Monday, November 30, 2009

More Lake Havasu

We’ve really been enjoying it here. Friday night was the lighting of the Christmas lights at London Bridge. They had a swim across the lake, and the winner got to flip the switch to turn on the lights. 23 crazy fools actually swam across in the 56 degree water. Most were guys in their 20’s, but the announcer made a big deal out of the oldest swimmer, a whopping 63!!  (We thought he was pretty young.) The lights were nice but it’s hard to tell from the picture.


Saturday we hiked the Crack in the Wall Trail,  just south of town. It is a 6 mile round trip trail with a diversity of scenery. We hiked in the wash to Lake Havasu, which takes you into the slot canyon. It wasn’t quite as pretty as the ones we hiked in Utah, but it was lots of fun. There was a 7 foot slick rock which we had to slide down on our butts, and it got quite narrow at times. And we saw our first bighorn sheep, although they were not very close. There were probably lots of others around but they blend in so well with the rocks it was hard to see them.


The Crack in the Wall

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After coming out of the canyon, as we got closer to the lake, it really got pretty.PB280046 PB280049

We had lunch at the BLM boat-in campsite, since no one was there.


This is called Balanced Rock Cove, named for this giant rock formation. It would be better seen from the water. The color of the water in the cove was a beautiful green.



On the way back, we took the upper trail instead of going back through the canyon. We weren’t sure we could get up the 7 ft rock we slid down, and we had nice views of the lake from above. We will have to go back and do another hike, as there were trails going off everywhere on the mountains.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Lake Havasu Thanksgiving


This is how the cats spent the day, as usual. Jim was not so lucky. Did laundry, went for a bike ride, and I cooked a pasta dinner. Last Thanksgiving we did laundry and went to the Alamo. Guess the laundry thing will become our new tradition. You would think nobody would be at the laundromat on Thanksgiving morning, but it was pretty busy. Debbie only broke one washer and the change machine, so it wasn’t too bad. Every time we go it seems like something malfunctions for us. I sure miss the washer and dryer at Bonneville Dam.

PB260062  It was a gorgeous day, and we are signing up for another week here. We gave thanks for the fact that our water pump is still working. The replacement is to be FedExed on Monday so we won’t get it until Wednesday. If history repeats itself, this new pump should at least last a couple weeks. The one that is coming has a new circuit board that is supposed to be more reliable. Only time will tell. Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another Leaky Water Pump

Jim was on the phone with a friend last night, and she suggested we post something to the blog on a daily basis. My response was that our life just wasn’t that interesting, so Charlotte, I’m blaming this one on you!

In the middle of watching Angels and Demons with Tom Hanks ( a very good movie, by the way), we started hearing a beeping sound. I thought it was something in the movie, but Jim paused the DVD and the sound continued. Of course, it was our trusty water leak detector under the bed by the water pump. I being the optimist in the family was hoping it was just a loose connection, but Jim was sure it was another pump failure. Of course, he was right. The fittings were dry but the actual pump itself was leaking. The leak detector was the best $15 we’ve ever spent. In fact we should probably get a couple more for under the sinks, as we had a small drip from the cold water pipe under the kitchen sink a couple days ago that I found by accident.

We had a spare Shurflo model 4008, which was a replacement for the other 4008 that leaked on October 19th. Luckily after 5 pump replacements in less than 5 months we have gotten pretty good at this. What we forgot about last night was that we always drained the fresh water tank before removing the old pump. Since we have no hookups here, we didn’t want to have to drive off and get water in the dark, so I managed to hold my thumb over the tube coming out of the water tank and Jim quickly removed and replaced the other pump without too much spillage. And the whole process took about 15 minutes. We ought to have it down to 10 or less if we keep getting all this practice.

Jim is going to try and get a replacement pump FedExed from Shurflo while we are here. It makes us really nervous now that we have no spare. The saga continues!

We drove down to Cattail Cove State Park yesterday, which is about 10 miles south of Lake Havasu City. Thought it might be a place we would stay and they have water and electric. What a disappointment!  The sites were close together, not on the lake, and no views. Really a depressing looking campground, although we hiked one of the trails and it was very nice. These photos are from the hike. There was a huge private RV park next to the state park that was even worse. Don’t know if we’ve ever seen sites so close together, but it was nearly full. Not our idea of a relaxing place to spend the winter.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Closer to Lake Havasu

Haven’t been doing much the past couple days. When we got here I scoped out waterfront sites and found 2 that were leaving yesterday. Spoke to the camp hosts and asked if we could move. Unfortunately one site was taken by Girl Scouts who took down their tents and went canoeing all day.  They left a truck and trailer on the site and didn’t return until after 4. So we just hung out waiting on them. They got a lecture from the camp host, but I doubt that they cared.  It was worth it for us, though, since we have 2 huge private sites right on the lake.PB230053 PB230054 PB230060

Think we’ve decided to skip the Southwest  Lazy Days get together next week at Valley of Fire northeast of Vegas. The weather is looking a bit too cool for our liking, and we are really enjoying this park and Lake Havasu City. Last winter we spent too much time being colder that we liked, so this year we are just going to keep heading south if we have to.

Had pizza and beer at Barley Brothers Brewpub last night. It is a very nice restaurant with a great view of London Bridge. Will probably spend another week here, then will have to move on since the limit is 14 days.  The stay5 nights get 2 free special at Arizona state parks goes on through December, so that’s a pretty good deal. We are still planning to do the Death Valley thing for Christmas and New Years, unless we change our minds.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

London Bridge, Lake Havasu City, AZ

PB210040 PB210042 Yes, London Bridge was falling down, so in 1967 Robert McCulloch,  the developer of Lake Havasu City,  purchased it from London, had it disassembled and rebuilt it here as a tourist attraction. There is an English village under the bridge,  just shops and restaurants, but it’s sort of cute. The location and the views are great. We rode our bikes over and under it.PB210033-1  PB210035-1 This is a great town to ride bikes in, and the state park is less than a mile  the main part of Lake Havasu City. We did some exploring and found a really nice paved bike trail along the lake. As we got away from town we had an interesting view of how large the city is. The white specks are all houses up to the mountains.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lake Havasu State Park, AZ


We decided to go a bit farther south to keep in the 70’s.  We were intending to try and camp at Craggy Wash, a BLM dispersed camping area about 10 miles north of Lake Havasu City. We drove through and were surprised at the number of RVs there. Guess we shouldn’t have been surprised since it is free camping. It was really dusty and the only vacant spots were very rocky and unlevel.

So we went  on to Lake Havasu State Park, which is within the city limits of Lake Havasu City. It is a very nice park, no hookups at the sites but they have water and a dump.  Arizona parks are running a special  right now where if you pay for 5 nights you get 2 free, so for $15/night we paid for the 5 and will spend the week. That will keep us grounded for the Thanksgiving holiday.  A lot of sites are on the lake but we are just across from it. Still have a pretty view, though. 

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Rode our bikes around after we got here yesterday and it is a great area for riding.  Also some nice hikes nearby so we will stay busy, and warm!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Big Bend of the Colorado State Park, Laughlin, NV


We had our fill of the Laughlin strip, and after 8 nights of dry camping, decided to spend the night here to charge everything up, dump and take on water before heading to Lake Havasu City.

After so many months of full hookups, it’s been a re-learning experience dry camping, especially with the sun setting before 5 0’clock. We are getting the hang of it again, after realizing we just need to run the generator an hour or two a day since the sun is too low in the sky to get the batteries fully charged.

We drove across the river to Bullhead City, AZ on our way here this morning to get gas in the rig. They were charging $2.99/gallon on the Nevada side, and only $2.38 a few miles away in Arizona, definitely the cheapest gas we’ve bought in a long time. Hope that’s a sign of things to come.

Have to go use some more power! Here’s a couple pictures from our sunset walk. These big waterfront homes are across from the park on the Arizona side of the Colorado.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Laughlin, NV


This is our view from our free parking spot, which belongs to the River Palms Casino, the high-rise in the photo.


It is basically just a paved parking lot on a terraced hill overlooking the Laughlin strip and the Colorado River.


It’s a great view at night down the strip, though.


Interesting bulb burn out on this sign.


Decided to hang out here for a few days since the price was right and the weather is good. Ate dinner at the Colorado Belle Casino last night. They have a brewpub serving pizza and other sports bar foods. Their micro-brewed beer is only 99 cents a pint, and the pizza was actually pretty good.

Yesterday we went to check out Big Bend of the Colorado State Park,  just 5 miles down the road. It’s a fairly new park, and the campsites are huge with full hookups.  Unfortunately the sites don’t have a view of the river, but the picnic area does.

PB170043 After we leave here we may spend a night there on the way to Lake Havasu.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Katherine Landing, Bullhead City, AZ



We are at the lovely Katherine Landing campground,  part of Lake Mead National Recreation Area.  The camping area is not on the lake, but you can see it off in the distance from our site. We have no Verizon cell phone service but we are getting intermittent slow internet service. Haven’t figured that one out yet.


It costs $10/night here, and there is water and a dump station. We filled our water tank before we picked a site, then read a sign on the bathroom door that said the water was tested in September and had high levels of some chemical caused by the chlorinization process. Apparently it is only toxic if ingested in large amounts over  many years.  We hope our NaturePure filter really works.

We were initially a bit disappointed in this area.  Appears that unless you’re a gambler or a boater, there isn’t much to do.  Unfortunately we don’t have  a boat, nor do we have much discretionary income to lose at the casinos.  We aren’t complaining, though, because it has been in the 70’s and  low 80’s,  just about perfect.

We did manage to find a couple trails, one to the remains of the Katherine Mine, a gold and silver mine that operated from 1900    to the early 1940s.  Also  found a nice road to ride bikes which went to Princess C0ve, a really pretty boat ramp and picnic area on Lake Mohave.


And we visited Davis Dam, which we had a better appreciation of after learning about dams and power plants at Bonneville.


Also enjoying all the birds here. Debbie put out a hummingbird feeder, and it’s attracted lots of them.   And the roadrunners here must be used to being fed, because they just came right up to us at the picnic table.  Last year,  Jim spent months trying to get a picture of one, and I was able to get up from the table, go get the camera, and take numerous shots before they realized we weren’t giving them anything to eat and finally walked away. They are awfully cute.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shoshone, CA

We took a drive to California yesterday,  about 25 miles from Pahrump, NV,  to the very small town of Shoshone. It is another 25 miles or so to the entrance to Death Valley, so that is why anyone goes there. Their claim to fame is the Museum, so we stopped to check it out. It was actually pretty interesting. There are lots of old photos and local history and the bones of a prehistoric mammoth that was found in the area. PB090034

There is also a post office, gas station and convenience store. We were astonished at the price of gas, and also at the number of people we saw filling up. Guess they ran low in Death Valley and didn’t think they could make it to Pahrump, where we paid $2.69. Quite a difference.PB090036

On the way out of town, we stopped at the other tourist attraction, Dublin Gulch. The caves in the  hills of this wash were used as housing for miners and vagabonds from the early 1900's through the 1960's.  A small group of people were leaving as we arrived and a woman asked us if we knew the history of the caves. We said not really, and her history lesson consisted of   “Charles Manson lived here,  for a night or two.”  That was it!  It’s always entertaining to talk to strangers.

PB090041 PB090039  Today we rode bikes again and enjoyed the warm weather. Leaving Terrible’s tomorrow and have decided to head to a National Park Service campground at Lake Mohave, near Laughlin, NV, in hopes of staying ahead of a cold front.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pahrump, NV, Terribles Casino and RV Park


Yes, we made it to Pahrump after a very long day’s drive yesterday of almost 300 miles.  95 was a good route to take, although we had a near accident due to an idiot Sherwin Williams trucker who first almost ran Debbie off the road after he passed her on a hill and tried to get back over before he got by her. Then he passed us going up another hill and couldn’t get by fast enough so he just decided to cut into our lane while he was beside us.  Jim laid on the horn and had to move over onto the shoulder and slow down so he could get back over. I really thought he was going to smash into the side of the rig, but somehow he got by without hitting us. He then proceeded to weave off the road after he passed us, so we aren’t sure what his problem was, but Jim called and reported him to the Highway Patrol. Don’t know if they got him, but Jim also reported him to Sherwin Williams. I’m just glad I wasn’t driving at the time as I may not have been as level headed as Jim was when it happened. Thankfully we only had about 25 miles more to go because we were a bit shaken up.

Terribles Lakeside RV Park actually turned out to be better than expected, and we found an internet special for $19.95 for one night, and  you get the second night free. The sites are fairly close but we have a pretty view out the back.PB070041

PB070035  We are probably going to spend at least one more night here at the Passport America rate of $14, since we are tired of driving and also haven’t figured out where we want to go next.  We’re just happy it’s in the 70’s and can enjoy being outside. Cleaned up the rig and went for a nice bike ride today, and wore shorts!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Walker Lake, Hawthorne, NV

PB060034  We had another beautiful drive through the Nevada desert yesterday in search of warmer weather. We seemed to have stayed just ahead of a cold front, and when we arrived here at Walker Lake it was probably 70 degrees. We actually put our chairs out and sat outside for a couple hours for the first time in a long time. It felt wonderful!


The cats even got to play out in the sun, which they loved.

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We are parked at Sportsman’s Campground, the closest to the town of Hawthorne, but there are 2 other camping areas several miles north.  This is BLM property, and since it is a developed campground with tables, vault toilets and garbage dumpsters, there is a $6/night fee to camp. No hookups, water or dump, though, but after 3 nights in bad RV parks, this was just too pretty to pass up. It was 37 when I got up this morning but we had a great sunrise over the water. On to Pahrump today where it should be even warmer.