Family, like fish, begins to stink after a week. Or so they say. So we pushed out of Vegas, pointed the Firetruck south, and headed for some Arizona warmth and sunshine. Destination: Lake Havasu State Park – an area neither of us has visited.
We’re running a bit ragged. No refrigeration, although our devised solution of a plastic container of ice (refreshed daily) in the freezer section of our small refrigerator should keep things chilled. However, it does mean that we have to buy ice daily – a major PITA. Our first day in Las Vegas, I lost my contact lens (I wear just one). Do I have my prescription? Of course not! To top things off, I heard an odd pschewing noise the other day, and discovered that our campstove regulator valve was spewing propane out into the atmosphere! We’ve checked all the likely places in town to find a part, but have come up empty-handed. So, we can’t cook the food that’s spoiling in our unrefrigerator, and I’m going to get (more) wrinkles from squinting! Not a happy start. We are campers with issues.
But, here we are in a great location. Lake Havasu City’s claim to fame is the London Bridge, which was purchased by town founder Robert McCullough, Sr in 1967, for about $2.5 million. After four years of construction, it opened in 1971, connecting Lake Havasu City to an island in the Lake. Yep, we cycled across it – four times, in fact.
The State Park here is a busy spot. Even though the campground is full, it’s pretty quiet. But, it’s kind of odd. The bathrooms are clean, but old. For 46 campsites, there are only two showers. The bathrooms are dim, and there’s a faint whiff of sewage in the air – worse at some spots than others. (Our space is fine.) One of the toilets must have a leak, because the floor is always wet. That kind of stuff. But, there’s a white sand beach not 40 yards from our driveway. The Nature Trail that runs for nearly two miles through the Park was cleared with a bulldozer – not so much a footpath as a throughway. My favorite spot in the Park though is the picnic area. Girl Scout Troop #1585 painted all the trash barrels which dot the area, and they are charming. Jezzy reflects on the meaning of leadershipAn apparent alien invasion was also documented by the Scouts.All in all, a pretty nice spot to camp. Great sunsets.Our first order of business is exploration by bike. There’s a bike trail through the city, which kept us off busy I-95. Across the Bridge, the trail continues around the island. The Lake Havasu City Lighthouse Club has built replicas (many are copies of Great Lakes lighthouses), and located them in spots on the Island and around town. This area is an ORVer’s paradise. They are everywhere! It may be unfair to credit all the beer cans and bottles along the roads and paths to this group, but it seems to me that they do seem to go hand in hand. We can see dust plumes across the Lake from all the ORVs tearing across the open land there.
After 25 miles or so, we finish our ride at the Barley Brothers Brewery, where the bartender treated us to a sample of his homemade pickles. Spicy and crunchy – perfect as a Bloody Mary garnish.Saturday, we decided to hike at Special Activities and Recreation Area south of town. One hike goes into a crevasse or slot – known by the locals as SARA’s Crack. That’s our choice. With Jezzy in tow and a backpack with water and lunch, we head down the trail. After a mile or so, we get to the Crack. Twisting along through an increasingly narrow space, we get to a spot where there’s about an 8′ drop down a slippery slope. We watch others with dogs navigate their way to the bottom – there’s a knotted rope affixed to help people rappel down/up, but that’s not much use for a 55 pound dog. John goes first, and calls to Jezzy from below. She’s a bit frantic, wanting to go to him, but unhappy about navigating the drop. Finally, she heads toward him, and has a bit of a heavy landing. Yelping that breaks my heart and spirit. But, she’s happy! We proceed along, and there are many 3′ drops – some on to small landing areas surrounded by water. It’s not going well. The straw that breaks our back is a very narrow, descending squeeze. Jezzy balks. We decided that it’s not worth it – it would kill us if she were injured because of our own stupidity. So we backtrack. Getting back up the 8′ wall was easier than the descent. I went first. John got Jezzy started, she scrambled, and I hauled her up. Done! We decided to take another different trail, and wind up with a beautiful hike for the day. A quick stop at Mudshark Brewery (not nearly as good as Barley Bros), and we’ve survived another adventure. After a long day on the Trail, Jezzy can barely keep her eyes open.
So, it’s Monday morning. John is scouting RV dealers, trying to locate a part for the stove. If not, we need to decide whether to buy a cheap new stove, order a part and have it sent General Delivery to us somewhere down the road, or what. I’m going to call my eye doctor and see if I can get them to email me a prescription so that I can have a lens made.
Don’t know yet where we’re heading from here. Depends on how well we can patch up our sorry gear! We like simple camping, but this is ridiculous.