Friday, December 24
Christmas Eve brought us to Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We managed to get in about an hour before they closed the office, and were placed in a nice spot. Because we have been driving every day we haven’t bothered unhooking the truck from the RV. So we have been very happy to have arranged pull-through sites with sufficient length (we need about 50 feet for the truck and the RV when connected. We mostly reflected that not having to do anything for Christmas was kind of nice.
Saturday, December 25
Christmas Day saw us arrive at the Greer’s Pine Shadows RV park in Flagstaff, Arizona. It being Christmas, the office was closed, but they left us the usual paperwork on the office door. Flagstaff is at 7500 feet in the mountains, so we were back in winter. Greer’s Pine Shadows is pretty minimal, with no WiFi, no propane, etc. Of all the parks we have stayed at, this is the one I don’t want to return to even if otherwise convenient. We couldn’t wait to get out of there in the morning. And the weather didn’t help either. I would just avoid Flagstaff in winter. Even though it is in Arizona, it is not at all warm at this time of year.
Sunday, December 26
Today we got to our first real stop, Golden Shores RV Park in Topock, Arizona. We will be staying here for a week. And from now until the middle of March we will be staying at places for longer periods of time, up to one month at a park near Tucson. This is the part of the trip we really looked forward to. Topock is about a half-hour from Lake Havasu and close to Oatman, an abandoned mining town that is touristy. We checked into the park, but we were now running low on propane. We went to a hardware store just down the road that sold propane, but sadly a misjudged corner led us to knock down a palm tree and a utility box for the phone company. The one silver lining is that if we had managed to get the new stairs installed, we would have wrecked them in the process. A Sheriff’s Deputy came and just said to give our insurance information to people. We got our Propane finally, went back to the RV park, and started on our set up. Our tanks were full, and there was a nice sewer connection here, but we managed to spill raw sewage on the ground. The park manager was very gracious and told us everyone does that at some point. We got it as cleaned up as we could, got some bleach on the spill, and decided to end our day before any more damage could be done.
Monday, December 27
We were a little more leisurely this morning about breakfast and doing some reading. We needed to do laundry, but the laundry room here had machines but no detergent for sale. And we needed other supplies, so we found a Walmart in Lake Havasu City and mounted a shopping expedition. Cheryl tried to call the local phone company about the box we damaged, but after going through the usual ridiculous automated response tree it could fairly be said we found no one who seemed to care. And we stopped in at the local Home Depot because that is where we bought the cooler that died, but we were told to take it up with the manufacturer, but probably nothing would come of it because it would be out of warranty. By the time we left Home Depot it was already 2pm, and Cheryl had not had lunch, so we went back to the RV, stored away our purchases, and left it there. We’ll try the laundry tomorrow.
Tuesday, December 28
We got the laundry done in the morning, and after lunch headed off to Oatman, Arizona, about 18 miles away from the RV Park. Oatman is a former mining town, but then the mines ran out and it was largely abandoned. The miners had burros they used for hauling things, including hauling ore out of the mine. And when the mines closed down the burros were turned loose and are now feral. You see ¨burro crossing” signs on roads in Arizona. Oatman itself is on Route 66, so we took that road to visit. Oatman is now devoted to total western kitsch, with lots of handmade jewelry, tasteless t-shirts, and the usual touristy trash for sale. The burros wander the street, and you can buy alfalfa pellets to feed them, which of course people love to do. I think Oatman is one of those places that if you are in the area you have to go see it, but once is certainly enough. On the way back we stopped at the hardware store where we had our RV accident, but the owner said that the palm we knocked over was dead anyway, so we did them a favor, and it looks like whatever damage we did to the box caused no problems. There were no outages, and apparently the box had been hit before. So maybe we got off easy on this one, just the minimal damage to the RV.
Wednesday, December 29
Left the RV around 9am to go into Lake Havasu. We started at the Visitor Center to get some information, then walked across the London Bridge. There have been a number of “London Bridges” over the centuries, and this particular one was built in the early 1800s. But by the 1960s it was deemed incapable of supporting all of the traffic in London, so they sold the existing one to an Arizona businessman, who had it carefully disassembled, all the pieces numbered, and shipped to Lake Havasu. It was rebuilt there on a peninsula, all on dry land, then they cut a channel to bring water through, turning the peninsula into an island. We walked over the bridge, then took a hiking trail around the island for what we think was about 6 miles. The London Bridge is of course a big tourist attraction in the area, but when you are here you have to see it. After our walk was finished we stopped at the store and came back to the RV, pretty tired out from what was a longer walk than we usually do. We’ll see if we have any energy tomorrow.
Thursday, December 30
After breakfast we took a walk around the neighborhood where we are staying. With the steep hills, we were done in by the time we got back to the RV and we decided to take it easy for the day.
Friday, December 31
The day started out cloudy and overcast, but in the afternoon the Sun made an appearance . We managed to dump our tanks without any problems this time, then went for another walk. When we got back, we managed to get the TV and DVD player working for a little entertainment. We have a boxed set of DVDs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and put one of them in.
Saturday, January 1
We went to the Cattail Cove State Park for a “First Day Hike”. It was led by several rangers and several volunteers, one of whom we discovered is from Michigan. The hike was fun, but also a bit of a strain since we were going up and down hills the entire time, on little gravel paths with treacherous footing. I would say I’m glad I did it, but I don’t want to do it again. Part of the idea for this trip was to go places we’ve never been and do things we’ve never done, and this was one of them, but we’re getting too old for really strenuous hikes.
Basically, we are currently located on the Colorado River, which forms the border with California. And just south of the park is the Parker Dam, which is the deepest dam in the world because they had to go so far down to find bedrock to create a secure footing. California built the dam, and then a pumping station, and this is essentially what created Southern California. It also created Lake Havasu. California gets a guaranteed water allotment from the lake, though the lake itself is split in half between Arizona and California.