Day 58 to Day 61. Paddling Lake Mead

I am not really in the mood for writing today… I need time to process the Grand Canyon and don’t want to stare at a screen, typing, while I do. Instead I will enjoy the easy paddling (as long as there’s no wind) in the pastel solitude of this lake. The occasional motorboat doesn’t bother me much. I will just keep on paddling, and than,s to the sea Kayak I have gotten from Izzy at Desert Adventures I should reach the Boulder City Marina in two days (or with wind in three). I will continue writing when I get there (see below pics) and fill this space with pictures of my journey instead.

Looking back log: I paddled upstream from South Cove into Iceberg Canyon below the Pearce Ferry Rapid. Then back to camp at Greggs Hideout (to day 59). As there is much wind the next day I hang out at Temple Bar all day and camp on Heron Point (to day 60). The next day is long, but I get all the way past the Narrows and camp near Rufus Bay (to day 61). On the last day I paddle across and into the Las Vegas Marina. And then there I write this upcoming text.

Cheap pop music, buzzing air condition and endlessly rotating fans at the ceiling. The bar at the Harbor House Café & Lounge at the Las Vegas Harbor is plastered with Beer ads and neon colored panels advertise todays special cocktails and “real iced Starbucks Frappuccino”. I can’t suppress the double take when first seeing the waitress who takes me to a seat by the window. She must be well over 60 but seems to think of herself as a 20 year old. It seems to me as though she wants to be a snap shot of her own self confidence. Her red polo shirt is tight, her shorts are very short, showing off long legs. I can’t help but find that her skin is as tattered and wrinkled as the oversized menu featuring all American diner food that she hands me. Her meant-to-be-friendly-but-too-cheerful-to-believe smile shows big whitened teeth, although her lips can’t seem to open all the way, possibly from a Botox job gone sideways. She wears almost scary bright blue contacts and her brown face is plastered with makeup. Her bangs are curled like back in the day and whenever she stops moving (which is hardly ever) her legs wiggle so much, she might aswell be on something. The other people here are mostly white people of all ages, most of them overweight. Sprinkled among their mass are some Indian and Chinese tourists. The latter had frantically taken pictures of me as I pulled into the Harbor about an hour. Maybe they have never seen a Kayak before? I feel small and lost in my little craft in between all these oversized motorized ships. Some are glittering, most show off huge motors, the houseboats, displaying names like “big papa” and “eagles nest” at the dock are the size of semi trucks.

What a contrast to those last days and weeks in the Grand Canyon and all alone on the big Lake Mead. But hey, this is the USA, this is what it is all about: real wilderness, open spaces, incredible beauty here and and big boats, even bigger cars, lots of (white) trash, and big fake smiles there. And in a bizarre way I love all of this somehow schizophrenic world.

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