The Lake Mead Time Lapse Collection 3 features interesting cloud formations, fast moving storm fronts and night sky scenes. This is the final video in the Covid isolation camping series, which ended shortly after these sessions were completed on April 15, 2022 when I regretfully moved into an apartment in Las Vegas.
After spending two and a half years in wilderness areas it was difficult adjusting to city life. When I finally sat down and looked at the massive amount of content accumulated during the lengthy camping tour, I realized that I had a lot of work to do. A one year lease for an apartment with high speed internet was enough to get most of the processing done and I had no intention of being a city cave dweller any longer than that.
Summers were spent in the northwest and winters were spent in the warm southwest during the Covid camping tour. Lake Mead was a convenient place because the cellular signal is strong near Boulder Beach and I was able to get a lot of Destination West travel article publishing done. Restocking supplies was easy with Las Vegas being next door. I definitely spent enough time at Lake Mead to do a long term time lapse study and there are three volumes in the Covid camping collection.
There are many experiences that must be shared, so viewers will realize why the Lake Mead National Recreation Area truly is the most dangerous national park in the nation. Boating and swimming accidents are the number one killer. The extreme heat of summer being well over 110ºF takes its toll too, but there is more. Because of the proximity to Las Vegas, there is an element of criminal activity, mostly having to do with meth tweakers. There are also a lot of greenhorn city boys packing ammo that have itchy trigger fingers. I witnessed a gun battle one afternoon when a man was shot six times just for running downhill toward a couple of armed and dangerous dubious people.
The worst is the ignorant target shooters that do not realize that they are actually in a dispersed camping area. One morning I had to dodge bullets from one such incident and I immediately called the rangers onto the scene once I got back into phone range. Bullets were wizzing by overhead and one bounced off the Jeep, so it was a close call.
There is a lot of 4x4 trail riding activity on the weekends at Lake Mead, so be sure to not camp next to a trail. The good thing is the four wheelers tend to help each other and they will assist strangers. If you get stuck in a silt pit, somebody driving a 4x4 will likely voluntarily hitch a tow rope and yank your vehicle out of trouble. There are also times when you will not see another soul for more than a week, so always bring a shovel to dig your vehicle out if it gets stranded.
The dust storms are brutal at Lake Mead. If you sleep in a tent overnight during a dust storm, plan on waking up to a quarter inch of silt covering everything inside the tent by morning. For this reason it is best to sleep inside a sealed vehicle during raging dust storms.
The coyotes and kit foxes are the the biggest predators around the lake and they truly are harmless to humans, other than stealing food. When you spend enough time in one spot, you will eventually gain the trust of the kit foxes and they will come around to say hello. They also beg for food, but you should never feed them no matter how cute they look. Feeding wild animals is illegal and it is a good way to get banned from the park.
The foxes show themselves shortly after dark and this often happened during my night sky filming sessions. One kit fox took a liking to me and used to bark for me to come outside and play. It actually used to lay down across my feet and stretch out while wagging its tail. If a kit fox does this while you are there, do not pet the cute critter, because it is wild and contracting rabies from a nip is a risk.
There are poisonous scorpions, spiders and deadly snakes in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Common sense about not reaching under objects and shaking the shoes out in the morning are good preventative measures. Hydration is another key to survival, so bring plenty of water.
After reading all these disclaimers, it is easy to see why you have to be well aware of your surroundings and what other people are doing when visiting Lake Mead. This is especially true when filming time lapse, because it is guaranteed that you will be there for many hours or several days. For more information, there are several Lake Mead articles in the Destination West website. Good luck and enjoy it because Lake Mead is a beautiful dangerous place!
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