Once we got set up in the Lake Mead camp area, we rode around on the bikes a little just to check out the trails and the lake. Jim wanted to rent a boat and tool around the lake but we quickly found that was a little cost prohibitive. We rode around looking for a beach or somewhere that we could get in the water because, once again, it was HOT! We ended up getting separated which was fine since we could meet up back at the bus.
The lake is really low. The camp host told us it was down 112 feet and had been for the last 12 years. He said they get four inches of rain a year and evaporation occurs at the rate of six feet a year. Plus there was very little snow runoff from the mountains. Same drought California is in. The islands are getting more and more exposed but the color of the water is incredible. These are from the shore.
The next day we set out to ride to Hoover Dam. We were there in 2000 when we drove Jim’s newly restored Falcon across the country to Sacramento, seeing the sights along the way. This time we were back by bicycle. It was about 13 miles round trip and a nice ride, even in the heat and wind. The trail was along the old railroad line they built to haul concrete to the dam and there were some cool tunnels for shade. Plus you are way up above the water and the color is stunning.
There were five tunnels in all.
And that marvel of engineering at the end of the trail. Electric Valley.
The lake is the lowest it has been since it was built. Ironic that all that engineering and planning and back breaking labor will eventually result in an empty lake. There are whole areas and bays that have no water in them now.
As soon as we had settled in I realized that we were very close to Henderson and my Olds friends Joyce and Ed Burke! I didn’t know we were so close, plus I blame the heat. I sent them a message immediately and we made a plan for the evening.
More Henderson/Las Vegas/Olds Friends to come and more photos on Flickr.