Friday, April 12, 2013

04/12/13, Friday: This past week we spent a night at Cattail CoveState Park south of Lake Havasu City, AZ. We needed to dump tanks and fill water and recharge batteries. We didn’t make a reservation, they charge an extra $5 for that. We went into town on Tuesday and picked up our mail (taxes finally done) and stopped at the Park on the way back. It’s only a mile from the BLM spot we were on. They have water/electric sites for $26 and a dump station. I asked if they had a 50 amp site (most are 30 amp)  and large enough for 40 ft. She said we could take the host’s empty site (they just left) for $30. It has water/electric/sewer. We decided to do that and then I can wash clothes and not go to a laundromat in town, or save it for another week or two. So we went back to get the motorhome and move over here.  I spent the day washing clothes and baking cookies and banana bread and brownies.  The next day we had to be out by noon. Curt changed water filters and cleaned the water softener. Arizona water is hard.  He tried washing the motorhome and Jeep but the water left spots so he had to clean them off.

From there we moved to another BLM area north of Lake Havasu.  When we were in town we stopped at the BLM area office and got a map with some areas; but it doesn’t give the actual road to take off of the highway. You basically have to watch off the road to see if there’s campers parked along the side or if there’s BLM signs. This is a small area but there are probably a dozen campers there; motorhomes, fifth-wheelers, mini- homes, pickup toppers. You’re only supposed to be on BLM land for 14 days, but I don’t think the areas are checked very often. Some of these looked like they had been there a while.  We had some real windy days at the last BLM site we were at, and then another day here. Some of the campers came off of the road for the day. We went for a hike the next morning and saw that one of the campers was from North Dakota – small world.

From there we went to Kingman, AZ Walmart. They said we can stay there overnight, but if the police tell us to move, we have to move. Must be a town ordinance for no overnight camping. Parker was the same way, but they told us we probably should just go to the casino and we could stay there free (which we did).  Kingman Walmart had campers come and go throughout the afternoon. About 10 of us stayed the night. I don’t think the police have a problem with campers there as long as you’re on the outskirts of the lot and traffic can still come and go. There’s 2 motorhomes that look like they’ve been there a while. 

Today we took a tourist day with the Jeep and went on Historic Route 66 to Oatman and then decided to do a loop back to Kingman by going to Bullhead City and then back. We didn’t want to take the motorhome because the road to Oatman is narrow and lots of twists and turns through the hills. This is the most scenic part of the whole loop. It’s constant twists and turns and hills and rocks. After Oatman it turns into a desert valley and washes and rolling hills. There’s also gold mine sites.  Oatman is a town of 134 people and “wild” burros. I  say “wild” because they are not owned and live in the hills, but some come to town to be fed by the tourists and they’re very tame. They were left by the miners when they left. The town lives on the tourists. There are little shops selling Route 66 items and burro items, leather items (made in North Dakota), restaurants and the original Oatman Hotel from the 1900’s. In the restaurant and bar in the hotel there are dollar bills that are signed and dated from people and stapled on the walls. There are thousands of dollars in there. They have a gunfight at noon so we waited around to see that. It was pretty short. From Oatman we went on to Bullhead City, which is another snowbird town. It is across the river from Laughlin, Nevada, which is a “mini” Las Vegas. You can see the casinos across the river. We went through an Indian reservation and an area which was irrigated and farmed. It was nice to see the green alfalfa and grass; also “normal” trees. Near Kingman on the way back we passed an area that had 2 motorhomes off the side of the road, which we suspected was BLM area to park. So after getting back to Walmart, we picked up some groceries, hooked up the Jeep and decided to go to the BLM site for the weekend and then head to the Lake Mead/Hoover Dam area on Monday. The only problem is that in going to that BLM site, we had to go another 2 miles or so past it since there is a concrete divider in the highway all the way up and down the 6% grade of the hill, and then turn around and come back. We found out it’s the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area, Monolith Garden Trailhead. We can stay here 14 days if wanted.

Curt did some metal detecting while I did some catching up on the computer. He didn’t find much of anything, but he likes his new headphones (thanks kids!) When we were at the BLM office in Lake Havasu they said that there was some meteor and gold findings on the BLM sites yet. I forgot to mention, at the BLM site we were at south of Lake Havasu, there was a van that was brought in and shot up. There was a lot of traffic coming and going at that place. A lot of 4-wheelers were driving around. One day we saw a pickup pulling a trailer with a white van on it. We thought someone was having work done on it or something like that, didn’t pay any attention to it. There is a site behind some hills that people were doing shooting before, so we didn’t pay any attention when we heard shooting again. Some of them were pretty loud. Curt thought about going there to see what they were using but decided against it. Curt said he saw the pickup and trailer leaving later without the van, but again, didn’t really think anything of it. The next day we drove around the area to see if there were other places to park and saw the shooting site and the van was shot and blown to pieces. We took pictures and this was another reason we stopped at the BLM office, to show them the pictures. There isn’t much they can do. They only have 2 rangers in the area, one for the water and one for the land. They can tell the sheriff’s office and maybe they can get the serial number and track it. Evidently they don’t clean up the area because we found a ravine that had old shingles and appliances that people dumped. He said sometimes the Jeep clubs will clean up. Budget cuts…

We hiked around 3 miles, followed the ATV trails up and down the hills.

 The "wild" burros


Destruction on the BLM land

 Historic Route 66 - I can't imagine wagons or old cars going through these hills.

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