Spring Folly, Storms & Rainbows – North Lake Mead, NV
On Tuesday we raised the jacks and motored a whopping 45 scenic miles north on Lake Mead to our second boondocking spot in the area. Despite being only around an hour away from Las Vegas, this site has a totally different feel. Northern Lake Mead has the same golden rock shoreline and blue waters as the Southern shore, but it’s less developed and thus feels much more remote and quiet (ahh!). There are only a few rigs out here (amazingly that includes one of our blog readers Papa’s Travels!) and lots of space to spread out. We snagged a relatively private and prime site with full water views and hunkered down for the big storm.
You see it’s spring folly in the desert and that means everything is in flux. This time of year unpredictable hot days in the south collide with unpredictable cold storms up north forcing winds to blow and the weather to to flip-flop between extremes. Right here, in the southern desert is where you see the big switch. Some days Mother Nature lies eerily still and bakes you in the first tease of heavy summer heat. Other days she’ll laugh away with brutal winds and drop the temps to winter chills. In-between she’ll throw you sprinklings of rain, snow and everything else….just to keep you on your toes.
We typically keep a very close eye on the weather this time of year, especially while travelling north. Last year in Utah we saw the whole gamut of spring folly from heat to wind (and even snow!!), and it looks like this year in Nevada is going to be very similar.
We’re actually biding our time here at Lake Mead trying to figure out the best week to travel north into no-mans land of central Nevada. You see once we leave this area we’re driving into higher elevations and deep boonies with (very likely) zero internet until we land somewhere up north. So, we’ve got to plan everything. We’re keeping a close eye on the long-term forecasts (via Wunderground and our WeatherBug App) and I’m planning every stop, dump, water, grocery, gas & sightseeing spot by hand including back-up stops & alternate routes in case we get caught in something unexpected (honestly, how did people survive without Internet?). It’s a tricky business this travel stuff.
But no matter how carefully I plan we’re bound to hit a few spring storms.
Wednesdays folly was no exception and it came right out of nowhere. The winds started kicking up in the early AM, gusting and shuddering the RV from the south. We pulled in our slides, made a cup of hot coffee and hunkered down to watch the show. The morning passed rocking and rolling as the wind moaned and clouds of dust swirled from the dry desert floor. The deep blue of the lake whipped up into a light aqua, frothing & greying from the gusts. It was quite the event.
Then Mother Nature decided to turn it up a notch. Suddenly the wind shifted and the sky darkened in a unexpected change. From the west the clouds rolled heavy with rain, pounding the mountains to our left and threatening our site. At this point one of our RV neighbors got spooked (?) and decided to leave, driving right into the heart of the maelstorm (seriously??). Desert rains rarely last long and as long as you’re on high, stable ground staying still is waaaay safer than moving on. Don’t do this at home folks.
The rest of the day pretty much rolled on the same way. Wind, gusts, shudders and drops of rain intermixed with shifting colors on the lake and sky. As we shared our evening cocktail the show came to it’s peak. The dark skies had moved to the north, blue was opening up behind us and the sun peeked out for a last hurrah. RAINBOW!!! Right there from our RV window across the lake, the brightest double rainbow I have ever seen burst into flame. It blazed triumphantly for a few minutes and then disappeared leaving only the residue of fantastic colors burned in our mind’s eye. Wow!!
We’re back to usual today and even made it out for a hike to see another kind of rainbow, but that is another story for another blog post. This morning, nature’s folly is dormant and we’re relaxing in the relative calm of our gorgeous view, but I know it’s just a temporary truce. Tis’ spring after all and the show must go on….
P.S. I didn’t enhance the colors on that rainbow shot. That’s exactly how brilliant it really was!! As with all my pics, if you click on the pic you’ll get to see a bigger version on your screen.