Saturday April 16

Lake Mathews CA to Lake Havasu City AZ


We left Dog Acres at 9 am, just when we wanted to. We had agreed with Diana and Kitty that we'd meet them in Lake Havasu City for lunch at 2 pm; my thought was that we'd have a long chatty lunch (I hadn't seen Kitty in months) and then the three of us would go find a campground, and we'd have plenty of time to get the tents set up and work out who does what and when.

Jim, me and Jo Nell, and of course my wonderful truck Boudika. Jim and I did all the driving, since Jo Nell doesn't really do stick shift. The wind farm near Joshua Tree NP. McGoo's in Desert Center; here's where we turned off the big freeway for back roads. Here is also where we couldn't find a gas station, counted up miles to the next certain one (Parker) and came out with a number that was about 20 miles short of an empty gas tank...but we decided to go for it.
This is the dust storm we drove into on the way to Parker, AZ, where we planned to turn north for Lake Havasu. I was driving and Jim grabbed my camera to catch the dust blowing across the road. Pretty exciting!
I'm in the jump seat, and Jo Nell and Jim are having a discussion up front. The jump seat wasn't too bad, and it turned out that Jo Nell preferred it because the sun didn't hit her there...I think she's part vampire...

The railroad bridge in Parker, and that means we're in Arizona!

We got to Parker around 1, and were supposed to have lunch with Diana and Kitty in Lake Havasu City around 2. We had discussed campgrounds for the night on the way, and decided to camp on the Colorado River between Parker and Lake Havasu City, and on Sunday go through Quartzsite on the way to Phoenix; there wasn't much else to do in western Arizona, and Jim (who had been to Quartzsite before) wanted to see it on the off season.

So we went to a couple of state parks, and the pickin's were mighty slim...they were all set up for boaters and RVs, and in the first one the tent spaces were on a tiny strip of grass right by the water, no windbreak, nothing. And it was pretty windy. So we went to Buckskin Mountain State Park, mostly for convenience. I pretty much stayed out of this discussion; as I pointed out to them, I'm in a truck, I don't really care what the campsite is like as long as it's level and has a picnic table for the stove. So they were the ones who picked the sites.

This, and I am not joking, is the camping area at Buckskin Mountain SP. We were about to leave when we saw an RV site open. We asked the rangers, and they said it was fine to use with tents if they fit. Well, there's grass right beside it! Oh no, said the rangers, there are automatic sprinklers, you really don't want to put your tents on the grass...we talked about it and decided it was our best choice. Here are Jim and Jo Nell pitching the tents. And don't they look nice? You can see Boudika behind them, and me walking over to the chairs. Jo Nell took this one.

By this time, it was 2 pm and we were starving. We pulled a lot of delicious out of the ice chest, and while we chowed down I texted my sister. Let's do dinner instead, I said. Good, she said, we're just leaving Vegas. WTF? I thought, but we set up dinner at 6 pm at the College Brewpub in Lake Havasu City.

Then Jo Nell and I walked around the campground.

My feet in the Colorado River

Ducks

Coots!

There was a lot of old mining machinery being used as sculpture...
We walked by this bush and there was a hummingbird darting around; I got a few kinda cool pics of it in blurry motion...and then it stayed still for more than two seconds!
Jo Nell had a nap in the shade On our way north we passed a gas station with a giant chicken on top of it...? The Colorado River again.

When we had dinner with Diana and Kitty that night, they told us what they had been doing; there's no really good place to put in their pictures, so I'm adding them on the night we heard about them.

They started out in Vegas. Kitty, like me, is a librarian, so we loved this pic of her.

The pic of Kitty in the alien glasses was taken at the Atomic Bomb Test Museum in Vegas, which I think is one of the most interesting things to do there!

On Saturday, they took a Pink Jeep tour from Vegas to Hoover Dam. This is why they couldn't make lunch- they left Vegas, took the tour of Hoover Dam, then were brought back to Vegas and had to drive down to Lake Havasu to meet us.

And who doesn't like trains?