Friday, March 6, 2015

Lake Mohave/Mojave, NV

Part of the Colorado River system and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Lake Mohave (or Mojave) sits between Lake Mead and Lake Havasu near the towns of Laughlin, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona in the bottom tip of Nevada.
Camping on the beach
The trailer's back window is barely three feet from the water's edge. From his perch, Grady likes to watch the ducks and coots. The water is incredibly clear, like the aqua blue-green of the Caribbean. Water temp is 58F (14C) so not ready for swimming, but there are a lot of boaters and fishermen out.

Brad laying on the beach enjoying the warm afternoon sun. Daytime highs hit near 80F (27C) - perfect! The campfire is ready to spark.

The sun is setting, the temperature is dropping and we're settling into our last night here before starting the 5-day drive home in the morning. By the way, this campsite at Telephone Cove (on the Nevada side) is free and shared by many RVers, including a guy living in his Corvette.
Grapevine Canyon

Near our campsite is Grapevine Canyon. It has hundreds of petroglyphs, easily visible after only a 1/4 mile walk from the parking area.

An well-preserved rock with petroglyphs of bighorn sheep, common in this area.

Me playing around with some macro photography. The plants in this canyon are interesting. Usually in the desert, spiky plants mean "DON'T TOUCH", but these thorns are very soft (I just HAD to touch them!) These little green spheres are tiny, a little bigger than a large marble.

A beavertail cactus almost ready to bloom. I wish we could be here in the spring to see the desert in bloom. There has been a lot of rain in many parts of the southwest this year, so the wildflowers and cactus will probably be spectacular. Note that beavertail cactus don't have the longer thorns of a prickly pear, but rather short bristles that are just as painful to the touch, so I didn't.

A type of yucca (sorry, not a botanist!). Note it's height! Brad is 6 feet tall.

Only two of the yuccas along the trail in Grapevine Canyon are blooming. They are gorgeous!

Probably the grapevines for which the canyon is named. They are tiny, about half the size of the tiny peas. If you squish one, the juice smells just like grapes and the seeds inside are the size of a pinhead.

A narrow section of the trail. The walls are not high enough to warrant it being a slot canyon, but the granite walls make for lovely sculpting. Granite mountains are less usual here in the west where sandstone dominates.  This entire area is formed from granite mountains, including the "sand" on our campsite beach which is what makes the water look so beautiful as the granite spheres reflect the light from under the water, like the shell sand beaches of the Caribbean.

The waterfall at the end of the hike. The granite walls are much more difficult to climb than sandstone (which is typically easy due to its sandpaper-like grip). These granite slopes are like tiny marbles glued together with an easily eroded clay, so it's not unusual for the spherical stones to chip off under your feet, rolling you downhill. Brad climbed to the top anyway. Yeah, I'll wait here.

Waiting for Brad gives me time to look around and enjoy my surroundings. The waterfall is at my back behind a big boulder. The canyon looks like this for the duration of the 1.7 mile hike. 
And so ends another amazing journey. Our window of weather opportunity has arrived and it's time to go home before we overstay our 6-month welcome. Sad to leave, happy to go home.

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