Monday, December 9, 2013

Time Flies

Well we've wrapped up (literally and figuratively) our last few days here at Lake Mead NRA for 2013. Literally because our last workday for this year was Thursday the 5th. Figuratively because "Baby, it's COLD outside!" Yes even in Vegas it gets cold. The forecast for last night was a low of 25 in the Vegas valley area. We got down to high 30's in Boulder City last night and that's where the temps started a couple of days last week. Even with the temps in the 30's & 40's the amount of 'cold' you feel is dependent on your immediate surroundings. If you're in the shade, or if there's a little bit of a breeze you really feel the cold. I'm talking about layered shirts, jackets, gloves and knit cap cold. However if there's no breeze and you're standing in the sunshine then it's really pleasant. A long sleeve shirt and sunglasses are all you need. That's the kind of winter weather that has enticed us to seek out a workamping gig in this area.

Our last few days here were very interesting as we got to do and see some new stuff. Last Tuesday we worked with the 'Vegetation' group to water some plants.......well actually we 'dry watered' the plants. WWhhhaaaatttt? That doesn't make sense? What you talkin' bout Willis?

As you probably already know most plants need water to survive, especialy when they have been transplanted. Late last year during an entrance station rennovation an old roadbed was removed and the vegetation group replanted about 350 native plants. If you look at the pics you'll see small brown tubes (about the size of tennis ball cans) placed at the base of the 'new' plants. You'll also see small tubes of a clear substance. That clear substance is referred to as dry water. It has the consistency of....well....snot. Some times you can peel off the wrapper and hold the snot..kinda like play dough, only a little softer. Other times as soon as the wrapper is opened, the contents start running just like your nose during a bad cold. The dry water is placed into the tubes at each plant and over the course of 1-2 months the compound breaks down into a liquid and 'waters' the plant. A little bit messy, but really cool!

My Lovely Co-Pilot & Partner in Crime!
On our last day of work we drove AR61 & AR62. AR62 ended in a steep wash very close to Lake Mojave. Joan and I decided to take a short hike to see if we could get to the water. When we arrived at the water's edge we discovered a little piece of history....a Gauger's Station. When Hoover Dam was being built, there was still a question about the affects the dam may have on the local environment. In an attempt to gather data, Gauger Stations were built in the 1930's along the river downstream from the dam.

Gauger Station Foundation Overlooking the River
The 'gauger's job was to measure water speed, depth and silt content. Each day the 'gauger' traveled along the rocky embankments on the river to small 'buckets' that hung on cables strung across the Colorado River. The gauger climbed into the bucket and pulled himself out over the water so he could drop lines and measuring tools into the river. Not a job I'd want, especially back in the 1930's. The scenery was nice, but the job was a real challenge.

Joan and Barb Celebrating
On Thursday we celebrated a birthday with our neighbors and fellow volunteers. Happy Birthday Barb. If you look close you'll see the Happy Birthday Princess button and tiara that she got to wear all evening!

Tomorrow we leave early to begin our holiday road trip back to Florida. Even though the midwest has been blanketed wth winter storms the forecast is for sunshine and no precipitation along our route for the next 3 days. Let's hope that trend continues until we're home!

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