Last Wednesday I was invited on a picnic. My gentleman friend Jack had scoped a particular part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and had a plan.
Our ultimate goal was the Boulder Beach campground, one of some 15 different camping and RV locations in the Nevada/Arizona Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Instead of being charged $25 for entry to the recreation area, we used a Golden Age Passport for free access. We proceeded to the campground entrance where lots of signs told us everything we needed to know.
Next we rode through the campground to look for a site, an empty area where we could have our picnic. Every camping area has a number, so if we saw an empty camping area we liked we noted the number. Our final choice? Site 86, with a barbecue grill, a picnic table, a view of Lake Mead AND a short walk to nearby restrooms. Earlier we had seen a sign “no showers” so the rest rooms (the one I used was quite clean) were just rest rooms.
Incidentally, because of the picnic, I became curious about the naming of Lake Mead. Thanks to Google, I found that the lake was named after Elwood Mead who was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation during the planning and construction of the Boulder Canyon Project that created Hoover Dam and lake. (Thanks Google; I am now smarter.)
So we had our choice site and went back to the entry area. Jack filled out a form and an envelope and deposited $10 in the envelope for our use of the site for one day (we only used it a few hours. Had we stated the night, we would have agreed to “quiet hours” from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) The normal camping fee would have been $20, but for seniors..though we certainly don’t look old enough….a discount. With our fee paid and a receipt in the car window, we then drove back to site 86 and set up our picnic. The day was beautiful, and we felt very lucky to be enjoying such a day outdoors.
Jack had brought a bag of wood chips and starter fluid and the fire in barbecue fired-up quickly. He had also brought a tablecloth which fit the table. I had brought plates, condiments and a cutting board. Hot dogs were the specialty of the day along with hamburgers and a bit of steak. All were quickly cooked and I must say the taste was gorgeous. We had forgotten to bring tongs or a long spatula which would have helped, but the gentleman had bought a big knife which did the trick. Our too many cooked meats provided both of us delicious take-home “snacks” for the next day.
What else should we have brought? Namely a fly swatter or something to keep flies away. A bunch of very small obviously hungry flies eventually figured out something good was happening at site 86 and came our way. We are so unused to flies in Las Vegas that it was almost amusing to see so many joining us.
Jack had brought chairs so we just sat with our food and water and enjoyed our special lunch. Nearby were campers with dogs who seemed to be enjoying the weather as well. When the meal and our contemplation of nature were over, we then packed up and decided to tour the nearby RV Park where, another sign had said, full RV hookups are available.
That tour was great…lots of rather large motor homes many with porches and some even with covered parking. Every site was occupied. We later found out that the cost for parking a motor home in that area was $500 a month, with a maximum stay of six months a year…any six months. (Unusual rule, I thought.)
Some temporary spots for RVs were available too, for about $60 a day. We met one man from California who said he had made his reservation two months ago and was staying for five nights. He had brought a couple of Sea-Doo vehicles for riding the water and he said friends in the area would join his family for dinners and card games as well.
We both enjoyed Wednesday’s adventure. Our picnic supplies are definitely ready for an encore.