September 26, 2015 – Lake Havasu City and Tucson, Arizona

After our two-week Utah national park marathon, we headed south to Lake Havasu City, on the border of Arizona and California, to visit boating friends, Paul and Sheri Brindle.

I don’t remember exactly where this was, I think on Arizona route 95, but could be wrong about the road and the state.  Anyway, it is one of the coolest highway rest stops ever.

b Rest Stop on US 95 in AZ

Paul and Sheri live on a hillside above town in an RV-friendly neighborhood. They said we were welcome to stay in their driveway for a few days.  Their driveway does not seem steep at all when you walk on it, but there is some elevation change.  Yikes!  When I leveled the motorhome, the front wheels were way off the ground.  Andy and Paul were not concerned; they just blocked up the leveler and the two front wheels.

b Sao in Lake Havasu City AZ

I was very uneasy about it, but Sao was quite stable and did not tip over during the night.  I stayed awake so I would know when it was about to happen.

Lake Havasu City is the new home of the London Bridge. Robert McCulloch (as in chainsaws) purchased land for a development in 1958.  He bought the London Bridge for $2.5 million in 1968. After the bridge was reassembled in the desert, he had a canal dug across a peninsula in Lake Havasu to create an island and water under his bridge. Lake Havasu is a segment of the Colorado River.

The area around the bridge is a little English-themed shopping district. Here are Paul and Sheri standing at the entrance gate.

b Sheri and Paul Brindle at Gate

Here are their smiling faces closer up.

b Sheri and Paul Brindle

We stopped in the visitor center to look at the small museum.  Then, Sheri sat in the air conditioning with her Kindle while Paul, Andy, and I took a walk along the channel. Here is my picture of the London Bridge.

b London Bridge in Lake Havasu City AZ

There is a citizen’s group who raises money to put navigation lights along the shores of Lake Havasu.  The lights are small-scale replicas of famous lighthouses from around the country.  This one is Currituck Beach Light, the northernmost light in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

b Currituck Beach Lighthouse Replica

The next day, Paul and Sheri took us for a long sightseeing day.  We stopped for breakfast in Topock, Arizona.  I was shocked when we got out of the pickup truck and I saw a marsh out in the desert.  It is just off the Colorado River.

b Marsh Along Colorado River Topock AZ

Our next stop (on the famous Route 66) was Oatman, an old gold mining town.  It is very touristy and fun.  Locals stage a comic gun fight in the street once a day to raise money for Shriners. The tourist onlookers are directed to stand across the road to block traffic for the show.

Sheri told me that this cart is a rolling toilet used in the mines.  We went in a few shops, but did not buy anything.

b Miner's Toilet

We walked up one side of the street and down the other.

b Andy Sidewalk Oatman AZ

This is the Oatman Hotel, where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard honeymooned and returned regularly.

b Oatman Hotel

Another feature of the town is the pack of wild burros that wander the street and mooch off tourists who buy burro food that is for sale in many of the stores.  This baby is lying in the street. He has a tag stuck on his head that says “Don’t feed me”.  A woman in one of the stores said that some tourists stuff carrots into the babies mouths when they are not old enough to eat them.

b Baby Burro Main Street Oatman AZ

We continued on Route 66 through the Black Mountains.  Sheri and I were marveling over how the families traveling to California in the 1930s made it through the mountains with their old, unreliable cars, piled high with all their possessions. The mountains are imposing, the road steep, and the curves tight. Paul pulled over for us to look at this mountain, or rock, called Boundary Cone.  He said it is sacred to the native Americans.

b Dinata Andy Sheri Sacred Mountain

I also got a good look at Cholla Cactus.

b Cholla Cactus

Our next stop was Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner in Kingman. It was full with the lunch crowd, a mix of locals and Route 66 travelers.

b Mr D'z Route 66 Diner

b Mr D'z Interior

I got a big kick out of the menus. The big, black plastic circle backing is the size of an LP record.

b Mr D'z Menu

Here is Paul’s hamburger, now history.

b Paul's Hamburger

We spent two days in Lake Havasu.  Literally.    The temperature was 105 degrees both days.  The lake water is delightfully cool.  Paul, Sheri, and I floated with inflatable noodles, called Doodles.  Andy swam.  We stayed in the lake for hours. Those were two very relaxing days.

Another shocker, on the way to the lake, in the desert, is a West Marine store.  It should not have surprised me; there is a big lake here.  But, the West Marine was sitting in the desert.

We left Paul and Sheri’s this morning at 0858 and drove 319 miles to the Voyager RV Resort in Tucson. Just east/south of Lake Havasu City, around Parker, the mountains are dark, craggy, rough, foreboding, and creepy in stark contrast to the ribbon of sparkling blue Colorado River water.

This is the biggest RV park we have ever seen with 1,576 spaces.  Many of them have “park models”, which I translate into “permanent”.  It is a very nice park and exceptionally well maintained.  The winter season has not started yet and Sao is sitting out in a great big, nearly empty lot.

b Sao in Tuscon AZ

Here is our view forward.
b View Forward in Tuscon