We spent the month of February in familiar territory – Quartzsite, Lake Havasu City, and Yuma, Arizona.
After participating in the SKP Geocachers’ rally off Plomosa Road in “Q”, we moved north 56 miles to Cattail Cove State Park near Lake Havasu City where we had reservations for two weeks. We have been coming to Cattail for six or seven years while attending the annual Western Pyrotechnic Association’s Winter Blast – four days of unbelievably spectacular fireworks. More on that later….
This campground is divided into two sections and, for the first time, we were assigned to the lower end, closest to the marina on the Colorado River. Being closer to the water means the sites are a little closer together than we are used to, but our space still provided a very picturesque setting. Our dog Star also likes the laid back times when she can enjoy the outdoors, too.
We had lots of time to do minor projects, read our Kindles and we generally just kicked back. Luke’s biggest project was tackling the dulling of the headlamps on the CR-V and the motorhome. He purchased polishing kits, prepped the areas, applied the polish, and then buffed them to a renewed brightness. We don’t drive a lot at night, but the cleaning has definitely made a difference.
AROUND LAKE HAVASU CITY
Lake Havasu City is known mostly for being the re-located home of the London Bridge. We have visited the tourist areas in the past, so this year our 12 mile trips into town were mainly for groceries, project shopping, and dinners out. We visited the China Buffet Restaurant twice, had the cracked Corian near our stove repaired, and spent a nice Sunday afternoon at the LHC Winterfest Street Fair.
Luke also managed to break a tooth while out to dinner one night. He was able to get an emergency appointment the next day with a local dentist who did a grinding job on the tooth to hold him until he can get a cap made when we get home.
This was a nice, soothing, wall-size waterfall in the waiting area.
ELKS LODGE DINNER
We went to the local Elks Lodge for another dinner out with Barbara and Tom Westerfield one night and scoped out the site for a potential RVers group dinner. We put the word out that it would be nice to have a group get-together for the Lodge’s popular Wednesday night $10 Rib Dinner (ribs, baked potato, beans and slaw). They would “only” be serving 500 dinners so we booked for an early group seating. I estimated we would have maybe 20-25 people show. Well, I was wrong – try nearly 50 people – but the Lodge staff was great! They set us up in the Darts Room where most everyone got a seat (with overflow in the adjacent main dining room). A great meal at the fifth largest Elks Lodge in the nation!
We started coming to Winter Blast because the chairman of the event, Lyndon King, is the son of our friends Phyllis and Jim King from Elk Grove, CA. (Phyllis and I worked together at Cosumnes River College for many years.) Over the years we have also become friends with some of the their friends that we have met in our travels. This year we spent a couple of Happy Hours and meals with the gang.
Enjoying a Happy Hour Dessert: Top: Phyllis and Jim King, Luke, Jim Sinclair, and Len Hoare.
Teresa had her hands full giving equal attention to their dog Lucky (on the left) and our dog Star. The two dogs have been friends since they met up in Michigan and have spent time together in Ontario, Canada, Quartzsite, and Yuma, Arizona. They have been mistaken as daughter and mother, but they are not related.
FIREWORKS, FIREWORKS AND MORE FIREWORKS
Most of us enjoy watching fireworks on the 4th of July, New Year’s Eve and on other special occasions. Community shows typically last 15-20 minutes and are produced by local companies who call themselves “pyros”. The Western Pyrotechnic Association’s (WPA) Winter Blast is the conference where pyros attend seminars during the day to learn how to build shells and rockets, choreograph productions, and pass safety certifications. At night they get to practice what they learned.
The public is invited to the evening displays and over the years we have seen the latest and greatest in fireworks demonstrations from national vendors and pyros from Disney, Italy, Japan and from those who have produced shows for the Olympics, the Washington, D.C. Bicentennial Celebration, and other national and international events. Oh, and did I mention that the fireworks at Winter Blast start with “open shooting” at 5 pm and go until 10:30 p.m. for four nights in a row? The multiple “formal” shows start around 8 pm and last about an hour. Last year I posted a 1:35 minute video on YouTube which captured the finale on the Sunday night show. Check it out at: Winter Blast finale video. The Winter Blast is held at SARA Park in Lake Havasu City every year during Presidents’ Day Weekend. Add it to your “bucket list”. It will certainly spoil you.
Members of our Boomers RV Club have been also coming to Winter Blast for many years and the gang starts to gather near the grandstands hours before the fireworks begin. Socializing occurs wherever Boomers gather. Almost everyone in the following photos is a member of our Boomers RV Club who were in attendance before the Saturday night show.
When our time at Cattail Cove State Park ran out, we move just over a mile south to where the Boomers were boondocking (dry camping) in an area known as The Steps. The now-public land was once terraced to become a hillside mobile home park. Story has it that the land went into bankruptcy and became the property of the State of Arizona. The Boomers and other RVers have adopted this area along Hwy. 95, just north of Parker Dam, and there were easily over 100 RVs parked in the area.
ED’S BIRTHDAY PARTY
Besides the Boomers gathering for Winter Blast, there is another reason so many migrate to The Steps – “Ed’s Birthday Party”. This event started as a simple hot dog potluck birthday party for one of our members, Duane Peyton, and was originally held SARA Park on the Saturday of Winter Blast. The party, however, took on a new persona a few years ago when Duane and Betty went to a local grocery store to buy a cake for the party. Unfortunately, there was only one cake left in the display case and it said “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ED”. The bakery clerk informed them that they could actually buy THIS cake because it was now available. You see, “Ed” had died and the cake was now available at half price! Thus, a tradition was started!
About 100 people attended this year’s birthday party and the cake inscription, while a little “wordy”, honored Ed and noted the rain and hail that greeted the group the last two years.
Such is life on the road! Remember that growing old does not mean you have to grow up!
NEXT: THE FALL OF YUMA