There was a beautiful calm on Lake Mohave as we eased the pontoon into Owl Point Cove to board our houseboat for the weekend. We had just cruised about 20 miles down the Colorado River from the base of Hoover Dam, and I was ready to climb aboard the vessel and settle into an exciting, new adventure.
Stretching 70 feet long, the two-story houseboat boasted four bedroom cabins, two bathrooms with showers, a full kitchen and dining room, and a sports deck with barbecue, Jacuzzi and waterslide. It also came with a jet ski tied alongside. We rented the boat from Forever Houseboats (www.foreverhouseboats.com), which has a fleet of them in marinas throughout California and Nevada, as well as a couple in Utah and Missouri. Our boat is stationed in Cottonwood Cove Marina, a few miles from Laughlin, Nevada.
Once aboard the ship, I unpacked in my cozy cabin then hit the waterslide to cool off in pristine Lake Mohave. It was a spectacular 90-degree day and the water was refreshing and super clear. I could see down at least 10 feet. When I emerged from the water and saw my own houseboat sitting there in the cove, I knew it vacation time.
After cooling off, I joined my shipmates in the dining room for sandwiches and cold beer. I then took a hike in the rocky hills behind the boat. While trekking above the lake, I got some great aerial views of Lake Mohave and the surrounding area.
Lake Mohave, created in 1951, lies near present-day Laughlin, Nevada, and Bullhead City, Arizona. It is a reservoir formed by Davis Dam on the Colorado River, which defines the border between Nevada and Arizona. The lake, which sits 647 feet above sea level, starts at the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and runs to the Davis Dam. The lake and adjacent lands that form its shoreline are part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
The lake, which encompasses 28,260 acres of water, is still kind of a hidden treasure among boaters. With its myriad secluded coves, sandy beaches and deep clear water, it is perfect for all kinds of aquatic activities.
Back on the houseboat, I cooled off again with a trip down the waterslide, then took a shower and had a nap inside my cabin. Small, yet efficient, the cabin featured a full bed, lots of drawers and closet space, a flat screen TV, and a window to let in the fresh desert air.
When I awoke I soaked in the Jacuzzi and then untied the Sea-Doo jet ski and cruised around the lake, bouncing on waves, investigating coves and waving to other boaters. For dinner we barbecued chicken on the boat’s back patio and dined outside as the sun fall behind the mountains.
As I drifted to sleep on my first night, I thought about what a wonderful getaway a houseboat can be for family and friends. It is both an intimate vacation and a wide-open, natural adventure. The experience can be summed up pretty good with the words on the Forever Houseboats website: “Houseboat vacations are all about charting your own course. Your schedule is quickly reduced to the calm quiet of sunrise, and the colorful sunset over the lake. Days again become your own. Night skies return to the way we all remember them away from the cities – glittering with stars and inky black.”
Forever Houseboats offers a variety of boats, from economical and easy-to-navigate craft that are perfect for a family of four, to luxury models that sleep an entire crew of 10 to 12. For more information on renting a houseboat and current specials, visit www.foreverhouseboats.com, or call (800) 255-5561.
Greg Aragon is a travel writer from Glendale. For the past 12 years he has authored “Greg’s Getaway,” a popular travel column which has taken him to more than a 21 countries in search of exciting destinations, people, food, drink and culture. You can follow more of Greg’s travels at: www.Travelingboy.com