Around Lake Mead

Wanting to enjoy another week of beautiful, warm weather, Andrew and I decided to head back to Lake Mead area.  We found a great location for camping.  It is further from Vegas, which allows less people and trash.  Every day the lighting presented us with an almost artist-like view of the lake and mountain backdrop, which is absolutely perfect for reflecting on the power and beauty of nature.  

While in the area, we decided to explore Valley of Fire State Park.  Thankfully its  a dog-friendly park, so we hit a few trails with Ame.  Along the Mouse’s Tank trail, we saw hundreds of petroglyphs and several unusual sandstone formations (see the Starship Enterprise formation picture).  White Domes trail followed a path along a slot canyon and through a narrow passage.  Finally, Fire Canyon Road offered us some of the best vistas overlooking contrasting sandstone colors.

Another day while staying closer to home, Andrew, Ame and I went exploring around the lakeshore.  We started by wandering through a few other potential campsites.  From there, we wandered down into the rock beds.  Andrew noticed several locations where layers of gypsum were embedded into the dirt.  It created striations of sparkling crystalized gypsum and mud.   We also came across some unique rock art, include a fish, bird, and bridge.

No stay in Lake Mead is complete with out a glimpse of Hoover Dam.  We made an afternoon trip to check out the dam.  While on our sightseeing expedition, we learned a few things, like go with an empty trunk/roof-rack because security is tight, bring pets isn’t encouraged because they aren’t allowed on the dam and its against Arizona law to leave them in vehicle(even on a cool day) and see the dam in the late afternoon because the lighting is spectacular. 

With the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaching, it is time to move back to Colorado to spend time with more family. 

Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Lake Mead
White Dome, Valley of Fire State Park
White Dome, Valley of Fire State Park
Mouse's Tank, Valley of Fire State Park
Mouse’s Tank, Valley of Fire State Park
Mouse's Tank, Valley of Fire State Park
Mouse’s Tank, Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park
Andrew and Ame, Valley of Fire State Park
Andrew and Ame, Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park
Petroglyphs, Valley of Fire State Park
Petroglyphs, Valley of Fire State Park
Mouse's Tank, Valley of Fire State Park
Mouse’s Tank, Valley of Fire State Park
Rock Art
Rock Art
Rock Art
Rock Art
Rock Art
Rock Art
Rosie at Lake Mead
Rosie at Lake Mead

Las Vegas

What a fantastic week!  My cousin and her husband flew out to meet us in Las Vegas.  Andrew and I relocated in town to be closer to Jenn and Tim, who were staying on the strip.  Each day we’d meet up for some small adventure and tasty international cuisine.  Some of the highlights include trips to the Neon & Mob Museums, samples of German schnitzel with boots of beer, orders of Japanese ramen and Korean bbq, Cirque’s Mystere, and a jaunt along the strip.  I’d share the rest, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy…what’s the famous phrase…”what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

Neon Museum
Neon Museum
Neon Museum
Neon Museum
Street Artifact from Neon Museum
Street Artifact from Neon Museum
Neon Museum
Neon Museum
Urban Art, Neon Museum
Urban Art, Neon Museum
Urban Art, Neon Museum
Urban Art, Neon Museum
Crazy Building
Crazy Building
Boot of Beer
Boot of Beer
1st attemt at Japanese-(with American twist) Nabe,  Home
1st attemt at Japanese-(with American twist) Nabe, Home
Fountain Performance, Bellagio
Fountain Performance, Bellagio
Chihuly Ceiling, Bellagio
Chihuly Ceiling, Bellagio
Wildlife Habitat, Flamingo Casino
Wildlife Habitat, Flamingo Casino
Koi, Flamingo Casino
Koi, Flamingo Casino

Government Wash, Lake Mead

Andrew and I were unsure of what to expect when we arrived in Lake Mead.  Our only plan was to find a spot around Government Wash and rest up before our family-filled week in Vegas.  Well, it turned out to be a delightful week of new friends, exploration and Japanese goods. 

Upon arriving at Government Wash, we found a large spot with a great view of the lake.  While walking Ame, a couple drove up beside us and inquire about our Airstream.  The couple turned out to be Brian and Leigh from Aluminarium, an Airstream blog I’ve been reading for a couple years.  After a little roadside chatting, they invited us up to their place for happy hour.  It was a great evening of story sharing, cocktails…and me falling out of my chair.

As our weekend progressed, Leigh and Brian introduced us to several other fabulous people.  One day included a hike at Bowl of Fire with Leigh and Brian and another couple, Pam and John.  Pam and John are bloggers for Oh, The Places They Go, another blog in my list. The six of us spent a few hours exploring several formations, which included jagged rock, arches and  bowl-like cavities (perfect for sitting in). 

That same evening, we met Todd and Russ at Aluminarium happy hour.  These guys are traveling with their adorable dog, Frances, in their retro Wanderlodge. Later in the week, Todd and I had shared a humorous adventure along the strip, the suburbs and the ‘hood of Vegas. Even though all roads led to Reno, we managed to stay in town.

With the news that our Government Wash group would soon grow, Andrew and I packed up Rosie and moved up along side Aluminarium and the Wanderlodge.  The next day our group was complete when Brian, of The Roaming Pint, and his two dogs pulled in.  Most evenings our group would meet to watch the sunset and enjoy each other’s company. 

For our final night at Government Wash, Asian-themed potluck was planned.  This was the perfect excuse for Andrew and I to find an Asian or (better yet) a Japanese grocery store for curry supplies.  We went Japan Creek Market, which had a great selection of Japanese foods (including onigiri).   

Thank you to Leigh and Brian for hosting a phenomenal week.  Andrew, Ame and I really enjoyed making new friends.   We look forward to future meet ups.

Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Ame enjoying the sunset
Ame enjoying the sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Group Shot,  Bowl of Fire
Group Shot, Bowl of Fire
Bowl of Fire, Lake Mead
Bowl of Fire, Lake Mead
Bowl of Fire, Lake Mead
Bowl of Fire, Lake Mead
Bowl of Fire, Lake Mead
Bowl of Fire, Lake Mead