Tag Archives: Colorado River

With Friends Again — Parks & Lake Havasu, AZ; October 9-13, 2017

We returned from the Valley of Fire to Las Vegas, where we spent a few days preparing to be gone from Barb’s dad for another year.  Then we drove straight to the home of friends Bill and Colleen, some 20 miles west of Flagstaff, located in the beautiful boonies about 8 miles north of the one-horse town of Parks.  There we met Bill’s brother Matt and his wife Joan.  Matt was there to help Bill modify his garage to accomodate Bill & Colleen’s new-to-them Allegro 36 Bus.  When we arrived they had already pushed out an extension to accommodate the length of the bus, and they were just about to begin raising the height of the front door.  The brothers are both accomplished mechanics and builders, so my role was confined to fetching tools and giving an occasional hand when a little extra muscle was needed.

Bill’s friends Bruce & Jan Dodge had left their pontoon boat with Bill, and so after the door modification was brought to a point that it could be left for a while, the six of us proceeded down to Islander RV Resort, a ritzy campground at Lake Havasu, AZ.  When we called for a reservation, we were asked the year of manufacture of our RV.  When we responded with 2004, we were told that they only accept RVs that are less than 10 years old, but that we could request special permission if we sent pictures of the RV so that the manager could consider the request.  We sent a package of pictures of the exterior, and were granted admission.

Bill towed the pontoon boat behind their powerful diesel-powered RV, we towed our Chevy Tracker behind our much-less-powerful gas-powered Allegro, and Matt towed their fifth-wheel camper.  The RV office and the campsites were indeed several cuts above the average campground, and the attendants were likewise especially polished and professional.  A very nice place to spend some time.


From Wikipedia:

Lake Havasu is a large reservoir behind Parker Dam on the Colorado River, on the border between California and Arizona. Lake Havasu City sits on the lake’s eastern shore. The concrete arch dam was built by the United States Bureau of Reclamation between 1934 and 1938. The lake’s primary purpose is to store water for pumping into two aqueducts.

The London Bridge crosses a narrow channel that leads from Lake Havasu on the Colorado River to Thompson Bay (also on the river). It was bought for US $2.5 million from the City of London when the bridge was replaced in 1968. The bridge was disassembled, and the marked stones were shipped to Lake Havasu City and reassembled for another US $7 million. Since its inauguration on October 5, 1971, it has attracted thousands of visitors each year.

Lake Havasu City is an active destination for a wide range of people. During the spring months, the community is joined by university students during Spring Break. The city is also home to the International World Jet Ski Final Races, multiple professional fishing tournaments, custom boat regattas, the Western Winter Blast pyrotechnics convention, Havasu 95 Speedway, the Chilln-n-Swilln Beer Festival annual charity event, the Havasu Triathlon, the Havasu Half Marathon, and the Havasu Island Hot Air Balloon Fest & Fair.  In the winter months, the community is joined by snowbirds from colder regions of the country and Canada. 

We spent two lovely days on the Lake, and then returned to Parks to finish the modification of the garage. When we had done as much as we could do (lacking only an on-order additional panel needed for the longer door to fit the higher opening, the six of us took the pontoon boat (and our campers) up to Lake Powell. But that is the subject of the next post.

Colorado River Raft Trip — Grand Canyon; July 16-24, 2015

On July 16 Barb & I drove our ’99 Camry to the south rim of Grand Canyon.  With us was Barb’s sister Audrey.  Barb’s daughter Danielle, and her daughter Abigail also made the trip from Las Vegas in a rental car.  Just outside the southern rim we were met by Barb’s son Jeffrey and his son Zane, who were arriving from Utah.  Most of us went to the spectacular Imax movie about the Colorado River that travels through the Canyon.  Then we all viewed the Canyon from various crowded overlooks on the rim, overlooks filled with folks speaking languages from all over the world.  Many were brandishing selfie sticks and virtually everyone had a camera.  On one promontory a raven sat and squawked at the crowd.  A woman behind me explained in a Brooklyn accent to her son that the bird was a California Condor and received my gentle correction with extreme skepticism.

We all stayed in a motel just outside the Park that night.  Next morning, Danielle and Audrey returned to Vegas and the rest of us continued on to Marble Canyon where we would leave our vehicles.  We spent the night at a local motel and were shuttled the next morning to the put-in spot at Lee’s Ferry.   After a brief orientation by the Grand Canyon White Water guides, we were on our way down the Colorado:  two large rafts, each with a crew of two, and a combined passenger total of 21.   We were each given a large waterproof bag containing a sleeping bag, a sheet, and a small pillow.  Each bag was large enough to receive the duffel bag we had each been permitted to bring along with our clothes and personal effects.  We were also issued a smaller waterproof bag to be used for stowing items that we would want to access during the day.

When we stopped along the river bank to make camp, everyone pitched in and joined a “bucket brigade” to offload the tents, folding seats, and folding cots, as well as the afore-mentioned waterproof bags.  (Everyone then set up their own camp items.)  And, of course, we all helped offload the kitchen stands and tables and cooking pots, etc.  The food was abundant and varied and delicious.

We all got wet in the largest of the rapids.   The water was cold enough that most of us learned to wear waterproof pants and jackets for the big ones.  (The rapids are rated on a scale from 1 to 10; we went through a number in the 6-8 range, and two extra-exciting number 9 or 10’s.)

The scenery was spectacular.  We stopped several times each day to do a hike.  Into slot canyons, caverns, waterfalls, and historic sites on the river (including an ancient granary). In the evenings the skies filled with bright stars.  Most people after the first night stopped setting up the tents and slept on the cots out in the open. It was a magical time.

At the conclusion of the trip (after six days and 187 miles down the river) we were lifted out of the canyon on a helicopter.  Barb was lucky enough to command the front seat beside the helicopter pilot.  We were taken to the Bar-10 ranch, were we were given lunch and could take showers.  There, we caught a small fixed-wing plane back to Marble Canyon.

It was the experience of a lifetime. We highly recommend it!