January 2014 – Arriving back in Vegas, Larry and Bev met us at the airport and we spent the night at their house. It is always fun to get together with them and to catch up on our adventures over the past year. After a couple more days in our RV at Oasis RV Park in Vegas, and we headed for Laughlin. Laughlin is a short drive from Vegas and convenient stop for groceries, a couple of movies and of course cheap buffets at the casinos.
Before we left Vegas, we wanted to cover one site we had not had time to see on our previous visits – the Hoover Dam. On the way out to the dam is the Lake Mead Recreation Area, a large lake created by the dam. A visitor center at the first stop at Lake Mead is the trailhead for a six mile round trip hike along what used to be the rail line used to bring in material for the dam. We had a great walk (although a little long for me given that I was still recovering from a cold). The Hoover Dam is quite a site and a significant engineering accomplishment. I somehow doubt that our leaders today have the foresight to create this kind of infrastructure.
In our 2013 travels we had skipped a few stops on our way to Yuma and so decided to take in a few sights along the way.
Our first stop was Lake Havasu, California where we boondocked on BLM land north of town. Lake Havasu was made famous by the McCullough of McCullough outboard motors, but in Havasu he is better known for buying a two hundred year old bridge in London England, dismantling it block by block and reassembling it in the desert town……..only in America! It is really quite a sight and must have been an engineering feat – tedious if not challenging.
We were actually in Lake Havasu for their annual balloon festival where 50 hot air balloons are launched twice daily – a real colourful spectacle. Although winds had been high for days leading up to the event, the winds were light and shifting which meant that not only did they launch but they also just floated around the town for over an hour, dipping their baskets in the lake and canal and entertaining spectators and motorists with daring near misses and brief touchdowns around town. Side events included classic and street rod car shows and a reunion of somewhat restored VW micro buses coincidental with the cessation of classic VW production in Brazil.
Next stop was Blue Water Casino at Parker, Arizona, yet another dust bin on the desert trying to attract snowbirds to generate otherwise sparse incomes. We had hoped to golf at a highly rated local course but unfortunately, my cold lingered and sleeping in took priority. We did venture out to a unique bar several miles out in the desert and aptly, if not creatively named…….the Desert Bar. The desert bar is one of those Woodstock type experiences – you need to go there to drink beer, eat hamburgers, buy t-shirts and listen to a live country band. We were pleased to meet up with a number of the RV Forum members who we were to meet at Quartzsite that night……..the desert is a small place!
We had connected with the RV Forum group in Quartzsite in January of 2013 as a convenient way to meet some kindred RVers and desert camp in the comfort and safety of a group (see last years post). This year’s Quartzsite experience was much the same with the RV show, a hike in the desert and a game of golf at Blythe (this time on a real course).