Tag Archives: Camp hosting

We Stumble into Camp Hosting at Lake Mead

We were camped at Echo Bay, on the shores of Lake Mead, 20 miles south and west of Overton and planned to stay for only a few nights. A few nights turned into a week and then into a few weeks.…of dry camping! (Having more or less mastered the basics of full-time RVing with full hookups, we were relative newcomers to DRY camping.)

Our ‘DRY’ camp site looking out over the wadi – a great place to walk and spot wildlife.

The view from our back window on those days when it was too windy to sit outside.

We put on lots of walking miles here in the Echo Bay wash.

Echo Bay Campground is actually two campgrounds – an upper and a lower. We liked the lower one and stayed there but often walked to the top one when we became hosts.

Hiking up from our campground to the upper one.

During that time, we met the couple who were taking care of maintenance at the campground. From them we learned that Echo Bay needed a camp host. We went so far as to check out the host camp site at the entrance to the campground and started dreaming of how nice it would be to live in this beautiful, peaceful setting, to have a lake close by for kayaking, lots of desert trails for hiking, AND to have a full hook-up. Dreams turned into investigations and research, phone calls, an informal interview, and before we knew it, we were signed up to be the new camp hosts starting at the beginning of February and lasting for three months! From our perspective – it was PERFECT! We couldn’t have asked for anything better.

   

After a month long sojourn re-uniting with friends in Indio and Mesa, we returned to start our new duties as camp hosts.

It wasn’t as quiet as before  – Echo Bay used to be a booming tourist ‘hot spot’ with snowbirds and locals alike flocking to the area to either camp or to stay at the hotel and marina. Over the years, as the level of the lake diminished, so did the number of people coming to the area so that, by the time we got there, it had the appearance of being a ghost town – the hotel was boarded up and the marina was high and dry out of the water – inaccessible to boat traffic.

The white line you see on the the mountain? Locals call it “the bathtub ring” – mineral deposits from when the lake was higher.

The marina being dismantled.

We discovered upon our return that the National parks had contracted to have the marina removed. The previous quiet which we had so enjoyed turned into the sounds of downshifting gears in the huge big dump trucks as they came down the hill beside our site to turn into the ‘collecting’ area where the marina remains were being dumped. But that was only one minor inconvenience in all of the other wonders of Echo bay…..

….constantly changing weather conditions created constantly changing landscapes….

….every evening we were treated to the pink, orange, indigo, and violet ‘abstract art’ of con trails overhead from the many flights in and out of Vegas….

….the sounds and sights of the local wildlife …..

There was a herd of wild mustangs…

..a very rare climbing, blue desert tortoise…. (inside joke… https://wp.me/p21ccR-Cv)

….the first time I heard the wild burros I thought they were some sort of alien creature outside our door!

….the strangest beetles we’d ever seen…they seemed to like our mat and would stick their heads down through the mat with their behinds pointing skyward….

….and of course, the desert bighorns – we saw a lot of them…

….the desert hiking…..

….the kayaking in crystal clear waters…..

Scouting for a place to put our kayaks in.

Our beautiful Lake Mead waterfront.

…..tourist sites to visit such as Hoover Dam and the Historic Railway Trail (https://www.nps.gov/lake/planyourvisit/hikerr.htm) to the dam…..

The awesome Hoover Dam.

Downstream from the dam. You can see a boom crossing the water. Just beyond it is where boaters/rafters/kayakers must hire an outfitter/guide company put their boats in to do the ‘Black Canyon Water Trail.”https://www.nps.gov/WaterTrails/Trail/Info/50

….and neighboring ‘Valley of Fire State Park’!

We were volunteers for the National Parks Service. We gave 32 hours a week of our combined time and in return we were privileged to spend three months in one of the most beautiful places in Nevada. The best part of the job? Meeting such a variety of like-minded people; fellow nomads, like us.

McLeod Montana – our new home for 5 months

We arrived early afternoon, from Cody WY, in the pouring rain. Our first views were magnificent despite the clouds hanging low over unseen mountains. The road was paved most of the way from Big Timber except for the last 2 miles when the pavement changed to mud and gravel. In dry weather, no problem. In the pouring rain, pulling a fifth wheel trailer, not so much fun but with 4 wheel drive engaged, really no problem at all. We were just covered with mud!! That is….the truck, trailer, running boards and our feet.

The road the next day – still muddy but not nearly as bad as when we arrived.

First glimpse of our new home. This is the entrance to the Historic Main Boulder Ranger Station. The road climbs up and turns – important when towing a fairly large rig.

The Historic Main Boulder Ranger Station. (The road you see in front? We backed up on the little dirt road!!)

The next set of pictures show how we had to get into our spot – backing up the whole way! We are still not quite sure how we managed to do it so easily – without killing each other.

   

Here are a few of our first glimpses into the wonder of where are:

There are so many sandhill cranes in this area. Wherever we go, we see them, in the meadows, flying, or we hear them…they have a very unusual call. I think there is a mating couple or maybe even a few couples close by because we hear them constantly.

 

The day after we arrived, we just had to go exploring our territory so we decided to take a drive up the Main Boulder Road (which is the road we drove in on) to check out some of the campgrounds we will be responsible for. The first thing we were impressed with is how many deer there are – everywhere, including jumping out in front of us on several occasions – thankfully the road was rough so our speed was very slow.

 

We also took a drive into McLeod, 12 miles back along Main Boulder Road, to see if we could get a mailbox at the Post Office there. Sure enough, we can.

Also found these cute little cabins for rent in McLeod, right beside the raging Boulder River – high and still rising apparently.

The next day, we went exploring again into Livingston which is where the Forest Service office is and where we will be on a weekly basis. We took the “back road” there. Again, spectacular views.

The “Crazies” as the locals call the mountains you can see in the distance. One of our campgrounds is in the Crazies.

Zoomed in view of the Crazies.

On the way to Livingston.

So many beautiful ranches too.

The Beartooth-Absaroka Ranges.

The town of Livingston.

We consider ourselves so very lucky to be here…lots of wildlife, spectacular scenery, great colleagues in the Forest Service, and lots more places to explore!