From Yuma to Lake Havasu City, Arizona
01.29.2017 - 02.20.2017
After we left Blue Sky Ranch RV Park in Yuma, AZ, we drove a few miles north on Highway 95 to the small BLM lot next to the VFW Hall. We made camp there overnight on Sunday 1/29 so we wouldn't be driving with the weekend traffic. Yes, the mountains really were that orange at sunset!
The next day, we headed back toward California on Interstate 8. We knew about some BLM land around Ogilby Road in Southern CA, and wanted to check it out. You can legally camp on BLM land up to 14 days for free, but sometimes it takes a while to find a level spot...
Can you see how Mike backed up into a wash to lower the rear of the RV? He's becoming quite the expert at leveling our rig. We really enjoyed this site once we got settled. Seemed a shame to leave such a perfectly level site, but Mike was jonesing to fly. So the next morning we headed for the Salton Sea.
We arrived at the Salton Sea for the annual PPG (Power Paraglider) Fly-in/Gathering on 1/31. The PPG Gathering has been held at West Shores Marina & RV Park for several years now. This time of year, conditions around the Salton Sea are perfect for powered flight. Temperatures are warm and the sea has a calming effect on the wind. Sport pilots of every type from all across the country look forward to this fly-in every year.
We are always glad to see our friends when we go to the Salton Sea Gathering. It was especially nice to see some familiar faces after being on the road for almost 3 1/2 months. The weather was perfect and everyone got their fill of flying. Here are some photos of the flight line on Saturday, at its most crowded:
The Salton Sea Gathering officially ended on Sunday 2/5. Many had to return home and the campground emptied out.
Several of us were lucky enough to stay a little longer. Mike & I stayed until 2/13 and he flew to his heart's content.
Look at all the grass growing through the gravel. I have never seen so much grass here before! The copious amount of rain in California this year has really helped alleviate the drought.
I was excited to head north toward Lake Havasu City, AZ on Monday 1/13. We were going there to watch the Winter Blast Pyrotechnics Show beginning on Thursday. I love fireworks and there was a fireworks show scheduled every night for 4 nights! I was really looking forward to it.
We had a few days to get to Lake Havasu City, so we took our time. Along the way, we spent one night on some BLM land near the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge. The front yard du jour included a weathered wooden corral and old windmill.
And of course, windmills are for climbing...
We continued north on Valentine's Day Tuesday and spent a free night on some land near the Colorado River and Bluewater Resort & Casino in Parker, AZ. Parker is a great place to re-fuel and re-supply. I'm surprised I didn't take any photos of that campsite. You didn't miss anything, though. There wasn't really much to see except a gravel parking lot anyway.
We arrived at Elks Lodge #2399 in Lake Havasu City on Wednesday 2/15. This is a terraced, gravel-covered campground with very roomy and fairly level sites. The electrical & water pedestals looked brand new. It was a very nice place to camp in Lake Havasu City. We would definitely stay here again.
We enjoyed exploring Lake Havasu City later that afternoon. Lighthouse replicas were scattered along the path around the lake. I can just imagine how busy Lake Havasu must get when the weather warms up!
On Thursday, we scouted out a great spot to watch the fireworks from the BLM land near the grandstand. We had a perfect, unobstructed view. Hundreds of people were camping there for the pyrotechnics show. (We initially thought we would be camping here, too. By the time we made it to Lake Havasu, there wasn't a level spot to be found. Thank goodness there was an Elks Lodge nearby!)
We saw the fireworks shows on Thursday and Sunday. Unfortunately, a storm blew through on Friday and Saturday. It was just too cold and wet to be outside, so we stayed home. On Sunday, the conditions were perfect for fireworks, and I could hardly wait for nightfall! We packed our chairs, some drinks and a picnic dinner, got there before sunset and waited for the show to begin.
Sunday night's show was fit for a king. Fireworks began before sunset; so early, you could hardly see them in the sky. After hours of fireworks, the finale was a full 30 minutes of non-stop action! It was magnificent! If I had known how well my iPhone would capture the fireworks, I would have taken more video. This is a very short sample of the fireworks we saw:
Here's a map showng this leg of our journey:
That does it for this episode. Next time, I'll tell y'all about our Time Travel Through Nevada. If you're interested in following along with us, please subscribe to Our Permanent Vacation by clicking this "Subscribe" link.