Thursday, January 26, 2017

Arizona - Lake Havasu City and Yuma

Lake Havasu, AZ
We traveled to Lake Havasu City, AZ on December 22, 2016. It is home to the London Bridge. Yes, the one of Nursery Rhyme fame. 
We stayed at the Campbell Cove RV Park. It's on the smaller side and some of the sites have a view of the river. The sites are all gravel and level. Ours was a pull through with full hook ups and about average width. They have WiFi but it costs extra so we used our Verizon JetPack. We paid $23.27 a night with our Passport America discount.  

1/3 scale replica of  Cape Hatteras
 in Buxton, NC

The Lake Havasu State Park is just a block away and this time of year pretty empty. One of the 25 lighthouses that surround Lake Havasu is at this entry point. They have more lighthouses than any other city in the country. They are 1/3 scale replicas of famous lighthouses on the East and West coasts and the Great Lakes.  It made for a beautiful morning walking place. Mielikki made a few interesting discoveries, there are some big fish in this lake.
So how did the London Bridge end up in Arizona in 1968 the Common Council of the City of London put the bridge on the market as it needed to be replaced. 
The construction of the bridge was completed in 1831 and as time passed the bridge began sinking at the rate of an inch every eight years. By 1924 the east side of the bridge was 3-4 inches lower than the west side.
Jump forward to April 18, 1968 when Robert P. McCulloch, founder of Lake Havasu City, made the winning bid of $2,460,000 for the bridge. Each block was painstakingly numbered before the bridge was disassembled and a blue print was created. They were then shipped through the Panama Canal to California and then trucked to Arizona. The reconstructed bridge was dedicated on October 10, 1971. The total cost for relocation and assembly was $5.1 million. 
You can drive across the bridge which is lit up at different holidays. It is rumored that the bridge is haunted, people have claimed to see a British police bobby patrolling the bridge and a woman in black roaming the bridge at night. 
The bridge is home to hundreds of bats that inhabit the nooks and crannies of its hollow interior. The river is home to many birds and ducks. The black bird with the white beak is actually not a duck, it is an American Coot and related to the Heron family. Nancy may or may not have seen an eagle, it took off to fast to tell.

We came to see the bridge while we were staying in Needles, CA but saved sharing the information until this stay. Under the bridge is a walkway along the marina where there are a number of small shops and restaurants and a Visitor Center. 

As you can see on the map thousands have visited
You enter the area through a large iron gate and a walkway lined with flags and posts with dragons sitting on them. A fountain with large lions greets you. 

Santa forgot his suit

On that first visit we met artists John and Roxanne Buonauro. John had his beautiful wood carvings on display. You can see his work at his Etsy shop. We had a wonderful chat with them, and discovered we have a great deal in common. They are not full-time RVer's but they do go out for months at a time. It was fun sharing stories with them and exchanging ideas. When John noticed our Safety Pins he got very excited to know that we were also politically aligned. We had hoped to meet up with them on this stop but Roxanne had knee surgery the day after we arrived, so hopefully down the road we will meet again. 

Christmas Eve day, December 24, 2016 is when we traveled to Yuma, AZ

It was a rainy and foggy drive. We drove along the edge of the storm most of the way. When it rains in the desert there is going to be some flooding, we crossed water over the road a number of times. 
We stayed at the Southern Mesa RV Park, about 20 minutes south of town. Being Christmas Eve the office was closed but the maintenance guy helped us find a spot. It was a little tricky as some of the sites have the hook ups on the wrong side. 

The entire park is gravel and the sites are very level. They are back in sites and a little wider than normal. The park is well maintained and very quite. WiFi was good and Verizon siganl was strong. There is a large field to let the dog run off lead. We paid $26.00 a night with our Passport America discount. 

We had are usual Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas Day breakfast and we spent the day doing our traditional movie marathon. 
When you cook with beer it can confuse your
husband when he gets up and a
bottle of beer is next to your coffee cup!
We were up and out early for a 9:10 showing of Fantastic Beasts and
Where to Find Them, we really liked it. Then we had 10 minutes before the showing of Rouge One, which we loved. The rest of the day was spent just hanging out and enjoyed beef stew - made with beer - for dinner.

Once again we found ourselves on a bumpy road, this time we saw a large weather balloon on the ground which later was floating in the sky. 

The Castle Dome Mine Museum and Ghost Town was really very interesting. There are over 50 silent weather-beaten buildings waiting to be explored. As you wander in and out of them you get to see a bit of what life was like here in 1878 when this was a thriving mining town bigger than Yuma is today. We spent the better part of the day here exploring everything. 
We even got a Christmas present! A box of tea was the surprise under the festive wrapping.

Barber Shop

Most of the displays had mannequins - some of them were a little creepy. When the family behind us were paying to get in the lady asked if their kids had a fear of mannequins. The parents said no - but we are wondering if they do now!
Adam's Cabin

Castle Dome City boasted that they had "5 Bars within a mile". The miners of course requested them and when cattle was brought in to the town the cowboys enjoyed them as well. Of course there were more than few "ladies of the night". 
Outside of Carmelitta's Cantina, was a gun fight. The guy sitting at the table is Juan Llego and his girlfriend is standing behind him. Juan was one of the miners in town. At the door is a stranger in town who started flirting with Juan's girl. Of course Juan got mad - a duel was challenged and Juan laid dead in the street. There was a rumor that the guy was a hired hit-man as Juan was known to sell booze and guns to the Indians, which cut into other peoples business. 

There may have been 5-bars but only one church and not that many pews either. 

There is a small cemetery, Juan's was one of the first graves. There is also a memorial to all of the miners that died.

There were all kinds of random things. Lots of old rusty tools and equipment, which of course Nancy loves. There was a display of glass that had all turned purple including a door knob. We learned that the natural color of glass is green, well we knew that part. 

People wanted it clear, so until 1918 magnesium was put in the glass to make it clear. Over time the magnesium would turn the glass purple - that part we didn't know. Later on selenium was add to make the glass clear, but over time it turned it to a yellowish color. 

There was a small section of a mine shaft that you could walk through, Les barely could stand up straight. The large bucket is called an ore bucket and was used to drop the minors down into the shafts. 

There were two small shacks that you could leave your mark in. One was filled with thousands of business cards - we of course left ours and the other was for military people to leave their name, current, retired or veteran. 

The local jail wasn't very big but the door looked secure. Santa was caught misbehaving so he had to have a little time out. 

The mannequins weren't the only creepy thing in town - these little 
clown heads might win the prize for most creepy. Not even sure what they were used for.

For such a desolate area is sure is pretty. 

Martha's Garden Date Farm and the Peanut Patch were two yummy stops. We had lunch at Martha's and enjoyed a delicious date shake - "World's Best" is their claim. Never had tasted one before and this one was very good so can't argue with them. 

The Peanut Patch has peanuts in every flavor you can think of along with all kinds of other nuts and treats. You can pick up local art or a number of other gifts here as well.
Next up is Casa Grande and Willcox, AZ

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and thing we have learned along the way. 
~ Storage and organizing
You would think after almost two years on the road we would have everything organized. Well, it seems to be an ongoing process for us. 
All of the boxes of kitchen wrap and foil used to lay flat on one of our shelves, which was such a waste of the little space we have. While perusing Good Will one day we came across a large storage container without a lid and knew we had found a new home for all the boxes of kitchen wrap, for a mere .99. They stand up straight, won't fall out and it fits perfectly under the kitchen sink now. Don't worry the empty spot we created is all ready filled! 

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