Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lake Mead Government Wash Free Camping Area

It was a good week, it was a bad week…..but that’s life right? There is a little good and bad in just about everything. That really sums up our week at Government Wash in the Lake Mead National Park in a nutshell.

Let’s start with the good…..
The Good….
·         We stayed for a 5 days at the Government Wash for free!
The short drive from Lake Havasu City to Lake Mead was uneventful. We pulled into The Boulder Beach Campground and drove around looking for the perfect site. Boulder Beach is a nice quiet campground just inside the park with no water, sewer or electric. Basically boondocking but paying for it. They do have nice bathrooms as well as water and dump stations.  After picking our spot, Barb went and got a payment envelope and we were about to put the $100 in it for our 5 night stay and we just couldn’t do it! Just up the road within the park is a free boondocking area we had explored last time we were here, let’s go there!
We arrived at the Government Wash camping area and set up in the beautiful spot at the end of a point.  
Our home for the week. Dino & Lisa on the left, us on the right

Daisy is not spoiled at all!

·         Barb had a birthday!
Thursday dawned bright and sunny as well it should….it was Barb’s birthday!!!!! What did we have planned on this special day? First up was to get Barb her birthday donut! Last time we were here Steve and Joan had told us about a great little donut shop in Henderson. Barb loves their buttermilk donuts so off we went. We pulled in with great anticipation, walked in the door and the donut case was almost empty! Barb walked up to the counter….no more buttermilks left! What a disappointment!
·         We got to see Dino and Lisa!
I stole this picture from Bill & Kelly's blog....

Dino and Lisa were reported to be staying at Sam’s Town RV Park in Las Vegas so we thought we would surprise them by dropping by….. after all we had not seen them in 3 long days! We found their rig and were chatting outside when I looked next door and thought I saw a jeep I recognized…. I walked over to get a closer look and sure enough it belonged to our former boss’ Chuck and Claudia from our road mapping job last spring! What are the odds? They came out and the 6 of us visited for a few while before saying goodbye.
The next day they moved out to Government Wash and parked next to us! (Wait….maybe I should have saved this for the “Bad”!)
·         We got to see my sister Judy!
      My sister Judy, her husband Mike and a few friends were coming to Las Vegas for the Nascar race. We met them at Margaritaville and had a great dinner.   They had traveled from Florida getting up at 3:00am (ET) so by the time we got done with dinner about 6:00pm (PT), they were beat. After saying goodbye to them we walked the strip to take in some of the sights.
Marvin, Judy, Mike, Barb and I
The Birthday Girl!

Bellagio Water Show

·         Barb got a donut!
Friday morning I woke up at 5:20am, got up and was getting dressed when Barb woke up and said, “What are you doing?” I replied, “Going to get you a buttermilk donut!”. So off I went into Henderson and scored on two buttermilk donuts!
·         We got to go kayaking again!
After our initial kayaking adventure at Lake Havasu we had the itch to get back on the water again. We put the kayak in just below our camping area and spent about an hour on the water. Of course Daisy fell in again, 6 times! I am beginning to wonder if she is doing it on purpose. We tried to go with Dino and Lisa later in the week but it was too windy.
Daisy....all wet!

Cool rock formation

Cinnamon Teal
 ·         Barb got her hair done!
Before we hit the road Barb worried about how she was going to get her hair cut and colored. She had been going to the same stylist for years. Her stylist prepared her for life on the road by giving her all the makings to color her hair on the road, in fact she offered to teach me how to color it. Barb wanted nothing to do with me touching her hair so she would get it done the infrequent times we were back in Minnesota.
Fast forward to now, the coloring has been sitting in the box for two years until this week. Both Dino and Lisa are former stylists and were nice enough to color Barb’s hair for her!

Theres my beauty!
  ·         We fed the fish and ducks at the Marina!
We had stopped by here on a previous trip but did not have a camera with us. There are fish and ducks everywhere. Very cool spot to stop if you are in the area. The fish just get into a frenzy to the points where they climb over each other right out of the water! Lisa and Barb were seriously grossed out by all the sucking mouths at the top of the water.
Stripe Bass and Suckers were everywhere!

See the Redhead diving under the dock?
Lips only a mother could kiss

Feeding Frenzy!!
Hen Redhead

Drake Redhead

Drake Ringbill

Drake Common Merganser
·         We got to hang with Steve and Joan!
Over the course of the 5 days we saw Steve and Joan several times......Bowling, jeeping, hiking, eating out and game night!……

Nice form!
We had not been bowling for years; Barb did pretty well, while I on the other hand….not so much.
At $40/person, the seafood buffet at M casino was very good and well worth the money. Afterwards we walked the casino gambling a bit; Joan played Pai Gow while Barb and I walked around playing some slots. We walked out $9 ahead ………
Along with Dino and Lisa, the 6 of us went on a jeeping/hiking combo adventure. Leaving the park to the south, we crossed the dam and turned off onto a two track dirt road that led to a wash. It was a really cool trail leading in and out of the wash through some very scenic areas.
Steve and Joan led the way

Dino and Lisa rounding the corner
There we go!

Very rugged terrain

We even saw a few sheep!
After a few miles the jeep trail ended and the hiking started. The hiking trail led down the wash to the Colorado River where an old River Gauger's Station. In the 1920's this location was used to measure the impact of the dams on the Colorado River; depth, flow, silt..... really an interesting piece of history.

The trail head where we parked
Dino squeezing through a tight spot
Headed down the wash....
Joan and Lisa headed up to the station
View up river

The whole gang!
A couple more great views while jeeping

Game night! We played several card games......

Fruit Salad.....Barb was the big loser!

The Bad….
·         The wind, partying and litter is out of hand in Government Wash.
Wind is expected when you park at the end of a high point next to the lake but when it came up at 1:45am blowing over tables, chairs, our grill and rocking the trailer that really disrupted our sleep. The next day it was so windy we had to pull in our slides!
There seems to be quite a bit of partying out here on the weekends. During the week it was fairly quiet at night with an occasional car driving by after dark but on the weekend about a dozen cars pulled in on the adjacent point, built a huge fire and started partying until the wee hours of the morning. The noise isn’t too bad as it is temporary but the subsequent litter is everywhere. The shoreline is littered with bottles, cans, fishing line, diapers and other debris.
·         Barb is black and blue all over!
Over the course of the past week Barb bruised the arch of her foot after stepping down on a rock wrong. She scraped her elbow and both palms of her hands when trying to ease down a smooth rock. As she explained it to me… “The coefficient of friction was overcome by mass which turned into velocity when combined with gravity”. And she was bonked on the head at 2:00am when I reached for the phone on our overhead shelf to see what time it was.
·        Trying to park a crew cab dually truck in Las Vegas sucks! We eventually found a spot but we   had a frustrating and intense 20 minutes.
The good’s far outweighed the bad in both quantity and severity providing us a great week. Time to continue our journey north, we said our goodbyes to Dino and Lisa as well as Steve and Joan.  We won’t see either of them for months if not a year or more L.


  1. I won the fruit salad game! It has been fun to spend some time with you guys over the last month or so. we can't wait to hear about all of your bear encounters. Watch out for the Sasquatches and the next time we meet, the Tater Tot's are on us.

    1. Nice, we love tater tots! Safe travels, maybe we will swing through Yellowstone on our way back from Alaska if you are still in that area.

  2. I see that you had some American White Pelicans by you. We are seeing a lot of them down here in Florida. Great variety of ducks, Jim!

    1. That is the only flock that we saw, but it was cool seeing them. The waterfowl are really beautiful this time of year with their spring breeding plumage!

  3. Happy belated birthday Barb! Great pics of the fish and Barb's hair and boo boo's 😜
    Safe travels!

    1. Thanks! The fish were kind of cool and creepy all at the same time. I see you guys are on the road again. Have fun on your northward travels!

  4. Looks like a fun week. Happy Birthday Barb! Aaah Fruit Salad, good times!

    1. It won't be long until you will be kicking Steve and Joan's butts in Fruit Salad yourself!

  5. Sounds like a great time even with the weekend party near by. But remember when we were young LOL!!

    Dave & Diane

    1. I did remind me of keggers we used to have when I was younger. A dozen cars out in the middle of no where with a fire and keg.... Does it get any better than that?!?!?

  6. I thought for sure the bad was that the color had gone bad sitting in the box for two years! For Barb's sake, I'm glad that was not the case!!

    1. That would have been really bad! The funny thing is that she did not know if it was going to be lighter or darker than her natural color so it was kind of a surprise.

  7. Happy birthday to Barb and awesome that she got her hair done!!!

  8. What a great time! Love the adventures and time with friends! Happy Belated Birthday Barb! Sorry about the bruises. Love the duck pics.

    1. We did have a good time with those guys. It will be weird being on our own for the next few months after being so social over the winter!

  9. Happy Belated Birthday Barb! Great pics of beautiful scenery!

    Sure wish I had known Dino & Lisa can do hair! I would have paid them to do mine! What a great present for Barb!

    Safe travels!

    1. From what I saw you got a pretty nice hair cut in Mexico! We had a great week in the area and had a lot of fun with Steve, Joan, Dino and Lisa.

  10. Happy Belated Birthday, Barb! What a sweet husband to get up before dawn to get donuts:) We need to hike together!! I can match your injuries and add a leg full of scraps and bruises too:)

    Looks like you drove one of the roads I sent to you. Good to see the sheep are still there. I liked the combo trip Jeep/hike:)

    Fun times with Steve and Joan:)

    1. I was thinking that was a trail that you had sent when we went on it as it was just as you described it!