One of my favorite days so far has been my day out on the lake. I wish I could have afforded to rent the boat two days in a row because I could've spent so many more hours out on the water. As it was, I spent a boat-load of money on the rental boat, literally, haha! It was completely worth it though and I'd totally do it again. I think most people have other friends with them to split the cost of renting a boat, but I was alone (well, Little Bit was with me, but Lord knows she doesn't pull her own weight around here! I guess looking cute is her contribution...). I wasn't going to not rent a boat though, regardless of the cost. You can't go to Lake Mead and not take a boat ride, it's just so amazing being on the water.
I wanted to get a little aluminum fishing boat (mainly because it was the cheapest available), but they didn't have any left so I got the next cheapest boat, which turned out to be a pontoon boat! I actually had a blast on my little pontoon boat, and it was perfect for swimming and laying in the sun. Like I said in an earlier post, I'd never actually driven a boat on my own. Growing up in Alaska we had a ski boat and waverunners, as well as a larger boat, and I've driven my uncle's Bristol Bay gillnetter on occasion, but all of those boats I've driven with my Dad or Uncle nearby- so it didn't count. I did drive the waverunners alone, but those are easy and totally different than driving an actual boat. But since I've seen it done for pretty much my whole life I was confident it'd be easy to figure out. Luckily I was correct and had a blast doing something I've never done before! Felt empowering!!
swimsuit/target :: skirt/free people
I mainly cruised along the shore, ducking into a few coves and crevices along the way looking for a suitable swimming location. The lake's water level is at a record low, over 100 ft below capacity, which is why there's the white "bathtub ring" around the shoreline. When I was here in the 90's the lake was nearly full, so it's interesting to see how different the shoreline is with the water level being so low.
For some reason swimming in Lake Mead kind of gives me the heebie jeebies. Something about it just seeming so bottomless, or ... something. I don't know. No other body of water (except Lake Powell, probably for similar mysterious reasons) makes me feel that way. It's just so clear and deep. I don't know what gives me the creeps. I don't really feel like there's anything down there that's going to "get me," but maybe it's just that it feels bottomless. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that the bottom of the lake used to be dry land before. I don't know. It was so nice to float in the cool water on such a hot day. I don't understand why all the campgrounds I've been to lately have their pools closed for the season. I realize it's November, but seriously. It's like 80 degrees. That's summer, people. I don't care what month it is. Needless to say, I was happy to jump into a body of water that wasn't shut down for the "winter."
When I was floating by the Hoover Dam a guy in another boat motioned at me and asked me something about taking a picture. At first I thought he asked me if I wanted him to take my picture (since I was doing my self-timer thing), but it turned out he wanted me to get a picture of him in front of the dam with his camera. He ended up being an Australian dude up in Las Vegas for some reason that wasn't really clear, I think it was a business trip or something. He hated being in Las Vegas though, so he'd been coming out to Lake Mead and exploring. Wise decision, I thought. Las Vegas is just overwhelming and almost like an assault on your senses. It was funny though, we chatted for a bit and went our separate ways. It's cool meeting people from all over the world on this trip!
It was actually very quiet on the lake. I guess people aren't interested in visiting Lake Mead in November! I liked it though, it made it quite peaceful. I can't imagine what the lake would be like on a holiday like Memorial Day weekend. Luckily it's a large enough lake that it probably doesn't get too crowded, but still. It's actually really nice traveling in the off-season. Campgrounds are always vacant, you can sometimes get off-season discounts, and attractions aren't packed. Though, a downside has been that some attractions, shops, and swimming pools are closed for the winter. Still, I think I prefer visiting places that aren't overrun with tourists!