Lake Havasu City, Oatman, and Quartzite, AZ

On our way to Lake Havasu City we found ourselves driving through open roads with nothing on either side except rocks, dust, bushes and wildflowers, every now and then a small town would pop out of nowhere, you would blink, and then again to nothing.  I believe the largest town we drove through was Parker and like Havasu, it is likewise on the Colorado River.  I miss seeing water and after six months of wintering in the desert, I really was looking forward to the change.

We arrived in Lake Havasu City and fell in love.  It was such a cute, clean city right on the water and bordered by the mountains.

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London Bridge, the iconic landmark of Lake Havasu, is spectacular, especially at sunset.  I was amused as I found a clock in town called Little Ben.  I really liked this little town on the side of the river bordered by red rock formations.

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Where ever you turn, there are RV and marine related businesses.  Most homes had either a boat or an RV or both, parked on their property and many homes also had RV/Boat garages.

It occurred to us that perhaps this might be a better place to get the RV repaired.  After much research, we contacted a local company who enjoyed excellent references.  This time however, prior to contacting them, we visited the establishment just to look around.  It looked very professional, no visible junk in their lot and everything was clean and picked up, and several RVs, boats and vehicles were in their lot.  After speaking to the owner, he personally came out to our site, took pictures, contacted the insurance company and immediately ordered all the necessary parts, all without delay.

While in Havasu, we took a drive to visit the nearby towns.  Along the drive we came across a beautiful, and unusually bright road, edged with wildflowers.  The yellow lines, recently repainted reminded me of the good things to come….  “Follow the Yellow lined Road”… or Brick Road…

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We arrived in Oatman, a very sparsely settled town in which a couple of prospectors struck it rich after finding gold back in the early 1900’s.  It then became a mining town and then that dried up.  It now remains a ghost town.  With only 128 people and a handful of feral burros calling it home, Oatman is really tiny.  It has a few stores, restaurants and gift shops and rely exclusively on tourists to survive.

We took Oatman Highway from Oatman to Kingman and it had many hairpin turns, reminding me of the road to Hana in Hawaii because of its numerous curves.  No vehicles over 23′ were allowed on the road for obvious reasons.

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We also drove through Quartzite.  This area had always intrigued us as many RVers choose to winter there.  There were numerous campgrounds, mostly all either dirt or gravel, and the city itself it quite small.

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Alternatively, there were many BLM’s (Bureau of Land Management) – managed public lands, where people boondock (a site with no services).  A permit is required to stay in these areas, you then select out a spot and park.  I assume you will need to either use a generator or solar power, and I understand there are companies that will come out to pumpout your waste and refill your water tanks.

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It’s definitely a budget friendly way to winter, still it feels too much like camping.

We had heard that we needed to visit the Desert Bar.  This is a bar that is literally off the grid and totally self-contained – no power and no water.

Getting there was almost half the fun.  The road was all gravel and dirt and definitely not maintained.  Four wheelers and bikes were passing us as we took our time.  Close to five miles later, we arrived at this incredible place.

When it opened back in 1983, it was a small shack with an outhouse.  It has grown quite a bit since and is certainly a fun weekend hangout.  Today, they have water tanks in the property, which are filled with a firetruck they purchased for that purpose, along with solar panels.  There is live entertainment and relatively inexpensive alcohol and food.  It is a cash only business and it is packed every weekend they are open.  John did not visit the boys’ room so I can’t report on that, but I certainly had to make my obligatory visit.  The ladies’ restroom is built against a boulder.  The boulder serves as the back wall of the stalls and the separating walls are steel slats.  The stall’s door was really heavy and after looking at it closer, I realized it was a box car door.  Even more interesting was the way I had to flush the tank.  There is a huge water tank above the restroom needed to flush the tanks and provide water to the sinks.  Next to the toilet was a 4″ PVC pipe coming down from the ceiling.  Perpendicular to that, above the tank was a 1″ pvc pipe that had a valve.  There was writing on the pipe “fill to flush”.  So once I was done, I opened the valve, and water slowly began to fill the toilet tank.  When I thought there was enough water in the tank to allow for a decent flush, I then had to lift the flapper and voilà, it flushed!  There were no handles or buttons to push.  Thank goodness I’m married to a plumber and had a vague clue as to the inners of a toilet tank.  There was no wall over the sinks, so while I washed my hands I had a beautiful view.

It was time for the RV to get repaired and after leaving it in the collision shop, we drove to Las Vegas for a few days with a small mission in mind.  Once the mission was fulfilled, we returned and now…

Our last sunset in Arizona just had to be shared

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California, here we come!

 

 

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