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Paddle or Perish! Kayaking the clouds at Hoover Dam

Who says Vegas is all about fake attractions/boobs?! Steve's coworkers organized this kayaking trip. I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I've done this. Its just always a fun & awesome experience. Definitely the best way to experience Hoover Dam.

Highlights: Beautiful landscape! There's some hot springs out there too. One time we went, we found a used condom & candles around the place. Eww.
Cast of Characters: moi, Steve & a few folks from Petroglyph games. Thanks to Ted for organizing the trip.
Logistics/ Links: We used Desert Adventures for the kayak rental. There's also some other companies that offer adventure services approved by the gov't. We didn't do a guided tour. You don't need a guide. The trip ends when you see the first sign of civilization so its hard to get lost. This is the trip we did. Make sure to pack your lunch, snacks & drinks. You don't have to get wet if you don't want to. Water is very calm there's no chance of you tipping over from the current. 
When: Vegas is best during fall...actually most of US is best during fall. We always go around late Sept to early October I think. The weather is still kinda warm but pretty cool in the mornings. If you overheat you can always just take a dip in the refreshing (freezing) water. Also, book way in advance for weekends.
Location: Black Canyon River. The kayak trip starts at the base of Hoover Dam & finishes at Willow Beach. We met the adventure company at Hacienda Hotel & Casino around 6:15am
Cost: The kayak rentals are cheap but you need permits & stuff so you'll prolly spend about $80 after everything.
Trip Report: Kayak trip was awesome!!! We were paddling till about 1-2pm. Pick-up time is 3pm. Paddle slow or explore the trails in the area. You have to take your time otherwise you end up waiting for hours (which is kind of what happened to us). I got to practice a bit of photography which is always nice.

Steve & I back in 2005 or something. Skinny old days. Notice the new bridge isn't up yet.

Juliet's husband solo kayaking
New Hoover dam bypass. You'll miss it if you're just driving through.

Fellow paddlers exploring the area

One of my favorite pics of the excursion

Hot springs from a trip before. We didn't venture out on the latest trip. We heard they got rid of the sandbags that formed the little pools. Good thing too because we were told the pools had deadly amoeba. Now the area just has a little creek & I think a newer ladder instead of the rickety one shown.
Steve thinking about his beer
One of my fave pics ever. I noticed you only get the reflections really early in the morning. I had the same kind of setting while bamboo rafting in Yangshuo & it was sooo pretty how the water just reflected a parallel world below you.

Yes, bathroom facilities are available.

We made a few stops to go hike & explore along the way


Emerald cove. With good weather, you'll get this brilliant, glittery emerald cave. With bad weather you'll get a gloomy, wasp nest infested hole like this. I've seen both, the former was really nice.

View from gauger's house. There was a guy that lived here on this spot whose job is to just gauge the water levels. Its kind of depressing at times to see how much Lake Mead water has receded.

Fazzie & Amanda in the pic. Gauger's old home. Along the way you'll see make-shift wooden plank pathways that look pretty freaky. There's also this little cable zipline that they used to pull a wooden carriage from one mountain to the other.
Latest pic (10 lbs later). Doesn't show the new bridge. Oh well. Next time!


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