After three nights spent camped outside Oatman recovering from our nasty sinus infections, we were ready to move on. (I think it’s the first time ever I didn’t take a single photo of our camp.) We moved a little over an hour away to a dry lake bed outside Las Vegas. We figured it was a good place to go thru the last of our food before restocking in Vegas. What was intended to be a one night stay turned in to three. Here’s what happened…
We arrived on a Friday night to some gorgeous weather. Saturday we decided we had no reason to be in a hurry to move on and we didn’t want to be out wandering around on a Saturday night, in an unfamiliar area, looking for a place to sleep. We checked the weather, as we always do, and saw rain in the forecast. Though a dry lakebed isn’t a place you want to be in the rain, the forecast was a 20% chance with under a hundredth of an inch of precipitation expected. So we stayed.
(Side note: that inflatable couch Mark is laying in…it’s as good as it looks : )
Saturday night we went to bed to a very light drizzle. Then, in the middle of the night we woke to a total downpour, that lasted…a while. We both lay there, thinking to ourselves without actually speaking, that we probably should have moved.
We opened the camper door the next morning to find ourselves surrounded by water. I was pretty amused. Mark was not. At that point in time, there was really nothing we could do but laugh. We knew we weren’t going anywhere. If we tried, we would only get ourselves in a worse situation. So, like watching paint dry, we hung out and waited for the sun to slowly bake the lakebed back to it’s hard, crisp surface.
We watched in the distance as several people came and went, getting there fill of muddy lakebed fun. Doing donuts, tearing up the lakebed and coating there vehicles in a thick coat of mud in the process. Our greatest challenge that day was getting Kaia to a drier spot on the lakebed to go potty. We really didn’t want her bringing the outside inside.
Kaia wondering what her humans have gotten themselves in to.
A couple hours before sunset we decided to take a walk. We were still surrounded by water but could see in the distance where it was drying. From our walk we learned that we were parked in one of the wettest spots. Some areas were completely dry, others were close to it. By our observations, if we could move the truck and trailer a hundred feet, we’d be out of the worst of it. Just for the sake of being able to walk Kaia and move ourselves around without getting coated in an inch of mud, we really wanted to give it a shot.
We didn’t want to bury our tires in the mud and we didn’t want to tear up the lakebed so Mark proceeded with caution. On the first attempt the tires just spun. He stopped, reassessed and decided to let a bunch of air out of the truck tires. That was the ticket. At about 2 mph he was able to slowly move our rig to drier ground.
Our second challenge would come the next morning when we would attempt to leave. There was about a mile of lakebed to cross to get to the highway where there were only two designated exits. Not only were there still plenty of wet spots to avoid, it was a maze of rutted puddles from all the people out mud-bogging the day before. I was feeling extremely skeptical that we would make it out.
Taking it slow was the name of the game and Mark hopped out a few times to scout out the best line.
We made it to the exit only to find that it was completely destroyed from everyone coming in and out. More scouting around and we found a way thru. And just like that, we were back on solid ground and on our way to Vegas.
I have to say, in all our years of camping, I’m shocked this is the first time we’ve dealt with something like this. Years ago, I would have panicked because I just didn’t know any better. Now I know it’s just about making good decisions and not doing anything impulsively. In hindsight, we should have moved the night the drizzle began to the edge of the lakebed, closer to the exit. We definitely could have at least positioned ourselves better, just in case. All in all, it wasn’t so bad, albeit a little messy.
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