Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lake Havasu For The Winter Blast

Our campsite on a ridge above Lake Havasu
Sunday: (02/13) We were up late watching old Hunter TV episodes so that reflected into getting up later this morning. Lou thought it was the 14th so it was Valentine's Day. She gave me a card and I gave her some candy and then we eventually realized it was the 13th not the 14th so we'll have to do it all again tomorrow. Lou fixed corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. We prepared to leave and head up to Lake Havasu. I had to glue a growing crack before we headed out and that needed to dry in the sun some before we moved. We also had to visit the dump and the General Store for some of their sausage before we left. Finally we hit the road a little after noon. We settled in at the BLM area at mm174 a couple miles South of the city and the same for the distance from the Winter Blast fireworks site. We got an excellent site high on the ridge so we should get a good view again this year. After we were settled in we drove downtown to the Winter Blast Street Faire. We had just enough time to make a quick walk through all the booths. Sine they have a Golden Corral buffet, we just had to stop there for dinner. We were home before dark and enjoyed a nice sunset over the mountains.

Monday: (02/14) Leftover corned beef hash for breakfast. We only had one egg so Lou had an egg and I had an English muffin. We went out geocaching after breakfast. There are two out the 4x4 road behind where we're staying. We drove out close and found the two caches quickly. Then we took a little tour further out the road then headed back on another road (wash) that eventually made it back to the highway. We then went on in to town and scheduled an oil change for the Jeep, did some looking around including discovering that most of the thrift shops are closed on Monday. Lou will return tomorrow to handle that task. We had lunch at the Golden Corral again. There is an advantage to being a senior there so it's cheaper than eating anywhere else and much better. After getting the oil change done I topped off the gas while Lou got milk and eggs and some vegetables then we headed back to camp. When we got back our little campground was much bigger. Per the host, about 10 units came in this afternoon. Fortunately, none took up occupancy by us, an advantage of a scary road and steep access. When we came outside after lunch, the sky was mostly cloudy and it looked like it might even rain. Before we left the market the sky was mostly clear and entirely clear before dark. Unfortunately, there was no wind tonight. Unfortunate because there were then mosquitoes. The wind keeps them away, the only advantage.

Tuesday: (02/15) Toasted English muffins with peanut butter and blackberry preserves for breakfast. On our morning walk around camp we introduced ourselves to some of our neighbors and their dogs. Lou was off this morning on her thrift store rounds. I remained at camp tinkering on the computer. A nice mostly sunny day, just a thin layer of occasional clouds. I had a ham sandwich for lunch.

Brunch With The SKP Boomers At The Steps Near Lake Havasu Brunch With The SKP Boomers At The Steps Near Lake Havasu
When Lou got home it was about time to go to happy hour with the SKP Boomers at a location known as The Steps, at MM165 about 10 miles South our location. Happy Hour is an SKP tradition that at 4pm all nearby SKPers meet for a chat and possibly a drink. Happy hour lasted two hours. Interesting folks. Lou fixed a smoked pork chop, macaroni and cheese and spinach for dinner.

Wednesday: (02/16) Brunch was with the SKP Boomers at  The Steps. Lou fixed a nice blue cheese potato salad. Lou got a knitting lesson from on of the Boomers. After brunch we went downtown again looking for a few things at Kmart and Wallmart. Lou broke one of our chairs so we picked up a couple of small chairs to keep in the jeep for use at happy hours and the like. We learned about the Food City Market and had to look around. It has MUCH lower prices than Wallmart or Safeway. Dinner was a lima bean soup that Lou started this morning in our slow cooker.

Thursday:(02/17) Lou baked some biscuits and made some gravy for breakfast. We headed into town and did our laundry after breakfast.

On Ferry Headed To Lake Havasu Landing Casino Lake Havasu's London Bridge
Our next destination was to visit the London Bridge where we caught the ferry over to the Havasu Landing Casino on the California side of the lake. We had lunch there. I had an Indian fry bread taco and Lou had a Chef's salad, all good. We looked around the area and casino. Lou lost her $2 and we went out and found a nearby geocache then caught the ferry back to the Arizona side.

RC Race Truck In Flight At Lake Havasu Park RC Race Truck In Flight At Lake Havasu Park
We walked around near the bridge and happened upon an RC car race track for little bitty desert racers. They were fun to watch. We then headed toward home and had dinner. Lou fried some fish and made some broccoli slaw and some rice. We then put away all our clean clothes and made the bed before the fireworks started. They actually start at 5pm but it's not dark until 7pm. The early stuff is low to the ground and is mostly training stuff. When it's closer to dark the big stuff starts. We have good weather tonight only a few high clouds and no wind.

Friday: (02/18) Corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Lou and I were off for a day at the Bill Williams National Wildlife Preserve about 15 miles South of our camp. We drove out the Planet Ranch Road into the preserve. This road supposedly goes on through to the Swansea Ghost Town but about 3.5 miles in the road is closed today. Good thing anyway because we probably wouldn't have gone further because it requires driving through the river and its 1.5-2 feet deep now. I did expect to be able to drive about 10 miles before having to turn back. The road may also have been closed due to some power line construction along the road.

Lou on road through forest at Bill Williams NWR Forest in Bill Williams NWR Near Parker Az
We hiked a few miles back and waded upstream through a gorge and also hiked through the cottonwood forest along the river. Not much wildlife to be seen but a nice hike.

Bill Williams River and Planet Ranch Road Don Wading in Bill Williams River on trail
The rocks were a bit much for us tenderfoots who came unprepared though. Next time we'll bring our wading shoes. On the trail we snacked on dried corn and peas and granola bars. After our hike we stopped at the Visitor Center by the lake and had a late lunch salad of red and green peppers with onions and hotdogs while watching the lake and lower refuge. We returned to camp in time to cleanup and be ready for another night of fireworks. Tonight was one of the nights that has regular public shows rather than just test and training firings. There was one really good group of fireworks and then just scattered firings from 5pm until 1030pm. The show didn't seem anywhere near as big as last year when the intense show lasted for over an hour. Hopefully tomorrows show will last longer but likely not due to the rain. For dinner we had a little macaroni and cheese and other nibbles. Toward the end of the evening it started to sprinkle and after the fireworks stopped it started heavier rain and rained all night.

Saturday: (02/19) We woke to still heavy rain. Actually more steady rain, green on the weather maps but it's been raining steady since last night at 10pm. Puddles are forming and the wash has some water in it now. Fortunately we don't have to cross the wash to get out. The rain eased up then disappeared afternoon and the wind dried things out by 3pm all was as it was except less dust in the air. We ventured downtown for a stretch. We walked the island side of the channel near the London Bridge then stopped at the market for milk and returned home. The evening fireworks were better than last night with several flurries of blasts. Breakfast was biscuits and gravy. Chicken pot pie for lunch. Leftover beans soup, beets, and cherry pie.

Here's a video I shot of one of the best volleys of fireworks. It was shot from 2 miles away where we were camped and watched the show. I used my cell phone handheld to shoot it. It didn't turn out too bad.

Sunday: (02/20) Sweet tomales and sausage for Lou and sausage and cereal for my breakfast. While the sky was clear for last nights blast, the clouds are back this morning. Hopefully they go away so we get some sun for the solar panels today. About 11:00 we headed downtown to the flea market  at London Bridge Plaza. With that examined we stopped for lunch nearby at the China Buffet. It was an excellent Chinese buffet. Then we toured the city looking at houses. We joined the SKP Boomers out at The Steps at Highway 96 and MM165 for happy hour then returned home to watch the fireworks again. The overcast skies turned to partly sunny and the wind died down so the afternoon was quite nice. This evening it is mostly clear again and the show was another good one. There were several experimental things tonight not seen before. There was also one flurry for 15-20 minutes. And this wasn't even a public show night. For dinner we had portobello mushrooms stuffed with jalapeno cheese and tuna served with a slice of apple pie for desert.

(02/21) Pancakes and sausage for breakfast. I like mine with peanut butter and jam while Lou prefers maple syrup. We headed off to town for a quick look at the BLM office. However, we discovered that today was a holiday so they were closed. Hard to recognize those holidays from the ordinary days. So plan B. I need to get the RV smog check done and that has to be done in California. There are not many smog check stations out in this corner of the state. Blythe has two, one can't do a large vehicle like the motorhiome and the other one charged way too much and isn't a Gold Shield station so if it failed we would need another test that would cost the same. We can wait another month and a half and maybe will be near a better place. Strike two on today's tasks. Since we wont be headed to Blythe today, there's no hurry to leave so we headed North of town to Craggy Wash, another 14 day BLM camping area. First we stopped for gas near Walmart. Lou spotted a used Sea breeze at the Toyota dealer so we stopped in for a look. They couldn't find the keys for it but we looked at a couple of other nice motorhomes, then departed. We continued on to Craggy Wash. We wanted to see what it looked like as a place to camp for future visits. It looks pretty good, better than our MM174 site on the hill or The Steps at MM165. There are even trees there. We do like trees. We headed on out to the back end then explored some Jeep trails. Actually several turned out to be ATV trails and got too narrow for us. We came back to Highway 95 via different trails North of Craggy Wash. Some interesting steep hills, tight turns in narrow washes and a few dead end paths but we made it out. We called the Toyota dealer to see if they found the keys to the Sea breeze and they had so we stopped for a look. Not a good floor plan by in excellent condition otherwise. We then stopped for lunch at the Golden Corral. Costs less than a McDonald's stop and much better food. We returned to our camp about 3pm to find 2/3 of the other RVers gone. Just before dark I invited Lou out for another jeep excursion behind our camp. She wanted to visit the camping area further back to see who was there and I wanted some fun. The road was uneventful most of the way but as it came back close to the highway it had to go down a very steep hill and make a sharp left turn into a very rocky wash then back up to the highway. Lou thought is was thrilling as we slid down the hill into the wash wondering if the rescue party would ever find us in that hole. I did get to finally try out the Jeep's low range gears. Dinner, who needs dinner? We had a piece of apple pie for dinner.

Tuesday: (02/22) Leftovers for breakfast. Lou had the last of the homemade sweet tomales while I had pancakes and sausage. We went down to the BLM office to collect some information and get some questions answered. I found out we possibly were scofflaws yesterday when we took our little excursion out at Craggy Wash. The BLM guy mentioned the off road trails behind Craggy Wash are closed from January to June so the big horn sheep can do their thing. There were no signs and we made it out without seeing anyone with a badge so all turned out OK. Good thing public servants don't serve on holidays. We also had to make another stop at a couple of thrift stores Lou wanted to make sure they didn't have something new. She did find a couple of nice belts and a Pendalton shirt at one and I found a nice wedge pillow and a whisk broom at another. We discovered the jeep didn't have a broom yesterday. And, of course there was a stop at Basha's Market for a couple of things. With all those vital tasks accomplished, we returned to camp and pulled out just after noon. Destination back to the Yuma area at imperial Dam LTVA.

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