Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lake Mead National Recreation Area, NV

Last year we spent an unbelievable month at Lake Mead NRA (home of the Hoover Dam just outside of Las Vegas) and decide this year to return as a stop-over before heading into southern Arizona. While we spent Christmas just a short distance northeast at Whitney Pockets, (30 miles as the crow flies, but about 90 on roads) we spend New Year's at Stewart's Point on Lake Mead, a favourite (free) camp spot of ours.

We are met with this strange scene as we are driving along Northshore Boulevard just inside the park boundary. Your guess is as good as mine, and I don't find anything in local online news sources about this event. Obviously an emergency landing; not your everyday sight. We've had some strange "in the right place at the right time" events on this trip.

New Year's Day. A "storm" sweeps through the southwest bringing strong winds, chilling temperatures (for here around 0C or 32F) and snow above 2,000 feet. Thankfully, the dry air here allows us to bear the cold easily, and we are rewarded the morning after with this spectacular view of the Virgin Mountains to the northeast.

Unlike last year when we were here, this year we don't go out to do any hiking, even in nearby favourite Valley of Fire State Park. We spend the days walking around Stewart's Point with Grady, collecting garbage, and a few evenings by the campfire enjoying the moon rising in the glow of the sunset across the lake.

Not all of our days here are cloudless, and that's a good thing. Here Brad captures one of several brilliant sunsets.
We do engage in some unusual activity for us during our week at Lake Mead. Outlet mall shopping! Brad's never been to one, and neither of us are shoppers, but we need new running shoes and hiking boots, so we head to the mall AFTER the holiday crowds disperse. It's a fun day and, being a one hour drive from our camp spot, we combine it with some grocery shopping, dinner and a movie (Interstellar - not so stellar!). As we leave early in the morning, we see a bighorn sheep beside the road and the next morning two loons are swimming near "our" beach. Their call reminds us of Ontario's northern lakes - the call of home and autumns spent with beloved friends.
Update on second week at Lake Mead

The bald eagle we spot one morning. The photo is blurry because it's such telephoto zoom without a tripod, but he's beautiful just the same.

Another journey to nearby Valley of Fire State Park, one of our favourite southwest destinations. These are "The Cabins" built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and used as shelters by campers in the park in the 1930s and 1940s. The CCC was formed by the government to create employment during the Great Depression and they are responsible for many structures including park buildings and dams during this period.

During a hike behind The Cabins, we scare up a herd of bighorn sheep. These two get separated from their buddies, but reunite after we pass.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE the pic of the campfire and the mountains. perfection. See Thr Imitation Game for your next movie. Brilliant.