Ready to Go….Or Maybe Not (And A Drowned Ghost Town) – Lake Mead, NV

We had several great afternoons with our buddy Ivan
We had several fun afternoons with our buddy Ivan

We were all set to go. We’d packed-up the car, put away our chairs, secured our stuff…you know the drill. We’d even made the rounds and said goodbye to all our nearby boondocking friends -> the guys from Oregon up the hill, Papa over on the mesa, John down the hill and even blogging buddy Ivan & His Kitty Hailey who came to spend a few days with us (if you’re a kitty fan go check his blog -> you’ll go absolutely gaga for Hailey shots!). Oh yeah, we were READY baby…

Then that darn song started playing in my head. In fact, it was even worse than that. I woke up with it clanging around in my noggin’ like a blood-sucking leech, and if you’ve ever woken up to Punk Rock you know it’s about as soothing as splashing ice cold water on a sleeping baby:

Should I stay or should I go?
If I go there will be trouble…
And if I stay there will be double…
The CLASH, 1982

What in the world???

An hour later, as we were finishing our first cup Paul turned to me and said “You know that song by the Clash….it’s been knocking around in my head all morning“.

Well, knock me over with a toothpick and call me cooked. You don’t say…

You can't fight this kind of perfection...
You can’t fight this kind of perfection…
Not too shabby a site, this is...
Not too shabby a spot, this is…

We opened up our iPads and looked at the weather forecast. Sure enough temps had dropped pretty hard all north of us and we had ~3 perfect days of weather forecasted right here at our boondocking site. Hmmmm, you really can’t fight The Clash, ya know. That settled it. We broke out the chairs, sat down to relax and planned another few days. We still had time on our 15-day limit and there was no denying this is a gorgeous spot. Paul had a couple more trades he wanted to put on, I had a few internet items to take care of and it just made sense.

This is one of the many reasons why we prefer to boondock in the volatile Spring months. It gives us the flexibility to change with the weather (and the music, I guess) without having to re-make alot of plans. It’s also one of the reasons we love the southwest. There’s nowhere quite like this where you can do these things. Being surrounded by so much public land makes it possible to be flexible, something we wouldn’t really have the luxury of doing out east (what can I say, I’m biased…)

The other little bonus of our extended stay meant it gave us time to go explore a little ghost town just north of us. Blog reader Andy mentioned the place in the comments a few posts back and it turns out we are only a few miles south. Excellent! St. Thomas is actually more of a drowned city than a ghost town. Originally established as a Mormon settlement (their geography was a little off) in 1865 it went through several iterations before the inhabitants were forced to relocated due to rising waters from the building of Hoover Dam in 1936. It was literally drowned by the new lake and not seen again until water levels dropped. These days the water level is low enough that you can do the entire 2.5 mile loop hike with ease. Not much there except one little sign and lots of old concrete, but if you download the free Field Guide it’s a fun little outing. Dog-friendly too.

That’s about all we’ve managed these last few bonus days. We’ve now packed up our stuff, put away the chairs and are ready to go again…you know the drill, right?

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  1. Allen says

    It is funny how songs are part of our lives. I got the paper work confirming April 30 as my retirement on Friday. Friday night driving home & dreamin about going full time in June and Metallica comes on the radio singing (very loudly) “Anywhere I lay my head is home!”

    • libertatemamo says

      Nice! The song is perfect for the moment. I’ve always been amazed how certain songs seem to “fit” with whatever I’m doing at that time. Partly it’s me putting my imprint on the song, but sometimes (like your example) the coincidence just seems too strong. Love those moments!


  2. says

    Oh, you don’t know your South West / Mormon history….Brigham Young had “created” the “State of Deseret” in 1849, never recognized by USA (according to Wikipedia), and it covered not only Utah, over 50% of what is now Arizona, over 90% of Nevada, and about 35% of California, and small areas of Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico and Colorado. So he sent out “settlements” out from Salt Lake area to help establish “his” claim on the area in the name of the church. Hence, there are Mormon Settlements all over the place within this area. Of course, having some of their members discover Gold in California sure put a big dent in those plans. Safe travels when you do take off. Don’t know if you heard but our motorhome went up in smoke in a storage facility fire in Florida just 33 days before our departure northward for Alaska. It affected about 35 RVs, mostly motorhomes, along with boats and a few cars…all lost, around $5 million in damage. Now we are looking for another, thank goodness for insurance. –Dave (

    • libertatemamo says

      Fascinating…and no, I did not know that history!
      So very sorry to hear about your MH. Very sad! Sure hope the insurance company comes through for you with no issues…*and* that you’re still able to make it back out on the road in time for your trip.


  3. says

    The joys of this lifestyle…changing your mind:) Why leave something wonderful if you don’t have to. Sounds like a smart decision. I like the ghost “drowned” town. We’ll have to check that out.

    • libertatemamo says

      Flexibility is indeed one of the things I love the most about this lifestyle. The only reservations we have on the horizon are for Labor Day…and then of course our job in June.


  4. Jil says

    Great pictures…safe travels….glad you got to stay longer…we are now planning out trip heading to Newfoundland…..

  5. Rattlesnake Joe says

    In northern California next to Shasta Lake is Whiskeytown Lake and the town of Whiskey is under the lake too. With the water levels dropping so low perhaps we can stake a claim to part of the old town. Maybe there is an old safe that has been hiding there full of Gold Rush Gold just waiting to be found? Or maybe there is a fortune in lost fishing lures stuck on the roof tops of the old town? But beware the Ghosts that haunt the old town still.

    • libertatemamo says

      So true…could be all kind of treasures out there. If just we can find them :) I love to think of all that buried history.


  6. Pleinguy says

    Ah, The Clash was one of my favorite groups. When I was working with a local punk band, I got to sit backstage during a Ramones concert and hang out with them. Expect I’ll be at Lake Mead around mid-April.

  7. Ken says

    Must be a sure sign of confidence and security in one’s relationship to have THAT song buzzing in the depths of both your brains and only be concerned with where to park the RV for the next few days…!

    Enjoy the rest of your stay, and wherever your travels take you from there.

  8. says

    You know what they say about great minds! We have had a great time exploring the east in greater depth than when we lived here but are so missing the west. Your photos are just spectacular Nina. I always love your sunsets and that shot of Paul and Polly is wonderful. :)

  9. says

    So glad to know that we aren’t the only ones who make last minute changes to our travel schedule. My husband and I like the flexibility and the kids are learning how to roll with it. Have enjoyed your posts and photos on Lake Mead. We are heading that way soon for the first time and it’s great to know a few places to explore.

    • libertatemamo says

      I think it’s a common thing for frequent travellers, especially those that have been on the road for a while and are more comfortable just “winging it”. Enjoy Lake Mead! It’s a gorgeous area!


  10. Diane & Tom says

    Ok… we certainly do understand! We are at Parker and had planned to head to Lake Havasu City tomorrow. BUT… temps are suddenly soaring there! And, hard for me to believe, but it appears to be cooler at Lake Mead! Windy here today, so will stay put but tomorrow morning we are heading out and have decided to skip Lake Havasu City and go to Lake Mead. Plans always swirl around… isn’t it a grand adventure :) Stay safe and well!

    • libertatemamo says

      Yup! That spot in on our list (depending on route). If we go that way well definitely stop there.


    • libertatemamo says

      I’m getting Internet via my Millenicom MiFi. I’ve got a few posts on this if you search the archives. Very happy with the service.


  11. Smitty says

    Good move, ah – non move! Otherwise you’d be hearing one of my favorite classics rolling thru your mind collective. Oh Baby It’s Cold Outside (I’m a fan of L. Armstrongs version:)!).

    Seems like you two confirmed the saying ‘Sometimes the best move, is no move at all…’.

    Travel safe,

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