Saturday, November 23, 2013

We're Down to 3 Oreos and a Grape Soda........I'm Not Sure We Can Make It!

One of our lunch overlooks on the east side of Lake Mead
Another couple of weeks have gone by and we're still having a great time in our volunteer position at Lake Mead. The opportunity to use the park's vehicle and fuel to visit all of the back country roads and see sights that most of the Vegas tourists will never see has been very satisfying. We actually look forward to going to 'work' on Mondays.

And the adventures we encounter are always interesting. Many of the roads we drive end after turning into small box canyons or near old mining sites. We've explored several small slot canyons and several dozen abandoned mines during our time here. And we've driven some roads that I would definitely not have taken our jeep down; sometimes because their so rough; other times because the 4x4 we use at work has much better clearance than our jeep. Last week we drove about 50 miles south of Vegas to check out the 'Approved Roads' near Laughlin.
Lake Mojave
One of the roads ended at the shoreline of Lake Mojave so we decided that was a good place for lunch. The view of the lake was great; weather temps were very comfortable and the company was fun to be with. When we finished lunch we packed everything up and went to start the truck when..........nothing. Nothing but a slow clicking noise. The kind you don't like to hear anytime....much less when you're 6-7 miles off the paved road. We shut everything off and waited a few minutes before trying the truck again...alas with the same result. Dead battery. Not to worry, we have a 2-way radio so we can call for help. "700 Victor Lima 62" (Dispatch, this is Volunteer 62) click, click, click. Guess works off the same dead battery that won't start the truck. Uh oh! Dun Dun Dun!
At least we found a place to stay for the night!
What now! We're down to 1/2 bag of carrots, 3 oreos and a grape soda! I'm not sure we can make it! Let's see if we have a cell signal. Yes sir we do! So we call our supervisor and eventually get in touch with a park service maintenance tech that works out of Laughlin. He's there within about an hour and we're on our way. We were lucky this time, because once we were on our way out we attempted to call our supervisor to let her know we were OK. No cell signal. Once we were away from the lake shore and into the tall washes we could not use the phones. Like I said, we do enjoy our adventures.
Devil's Cove
Wednesday our trainer Kelly went out with us to drive AR115 on the north side of the Colorado River. We drove about 2 hours on the interstate north to Mesquite, then turned off onto a small broken pavement road to the east towards Gold Butte. The rough pavement lasted about 10 miles before turning into a rough rocky dirt road which we drove for another 30 miles alongside the Virgin Mountains before heading down into an extremely steep and challenging rocky wash towards Devils Cove. There were a couple of spots where we had to back up and take a different track around large rocks that the truck could not clear (on the park maps this road indicates Experienced 4x4 only). Once we got to the lake shore we had been traveling for almost 6 hours. Many times when the park crews have to work in this area they plan to camp overnight so they can be more productive. I know it's not for everyone, but Joan and I really enjoy getting to go different places and especially when they are far out and off the beaten path.

View from the Bridge
On one of our days off we decided to take the hike out onto the 'new' Hoover Dam Bridge. Technically it's called Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and was completed in 2010. It spans the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada and offers a great view of the dam from above. 

The bridge was the first concrete-steel composite arch bridge built in the United States and it incorporates the widest concrete arch in the Western hemishpere. At 1900+ feet in length and 840 feet in height above the Colorado River, it is the second-highest bridge in the US, following the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. It is also the world's highest concrete arch bridge. In the middle of the walkway across the bridge is a marker for the state line.

Thursday morning we packed an overnight bag and headed north towards Utah. We were hoping to see snow and that we did. We thought we might be able to drive Kolob Terrace road from Cedar City back into Zion NP, but once we started up the mountain in Cedar Canyon there was so much snow on the road we were fairly sure we would not be able to make the entire 35+ mile drive across the unpaved mountain roads back to Zion. So we turned northeast and drove towards Cedar Breaks where we found more snow, but snow we could handle. The drive was beautiful and we made a loop around and back down into Zion for the night. Friday morning we drove back into St George, Utah for a meal at Chik-Fil-A and a wet but scenic drive through Snow Canyon State Park.

It's so hard to portray the actual beauty of the land around us. We try and try, but even as good as some of our pictures turn out, it doesn't really do it justice.

You just have to see it with your own eyes to really get a feel for how spectacular it really is.

Less than 3 weeks before we head back towards Florida for Christmas. Along the way we'll stop in Alabama to see Joan's brother Jimmy and his family. And we'll stop in Atlanta to see my new grand daughter Tristyn.......and her family(almost forgot about them). This year has really flown by. Joan and I are really glad we made the decision to go full time. And we got to go early. Our original plan was to go full time on 9/10/11/12/13 (November 12, 2013; 9:10am). But we went early. Look what we would have missed if we'd waited!

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


  1. Great post! Do y'all some help riding around and checking things out? We're available! LOL

  2. Time does fly by especially when you are having fun. And fun it is! We sure wish we were on some of those back roads! You are so right about the beauty there...seeing it for yourself is such a thrill!

    Safe travels and enjoy your family time! I know you are excited about holding Tristyn!

  3. Whew!!! So happy you did not have to resort to your last grape soda! I think you guys should stop by here and see Jean and Larry and Jerry and I...good idea, huh :)? Take care you two!

  4. I think I'd be more concerned about the dwindling oreos! Glad you were saved.

    You must have to pinch yourselves at being in the midst of all that beauty!

  5. Looks like very pretty country. What no milk? Who ever heard of dipping Oreo's in Grape Soda.