Thursday, March 29, 2012

Parker AZ to Henderson NV

(continued from “Yes, there can be “too much quiet?”)

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A child’s painting, hanging in the Aquatic Center.

OK, to follow up on my last post about Noise vs. Silence… I came “out of the wild” and first stop had to be to get a large coke from McD’s.  I walked up to the counter and as the boy said “Can I help you?” and I went to reply, a small child came in the door and let out this banshee-type blood curdling scream that just about made me jump over the counter and into the arms of that poor boy who wanted to take my order.  I mean the sound just about burst my eardrum and I was so nervous afterwards that I couldn’t speak for a minute and forgot all about why I was there.  And I thought, no… SILENCE is better  especially if you are trying to go to sleep in the Parker Wal-Mart and the parking lot sweeper keeps going by.

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Parker was good. At Parker if you go to the Bluewater Resort and Casino on the north side of town... and then down to the Marina (for guests only) you can pull over on the wide open dirt area on the left... I spent the day there. Could easily have launched the kayak from there. Also in the main parking lot were boondockers I saw around Quartzsite all winter. It's a good spot.

I left Parker yesterday afternoon planning to just drive to Lake Havasu City, find a Laundromat, and then find a place to park.  It got dark before I got out of the Laundromat … and I couldn’t read the street signs.  Tried Wal-Mart and realized I COULD NOT overnight there… went to the next road north (London Bridge Rd) and drove a ways and just pulled off the side of the road.

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So, don't count on parking at Lake Havasu City, AZ Wal-Mart! Not allowed.  Gonna stay dressed in case I get rousted and explain to officer that I don't usually drive at night... as my eyes don't work right and I can't read street signs. Hope he lets me stay til I can see where I'm going. Where I hoped to go was Rotary Park to kayak for the first time in six months, in Lake Havasu City.

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The signs around town are scary... posted fees about all the overnight parking fines (went back but couldn’t find that sign to photograph).  Might have been at another business.  My policy is: if I see no other campers/ boondockers or vandwellers... I don't stay and I don’t spend. If others are risking it... I might. This is one huge parking lot, spick and span, and mostly empty at night.

Hey, there is also an aquatic center here that I plan to visit after my kayaking, and have a nice swim and good shower before heading deeper into civilization. Below are my impressions of LHC... and I like the backwardness of Quartzsite better than this high and mighty town.

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The Rotary Park… lots of senior citizens walking, talking, laughing, playing baseball, etc..

Lake Havasu City Report: 1) Rotary Park – don’t count on going there if you have a trailer or an RV. They are not allowed in the park and there is no place to park a larger vehicle. Only small single spaces. I drove in any way to check it out and try to get to the south end of the park. It was chained off. There was plenty of space (looking at Google maps) to park there and launch. Nice park for the hoards of retired senior white folk that were swarming around. They even had a senior softball league, and a skate park???? A skate park??? So, if your kayak is on top of your van… and you can carry it (I can’t carry mine and must use a cart)… this location might work for you and it is free.

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2) Aquatic Center – Lap Swim hours are limited and I couldn’t find my goggles. It was not lap swim time. So I paid $5 to soak in the Jacuzzi and then had a nice long hot shower with swim suit on. Pool is great, Jacuzzi is great, locker room/showers are shabby. Only two privacy stalls with no curtains. They did have changing stalls with doors which I made full use of. Two ladies got me talking about my kayaking and were floored/shocked that I had kayaked 40 states in two years ALONE. Wonder what they would have thought if they knew the rest of the story? As I was leaving the pool area I heard the one lady who had moved to an exercise class telling the other ladies about my experiences. I was the talk of the day. Geez their lives must be very boring. But it was worth $5 to have a nice hot shower that didn’t use salty water like the ones in Quartzsite. Each time I had a Quartzsite shower I itched for days.

IMGA0664Is that really me???

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This was me in 2002!????

On to check out the Lake Havasu Museum of History in town and then head toward Vegas.  O.K. photo proves I was there… museum is in the background (of top photo).  Only open from 1pm to 4pm.  It was 11am.  So down the road I went.  It will have to wait.  (Mike Riddle… I stopped by!)

It's like all these senior white folk are living in prisons here. Many many walls, gated and iron-fenced townhouses, apartments, rv parks, etc. No I don't enjoy that. I've seen and learned more about the local desert area in six months then those folk will learn the rest of their lives.  LHC wants to corral everyone into a little box (called RV Campgrounds, etc.).

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Funny thing I saw near the Museum.

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Tried the State Park – multiple boat ramps, lots of parking, but I was not in the mood to pay and it was getting late in the day to launch.  They allowed me to drive through and look as long as I didn’t get out of the van.  How very nice of them.

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Up the road a little ways was this sign so I stopped to check out Mesquite Bay II Wildlife Area.  O.K. they got rocks.  I walked a ways and decided there would be no way to get the kayak to the water, I couldn’t even get me to the water.  But a nice spot and rock hounds should stop and explore.  Found agate and jasper and fossils there.

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Boat Launches… wish I had found this information before I went to Lake Havasu City:  (taken from http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/havasu/fishing.html)

There are free boat launches on Topock Marsh at North Dike, Fivemile Landing (on County Route 1) and Catfish Paradise (on Oatman Highway/Route 66).

Local boat launches that allow access to the Colorado River include the Topock Gorge Marina, Arizona (exit 1, I-40), Park Moabi (located 11 miles south of Needles, CA on I-40), and Havasu State Park at Windsor Beach (on London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City). There are many other private and public boat launches along the Colorado River.

No Wake zones exist in the harbor of Fivemile Landing on Topock Marsh and the entrance and harbor at Topock Marina.

Anyway, I found a method to keep from collecting a lot more rocks… wear clothes that don’t have pockets, take no water, so you have to return to the van when one hand gets full of rocks (camera in other hand).

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This is all I came away with.  Proud of me???  I am.

On up the road, more things to amaze me…

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What is this bird… he makes the strangest sounds.

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To deDucks… I kept saying your little burro prayer… but didn’t see any at all (pouting now).

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Isn’t this just awesome????   I want it as my hood ornament.

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Someone is really living in that… at Searchlight NV.

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This guy passed me… five jet skis on that trailer????

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Not sure what this is but I’m thinking very large solar farm???

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Even hit a bit of the Old Route 66.  What a hoot.

Oh, and a new experience on the road today, I met my first Dust Devil.  I thought “Hey, look at that cute little th . . . . !” about the time it hit me.  It felt like a sand storm smashing into the van and felt like it might flip the trailer.  I’ll take those “cute little devils” more seriously next time I see one and slow down. Today I got my first “Dust Devil Whammy!”

Safe in Henderson, NV tonight and will touch base with family here in case they want to visit.  Also need to resupply since I WOULD NOT shop at LHC Wal-Mart.

Thinking about adding something new to my blog… an expense record for the day.  Might help others, might help me more!!!  Just thinking.  Someone is doing that??? RVSue???

7 comments:

  1. The burros probably knew you didn't really believe in them.

    What do you think of Henderson? Just read the other gals' blog; they liked it there.

    Wow, you look so much healthier and more vibrant than you did ten years ago. High-five!

    I'll take pictures today! Now I've said it, so I have to do it.

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  2. Wow, Charlene, I am amazed at the difference in the pics of you now and in 2002....what a change for the better...
    Good for you lady!!!!
    Bri

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  3. Thank you Ducks, and Bri. My brother and his wife both complimented me a bunch when I arrived in Vegas. It feels good. I like this trend. Lots. Yet the only thing that really changed was my ability to walk. That's all it took to cause everything else to change. So, if others have limited mobility, do whatever it takes to change that one thing. It's a domino effect.

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  4. Hi Charlene, you look fabulous! I came here from the profile of you on Cheap RV Living. I'm 65 and have wanted to do what you're doing for many years, but I always thought it would take way more money than I could ever save. I decided two weeks ago to stop feeling sorry for myself because I can't afford a proper RV and just do it with what I have: a station wagon and a Social Security check -- and some time to prepare and save, because obviously it takes *some* money. Looking forward to reading the rest of your blog!

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    1. LaVonne... good for you. Any decision is better than indecision. We have a right to live the way we want in decade 50-60-70. We have darned sure paid our dues. Lots of people car-dwell... I backpacked a lot in my 30-40s and a car-camping trip seems like living in the Hilton. A stationwagon even better. My SwankieWheels van... is the Ritz. I just concluded if I could live for three weeks in the Tetons with everything I needed on my back, stay healthy and have fun... I could do about anything with a whole van to live in and no elements to weather... no wet tent or clothes, no wind to chill me, etc. Just list your priorities. A good way to do that is use 3x5 index cards... make notes on them of what you NEED (not want), and details about brands, costs, etc. You can shuffle them around and don't have to re-write anything. If you finish one item, you can start a new stack of "finished" and then shuffle the remaining ones. If you poo-poo an earlier idea, you can make notes as to way and put that asside (but keep it)... might help someone else later. I haven't done all this, but if I was starting over again I sure would.
      Hope to see you on the road one day. Keep the dream alive and NEVER give up.

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  5. Congratulations on losing so much weight. Whenever I go to the USA it always seems that food is everywhere and very cheap. I really love that biscuit gravy that is served with breakfast, but no doubt it is loaded with calories.

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    1. Colin, thank you. It's not something that I worked at at all... it just came naturally as my new knees began to work and I began to be myself again. I visited England once and recall never being able to find food I liked. I don't recall the price, I just recall getting very hungry over there. The reason I like to boondock is it keeps me away from fast food which I have a very hard time resisting. Sodas are also a downfall of mine, but I no longer buy soda to carry in the van... so when I am in the wilderness I have no soda pop, no fast foods (although I have mastered making a pretty darned good egg McMuffin (thanks at an old-timer vandweller). I can also make wickedly good biscuits and gravey though I don't do it often, so I don't worry about the calories. I seldom ever buy that when I'm in a town... because I just don't need any of that weight back. Glad to have you reading my blog. I hope I help others... as I love what I'm doing.

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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on https://www.facebook.com/swankie.wheels. In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.

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