Sunday, 1 March 2015

Priceless views

Lake Mead, Nevada

Minus 24ºC is cold enough (it does sound better in centigrade) and if Lindsay ever ever has thoughts about coming here in winter again, I'm going to bash him about the ears, like Bruce told me to.

The quickest way south would be through Yellowstone park itself but the roads are closed for winter as they are covered in snow. So we need to head north to Livingstone, then west to Billings. Tom Tom wanted to take us down the interstate but that would add about two hours to our travel time, so we told it to take us to West Yellowstone so that it would send us down the 191. This road in winter would have to be the most picturesque we have encountered on all our travels. It runs along a river and actually comes back into the National Park. Pine trees laden with snow, rocks in the river sprinkled with snow, the sun is shining, and I have to take my jumper off I'm so warm! - in the car of course. It is beautiful. The first night we stop at Sheffield RV park in Rexburg ID. Not impressed at all. If we didn't have our PA membership it would have been full summer price plus extra for power ($45 + tax). The bathrooms are closed which is annoying as we can't hook up with water as the lines would freeze. The place overall is just not nice and we wouldn't stay here again. The next night we made it to Wagon West RV park in Fillmore UT.

Fillmore UT
What a contrast, a really nice place. The office was closed as it was Sunday so we just found a site and hooked up. I decided not to put the bedroom slide out so that the windows wouldn't freeze. I should have done this in Yellowstone. It snowed overnight and we had about 6" over the car. The forecast was for more snow the next day, so even though Lindsay has a really bad cold (surprised?) and needed rest, we needed to move on to dryer conditions. We left our rubber door matt behind because it was covered under snow; this one was only a week old, we are destined to loose them! Most of the morning was driven in a snow storm, then 22 miles north of St George UT, the snow changed to rain and the snow disappeared from the ground.

driving through Yellowstone "outside" the park
It took two days to drive south before we were out of the snow. 20 miles out of St George the snow turned to rain and the ground was bare where there had been snow.

snow ploughing the interstate highway
The address we had for Lake Mead took us into the middle of Boulder City which luckily isn’t that far from the lake. I just changed which campground we went to. There are a number of National Park campgrounds around the shoreline and we found a great spot at Boulder Beach. What a lovely campground this is. Once you come down highway 93, you turn into Lakeside drive. Go to the right for the Concessionaire RV park with full hook ups, or left to the National Park campground with none, but there is water close by and you can run generators until 10pm. It's sunny and warm compared to what we are used to, just heaven. We find a site with a concrete slab (always a bonus), a water tap and a view of the lake. We have gum trees and lots of room around us, in the RV park they are squashed in like sardines.

Lake Mead
While the wind was cool, overall it was warm compared to what we were used to. Sitting outside for a pre-dinner drink was mandatory.

Boulder Beach campground
The following day a lady we had spoken to the day before brought around some brochures from Boulder City about some walks, street sculptures and a museum on the making of the hoover dam they had been to. Boulder City was formed to house the 4,000 workers on the Hoover Dam run by a man who ended up building 19 dams in his lifetime. It is the first (maybe only) government project to be built under budget and under time. Initially they had to get the agreement from a number of states before anything was ever started – so it was a wonder that it even began! It took two men a day to build two three-room worker’s houses. Schools had not been factored into the planning scheme and eventually the company donated two houses that were converted into schools. Women had their babies at home as only the workers at the dam were covered for medical insurance, so little has changed. Thousands of workers were killed during construction, as it was dangerous work, but it was at the time of the great depression so there were little or no alternatives and hundreds of people were waiting to take your place. Many of the workers were paid only $4 a day with the highest being $10 a day. Most of the streets are named after the states and numbers, the sculptures are on Arizona and Utah streets.

Street Art in Boulder City
It is warmer down here, but not quite warm enough, so we are heading south again.

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