Prickly Pear Margaritas Alongside Lake Mead

We left Grand Canyon amid light snow en route to a boondocking site by Lake Mead.  Mead was formed by the Hoover Dam, dedicated in 1935, and once was America’s largest reservoir.  In terms of volume I suspect that it has long since been eclipsed by many others:  Lake Mead is 200’ below its record volume, and around 125’ below its normal volume.  It is 20’ above the mandatory water rationing level, and since Las Vegas gets 90% of its water from Mead, that is not good news for The City Built on Sin.  Not that they’re doing much about it; water is still cheap in Vegas, even for golf courses.  25 feet sounds like a lot of water, and is, but the forecasters say rationing will begin by summer 2015.  And they said that three months ago when the lake was then ten feet deeper.

 

That's What They Call 'Lake Mead's Bathtub Ring'
That’s What They Call ‘Lake Mead’s Bathtub Ring’
Front Door View of Lake Mead
Front Door View of Lake Mead

What can one do?  All I can think of is the lyrics to a Janis Joplin song called “Get It While You Can”.  She was singing about something else, but my message is “See it while you can”.  It’s beautiful, blue, and cool in early spring.  The waterline is maybe 100 feet below us but there are still millions of sun-bleached mussel shells in the packed sand around our boondock site.  Yeah, get it while you can.

 

The Mayor of Our Campground  (Coyote)
The Mayor of Our Campground (Coyote)
Lake Mead with Figures
Lake Mead with Figures
Same Location, Looking Toward Our Campsite
Same Location, Looking Toward Our Campsite

Back in Wickenburg, AZ, some 40 days ago Kat and I had an excellent Arizona-Mex meal.  The big-screen TV was showing innings 6 and 7 of the Marlins’ Jose Fernandez mesmerizing the Colorado Rockies.  Opening Day, it was, and although we had excellent cervezas with our chimis and burros, a fellow nearby ordered a Prickly Pear Margarita as we were about to leave.  Had baseball not been on, (Kat’s limit is about two innings on TV), I would have persuaded her to stay a bit longer and try one of those exotic Margies.

 

Prickly Pear Margarita
Prickly Pear Margarita

And while I’ve looked in every Safeway and WalMart from Wickenburg to Bullhead City, nobody stocks the key ingredient to Prickly Pear Margaritas:  prickly pear syrup.  And then, in the General Store on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, we found it.  Yeah, $8 for four ounces, but to taste an exotic drink?  Priceless!

 

Lake Mead Sunset
Lake Mead Sunset

Prickly pear syrup is sweet, purplish, and has a faint flavor I can’t describe.  “Earthy” is the adjective Wikipedia uses, and I suppose that’s in the ballpark.  It’s a different margarita, and who among you has ever had a bad one?

 

Victor Laszlo
Victor Laszlo
She Liked Rick, But He Knew Better
She Liked Rick, But He Knew Better

The prickly pear margarita is not Victor Laszlo’s favorite drink, but what is?  And who is Victor Laszlo?  A shout out from our award-winning photographer (today is Mother’s Day) goes to whomever replies first, correctly, without having looked up the answer on The Google.

6 thoughts on “Prickly Pear Margaritas Alongside Lake Mead

  1. Lake Mead is indeed worth seeing — I was impressed. We were there in ’06 when it presumably had quite a bit more water in it.

    We found a variety of prickly pear products at the gift shop and visitor’s center at Saguaro National Park East in Tucson. Brought back a bottle of PP BBQ sauce for our neighbor who’d been watching the house for us while we traveled this winter. Seemed fitting to bring a different kind of BBQ sauce back to Kansas City!

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    1. You’d be sick at the sight of it, Em. We were at least 100 feet above the current water line and our sandy campground was covered with sun-bleached mussel shells. They’ve been dessicated for at least ten years. Part of the problem is a 14 year drought, and the bigger part is the insatiable demand for water on the part of Las Vegas and to a lesser extent, LA.

      San Francisco has a lot of tourism, too, and they use about 50 gallons per day per person. Vegas uses three times that, mostly for landscaping. You probably get by on 10 gallons or less a day per person in your RV. I would think cities in the American west may need to consider rationing water at the 40 gallon per day level. That means curtains for a lot of golf courses, and some carwashes, but it’s that or an Exodus from LV, and eventually, LA.

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  2. Loving all of your posts, and the spectacular photos.

    Yes, sadly, our extraordinary planet is in some trouble.

    On a lighter note, without using Google, I know Victor Laszlo from _Casablanca_.

    In short, he was a Czech, a resistance leader wanted by the Nazis, and married to Ilsa, the character played by Ingrid Bergman.

    I had to look up his drink online (so no credit for that last part), and since I did have to look it up, I won’t say what it is here, in case someone else wants to play. 🙂

    Off to catch up on more of your fascinating posts, and pictures.

    Cheers. 😀

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    1. Yes, correct: excellent answer. I’m calling the contest settled, drink of choice notwithstanding. The drink was called a “champagne cocktail” in Casablanca, but I prefer to think it was actually a French 75, named for the WW I artillery piece which, thanks to its ingenious hydraulic recoil absorption system, could be fired repeatedly without re-aiming. In a word, the gun and the drink were knock-outs.

      A French air ace, Raoul or something, is credited by some as its inventor. He loved champagne, but needed some kick to forget his day, so it included lemon juice, cognac, simple syrup, and half a cup of champagne.

      And K.D. is the winner of our Victor Lazslo trivia contest!

      Jackson

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