Saturday, January 24, 2015

Eldorado Dry Lake, Nevada!

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     Weekend Fun In The Sun At An Ancient Dry Lake!
     Nearly all lowland areas in Nevada were once covered by oceans in ancient times.  As the mountains raised the land and the polar caps grew during ice ages, the oceans in this region disappeared.  As the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range grew to a high elevation, fewer Pacific rain clouds were able to pass over the high mountains.  As a result, the American southwest become extremely arid desert.
     There are several dry lakes in the west that are world famous.  One is the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.  This salt bead is famous for racing and world speed records.  Groom Lake is now famous because of the Area 51 Secret Base.  Probably the most famous dry lake destination in the west is Death Valley.  The salt beds in a Badwater section of Death Valley are nearly 9 miles deep.  Because of the extreme heat and rough terrain, Death Valley is not exactly a great place to spend the day doing strenuous outdoor activities.
     There are many lesser known dry lake beds in Nevada where outdoor activity enthusiasts congregate on weekends.  Some of the dry lakes in the state are protected land, so it is best to check the status of the area before planning a venture.  Off road vehicles of any kind are not allowed in sensitive environmental areas.
     There is a popular dry lake that is located close to Las Vegas, Boulder City and Nelson, Nevada.  Eldorado Dry Lake is a recreational area, so off road vehicles are allowed.
    When the weather is cool in the winter, plenty of people go to Eldorado Dry Lake everyday of the week.  Land sailing is a prime activity, because the dry lake plain is vast and wide.  Radio control model airplane and drone hobbyists have a blast at this place, because visibility is nearly unlimited.
     Folks that are into falconry can be seen at Eldorado Dry Lake in the early morning training birds of prey to catch pigeons.  This ancient hunting sport is thriving in the desert southwest and there are many falconry clubs.  This sport requires years of dedication to master and the trained bird of prey literally becomes a family member.  There is nothing like watching the birds of prey soaring effortlessly in the cobalt blue sky.  A good telephoto lens is necessary for capturing images of these birds in flight.
     Of course some people go to Eldorado Dry Lake for a lazy day of tanning, while listening to the radio and watching the goings on.  Parking an RV on the edge of the dry lake and having a picnic is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
     On one end of the dry lake there is a modern outdoor gun range for shooting sports enthusiasts.  Sporting clays and combat style shooting sports are popular these days, especially while the weather is cool.
    As one can see, there is plenty of fun things to do, even at a dry lake bed out in the middle of the desert.  Eldorado Dry Lake is a prime destination for those who enjoy quality outdoor recreation activities on weekends.
     During the hot summer months, few people hang out at Eldorado Dry Lake, because of the heat and the unpredictable monsoon rain storms.  Rain is fairly predictable during winter months, so it is easier to avoid the perils of knee ocean bottom silt mud.  When it rains, the silt mud can be heavy enough to cause vehicles and even hikers to get stuck like glue.  On dry windy days, dust storms can cause all outdoors activities to come to a screeching halt.  Checking the weather report before going to Eldorado Dry Lake is advisable, so the time spent traveling is not wasted.
     Eldorado Dry Lake is located on Highway 95, where the road turns south in the direction of Searchlight and Laughlin, Nevada.  It only takes about 30 minutes to get to Eldorado Dry Lake from Las Vegas.  Boulder City is close by and so is the historic Eldorado Canyon.  Outdoor recreational vehicle rentals of all kinds, including land sailing craft, can be found in the Las Vegas area.  Eldorado Dry Lake is what fun in the sun is all about!

     *Always check the status of any dry lake destination before making the trek.  Dry lake areas can be have seasonal protective status, like during gopher tortoise mating season.  

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