I wanted to visit Lake Mead for a while now and this was my chance. We drove the 131 miles north from Lake Havasu City to the Lake Mead Recreation Area and Hoover Dam. The area has blue lakes, desert, rugged mountains and canyons. The Hoover Dam provides hydropower to the Southwest US.
We were headed to the Boulder Beach National Forest Campground just north of the dam. The campground is first come, first served so we couldn’t make reservations. In fact, we haven’t made any campsite reservations the entire trip. We like not having plans and navigating by serendipity. It’s worked out well for us. We found a campsite near the shoreline of Lake Mead with an unobstructed view of the lake. We were so happy about that! Unfortunately, our enjoyment of the site was short lived. Two other big rigs pulled in across from us and proceeded to run their generators six hours a day so they could stay inside and watch television. One rig had a diesel engine and generator and the diesel fumes blew over to our campfire at night, ruining the whole experience. Don’t understand why people go camping and then stay inside and watch TV the entire time!
I went to the Hoover Dam the next day. Ralph had been there before, so I went alone. With so much togetherness over the last month, it was nice to have some alone time. After I visited the dam, I went into the small town of Boulder City. Boulder City was built to house the Hoover Dam construction workers and their families. I stopped at the Boulder City Hotel and Museum. I learned how the dam was conceived and built. Truly an engineering marvel and American ingenuity. I forgot my camera so no photos.
The next day we drove the Mini up the west and north shores of Lake Mead. We stopped at a few campgrounds along the way. The campgrounds are further from the lake and more elevated with sweeping views. We discovered one campground with a section designated “no generators”. Wish we had known about this earlier. It was a very scenic drive. Our favorite section was the Red Stone Picnic Area and trail. Really beautiful…see for yourself…
The next day we packed up and headed to Las Vegas to driveway surf with our friends Mary Ann and Gerard Capra. We spent three days in Vegas and ate out a lot! It was a nice change. We went to a comedy show too. From the middle of nowhere to the bright lights, big city, we’ve had it all on this trip!
We (Mary/Gerard and us) drove out to the Valley of the Fire State Park about one hour northeast of Vegas. I’ve wanted to visit this park for many years. I’ve always thought of Vegas as flat…and the city part is…but it is surrounded by mountains. The park derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape.
We hiked the White Domes area. It was listed as an easy 1.15 mile hike through a slot canyon. Well…it was about 1.5 miles and not easy at all! We were climbing up and down rocks a lot of the time. My thighs were so sore the next day I could barely walk. I took my walking stick that I purchased at least a year ago, and it came in very handy to help me on the slippery, sand covered rocks. This was the first time I remembered to take it and it was the perfect time. This was the most awesome hike we’ve taken. After the hike we ate the food we purchased at the Indian Reservation store on the way to the park and then headed home. I’m so glad we made the trip to the park. If (or should I say when) you are in the area, don’t miss this beautiful park.
We decided to head home the next day (Monday) and began our two day drive back on Sacramento about 10 am. We stayed the night in our regular stop in Boron at the Arabian Oasis RV Park. The folks parked next to us were from Vero Beach, Florida, just up the road from my family in Port St Lucie. Small freakin’ world, isn’t it!
I’m off to Florida to visit family and friends for the month of March. Ralph and Fred will have to fend for themselves and are probably grateful for the opportunity after six weeks together in our tin can on wheels!
Until the next trip…