We got our generator fixed, so we can dry camp again! After taking Meriwether into the shop in Lake Havasu City on Friday morning, we were out of there right after lunch (more on that repair–and what we found out was wrong–soon).
Though we had paid for Cattail Cove State Park through Friday night, we decided to start our journey to Las Vegas. We didn’t find out until today, but Cattail Cove actually refunded our last night. That was so considerate of them!
As we were adjusting our schedule, we found out our friends Eric Udell and Jeanette Hobbs were dry camping at Lake Mead Recreation Area, just to the east of Las Vegas. We hadn’t seem them for about a year, so we decided to take advantage of our repaired generator and spend a night dry camping with them. Susan Harrigan, who we met at Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October, and her friend Robin were there, too. Spontaneous get-togethers on the road are the best.
Getting to Know Lake Mead
Lake Mead Recreation Area covers a mind-blowing 1,495,806 acres. 186,000 of those are covered by water. There’s boating, fishing, hiking, photography, picnicking and sightseeing to be done. The entrance fee is $20/vehicle (daily) or $40 annually.
Definitely take half an hour or so to stop at the visitor’s center. You can get a stamp for your National Parks passport, peruse the hands-on Mojave Desert museum and watch a short film. You’ll learn that Lake Mead NRA is the largest national recreation area in the country and that Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake in the country. Both cool facts!
For RVers, there are a ton of camping options. You can get full hookups at some of them, or go off-grid and dry camp at other areas. The stay limit is 90 consecutive days. We had four bars LTE on AT&T.
Getting to Our Dry Camping Spot
We entered off of 93 (where the visitor’s center is) and took Lakeshore Road. After a couple of turns, which you can see on the map, we met up with our friends on Government Wash. That last quarter of a mile or so is pretty rough. There’s some washboard going on, but the big concerns for me were the pointy rocks all over the road. Not fun, but we made it.
Short Stay, Sweet Memories
We arrived mid-afternoon on Friday and were gone by 8 a.m. the next morning, but our short stay was sweet. The sun was setting on our passenger side, so the driver-side sofa was in the shade, with a cool breeze blowing in. Eric Udell talked with my Eric about solar and other mechanical topics. Then Jeanette came over and we just hung out for a while.
After dinner, we joined Susan and Robin for a fire circle. Susan was a fabulous fire master, and treated us to campfire popcorn and quiet music on her outdoor speaker. We enjoyed meaningful conversation and laughs. We love our RV friends.
The next morning, I started up at 6:30, wondering if I could catch the sunrise. There was a quiet lemon chiffon tint over the ragged edges of the hills to the east. The only things marring the cloudless sky were the airplane streaks, like children taking white chalk to a newly-painted wall.
Normally blue and yellow make green, but not in this sky. Here blue and yellow made yellow–a slow, overwhelming takeover of blinding sunlight. The sun showed its face at 6:53 a.m.
I can definitely see us going back to this place.