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Camping at Lake Mead

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View of Lake Mead past Mojave Desert
View of Lake Mead from our campsite

I went camping at Lake Mead over the weekend with friends. Originally we were supposed to go to Atlatl Rock at Valley of Fire, but it was an especially beautiful weekend here, and campgrounds were claimed early. So even though we had to skip on Valley of Fire, we just moved down the road a bit to Echo Bay.

There is a highway that travels through Valley of Fire, and continues on through several miles of absolutely beautiful, uninhabited park, over some mountains into another valley. We drove past all the red rocks, and then coasted on down a few hundred feet to travel through the road that cut through the valley. A few miles ahead and to the north you could see the glistening surface of Lake Mead, which reflected the perfect blue of the cloudless sky.

Traveling up over some hills and into Echo Bay park, we came upon an oasis with palm trees and greenery by a marina on the lake, near to our campsite.

Andrea’s boyfriend Herb was kind enough to arrive early, claim our spot, and set up some tents and food. Allison, Amber, and Andrea and I arrived at the site at about 2:30.

Allison Camping at Echo Bay
My cousin Allison

Over the course of the evening, about 10-12 people showed up. Most of the people were pretty cool and I spent the better half of the day sitting in my chair in the perfect weather and laughing, which felt so nice.

We drank some beer and and cooked dinner over the campfire. Andrea and I made our signature grilled chicken with Hershey’s chocolate on top. I also brought a can of biscuits that we put on the grill, which turned out better than I thought.

Andrea Peeking from Tent at Echo Bay
Andrea peeks out from the tent

We didn’t do much that evening except sit around the fire and watch the day pass and laugh, but it was nice to be there with no agenda.

I got pretty tired around 10:00 and went to bed. I think I was the first to go to sleep. I just couldn’t stay up anymore, plus it was super dark and the fire was making me sleepy.

I woke up a few times during the night, but mostly slept through it all, awaking up to the sunrise around 6:00. I got out of the tent I was sharing with my cousin, Allison, and went back over to the picnic table and grill where we had sat all night.

Everyone else at our site was still asleep but some of the other families in the campgrounds were beginning to wake up. I sat down by the campfire, which was still going a little, and had a drink of water and watched the sun come up.

Our campground was filthy from the night before, littered with cigarette butts and beer cans, so I cleaned everything up and threw everything away so I didn’t have to stare at the mess.

Cleaning the mess made me realized that we had had more of an outdoor party than a camping trip. I felt guilty, like I was one of those people who just trash parks, which is probably why I felt like I should clean everything up. Next time, I think I’d like to go with fewer people. I love sitting around the campfire and chatting, but I think there were just too many people who wanted to party.

Anyway, at about 9 or so, everyone else was up, and Herb had brought champagne and orange juice for mimosas, and we ate some food and dismantled our campsite. Everyone left except for Andrea, Amber, Allison and I.

View of Lake Mead, Echo Bay
Part of the road between Valley of Fire and Echo Bay

The four of us headed down to the marina. We went into a little store at the end of the dock to buy some popped corn to feed the carp that were in the lake. The marina is a floating store, and I could feel it undulating as we were walking around inside, which was a bizarre feeling.

Marina of Echo Bay, Lake Mead

After we got the pop corn, we laid down on the edge of the dock and stared into the ultra-green water of Lake Mead, waiting for the fish to arrive. One came at first, and soon there were hundreds, all clamoring for the popped corn we were throwing in the water. The fish were big, with gaping mouths that we found a little bit disgusting.

Giant Mouths
Carp hungry for pop corn

We played with the fish and some ducks that were around for a half hour or so, and then Andrea and Amber left to go back home. Allison and I drove back through the park to Valley of Fire, and got out near Elephant Rock so that we could hike to it and take some pictures.

Elephant Rock, Valley of Fire
Elephant Rock in the Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire is so incredibly beautiful. I’m glad we got to camp near Lake Mead, since I’d never been there before, but next time I want to go back to Vally of Fire, because it one of the most perfect places on earth.

Valley of Fire
Allison climbing across the Valley of Fire

Currently listening to Everything All the Time by Band of Horses

Written by pocheco

March 13, 2007 at 6:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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