Saturday, November 29, 2014

Las Vegas to Springdale

From Lake Mead Marina we got back onto Lakeshore Road and were on our way towards Springdale, UT. We bypassed the northern part of Las Vegas and were on I-15N. This was a long drive of more than 3 hours through arid land. The few trees that I remember seeing were date palm or cactus, or something that looked pretty similar. However the drive was not bad at all. The route was through huge rocky formations on either side which left us feeling not only speechless but also insignificant. These structures have stayed still and witnessed so much around them through the ages. After passing Mesquite our drive was through plains –I mean these rocky structures were at some great distance. This route was pretty much through the dessert and hence there weren't a lot of people staying outside the small satellite towns that we passed on our way. However once we crossed Beaver Dam we were in for something interesting –the road was leading us into a solid rocky hill. I could not see further, just that there was a slight bend at the far end, right at the point where the road vanished into the base of the hill; there wasn't any tunnel too. As I kept driving on I saw that what appeared as one solid wall from the distance were actually two hills with a narrow opening at their base… and we were being led there.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lake Mead and Hoover Dam

Each year we plan to cover a few trails, see some part of this beautiful world of ours and create ever lasting memory. I guess sometimes it’s more to unwind from the daily grind and recharge ourselves. Last summer we zeroed in onto Zion National Park, Bryce National Park and maybe a short peek at Grand Canyon National Park.

The nearest [and cheapest] airport to fly in was Las Vegas and visit Hoover Dam and Lake Mead before driving towards Zion National Park. On our way to Las Vegas the flight did cover a pretty large water body surrounded by sandy/rocky hills. I did not know then that I was looking down at Lake Mead. The surrounding land was devoid of any vegetation and the blue color of the Lake created a nice color combination. Lake Mead is the largest water reservoir in US in terms of volume and was formed due to the construction of Hoover Dam. I hope the picture below helps. It was maybe around 2 PM or so with a clear cloudless sky when we were there and the temperature was north of 100 F. Though it was too hot for us [thanks to Minnesota] we found people enjoying the sun. Lake Mead offered a lot of water sports right from jet skis to speedboats. The shoreline was like the hills surrounding it – devoid of any vegetation. The water was cool but we didn’t find a beach area and hence kept pretty much inland. We found a lot of shells along the shore which was quite surprising to me –I thought we found these on seashores only. But these were really tinny ones not even ½ an inch in size. Lake Mead does come under National Park Service and it is here that we bought our National Park one year permit which served us at Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon NP as well.