We have meandered through Arizona since mid-December and, with temperatures teasing into the 90s, it was time to move on. We enjoyed ourselves in the resorts and loved the time spent in desert parks. We appreciated seeing family and making new friends. We especially enjoyed reconnecting with friends that we see here, there and everywhere. Thinking of you Beth, Mark and Teri, Gerry and Kathy, Kevin and Karen, and Kent and Pam.
Kent and Pam met us near Lake Havasu City on their way south and our way north – our final stop in Arizona for this season.
We enjoyed the scenery and commentary on a Colorado River Jet Boat Tour.
We learned paddlewheel steamers first came onto the Colorado River to transport Army supplies north from Fort Yuma. A comedy of errors resulted in 30 percent of the 150+ steamers sinking due to sand bars or flooding. Fortunately, there was little loss of life.
The waters were the right level for travel if the eye opening was visible on this reclining rock face. If waters were too high or too low, the eye was not visible. We were good!
There was also an area of petroglyphs.
Our tour began and ended near the London Bridge. The city of London put the bridge up for sale in 1967 and Lake Havasu City entrepreneur Robert McCulloch bought it for $2,460,000. There were higher bids but the London folks liked McCulloch’s plan to use the bridge for foot and motor traffic over water.
Bricks were individually numbered, deconstructed and shipped. With some structural modifications, the London Bridge was reassembled in Lake Havasu City.
The damage on this bridge support was from an air battle during the second world war. Bullet holes and missing rock are evident when viewed from water level.
There were “love locks” on two fences symbolizing the devotion of couples to each other. This tradition began in Paris.
Kent and Pam stayed in town but we stayed at Cattail Cove State Park. Arizona has some great state parks and this was another of them.
Elko enjoyed wading in at the Dog Beach several times a day.
Kent and I took our canoe out and enjoyed a paddle! Notice the interesting erosion barrier in the background. Our TxDot friend, Mark told us that pocketed fabric is laid, liquid concrete is pumped in and allowed to dry. The fabric eventually decomposes.
This area is above Parker Dam and the facility on the right is where water is pumped out to go to southern California.
Parker Dam is the deepest dam in the world with nearly three-fourths of its structure below ground. It also has an interesting construction story!
In 1934 the Arizona governor declared martial law and machine-gun nests were put in place to deal with one of “the gravest threats ever faced” – water-thieves from California.
Water rights along Colorado River system were divided amongst New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California but Arizona refused to sign on to the plan. They believed that California was taking more than its fair share.
Governor Moeur was unhappy when the Bureau of Reclamation started building the dam and he sent National Guard troops to take whatever steps necessary to prohibit the workers from even touching “the sacred soil of old Arizona.”
The Navy of Arizona had only two old ferryboats but the Supreme Court ruled for Arizona saying the dam had not been properly authorized. Congress then passed the Rivers and Harbors Bill, authorizing the construction of Parker Dam.
Another of our pleasures was hiking the trails along the river in Cattail Cove State Park. The river views were very nice but best were the wild flowers and cactus blooms!
Those cold, rainy days and nights in Tucson in January were rewarded with so many wild flowers! The beauty of the desert in bloom is astounding. We may never see it this good again!
So, our stay in Arizona is done for another year. We decided we will not return to two of the resorts we visited this year. We didn’t have bad visits but, in both cases, there was continual jet noise that we tired of. Done and done! There are other parks!
When we drove into Yuma three months ago, my hopes for this season were to see javelina in the wild and to NOT see a snake. Because and in-spite of many miles and hours walking in the desert, both hopes were realized! Arizona: Done and Done!