"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

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.


  1. So cool to follow you guys and appreciate the beauty of the area...we really enjoyed iur time in Gold Canyon!

    1. It was nice to spend more time here and see some of the things we've had to skip past. We sure wish you and Mario could come out west again!

  2. I love that last quote. My goal is to worry less about what others think.

    1. Yes, life lessons. Being on the road sure helps.

  3. We loved staying at that park. It was a few years ago and had no cell/internet then. We would drive to the picnic area above the dam so Dianne could write her blog from there. Great pics of the area!

    1. It worked much better by the office. One time we stayed too long in the truck doing some work and we killed the batteries :-(

  4. I am so glad I found your blog. I really enjoy reading it. This place and the pictures are so beautiful. Makes me want to go there tomorrow. Have a great weekend.

    1. It was a very pretty with a lot of area to explore. Even though it's been a bit cooler and windy in Arizona it's much warmer than the rest of the US.

  5. Loved our time at River Island SP, hope to get back there one day. The site we had our internet worked well, glad you were able to get a signal of some sorts. Never did hike the path up above the park, one day. Great that you could connect with some of your Placerville peeps.

    1. It was pretty funny running into old hometown friends. There were some other challenging hikes I'd have liked to try but didn't get to. As always, next time.


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