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Jetskiing Lake Mead

As promised, Brett and I went jetskiing on Lake Mead today. We learned a lot: what not to pack, how not to dock the boat, how not to protect one’s cell phone, and what size waves one should not attempt to fly over at 35 MPH. It was a very educational session.

The basis for most of our education was high wind. It was blowing between 20 and 30 knots on Lake Mead, with gusts up to 54. This meant waves up to 4 feet in the middle of the lake. It was also mostly cloudy and the air temperature never got above the 70s, amazingly enough.

So while this kept the lake free of competing boat traffic, it also meant a rough ride on the open water. The spray from our boats either outran us, or flew back into our faces like little needles, depending on which way we were heading.

The pounding of the waves caused our can of Pringles chips to become Pringles mulch. One bottle of cranberry juice flew out and is now resting at the bottom of Lake Mead. The plastic baggie containing our cell phones shredded, and the red Gatorade leaked onto everything. Brett is eating ibuprofen for dinner and I look like I’ve got a horrible skin disease from the dried minerals on my arms and legs.

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Arrow indicates approximate location of cranberry juice

Still, it was fun. The protected coves gave us plenty of room to play around, and we were able to boat within a few hundred yards of Hoover Dam. The canyons and inlets are gorgeous and fun to explore. We logged about four hours on each boat (not counting snack breaks), and with our shorty wetsuits we were reasonably warm despite the strong wind. We’re already talking about going again next year.

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Brett on the wet side of Boulder Dam

After returning the rental boats, we headed back to the Airstream for a change of clothes and then to Hoover Dam. About this time my cell phone dried out and began to work again. Brett’s phone got wetter and it seems to be non-functional, unfortunately. So while it was drying out on the dashboard, we checked out the incredible Hoover Dam, built from 1931-1935 on the Colorado River about 300 miles southwest of the Glen Canyon Dam we visited just a couple of weeks ago.

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The dam tour is worth doing, at $11 for adults. Not only do you get to go down inside the dam, but the new exhibit building (the copper-colored structure in the right of the photo below) is very good. And the views are tremendous in every direction.

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I was also impressed with the town of Boulder City, which is the home of the Hoover Dam. It has a vibrant downtown, lots of culture and activity, is not too touristy, and sits in a scenic spot just 20 minutes from Las Vegas. We may check it out further when Eleanor and Emma get back, if there’s some time on Monday.

Here’s a Sign Of The Week for you, as found in Boulder City.

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One Response to “Jetskiing Lake Mead”

  1. Terry Says:

    Now I know why Brett hasn’t answered his cell phone…