My sister and I often drive out to Boulder City, Nevada while visiting my mom. Mom lives in Henderson, Nevada. If you aren’t familiar, Henderson is a huge suburb of Las Vegas that has grown tremendously over the last 30 years. It’s southeast of Vegas, and if you’ve ever gone to Hoover Dam from Vegas you’ve gone right through Henderson. All of that to say that it’s only about 20 minutes from my mom’s place to Boulder City, Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam.
Despite being so close, we’d never hiked on the Historic Railroad Hiking Trail in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area during our previous visits. So this time around we thought we’d give it a go.
The parking area for the hiking trail is located just past the Lake Mead Visitor Center. I took the photo above from the Visitor Center, and the parking area you see off in the distance on the right side of the photo is for the hiking trails.
The trail is an out and back trail (not a loop) and is around 7 miles round trip if you do the whole thing. We only did the part of the trail that goes through all five tunnels, so about 5 miles total.
While the scenery on this hike wasn’t quite as spectacular as the scenery in Sedona, it was pretty interesting to go through the tunnels and to read some of the history of the area on the trailside signs. This trail is built on the old Hoover Dam railroad bed that was constructed for the purpose of moving supplies and machinery by steam or gas locomotives to the dam construction site.
I was especially fascinated by the explanation of Ragtown, the area where workers from the dam and their families lived in wooden cabins, tents or even cardboard shacks during construction of the dam. They had no running water and no electricity (in other words, no air conditioning and not even a fan). With daytime high temps reaching close to 120 degrees, and not a lick of shade in sight, I can’t even imagine how miserable the conditions were. And keep in mind, the dam wasn’t finished yet so the lake wasn’t there and you couldn’t just jump in to cool off.
Alongside the trail are sweeping views of Lake Mead. Below is a view of the marina.
I’ve always thought it must be fabulous to have a boat on Lake Mead. It’s so huge and there never seems to be a lot of boat traffic (ironically, I just watched Pam & Tommy on Hulu and discovered that their infamous sex tape was filmed on a boat on Lake Mead, so proof positive that you can find some fairly secluded spots I think).
We had a picnic lunch after our hike and then headed in to Boulder City. I’ve written about Boulder City here on the blog before. I think of it as the southwestern version of Stillwater, MN. It’s a cute little historic town with restaurants and quite a few antique shops. There’s also a section of town with the most adorable 1930’s bungalows. I guess if you were higher up on the food chain of those who worked on the dam, you got to live in a pretty bungalow in town rather than in a cardboard shack in Ragtown.
I never manage to get any photos when passing by the historic neighborhood, but I grabbed one off the internet for you.
The next time I’m in Boulder City I really want to just walk through this neighborhood and take a few photos.
My sister and I did head into a few shops while we were in town including the Boulder City location of Bloom.
Full disclosure, I took that photo last year. I neglected to get a storefront photo this time around. I mentioned the location of Bloom that is in The District in Henderson the last time I visited my mom. They are IOD retailers, so I always try to stop in to see what they have. I purchased the Rose Chintz paint inlay there. This time around I was hoping they had the brand new Cheers transfer, but they did not have it at either the Boulder City location or The District location.
However, I did manage to find several other things to buy this time …
I don’t know what possessed me with that giant rubber stamp. I’m always drawn to the stamps, but to be honest I typically don’t like the way stamps look on anything other than paper. But I’m going to do some experimenting with the IOD ink and see if I can do anything fun with this one.
We also stopped in to Goatfeathers Emporium in Boulder City where we found the usual suspects like jadeite …
and copper …
I had to snap a quick shot of this Pfaltzgraff Yorktowne stoneware and text it to my friend Sue.
I recently pointed out to her that pretty much every thrift store we’ve been in has at least one piece of this stuff if not more. It’s kind of a joke between us now to find it and point it out each time. Are any of you fans of this stoneware? If so, you should be thrifting it and not buying it in an antique mall, FYI!
Before heading back to my mom’s house, we also stopped in at Bella Marketplace. This place was definitely more my style than Goatfeathers was.
Just check out this adorable kid sized hutch …
The display of vintage linens on an old wooden ironing board was fun.
And you know I love old cupboard doors turned into signs or peg boards.
This shop also had a vendor selling re.design with prima transfers and DIY paint. They didn’t have any of the newer prima transfers that I’ve had my eye on (such as the blue toile, or the London Love), but I did pick up some of DIY’s Liquid Patina in Dark & Decrepit. I’ve wanted to try this product for a while now. I’ll be sure to let you all know how I like it.
As I was studying all of the furniture painting supplies that were available I caught something out of the corner of my eye.
You know how it is when something is totally out of context and your brain takes a minute to register what you’re seeing? Yeah, it was like that.
I thought, ‘hey, that looks just like my guest room bed’ …
It took me a second to realize … hey … wait a minute … that is my guest room bed!
How cool is that? I’m practically famous!
That project goes back to when I was a content creator for re.design with prima, so it makes sense that one of their retailers would be using it for marketing. It was really fun to see it being used in this way. I don’t know whether or not the owner of this booth follows me here, but if you do, then thank you! I enjoyed my visit to your shop.
I like to search for brick and mortar retailers of products I use when I travel, it’s a fun way to find shops that I think will appeal to my aesthetic. And speaking of which, Mr. Q and I are going to Charleston in April! I’ve done a little searching and see a couple of shops in Summerville that sell IOD or Dixie Belle products. If any of you can recommend fun shops to visit, or other awesome things to do in Charleston, be sure to leave a comment and let me know.
And if you don’t have recommendations for Charleston, leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve ever been to Boulder City. If you’re a regular visitor to Las Vegas, and have never made the trip out to Boulder City, I highly recommend it. Assuming that, like me, you enjoy seeing some historic homes and visiting antique shops.
I have one more blog post to share from my trip to Mom’s, and it’s going to include a fabulous desert themed giveaway, so be sure to check back for that later in the week!