Utah ’21 – Bakersfield to Lake Mead

The next step in the journey was leaving California and getting into Nevada. Our route took us through Las Vegas, and Gail found a shortcut to avoid some traffic. I was dubious at first, knowing how terrible Las Vegas traffic can be, but we made it fine.

Right before Vegas we passed the cool solar farm at Ivanpah. Only one collector was active this day, but it was an incredible sight to see! More than 5,000 heliostats (moveable mirrors) focus the sun’s rays onto the top of a “power tower”. The incredible heat boils water to produce steam, which drives giant generators. There are 3 fields in the solar farm. When all are running, the site can power about 90,000 homes.

Power towers at Ivanpah solar farm

When Lake Mead came into view, it was incredible how low it looked! Driving into the RV park we were guided to “lakefront” sites, which were now about 1/4 mile from the beach. We backed in and got set for the evening, enjoying the slightly windy but temperate conditions.

About Michael Carter

Programmer, Pilot/Builder and Amateur Radio enthusiast living in the Bay Area of California.
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