October 8-14, 2013 – Barstow, CA and Lake Havasu, AZ
We left Bridgeport on Tuesday morning and drove to Barstow where we spent the night in a parking lot across the street from the Flying J Travel Center. By the time we went to bed we were surrounded by semi trucks but most of them were gone when we got up the next morning.
Wednesday morning we headed west toward Lake Havasu, AZ. The wind was blowing but luckily it was coming from the west and did not bother us much. We are staying at the Lake Havasu RV Resort on the north side of town.
There is a lot of dust in the air and the lady the checked us in said the wind blew hard for a couple of days but it is suppose to clear off. We have been to Lake Havasu before so don’t plan on doing a lot of sightseeing while we are here.
Thursday we woke to a clear, blue sky! The forecast is for the temperature to be in the 80’s and no wind. It was a good morning to give Camille and Cody baths and haircuts. After lunch we drove into town and stopped at the London Bridge. This bridge was constructed over the Thames in 1831 to replace a bridge that was constructed 600 years earlier. As time passed, the new bridge began sinking at the rate of an inch very eight years. By 1924, the east side of the bridge was three to four inches lower than the west side. The bridge had not been designed to withstand the impact of 20th century automotive traffic. In 1967, the Common Council of the City of London put the bridge up for sale. On April 18, 1968 the winning bid for the bridge went to Lake Havasu City founder Robert P. McCulloch for $2,460,000. Each block was meticulously numbered before the bridge was disassembled. The blocks were then shipped overseas through the Panama Canal to California and trucked from Long Beach to Arizona. The bridge was reconstructed in Lake Havasu spanning a channel between the shore and a small island and rededicated on October 10, 1971. The total cost including expenses for relocation and reassembly was $5.1 million.
Saturday we decided to drive to the old mining town of Oatman which in on the old highway 66. When we turned off the interstate to drive Rte. 66 we found that it was closed due to a flood washing out part of the road. Consequently, we had to take a longer route to Oatman. Oatman was a booming mining town from 1910 to the 1920’s with close to 8,000 people living here. The gold mines closed in 1942 but were reopened to mine copper during WWII. The Gold Road Mine reopened in 1990, closed in 1999 and then reopened again in 2010. As we pulled into the parking lot a group of about a dozen burros were coming into the lot from the hills. Nancy had to move out of the way as they made their way between the Jeep and next car.
Behind the restrooms next to the parking lot was a pen with two very large tortoises.
The main attraction in Oatman is the wild burros that roam the streets. Burros were used in the mines to haul rock and ore and outside to haul water and supplies. As the mines closed the burros were released into the hills around Oatman where their descendants still live today. Every day the burros come into town and walk the streets and get handouts from the tourists (the stores sell bags of “burro food” for $1).
All that walking around town, looking cute and begging for handouts is so very tiring, especially for the young ones.
After walking around for a while and watching the tourists feed the burros we drove to Kingman and had a great BBQ lunch at Redneck’s Southern Pit Barbeque. We returned to Lake Havasu via Bullhead City and Needles.
The weather here has been great – in the high 80’s to low 90’s during the day and cooling to the 50s at night. It was windy on Monday and we hope the wind isn’t blowing when we leave Tuesday for Apache Junction. We spent Sunday and Monday relaxing, reading and taking the dogs for walks. We enjoyed our time at Lake Havasu but are getting anxious to get back to Apache Junction.