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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.