Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Lake Mead Waters — Where’d They All Go?

©Bert Gildart:  Last night I stood on the shoreline that represented the high-water mark of the Lake Mead Reservoir.  From where I stood I could look across Callville Bay and see to the opposite shoreline marked by a continuous white band.  The band represents the lake level as it has existed for the decades following impoundment of Lake Mead.

This lake, once the sainted representation of high-tech engineering, is down over 100 vertical feet representing (for me) an incalculable volume of water.  What makes this such a difficult calculation is that this scene is not confined to just Callville Bay but begins above Grand Canyon at Lake Powell.  Waters that remain then flow through the Grand Canyon but are once again blocked at Hoover Dam where we are now camped. This is the dam created the barren landscape we are now observing.

LakeMeadeShoreline (1 of 1)

Water once lapped at shore where this photo taken.


Of course we all heard about the drought in homes distant from Lake Mead, but back there when you say Lake Mead is down over 100 feet these measurements are little more than vague abstraction.

What’s causing this? Immediately it is caused by the prolonged drought Colorado has been experiencing.  But scientists say this is only the beginning.

They’re worried that this region will confront significant water supply challenges as greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise.  But that suggests global warming, and we all know that is just the loose-tongue meanderings of some of our nation’s leading scientists – perhaps 95% of them.  “No to worry,” say detractors.”

LakeMeadeShoreline (20 of 3) LakeMeadeShoreline (21 of 3) LakeMeadeShoreline (22 of 3)

Note the white ring that covers so much of the landscape in these three images.  Those lines represent the shoreline created by the Lake Mead impoundment.

That’s the way I might have felt before I saw these shorelines several nights ago, and if I wasn’t a believer before I saw Lake Mead, I now have to say that it appears as though something monumental is happening, and it appears as though it will only get worse.

However, the drought has created some interesting side stories, and one of them is shown in the next image.

StThomas (2 of 10)

An interesting aspect of this prolonged drought is the reemergence of the historic village of St. Thomas.


This image shows the reemergence of the old Mormon village of St. Thomas, which existed from 1865 until 1935, when Hoover Dam created the impoundment that covered it.  More on this in next post.




Historic Fort Davis

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy

Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

One Response to “Lake Mead Waters — Where’d They All Go?”

  1. Tom Palesch Says:

    Looking forward to your story about St. Thomas Village. I’m sure there are some great human interest tales about the people and the village. Back in the ’30’s when they were daming the rivers of the west the mantra seemed to be “people be damned, the big boys want water.”

    Several years back at Ft. Peck, MT I met an old cowboy whos father’s ranch was flooded out when that dam was built. We had a great time talking about old roundups, broc bust’n and life on the last frontier. His history was buried and soon to be lost.

    I guess we call it progress!