Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nelson Landing/ Eldorado Canyon

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Joyce and I have had the opportunity to visit the Nelson area of Lake Mead National Recreation Area on several occasions while doing our volunteer work on the back country roads.
This area is full of old closed mines and some operational mines as well as some spectacular scenery. It's several miles south of Boulder City on Highway 95 with a well marked exit for Nelson. It's a long steep downhill on the paved road past the town and down to Lake Mohave via Eldorado Canyon.

Old mine

Lake Mohave at the end of a back country road.

Same cove at the water's edge.

A beautiful calm cove of Lake Mohave
From Wikipedia:
Nelson is an unincorporated community in Clark CountyNevadaUnited States, in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The community is in the Pacific Standard Time zone. The location of Nelson is in El Dorado CanyonEldorado Mountains. The town is in the southeast region of the Eldorado Valley.
Nelson is on the Nevada side of the Colorado River about 16 miles (26 km) north of Cottonwood Cove, Nevada by water.  Nelson is about 25 miles from Boulder City by road. One of the biggest mining booms in state history occurred near here, in the El Dorado Canyon. Gold and silver were discovered here around 1859.
In its heyday, the area established a reputation for being rough and lawless. During the American Civil War, deserters from both the Union and Confederate armies would wander there, hoping that such an isolated location would be the last place military authorities would look for them.
Nelson's Landing, about five miles west in Eldorado Canyon, is noted for washing into Lake Mohave in 1974 after a strong downpour in the regional mountains sent the runoff down the channels and produced a flash flood. There are five wide channels that run from the local mountains toward the river. The problem is that they all converge into a small outlet where Nelson's Landing was. The entire landing and village was destroyed and nine people died when the flood came through the wash. The wall of water and debris was reported as about 40 feet (12 meters) high as it reached the river. 

Eldorado Canyon and Nelson Landing once a large marina with lodges.
And from the web:
Flash floods, the bane of campers and hikers in the Southwest, can strike with no warning. On September 14, 1974, a distant thunderstorm sent a wall of water 40 feet high roaring down Eldorado Canyon. The flash flood killed nine people and wiped out Nelson's Landing, a popular fishing marina on Lake Mohave about 35 miles southeast of Las Vegas.The normally dry canyon turned deadly after an intense hail and rainstorm dumped three inches of rain in just 30 minutes in the mountains up-canyon. The muddy torrent crushed the restaurant, grocery store, and bar in about five seconds. Bernie Daniels, a tourist from Glendale, California, remembered, "Heavy hail fell for 15 minutes. Then there was a solid gush. It had to be 30 or 40 feet high."
A wayside sign at Nelson Landing
Nelson Landing looking the opposite direction from the picture above. 
Much of Nelson, which was not impacted by the 1974 flood, remains today and is located way up the wash, away from the flood channels. The sparsely populated community consists mainly of privately owned ranch houses, and a river and mining tour business housed in a former Texaco gas station that has been used as a filming location for several feature films, including 3000 Miles to Graceland.

The community was named for Charles Nelson, a prospector who was slain at his mine in 1897.

The heart of local tourism in Nelson.  An old mine and tourist attractions.

If you visiting near Boulder City, it's a nice drive out to Nelson and worth the visit for the views. There's no entry fee at this location for entering Lake Mead N.R.A. and visiting the site that once was Nelson Landing just down the road.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

North Cottonwood Cove Back Country Roads

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Spring is around the corner as we've been experiencing the occasional warmer than expected days.  On one of those days I decided to test our main air conditioner. After a false start I was able to get it to come on but outside Joyce and I could hear the groaning squeal of bearings. I think the bearings in the condenser fan motor are shot. I've been nursing it since this past summer when it started groaning in Texas. However since we spent most of last summer in milder climates, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon, we didn't need to run the main air conditioner much.  But now the noise is progressing to the point where it must be annoying to neighbors (it is to us outside) not to mention it may just seize up. We plan to spend a considerable amount of the summer in the Southeast this year so we are going to need a reliable A/C. The original air condition was made by Carrier, but they got out of the RV air conditioner business in '09 so now parts aren't available and haven't been unless you were under warranty.  

I have called technicians but they have all suggested just replacing the whole unit.  Of course the other issue is that it's a ducted unit with an infrared remote (wireless) thermostat, unique to the industry and no longer available. When talking to the various technician/ repair shops over the past several months, none have expressed a willingness to tackle the issues with wiring a wall thermostat to include the furnace. Suddenly, they aren't available till a month or more! Well, I found a technician shop, Affordable RV Service here in Las Vegas that got good reviews and seemed to  be familiar with my a/c problem.  Long story short, I've ordered a Coleman Mach 15 (15K BTU) to replace the carrier 13.5 BTU unit. Install should be at our site just a few days before we plan to move on, March 5th or 6th. I'll keep you posted on how all that works out.

We've been staying busy exploring new (to us) roads in the back country of Lake Mead National Recreation Area.  On this trip we worked some of the roads just north of the Cottonwood Cove area which took us into a heavily mined area. Cottonwood Cove is on the West side of Lake Mohave near the small town of Searchlight Nevada. 

Mine shaft hole that has been filled in

On cloudy days like this we have to be conscience of the weather as often we are driving in washes and have to cognizant of the potential for flash floods.

A historic mine in the park littered with era specific rusty tin cans.

Another mine shaft in the side of a mountain.
We only have a couple more weeks left in our volunteer jobs, so we decided to take our "boss" Dara and her co-worker, Kelly to lunch in Boulder City. They have both been very nice and helpful and we have enjoyed working with them. Actually we rarely ever see them so having lunch with them was a chance to nail them down for an hour or so and present them with some of our favorite  pictures that I took of the park and habitat. They loved the pictures which we framed for them and we all enjoyed lunch.
Kelly and our "boss", Dara
I've received a few inquiries regarding our volunteer position in the "adopt a road" restoration program as well as other volunteer positions. Our positions are not filled after march until next fall. However, if anyone has questions regarding any and all volunteer positions in the park, I would suggest contacting the park's volunteer coordinator, Nancy Bernard at .

The internet has been weak at our campground, making it difficult to post pictures and keep up with the blog. The other day Joyce and I drove into Henderson and made use of the stronger Verizon internet signal to take care of some business and update the blog. I'm slowly whittling away at bringing our campground reviews page up to date. However, I'm still really behind but at least it's a work still in progress!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just some pictures, Lake Mead N.R.A.

February 7, 2012 Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Not much happening since our last post. I thought I'd post some pictures....enjoy!

East Cottowood Burro

Cottonwood Cove from across Lake Mohave 

Our volunteer campground. The trees are leafing out.

Working some back roads on the North end of Lake Mead N.R.A.

A spring known as Bitter Springs trickling in the desert

West side of Lake Mohave an area with lots of Cholla Cactus.

Large wash near Nelson Landing

Brittle Bush in Bloom with Lake Mead in the background

View across the road from our campground.

View traveling from the Henderson entrance towards Boulder Beach in Lake Mead N.R.A.

Our Volunteer Campground at night under the moon.

Our camp site at night. Our p/u truck is parked in another empty site.

View of the Las Vegas Strip shortly after leaving Lake Mead N.R.A. from the Henderson exit.

Currently we are planning to continue with our volunteer job here at Lake Mead N.R.A. until the first week of March. At that time we will be making our way to the Jacksonville area of Florida. Our daughter and son-in-law are having a home built that should be finished towards the end of March. It's been a while since we saw them so, we look forward to helping them get settled in their new home and helping out with painting, landscaping etc.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Staying Busy at Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Wild Burros of Echo Bay

We've been staying busy with our volunteer work.  We are averaging 80+ hours a month driving the back country roads. The picture above is in a cove at the end of Approved Road 37A on the Arizona side of Lake Mojave.

While at home, I've been working on cutting and hanging solar screens in preparation for this summer. Several times last year we had wished we had them. The solar screens really help to reduce heat from coming through our dual pane windows. The screens are fastened with snaps that required drilling into the rv to place the studs along with a dab of silicone. Although we don't need them now, we've already noticed a difference when the sun is low and shining directly in the windows.

I also worked on getting the oil changed and the tires rotated on the jeep which now has 24393 miles on it. The truck has 23000 miles on it and I had its tires rotated. The rear duals are showing wear with only 8/32 of tread vs 12/32 on the fronts. I'm sure I'll be replacing them this year.

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