Lake Meade, Oasis in the Desert
In the 1970s and even later, you could picnic on the clean, sandy beaches of Lake Meade. There were no flies or any other insects. And the water was crystal clear. There were no jet skis to intrude on your conversation. You could travel by boat to one of the tranquil side canyons and watch the huge schools of fish, so many that my dog could practically walk on top of them. You could camp out and enjoy the magnificent lights of Las Vegas in the crisp night air.
As the wise men say: everything changes. Almost 40 years later you must now pay a toll for the privilege of seeing how far the water level in the lake has gone down. The “bathtub ring” is a stark reminder of how much water Las Vegas and other cities have taken out of Lake Meade. They say it’s at 40% capacity. As a result, marinas and boat ramps are closed for lack of water. Good luck trying to find a clean spot to picnic. Along with the human garbage have come all the critters that live off that stuff including flies whose stinging bite leaves a welt.
For a long time, my dream was to buy a simple houseboat and live quietly on the lake with my dog, Herman. But not anymore. The beautiful Lake Meade I loved so much is now just a memory from better times.