"Tap" Duncan was born in Texas, in 1869. He drifted from town to town throughout the Southwest. It's unknown how he came to the trade, but around the turn of the 20th century he started robbing banks and trains as a member of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang.
In 1904, Harvey Logan, also known as "Kid Curry," and two accomplices robbed a bank in Parachute, Colorado. A posse cornered the trio and Kid Curry was mortally wounded. When the gun smoke cleared, the posse found Kid Curry dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The posse thought they had Tap Duncan. They took the body into town and contacted the railroad agents to learn if there was a reward for Duncan. When the railroad agents saw the body, they realized it was Kid Curry, not Tap Duncan. Tap, meanwhile, was in Idaho.
There was no reward offered for Tap Duncan and the railroad agents didn't want to pay the reward for Kid Curry, so they buried a man they said was Tap Duncan and fostered the legend that Kid Curry had followed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid down to Bolivia.
When the news of his demise finally reached Tap, he was already leading a respectable life in northwestern Arizona not far from the western rim of the Grand Canyon. He raised kids and cattle, and lived out the rest of his life a free man.
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