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Lake Mead National Recreation Area

It seemed we were doomed again in our attempt to boat on Lake Mead. Last night the wind began to pick up, and by morning it was whipping a blast of hot air at us. This meant white-capped waves across the broad section of the lake, and a bumpy ride -- just like last year.

But Lake Mead has an abundance of sheltered little coves, formed by the crannies and canyons of what was once wind-sculpted desert. We made for those as quickly as possible, and found tranquil blue-green water surrounded by dark brown canyon walls, perfect for diving and swimming.

Lake Mead Emma Brett pool.jpg

Who thought of putting a lake in a desert? It's a marvelous invention. There's nothing like jumping into cool blue water with a 110 degree dry breeze above. (But remember to apply the sunscreen early and often. We used SPF50 water-resistant sunscreen and still got a little red in spots.)

Lake Mead pronghorns.jpg

As we jumped from cove to cove, we spotted some wildlife. The best surprise was a small herd of about 18 pronghorns who had come down to the lake edge to drink. We were looking at them, thinking how strange it was to encounter these mountain animals alongside a lake, and likewise they were wondering what a boat was doing in their canyon. At another cove, we spotted herons nesting, and a duck that we could not identify, with unusual plumage.

Lake Mead boat crash.jpg

The most startling sight was this crashed boat. Only a couple of hours earlier we had seen a family pulling a tube behind this boat. When we arrived, they had apparently been rescued but the boat and all of their possessions were left behind. Although the boat was completed destroyed, it looked like the accident was survivable. A reminder of the need for boating safety ...

The last stop of the day was back at Hoover Dam. There's a small cove just before the buoys that warn you not to get closer. In this cove there is an unofficial anchorage. I named it "Moocher's Cove" because of the ducks and large friendly fish that swam up to us looking for handouts. It was the idea spot to hang out and swim and snack for the last hour of the afternoon: calm, quiet, sunny, with delicious cool water.

This evening we have another guest in the Airstream. My mother has flown in from Vermont. That makes five people in here for the next two nights. This is the largest crowd we have ever had sleep over, and yet it feels very natural.

Tonight Emma and my mother are settling in on the converted dinette bed, Brett is in the back bedroom, and Eleanor and I are in our front queen bedroom. Emma is reading a bedtime story to my mother from the book she is writing, I'm up front blogging, Brett is in the shower, and Eleanor is preparing for bed. Being here together on the shores of Lake Mead with a balmy wind gently rocking the trailer seems to have made us all very comfortable. I think this will be a day we look back on for years and say, "That was a great day."


When I read,"It seemed we were doomed again in our attempt to boat on Lake Mead.", and saw the photo of the crashed boat, I thought, "you'd better forget the H2O yachting and stick to the 'land yachting'!"

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