October 23, 2008 — We woke up to a perfect day — the winds had stopped and the sky was very clear again.
So what did we do today?
We drove north up 95 retracing our route past the Yuma Proving Grounds into Quartzsite. We stopped at the BLM La Posa LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area) office on the outskirts of Quartzsite to find out more about boondocking.
Boondocking is “dry” camping, usually free. The Bureau of Land Management has come up with a way to allow people to boondock but still have some of the services available, for example there are toilets and a place to empty the holding tank, but they are not close and convenient. BLM charges $40 for 14 consecutive days or $180 for Sept 15 to April 15 stay. The main rule is to not park too close to a neighbor. Unlike traditional camping, they don’t have sites with numbers. We drove through the LaPosa area and found it to be a very attractive idea.
It has only been about 4 days since we went through Quartzsite last, but it has already changed alot. More businesses seem to be open. And it seemed to us like more RVs had set up home as well, though still far from full. We also drove through the new housing development. It has to be strange for the people who have been living in Quartzsite since the early days to now have actual homes being built. Anyway, the BLM lands at Quartzsite are something that we are thinking about — after we get an RV, of course.
As I work on this, Carl is perusing the ‘net again for RVs. He’s following e-Bay auctions. I think he’s getting closer to maybe bidding on one. Maybe. I’m not allowed to visit eBay because I’m much more impulsive.
After Quartzite, we continued north on 95. This was new area to us — not yet driven. I can’t say that I did a lot of sightseeing at this point because I read, aloud, the information on BLMs. Oh and on camping in Mexico. Another thing that sounds fascinating to us.
(This is one of the amazing things that has happened this trip. I can read without getting carsick! I can’t figure out why but for the first time in my life I can read in the car. I know I couldn’t do this even a short time ago — opening mail in the car, reading a menu, even the back of a CD, would just ruin my day. But this whole trip, I’ve been reading maps, books, etc without a bit of a problem.)
Just before Parker, we saw a sign saying that we were in the Colorado River Indian Reservation (confirmed shortly by a casino). The area was so green, we knew we couldn’t be too far from the Colorado, which was true. We went through Parker, and the road turned northeast following the Colorado River — also the start of a designated scenic highway. We did not disagree with description. For once, though, it didn’t involve great vertical heights!
We stopped at the Buckskin State Park for the allowed 30 minutes before we would have to pay a fee. I stuck my feet in the Colorado River, even. This place also offered a variety of camping options including “roofed” areas for tent campers. Very pretty.
Shortly after leaving the State Park we came to the Parker Dam. This is the deepest dam in the world. They built it as such so that it would not destroy the natural beauty of the area. This is another Bureau of Reclamation project.
From Parker Dam we continued along 95 until we reached Lake Havasu City — and the London Bridge! I remember hearing about this as a kid — it was always presented almost as a joke that some place in the desert bought the falling down London Bridge. Seeing it today, I’d say it was an ingenius marketing plan — this is a regular city now.
Lacking further goals, we decided to stay here tonight. In our effort to spend less money on motels, we are staying at a Quality Inn tonight. This is part of the Comfort Inn chain, so we still get points but are paying a bit less. It’s not bad for an older place.
After checking in, we went over and had lunch/dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. Nicely decorated, average food, good price.
Then we went down to the municipal park located on Lake Havasu. Very impressive — they have a bit of everything for the family: ball parks, jungle gym, model sailboat area, electric car racing, paths for walking/jogging etc., benches and picnic areas by the water, water sports, etc. While we were there, several families were gathered post game, high school kids were running, and an elderly couple were sitting on a bench looking out at the water. It was all very peaceful and friendly.
And that was our day.
We don’t have a clue about tomorrow yet….