Friday, February 11, 2005

We are camped in the parking lot of the Blue Water Casino Resort, on the Colorado river near Parker (map). It's kinda like being at Wal-Mart, only with a better restaurant. Actually, the Blue River Resort gets three diamonds from AAA, and we had a nice dinner in the nicest of their three restaurants. We also had a look at their indoor pool complex, visible from a balcony on the casino level, and it looks really nice (three levels of pools with a water slide).

Our plan was actually to stay on BLM land near Quartzsite, AZ. For those outside the RV or rockhound communities, I should say that Quartzsite is a sleepy little town in the desert, whose population swells to nearly a million in the months of January and February each year. It is a major destination for snowbirds, with the BLM "Long Term Visitor Area" nearby, tons of free BLM camping immediately surrounding the town, and a myriad of private RV parks. The town fills with vendors setting up booths and hawking all manner of RV paraphenalia and cheeseball craft items, and a giant RV show moves in for the month of January. In February, a number of major rock-hound events take over.

In any case, we decided we ought to at least drive through Quartzsite, or "The Q" as it has become known. Besides, I know one of the vendors and we wanted to stop in to say hello. So after leaving Organ Pipe Cactus we headed north through Gila Bend on 85, then west on a combination of Salome Road and US60 (mostly to avoid I-10) and a short stretch of I-10 into the Q. We arrived just a bit before 5, and my vendor friend's shop was deserted. I already knew he had to fly out of town today, but his partners should have been there till 5. We can only guess that folks closed up early because it has been pouring rain here in AZ for a good 24 hours now.

We decided that since we were heading north anyway, we would look for a free BLM spot north of town. Unfortunately, all the dirt roads were a muddy mess due to the aforementioned rain. The few hard-scrabble spots we saw (several of which had a handful of RVs in them) were too close to AZ95 for our taste. By the time we realized we were running out of BLM options, we were almost to Parker and night was falling. We spotted this place as we were making for the county parks along the river north of here, and decided to check it out, since we were uncomfortable taking pot luck on an unknown park after dark.

Tomorrow we head north to Havasu City. I've wanted to check out Lake Havasu ever since I worked at Stanford University and had a number of student employees who raved about vacationing there. For some reason, in the intervening 15 years or so, I've never made it there, even though I've been almost all the way around it. I also have a hankering to see London Bridge. I've seen it before, but it was still in London then. It had just been sold off to the Arizona people, and they were numbering the stone blocks in preparation for dismantling it. This visit will be a reunion, of sorts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!