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That Lake Sure Knows How To Party

Q: Which species’ herd is led by a dominant female? A: Desert Bighorn Sheep.
That’s a personal favorite from the list of 50 trivia questions about Lake Mead, assembled by the National Park Service in honor of the National Recreation Area’s 50 th anniversary. (Another: What’s the name of the park’s native plant nursery? Song Dog.) 

This favorite local spot of boaters and triathletes was designated  America’s first recreation area on October 8, 1964. To mark the occasion, the park service has scheduled  a full week of events for the public. The festivities kick off Wednesday, October 8, with a show of music, images and stories by naturalist painter and photographer Sharon K. Shafer surveying the area’s history (space is limited; register by calling 702-293-8990). The celebration culminates Saturday, October 11, in the Cottonwood Cove Eco Dive, where volunteers are rewarded for their work beautifying the marina by  lunch, prizes, birthday cake and a special presentation (register online  here).
All week long, rangers are reminding visitors of the 50 fun things there are to do on the recreation area’s 1.5 million acres. Organized by activities on the water, on land, by car and on foot,  the list encompasses items for newbies (walk through tunnels at the Historic Railroad Trail), seasoned outdoorsmen (rock climb in the backcountry), sporty types (cycle the River Mountain Loop Trail), those looking to relax (fish the  peaceful Overton Arm) and even teens (take a selfie at Liberty Bell Arch). Check enough of these suggestions off the list, and you’re bound to spot one of those female-led herds of sheep.
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As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.