Steven & Fran's Travelog for 2009
The Reunion Tour -
Steve and Fran are on the road again for a bit of a break after several years spent in one place with only a couple months travel in California to visit other family. It is a special treat for us as we have not been able to really experience travel in our new (in 2007) home on wheels. We are moving about in familiar territory mostly in southwest Arizona visiting old haunts and locating old friends. What a wonderful part of the full time lifestyle it is to renew old acquaintances and trade memories and stories of travels.
Emerald Cove on the Colorado River in California
Day 7 - Travel day. We were on the road around 11 a.m. Checkout time at RV parks are usually around 11 to 12 noon. We departed Spirit Mountain RV Park and crossed the Colorado River into Needles. Once we crossed under Interstate 40 we were on Highway 95 headed south to Vidal Junction and turned left, back toward the River.
The long stretch of road from Needles to the junction has, it seems, the world's largest collection of whoop-de-doos. It is definitely one of those rides where you sit there in your tow truck and wonder if you got everything in the trailer secure enough to endure the roller coaster-wanna-be road. Not much in the way of scenery to look at other than some mountains and a lot of desert shrubbery. We thought there might be more cactus blooming, but maybe it was too early for that. As soon as we make the turn at the junction signs began to appear mostly advertising places to stay along the river. Population in Earp is almost nil unless you count the seasonal folks, but there is a Post Office where you can purchase stamps and mail letters. You can not receive mail there however.
We headed up Parker Dam Road and were shortly treated to fantastically beautiful scenery. What is called Arizona's Riviera along the far shore was brilliant in sunlight between the beautiful cloudless sky above and the dark turquoise water of the river below. It has to be one of the most beautiful vacation spots in the world.
View downriver from California’s east coast, of Arizona’s west coast
Registration at Emerald Cove was quick and friendly and we were directed to our assigned site which happened to be next to our friends who were hosting our week there. They are members of Colorado River Adventures (CRA). Guests are given a special rate... and we certainly enjoyed every minute of our visit there ... well, except for the WIND.
Our arrival at Emerald Cove to meet up with Betty and Everett Emmons was the next stop of our 'Reunion Tour 2009'. Right among the top things we like about our full-timing RV lifestyle is reuniting with friends along the way. Many of them we keep in touch with via email and try to arrange a get together when we are in the same ' neck of the woods'. Others we look forward to visiting when we travel through places we have stayed previously and made friends.
Our house, center, and hosts Betty and Everett Emmons’ on the left.
Days 8 through Day 13 - Most of the days were windy while we were at the River, but it would have been really hot without some breeze. One day I took some photos of rows of Salem trailers that were at the resort. It makes sense that RV parks would purchase these FEMA orphaned rigs and use them for rentals. I think that most new trailers have some obnoxious fumes trapped inside since they sit on sales or distribution lots for long periods of time all closed up. All they needed was aired out a bit. There were quite a few parked around us in the campground and no one staying in them seemed to have and related problems.
Trailers orphaned by FEMA and sold to RV parks.
The second day there was spent trying to get the modem we rented at the camp store to work. It never was 100% dependable but Steve managed to get done what he needed to do. As the week progressed we visited with our friends and met some of their friends. They all spend the winter months there enjoying the sunshine and the many activities of the resort.
Arizona’s Riviera as seen from California side
One day we decided to drive around the 'Parker Strip'. We went upriver on the California side, across Parker Dam and down the Arizona side. We had not been to the area for several years and wanted to see any changes that had been made. Not many on the California side. The dam was still closed to any traffic other than passenger vehicles, no big trucks or RVs were permitted ...or would fit. The walls that lined the road across the dam showed signs of rubber tires having scraped along them. We could imagine dualies having problems when traffic was coming the other way. It just didn't seem wide enough.
Water sport activity on California side, clustered homes on Arizona side
On the Arizona side we saw more homes had been built on the hillsides. What great views they must have. We drove around River Island State Park and it had really changed. It was redone with gray gravel roads and sites and crushed red rock where grass used to be. It looks nice and I'm sure it is easier to care for, but I miss the grass. We have stayed there several times in the past and it certainly feels like home.
Moving on downriver we found Riverside Road at the north end was closed to traffic. Apparently there had been some slippage along the road, possibly by a rock slide. Further down river the road was open an we got to enjoy the river and beautiful homes along it. The Blue Water Casino construction that was underway the last time we were there seemed complete now ... the boat ramp and marina on one side and amphitheater on the other. The wind was blowing so much sand around that we didn't stop to go inside.
Parker is getting a WalMart and the dust blowing from construction work there was a hazard for people driving by or trying to get into the Safeway shopping center. We got some lunch and groceries and headed across the bridge to Earp and then home.
Weekend fun in the Colorado River
The resort had a big Polynesian party that weekend that seemed to be a combination farewell to snowbirds and welcome to the weekend crowds that come from southern California throughout the summer for vacations and holidays. And that meant our week by the beautiful Colorado River was up.