As I mentioned in my previous article a quick stop at Quartzsite was enough, the largest flea market in the world was not much more than a ghost town. Early March is obviously too late to visit.
The drive from our previous camp, Senators Wash Reservoir to Lake Havasu is less than five hours including the stop at Quartzsite. We should arrive early afternoon.
Lake Havasu is also part of the Colorado River water system. Construction of the Parker Dam at the south end created this mecca of summer and winter fun.
Lake Havasu is home to the world famous London Bridge, dismantled in London, England and shipped piece by piece and re-erected to gain access to the manmade island on Lake Havasu.
During the winter Lake Havasu hosts many events, from a hot air balloon festival and fireworks competition to car races. Truly a place for summertime fun.
Lynda and I often stop in Lake Havasu during our southwestern snowbird tours. There is nothing like the warm summertime feeling this desert oasis provides.
The drive from Quartzsite north takes us through cactus, mesquite and creosote bush covered flat desert until we reach Parker, Arizona a beautiful resort town on the Colorado River. The river shores are lined with RV resorts, summer homes, and golf courses.
The contrasting colors of the deep blue river water, the red jagged surrounding cliffs, and the emerald green golf courses is truly a sight for desert tired eyes.
Our destination is a dry camping/ boondocking area past the Parker Dam on the east/right side of Highway 95 between the Bill Williams River and Lake Havasu City.
Lynda and I have driven through this area many times but have not dry camped, an RV resort in Lake Havasu City is our usual choice.
The group thought staying in an RV resort in Lake Havasu would work well, easier to check out the sights.
Unfortunately, the preferred resorts were booked or didn’t have spots close together.
Besides, the price per night at an RV resort or campground in the area starts at $45/ night which translates to around 60 Canadian pesos.
We should have booked ahead, I’m not sure how far ahead but probably more than a month. This situation points out another advantage of boondocking, no reservations.
We have never encountered a situation where there was not enough room to boondock. There is always room for one more.
Once we crossed the Bill Williams River bridge we needed to keep our eyes peeled for boondocking sights to our right as there are several boondocking sights along this section of highway.
I was apprehensive about seeing a boondocking spot soon enough to allow enough distance to slow the convoy in time to turn. There are no signs, the only indication will be other RVers in the distance.
The first boondocking opportunity is under a stretch of power lines not far from the bridge, unfortunately, it came up too fast making it impossible to stop in time to make the turn off the highway.
In hindsight, this spot was not the best, too close to the busy highway.
The next spot was much easier and as it happened the turn off is across from a viewpoint parking lot.
The entrance to this boondocking area was a bit of a challenge with a deep dip just off the highway. The roadway was rough and not maintained. We slowly moved along the trail for a quarter mile, parked our rigs and took a walk to check out camping spots.
Ralph and I found a spot together on the eastern side of the access road while Mike and Kris parked directly across from us in a spacious spot.
We parked and set up camp, the plan was to stay for a night or two and drive to Lake Havasu to check out the sights.
Shortly after camp was set we realized this spot was not perfect, it is the main access to backcountry ATV trails. Dozens of these interesting machines passed through several times a day creating clouds of dust.
If the plan was to camp here for more than a couple of nights moving away from the access road or even another boondocking spot would be necessary.
After a long hard days drive the group decided a dinner out was in order. Chinese being the group’s favorite. Lynda and I have dined at the China Kitchen Buffet in Lake Havasu a couple of times in recent years while passing through.
We drove to town and found the location where the restaurant used to be, a large ‘For Lease’ sign greeted us. Fortunately, while looking for the China Kitchen we passed a Golden Corral Buffet, it became our dinner stop.
Before dinner, the group agreed to check out some of the sights. We drove across the London Bridge, parked and walked back across, enjoying the perfect summertime temperatures. We descended the 50 or 60 feet of steps down to the promenade along the water’s edge.
The promenade is lined with souvenir shops, boutiques, and cafes. The smell of food in the air added to the summertime ambiance. The group enjoyed the evening and the welcome change from the dusty desert.
After dinner at the Golden Corral, we headed back to camp to enjoy the last rays of sunset.
On our way through Parker and its resorts and golf courses, Mike commented on one particular golf course next to the highway that appeared to climb high into the desert.
After a brief discussion, Mike and I agreed to check out the prices and take in a round the next day (Saturday), Ralph declined. The rate was reasonable $20 for 9 holes before 8 am.
Although this meant getting our butts outta bed before daylight.
Friday began as Thursday ended beautiful sunshine, less wind, and warmer temperatures.
The guys spent the morning enjoying the sunshine discussing important world issues while the women hiked.
Ralph spent the morning working on connections to his solar panels. He has two sandwich board portable panels a 200 watt and a 100 watt.
His trailer is equipped with an exterior solar connection, his plan was to fabricate connections that would allow him to connect both sets of solar panels simultaneously or just one set, by a simple plugin.
After lunch, the gang piled into Ralph’s pickup and headed out to do some exploring. We headed south on Highway 95 and then across the Parker Dam.
As soon as we crossed the dam donkeys appeared, it seems the Colorado river keeps them contained to the California side of the river.
The donkeys were everywhere, females, males, and babies, at one point we stopped beside a young one standing on the side of the road. It immediately approached the truck’s open window obviously looking for a handout.
Out came the cameras for the best photo op of donkeys yet. Our previous encounter with wild donkeys was indeed wild, they were shy and skittish, not letting us get close enough for a good picture.
This encounter was the complete opposite, I’m certain the donkeys would not hesitate to climb into the pickup with us given half a chance.
We continued south along the Calfornia side of the river checking out the RV resorts along the river banks.
After checking out Cattail Cove State Park we returned to camp for a campfire and happy hour.
Mike and I were up at the crack of dawn and on the road to Emerald Green golf course just south of the Parker Dam on the Arizona side of the river.
The sun rose to cloudy skies and cool temperatures. The golf course was great with several tee boxes overlooking the river valley. The lush fairways looked spectacular against the sandy colored cliffs of the desert.
Mike and I returned to camp and cool cloudy skies. The women had ventured to town to check out the dollar stores. I really have no idea what the attraction could be nor do I want to find out, but if makes them happy I’m happy, a happy wife is a happy life.
The afternoon was spent preparing for the next morning’s departure, destination Alamo Lake.