Thursday, February 13, 2014

Things Are Just "Grate"!

Maxine & Dave

We're into week 2 of February and things are still rolling along out here in Lake Mead. Our friends Dave and Maxine (Wandering Wingers) stopped by last week and spent a couple of nights here before moving on to a boondocking location further into Lake Mead. They're staying about 40 miles into the park at Stewarts Point just a few feet off the edge of Lake Mead itself. We're hoping to see them several times over the next few weeks to check out some of the hikes and back roads in the park.

Happy Birthday Darlin'

For those of you who may not know, on 2/11 Joan celebrated her 28th Anniversary. "Of what?" you may ask. Well she really doesn't like to talk about it, but I think it's great. It's the 28th Anniversary of a significant birthday. Yahoo! I'm looking forward to many more even if she isn't as excited about it as I am.

Last Tuesday the Park service held a small recognition party for all of the volunteers in Lake Mead. With sequestration and all of the shrinking budgets it's a challenge for all of the National Parks to maintain the level of services that visitors and tourists have come to expect. Volunteers are one of the solutions to that challenge.

Lake Mead NRA has the 6th largest volunteer group in the entire park service with over 3000 volunteers registered. Many of those volunteers are from the Vegas area and contribute a minimum of 8 hours a month. Another large group are like Joan and I, full or part time RVers that work a minimum of 16 hours a week. The various jobs include not only camphosting, but vegetation management, vehicle maintenance, visitor center, leading educational and informational outings for schools and private groups, water and boat safety & assistance. In 2013 volunteers contributed over 118,000 hours in Lake Mead; that's equivalent to 57 full time employees or a little over $2.1 million. pretty significant when you think about it. Joan and I are pleased to have contributed over 250 hours each since we started volunteering in January 2013.

Cut but not painted
I managed to make a few mods to the MH over the last few weeks. One of our cabinets holds several  pieces of electronics (DVR, Dish receiver, etc) behind a closed door with a glass window. Needless to say it can get fairly warm inside the cabinet which is not good for the electronics. Additionally we had a small gap over the top of our convection oven after having to replace the original last year. We've been looking for something with which we could replace the glass and fill in the gap. While strolling through the hardware store I stumbled across a 24" x 36" section of commercial lighting 'grate' which we thought might work.
Works Great! Or is it Grate?
We measured the glass frame and microwave gap and cut the grate to match. Then painted the grate with black paint. What do you think of the finished product? Our neighbors saw what we had done and having a similar problem with their electronics cabinet, we gave them the remainder of the grate which they similarly cut, painted and installed.

Also I ordered and installed an LED light for our MH door handle. It was a fairly simple install. Just remove 3 screws holding the lower bracket; drill a small hole through the wall of the MH behind the bracket location; run wiring through the hole and splice into the wiring for the step lights. Secure the light in the base so that it shines into the handle (I used clear silicon) and reinstall the handle and mounting bracket. Now when I turn on the step lights (which are located in the step well inside the MH) the door handle lights as well. It's not only handy providing enough light to easily see where your key needs to go to unlock the door, but I think it looks nice at night.

November 2013
Each of the Approved Roads within Lake Mead NRA are numbered and there are approximately 150-200 roads with many of them having smaller side roads identified with an A, B, C identifier. Over the course of the last few months we've driven on almost every one of them. Last week we revisited one of the roads driven last November...and were we surprised.

February 2014
Check out the difference in the 2 pictures. Same spot but with a much different water level. This spot is on the eastern shore of Lake Mojave. Even though Lake Mead is a little over 100' below its 'full' level, Lake Mojave doesn't seem to vary that much. While the high water lines evident all along the Lake Mead shore line are 100'+, along Lake Mojave the water lines appear very small. By comparing these 2 pics you can see the water level appears to have risen 5-6 feet since our first visit. There are several websites that share lake level data with daily readings. Just Google Lake Mead water level and you'll get numerous links to check out.

Dry as a Bone!

This is one of the things we enjoy about being in Lake Mead and our road monitoring position. The sights and scenes around us are always changing. The time of day-afternoon light compared to morning light; the browns of late summer, fall and winter compared to the greens of spring; you just never know what you're going to find as you drive around the park. Just make sure you bring lots of water. Wouldn't want you to end up like this. Our thoughts are that we'll try to return here after our summer job in South Dakota. I don't think we'll get bored.

Serious Strategizing Going On!

Friday night has turned into Game Night at our place. The neighbors stop by and there's no telling what games we might break out......Liars Dice, Fruit Salad, Golf, Qwirkle, Mexican Train, Left-Right-Center....and Poker is on the list.

That's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come


  1. You guys have sure been busy and having fun! The "then and now" pictures give a nice contrast...I think you have one of the best volunteer jobs ever! We love exploring!

    Love the light on the door handle...gotta have one!

  2. Great MH mods! Clever idea to put the grate in the door of the cabinet.

    I was really surprised to see that there is more water than prior to Dec. We've heard so much about the drought out west. Good news.

    Good to hear you are still enjoying your volunteer spot.

  3. Happy belated birthday, Joan!

    We'd love to get together with you at the end of February. We want to stay at Lake Mead RV Village. Bob's relatives are in Henderson which is about 1/2 hour away. It looks like we'll be arriving in the area on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

    1. You'll be just down the road from us. We work on Wednesday but after that we're off till Monday. We look forward to seeing you.

    2. We're in our site #837. Out to dinner with Bob's family Wednesday night in Henderson. We have all day Thursday free. Any ideas? We love walking.

  4. Second best workcamping job! I hope we can find some like yours! And I guess we have lots of new games to learn!

    1. Lots of variety in workcamping jobs. We would love to fnd a job like this in Yellowstone! Everytime we meet new folks we learn a new game. We'll teach you Qwirkle one day!

  5. Glad to hear you guys are doing well :)!!