"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Monday, March 5, 2018

Boondocking in Lake Havasu City, AZ

Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Lone Tree BLM - Boondocking

Once we were all packed up, a short drive brought us to our next spot.  We'll be boondocking to the north, above Lake Havasu City.  We'll be doing a little hiking around the area, but mostly just chilling.  My brother will be stopping by later in the week on their way back from Florida, heading back to Placerville.
New neighbors.  At least they are quiet.

Our new spot at Lone Pine BLM.  The blue dot below is where we were, just off AZ95.  Don't know where they got the name as there are no trees in the area :-)  The location is a couple of miles north of Craggy Wash BLM.  Five bars of Verizon LTE.  The bluff is susceptible to winds but wasn't dusty.  There is plenty of room up top and more down below.  It was clean and quiet considering how many people were here.  The top can be a little slopey.  We had a really private peninsula but we did have to level more than we like to.
 It was only a 5 minute ride into the north end of LHC where there is a Walmart, gas a nice movie theater.  We went twice and saw Game Night and Red Sparrow.  We enjoyed both.
Here it is as seen from the highway.
The turnoff into the camping area.

We liked the colorful rocks that were all around.  Everywhere you looked there were red rocks on the hillsides with streaks of green patches, pinks coming out of the purples and lots of tan and browns.

After hiking through the washes and rocks it was time to eat.
Another great dinner!  Grilled New York steak, potatoes and salad. The winds had calmed down so we had a nice campfire and watched the sun go down as it cast pretty shadows across the mountains.

We had read that Hangar 24 in Lake Havasu City had great appetizers served at their Happy Hour.  It didn't start until 7p which worked perfectly for us as Steve had a late work day.
Appetizers were $5 each so we split a couple.  The wings were done in a spicy Cajun sauce and we also chose the Korean Pork tacos.  Both were great.  They had a nice selection of menu items. We'd come back just for the food.  The beer was very good too.

My brother and sister in law, that just started fulltiming, were on their way back from Florida and going to be passing by us on their way to Placerville.  They spent a couple days with us so we took them for a quick tour of Lake Havasu City and the London Bridge.
They treated us to a drinks and appetizers at Barley Brother's Brewery.  A great place to relax with a view of the bridge and lake from the outside deck.
My brother, "Steve-o"
Our short visit ended with a campfire and stories of their travels to/from Florida.  They headed out the next day.  We'll see them back home in April.

Saturday came and we decided to take a drive around the area and do a little geocaching.  We loved this little frontage road along part of I-40 near Yucca, AZ.  It had the most dips I've seen in a road like this.
Along the way was this interesting home that looked like a giant golf ball.  It's a private residence so you can't go in it.  There is a very small snack store out front.  Out of character, I chose a tube of Pringles chips and a Snicker's Bar!  Bad, I know.
The only aliens we saw were these colorful pigs name Butzy and Bitzy.
There was this old fountain in the middle of nowhere that had a geocache hidden at.  We never did find it but how strange to have this large fountain out in the desert with nothing else around.  I wonder what the story was?
I did find an old pop top.  Remember these?  We used to collect them up around some of the lakes we used to go to when I was a kid and we'd make necklaces out of them.
This old railroad town of Yucca has seen better days.  Not much here anymore but old boarded up business and homes.  And this large 18-wheeler on a pole. We also hid a geocache near here at the Rest Stop.  Take a look if you're in the area!
We checked out some other boondocking spots and finally found the Craggy Wash BLM area. We would have rather been here.  It's a more protected area from the winds that come through and more green.  It also had great Verizon LTE for quite a ways back. There's a lot of people in the beginning but thins out as you go further back.  It's a huge area with a camphost and kept very clean.  You can find a very nice private spot in the little craggy canyons.  There is a sign marking the area but not until after you pull off  95.  The coordinates I got off Campendium were not for the turn off itself which made it difficult for us to find.

We were happy to hear that Ingrid and Al were still in the area.  Since our plans changed earlier we though we might've missed them.  Turns out they were in the area for an extended time and were able to come meet us at the College Street Brewhouse and Pub.  It was so nice of them to drive over an hour for the visit while they did some shopping.  The IPA's and food were pretty good, the company even better.  We had such a good time and clearly Steve and Al had much more to talk about so we headed out in search of an ice cream parlor to continue our visit.
College Street Brewery
Now that we're all rested up we will continue our drive north spending more time in Laughlin and Lake Mead. We'll finish things up in Pahrump where we will have a big reunion with many of the folks that we met at our first Fulltime Seminar before we even had our truck and trailer.  Stay tuned for more surprise visits from friends.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Time on the Colorado River - Parker, AZ

Parker, Arizona
River Island State Park

Once out of Surprise we would be slowly heading back to Placerville, CA for a couple of weeks while we wait for the Oregon weather to warm up a bit more.  We meandered up the Colorado River on our way to Lake Havasu City and decided to spend a week outside of Parker.
The original London Bridge that now spans the Colorado River in Lake Havasu City.
We pulled into River Island State Park.  It was a drive through colorful canyons and rugged rocky outcroppings. Many small communities and RV parks line the river front.
This was our first spot when we pulled in.  It was nice, but we wanted to stay longer and a better spot opened up so we moved.  Unfortunately, the wifi was horrible at the second spot.  It worked for Steve, but not for me.  Strange, we both have Verizon, but different phones.  If you need to do work here, stay towards the office where the signal is much stronger.
Here is a picture overlooking the campground from the top of a hike I took. We're at the base of that outcropping in the middle.

That's us with the flag and the red kayak on the truck.
What a great spot!
There are little paths out front with signs telling you about the different cactus in the area.
It was a chilly evening so we had an "indoor fire" and I enjoyed a glass of wine while Steve made dinner.
The night before he had marinated some steak to make Carne Asada. It came out great!
Carne Asada, rice and beans.
There was a short trail that winded up and around the campground with great views of the river.
Watch out for the pokey stuff!
If you look at the far back in the middle you can barely make out the Parker Dam.
Here it is blown up.
Parker Dam is 155 miles downstream of Hoover Dam. It was built between 1934 and 1938 by the Bureau of Reclamation and is 320 feet high,
There was a flag at the top of this peak across the road that we hoped to hike but didn't have time for.
We drove in to Parker several times for groceries, gas and propane and after passing the Blue Water Casino each time we decided to stop in for a drink and appetizers at the riverfront cabana.

We watched the boaters and skiers until the sun went down and then hit the slots for a little bit.  That lasted about 1/2 hour then we headed back home.
The palm trees were lit up with colorful lights along the entrance.
 On one of our last days here, we drove up to Lake Havasu City for the day.  We planned to visit the London Bridge, bike around the island and then check out some boondocking sites for our next stay.
We stopped at the Welcome Center to read about how the bridge got here and get bike trails info.

The bridge was built in the 1830s and spanned the Thames River in London, England. It was dismantled in 1967 and relocated to Arizona when it was purchased by Robert P. McCulloch (chainsaw family) from the City of London. McCulloch had the exterior blocks from the original bridge numbered and transported to America to construct the present bridge in Lake Havasu City.  The city was a new planned community he established in 1964 on the shore of Lake Havasu. The bridge was completed in 1971 and links an island in the Colorado River with the main part of Lake Havasu City.
See the white cross above in the middle (above)?  Look at the picture below zoomed in.  You can see the individually numbered blocks.  Just below the swallow nests are smaller numbers.
We walked along the pathways on both sides of the bridge which offers restaurants, shops, watercraft rentals and tours.  Because of the windy weather predicted for later that day, there were not many people out.  We parked nearby at one of the large parking areas.  Plenty of room for RVs in the larger lot.  After visiting the museum we headed out on our bikes towards the island.  There is a 3 1/2 mile path around the inner part of the island.  I thought that we'd have a pretty drive around the coast but of course, that's where the houses are.  The ride was nice but the wind really started to pick up.  We were looking forward to having the wind at our backs at some point.  There are 25 lighthouses that circle the lake and island.  On the west side of the lake they replicate the lighthouses from the west coast, on the east side of the lake they replicate the east coast.  The lighthouses on the island are fashioned after the lighthouses around the Great Lakes.  Really cool.
A map of the lighthouses around the lake.
On a much smaller scale with signs at each one full of info on that particular lighthouse.

To get to the lighthouses required us to bike over sandy, rocky uneven and steep areas.  It was tricky with the wind increasing.

 I thought it was pretty cool when I zoomed in on Steve that I was in one lens and my bike was in the other.
We were pretty hungry afterwards so we found a nice place to bike back to.  The Javelina Cantina had some great Mexican food and drinks and was just what we needed.  It seemed like the wind kept changing directions and we never really had the wind at our backs.  At least we got a great work out!
It's not all fun times on the road though.  There is still maintenance that has to be done occasionally. Back at camp Steve replaced both of our truck batteries.  They are heavy and not the easiest to get in and out.  Just after that chore was finished, I got a text from a Placerville friend, that now lives in Gold Canyon in AZ, that the Old West Trio was playing at the Thirsty Pirates Beach Bar.  Were we still in the area?  Well, yes.  And the Pirates Cove is just down the street.  So we headed over and found some more Placerville peeps there listening to the band.  What a coincidence!
 A great time!  If you like old cowboy music check them out.

Our last day we did a little geocaching.  Some up on some small peaks we hiked, some at the Parker Dam.  The weather was great.
Since the wind usually picked up during the day, we got up early to finally get the kayak out on the river.  The water is clear and a gorgeous color of blues and greens.  We also found a geocache hidden on the small island near our campground.  The water was moving fairly fast so it was a short time on the river.  Time to pack up and move up to our boondocking spot.