To most people, it might not make sense to take delivery of a brand new boat and then head immediately for the desert, especially when the Pacific Ocean is just a few miles away in the opposite direction. But we believe in miracles, and when we pulled out of Los Angeles in the pre-dawn twilight, our destination was a place many call the miracle of the desert, Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
Located just 30 miles east of that other wonder of the Western desert, Las Vegas, the Lake Mead Recreation Area straddles the Nevada/Arizona border and includes both Lake Mead and Lake Mohave-the 60-mile stretch of the Colorado River below the dam to Laughlin, Nevada. Presented with a long weekend and a new Malibu ski boat, we elected to head for the wide-open water of Mead.
We left early to avoid the morning Los Angeles traffic after packing our gear in the rear of the cab of a 2003 Chevy Silverado 1500LT, a task made easy by the wide rear doors and the folding back seat that created plenty of room for duffels loaded with gear and a big cooler.
Our Silverado was equipped with an optional Heavy Duty Trailering package which includes a trailer hitch platform and seven-pin wiring connector. With the 285-hp Vortec 5300 V8 under the hood, the Silverado has plenty of power to pull big loads. We'd already weighed our new boat, a Malibu Response LXi, on its trailer with a full load of fuel and all gear aboard. At about 3,800 pounds, we knew we were well within the capacity of the Silverado. After one last check of our hitch and safety chains, trailer lights, and trailer tire pressure, we were ready to head out for the high desert.