This post is a bit behind, so I’m going to put several things together. This will be a picture heavy post. We’re currently back in the Boise area – we came here over the holidays – and I finally have some time to put this out. Apologies for the delay!
When we left Bonneville we headed down to the Vegas area, taking a route that would have us stay the night at the Pioche City RV Park. The park is free for up to 7 days (donations accepted), and has water and sewer hookups. We also had cell service there. It wasn’t super fast, but it was workable. Pioche is like a living ghost town. There are a lot of remnants of mining days to look at, and the area was very quiet. On the evening we were there, it seemed the whole area was being serviced by the Schwann’s guy, and we stopped him as well to get some ice cream as a treat.
After Pioche, our plans led us to Government Wash. Government Wash is on Lake Mead, and is one of several “free” boondocking areas around the lake. Here is a link to the park map. A permit is required to access this site as it is inside the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. A Federal Interagency pass will get you in. (This helped make our America the Beautiful Pass even more worth it this year. We could come and go as we pleased.)
You are allowed to stay in Government Wash for 15 days and then you need to move more than 1 mile away. For several around us, that meant going over to 8 Mile Wash, or out to Stewart’s Point. Both of these areas also have 15 day limits. If you go North out of the Park toward the town of Overton, you will come across another popular boondocking area for snowbirds called Poverty Flats. Poverty Flats does not have the stay limitation, but it was very packed when we drove through while exploring the area.
Here’s a panoramic of the area we stayed in Government Wash:
Government Wash was a new experience for us. Cell service was great, and had high speed bandwidth. Our main reason for being in the Vegas area this time of year was a Halloween Convergence with the Xscapers.
Xscapers are a subset of the Escapees RV Club – which is a great club for full timers. The Escapees tend to lean more toward the retired, quiet full-timer populace, while the Xscapers leans toward the younger, outgoing, and still working type.
Stacy and Justin are Xscapers and introduced us to the idea, so we decided to go with them to experience this group of people. What better way to experience Vegas… Halloween, urban boondocking right on Fremont Street, with a group of people who have events planned for the whole week!
Leading up to and then after the convergence, many Xscapers were at the Wash and around the area. It was actually somewhat comforting to be around so many like minded individuals. You could count on someone watching over your property while you were gone and vice versa. This is a good thing, because I did get nervous while out on the Wash, there were strangers driving through at all hours, and some were indeed looking to cause problems. I’m glad nothing happened to us or our friends.
On the way to parking down on Fremont Street for the Convergence, we finally got to go to our first Blue Beacon Truck Wash. A lot of full timers rave about Blue Beacon, so we got to try it for ourselves. Our vehicles were covered in so much dirt and dust from the Wash. We wanted to be all clean and shiny parked downtown.
Our parking spot downtown on Fremont street was between 9th and 10th on Fremont. They had gated most of it, and put up a temporary fence on the rest. We also had security. There were a couple of small issues, but other than that it was overall just noisy. It definitely was interesting being parked within walking distance of the Fremont Experience. Here’s a panoramic from the lot:
Here is a medley of pictures from the Convergence:
After the Convergence, we went back to Government Wash for a bit, and then we also spent some time within a couple of RV parks in the area. We stayed at the Oasis RV Park, and at the Sam’s Town KOA. While at the Oasis we added another battery to our system. We love the Oasis, it’s quiet and secure. It’s just expensive to stay long term. When we were at the KOA, we repaired a roof leak. We had been leaking from one of our front flanges where our cables go in. The nice weather let us find and then fix the leak.
Spending a lengthy time in the area let us do some exploring, celebrate Nate’s birthday at Margaritaville with our friends, watch a show, spend some time at the Bellagio fountains, and visit the Hoover Dam.
Finally, Justin and Stacy drove us out to visit the Valley of Fire. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend coming through here. The views and colors are fantastic. We spent several hours here and couldn’t get enough of the coloring and the striations in the stone and rock around us.