February 25- March 3, 2021
Lake Havasu Arizona
It has been a very challenging year for many people and the inability to travel seems trivial compared to the many challenges people have had to endure this past year. Having said that, traveling is one of the things Leo and I particularly love doing. So it was with great joy that after receiving our second Covid vaccination, we hit the road once again with our Motorhome “Buddy”.
Our preferred way to travel is to take it slow and plan for scenic stops to rest and explore the country. So a cross country trip will typically take us close to a month. This was our original plan with stops in Louisiana, Texas and Arizona but all of that was changed so we could stay home and get our Covid vaccines. This of course was well worth it but it left us with no alternative but to have six days of driving so as to not jeopardize our key reservations in Lake Havasu and Palm Springs. So we only stopped for overnight rests before we finally got to our first major destination at Lake Havasu, Arizona. We started our trip with freezing weather and when we finally entered the desert southwest with our overnight stop in Van Horn, Texas, boy did we waste no time pulling out our shorts and t-shirts.
The only thing I knew about Lake Havasu was that it is a lake set against a spectacular desert landscape and that the original London Bridge ended up in this little corner of the desert. I though we would get there and then visit the bridge the following day. But to our surprise, our RV resort was located in the island district which is connected to the mainland by the London Bridge, so we drove our RV across the bridge on our way in. What a thrill it was to drive across with the motorhome and on a beautiful day to boot!
Here I have to give a big shout out to my husband Leo for being a trip planner extraordinaire. He was able to secure for us a beautiful site with fantastic lake views at http://Inlanderlakehavasu.com. I go crazy for views. To me, that is one of the main goals at every stop and this one was one for the record books. The weather cooperated and we were able to enjoy sitting out for our morning coffee or late evening drinks. Since this is the desert, the temperature drops dramatically in the evening, but no problem, we travel ready for all kinds of weather and plenty of comfy blankets were brought out during the evening hours. The resort has a lot of long term “regulars” and because of that, very few lake front sites are ever available so we felt extremely lucky to get one.
Lake Havasu started as a rest camp for the Army Air Corp during WWII. The city was founded in 1963 and in order to attract tourists, they bought the original London Bridge from the City of London in 1968 for $2.5 million, what a bargain! The bridge was disassembled, each stone marked and then reassembled at an additional cost of $7 million and completed in 1971. The bridge is now one of the five most visited sites in Arizona.
We did our fair share of visits to the bridge because it was a very convenient walk from our RV resort along a wonderful pedestrian/ biking thoroughfare that loops around the island where our resort was located. There are shops, restaurants and plenty of water toys and boats tours available. It is truly a boaters paradise and a major snowbird destination for Americans and Canadians.
The water temperature is very cold at this time of year but in the summer in can soar up to 95° with ambient daytime air temperatures nearing 120°. That is way too hot even for this Florida girl but the thought of a warm pristine lake with azure crystal clear water does sound dreamy to me.
Walking is one our favorite ways to discover a new town so we headed down a beautiful promenade which takes you under the bridge and ends on Rotary Community Park, which has a beach with expansive views of the lake. The city has created miniature replicas of famous US lighthouses and placed them as markers at the entrances to all the channels around the lake. We found two North Carolina lighthouse replicas Hatteras and Currituck, this was a delightful surprise as we just love our lighthouses back home.
The surrounding desert also provides spectacular hiking that is very popular during winter and spring months. Also popular, are the endless All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) trails on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. For those not familiar with BLM, they manage hundreds of millions of acres of government land around the US which is there for public use. Since we don’t have or use ATV’s, we took advantage of the wonderful weather and went hiking into the desert.
Our first hike was at the SARA State Park less than twenty minutes away from our home base. We checked with the trail map and our All Trails app and headed out on the trail (counter clockwise) for a 5 mile hike that took us down a desert wash to a slot canyon to a lake view high ridge trail. It was trully gorgeous and a bit challenging for me as some of the slot canyon passes required a bit of rock scrambling. But we had a wonderful day hike, I would do it again in a minute.
Another memorable hike was the Cattail Cove State Park loop. This trail has a little bit of everything including slot canyons, volcanic rocks, mineral rock formations and gorgeous lake views. There is a fee to access the park, we paid $7 and it was well worth it.
We enjoyed our time at Lake Havasu and would certainly return. After a year of lockdown this felt like the light at the end of the tunnel and we will forever remember the feeling of freedom and joy of traveling and discovering new places again. We have always tried to enjoy the moment but “ seize the day” is now our mantra. We are off to Palm Springs which we have written about before but may post on some new places we plan to visit while we are there, stay tuned.