January 3 to January 6, 2017
When I arrived at Lake Havasu City I knew very little about it. I knew there was a lake, I knew there were some boondocking spots, and I knew there were stores like Lowes, WalMart and so on. I didn’t know that is was actually younger than I am because it was founded in 1964, and I didn’t know that The London Bridge was there, and yes, I mean a bridge actually brought here from London. It used to span the River Thames, was originally built in the 1830’s, and brought to Havasu City by Robert P. McCulloch and completed in 1971, along with a canal to go under it.
You can learn more about how Lake Havasu City was purchased and founded, and how the bridge came about here: London Bridge (Lake Havasu City).
I actually had a really lovely time walking under The London Bridge, watching the ducks swim by, and listening to someone playing music under the echoing expansion.
The whole setting so so pleasant, with the water flowing under the bridge, and the passenger walkways and little stores, and no cars in the immediate vicinity. Yes, it was a total tourist attraction, but it actually reminded me of England a little bit, and I felt a degree of nostalgia. It brought forth some of the sentiments of my childhood, and the numerous times I’d walked through structurally engaging cities like York, and Bath, and along footpaths by rivers, and under stone bridges, in numerous places throughout my home country. Memories of my parents holding my hand or my mum feeding the ducks came to mind, it was a very pleasant couple of hours indeed. I realized that the ancient history of England, and it’s magnificent castles, bridges, and charming cottages with their English gardens (along with really good fish and chips) is something I do miss about my country of birth.
I’m afraid that (other than Native American history, and the geology of this breathtaking land-mass), I find the museums and history of America quite boring, at least compared to that of my country of birth. Everything is so new here, and looking at a historical building from a 100 or 200 years ago, isn’t all that different from homes that are built-in modern-day America. (With a rare exception).
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I can see why so many retired people are drawn to this modern town. It has beautiful footpaths along the water’s edge and the canal, and built a lovely park that works for youth, teens, young adults and seniors alike and even has a sandy beach. The town, although ultra-modern, has everything you might need. I have to admit, though, the layout of the streets were perhaps the most complicated I’ve ever seen in an American town. When looking at the map it appeared that someone had dumped spaghetti on the floor, and then decided that is how the layout would be. No boring (but easy to follow) north, south, east and west layout here, in this town a person has to look at a map.
As far as modern American towns go, this is one I could actually consider working in for a period of time throughout the winter if I had to.
However, I wasn’t overly impressed with the boondocking spots. The ones north of town weren’t too bad, but those south of town were a little junky, and it was clear that there were some long-term residents there in tents. There were also a lot of OHV’s driving along the side of the road and through the camping areas, and one group actually played chicken with me. I was on a dirt two-track, and from nowhere came three OHV’s at breakneck speed. They saw me, but kept coming at me full pelt, and even speeded up. There wasn’t really a good spot for them to go around me, and I wondered what the heck they weren’t thinking. I had to pull over into a bad spot and miraculously they squeezed by (without slowing down), with no room to spare, kicking up dust and hollering something as they flew by.
I ended up driving quite a ways in off the highway, to where there were no other campers, at which point it became far more pleasant, and I even had a view, and yet another beautiful sunset.
I spent two nights at the north end of Lake Havasu City, and one at the south end, then it was time to move on.
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While I’d been at Lake Havasu City the weather had been very pleasant, but on the day I left, it got cold and windy again. I had to keep reminding myself that it was still winter. The elevation here was around 600 feet. I’d been dropping in elevation for the past few weeks, slowly heading south and to lower elevation whenever winter caught up with me. The goal, of course, was Quartzsite, AZ, for the 2017 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous. I’d had such a wonderful experience in 2016, and I was looking forward to meeting my friends again and maybe making new ones.
I was hoping for some lovely warm weather, like in 2016, but the weather all over the country was doing weird things this winter, and they had just had some pretty serious flooding in Q. I’d hung out in the more geologically interesting places of Utah and Northern AZ for as long as I could, only moving south when the temps got below freezing too often at night. I was ready for some warmth.
It was now January 6, and the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) started on January 10. I thought I might camp somewhere on my way to Ehrenberg. I stopped by the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge, and almost got blown off the promontory. The wind made the water churn and swell. I managed to glimpse a few water birds, but I think most were in hiding.
I ended up stopping at Wal-Mart in Parker, and I think I looked at the only boondocking spot around and didn’t like it. I finally decided what-the-heck, I’m so close to Ehrenberg, I may as well just get there.
I’d spent some time in Ehrenberg after the RTR in 2016 and knew the area fairly well. I also suspected that there would probably be some people there that I knew because they had started gathering there before going to Quartzsite. Sure enough, I drove up, and the first person I saw walking was one of my friends, Les. He told me where some of the others were, and I drove out to find them and parked nearby.
It was one of those times when I felt like I had come home.