After being off the grid in Quartzsite for 10 days, our little caravan of 5 rigs left the desert headed west for Buckskin Mountain State Park near Parker, Arizona, on the Colorado River. (Bill and Rustie drove across the dam one day just to say they had driven to California this trip!) . Buckskin Mountain is a nice state park with nice size sites and a beach area where the dogs can go swimming and an open area where the dogs can be off leash. We are the only ones in the group without a dog, so the rest of our group really appreciated that.
This is a beautiful area and in fact, one of my very favorite drives is the road from Parker to Lake Havasu City through the Buckskin Mountains and around the Colorado River to Lake Havasu. It is just beautiful. It was nice to be plugged in and there was lots to do. Some of the group took a ranger-led hike into the mountains and we got our inflatables into the water for a couple of river cruises up to Parker Dam. The road along the River was closed again due to a rock slide so that made it ideal for bike rides. We drove into Lake Havasu City one day and had a BBQ rib dinner at the Elks Lodge. SO GOOD! The ladies did a little shopping in Lake Havasu City and we walked around the London Bridge and drove around the island. If we would have had more time, we would have taken the ferry to the lakeside casino on the California side. One surprise was we ran into Marcia Braidwood at the grocery store. And Dave and Mary Jane ran into a couple they know from Houghton Lake. It is always amazing to me to find someone you know in a place you don’t expect to find anyone you know.
One afternoon we drove to the Desert Bar near Parker. You drive at least 5 miles on a dusty, dirt/rocky road through the desert to get to the Bar and you swear there can’t be anything at the end of the road, only to arrive in their parking lot to find LOTS of cars and people already there. It is only open during the winter and only on weekends. No power out there in the middle of nowhere so everything is run by solar or generator. They have great food-truck type food, lots of beer, and live music and dancing. We spent the afternoon enjoying it all. We also had an outdoor Super Bowl party with two TVs set up outside and lots of grazing food. It was a lot of fun. We even had a couple of “neighbors” wander over to watch our TV as you can’t get an over-the-air signal there, but we have Direct TV so we could get the game.
After a week there, we all left headed for Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction, Arizona. We had made reservations in August and it is a good thing as the park was full the whole time we were there and the overflow was even full. There are a few sites that have electricity and water and we had reserved those. (Although we enjoyed Quartzsite, we have acquired a taste for electricity!) The park has large sites, many of them pull-throughs, and is right in front of the beautiful Superstition Mountain with lots of hiking trails and the scenery can’t be beat. The first night we were there, the full moon came up over the edge of the Mountain and it literally took your breath away.
We were a little more spread out there, but everyone enjoyed doing their thing whether it was hiking up the Mountain, taking in the Ranger guided informational tours and exhibits, riding bikes, going to the movies, or shopping or whatever else struck your fancy. We all went to the Goldfield Mine Ghost Town where we had lunch and walked around the “town.”
I got to visit my brother, Steve and his wife, and my niece, Shelley, and her husband, Tom, and their daughter, Katelyn in Phoenix one day while the rest of the crew visited a movie- set town, and heard about its history from our old hometown friend, Chuck McKim, who spends the winter in Mesa and is a docent there. Ed also got a chance to meet up with Dale Buhlman to play golf one day. First time he has golfed this trip.
We all had a great time together and enjoyed sharing the campfires, meals, games, activities, and the beautiful scenery with the Eyths, Langendorfers, Hocks, and Horsfields. Our last day together as one big, happy camping family, we rented a pontoon and cruised Canyon Lake. It was a beautiful day and a great way to end our time together. Rustie and Bill are headed for Texas, then Florida, then North Carolina and Dave and Bonnie headed north of Phoenix for a few weeks of camping without us and will then rejoin us in southern Arizona for the last part of our joint adventures. We are still with Tim and Sue and Dave and Mary Jane for the next couple of weeks and are looking forward to more of the above. It sure is fun to share all these adventures with friends.
Our weather has been great - warm and sunny with lots of cloudless blue sky days. I know it is cold back home so for those of you still in the frozen tundra, I wish you warmth and an early Spring.