February 15-28, 2022 Arizona, California and Nevada

If not for the wind, Lake Havasu would be our favorite spot. When it’s not windy, it’s absolutely amazing. We hiked a beautiful, but long and treacherous hike on one of the not windy days. I took way too many pictures of this hike because it really was beyond beautiful. I am craving the red rocks of Southern Utah and this hike really reminded me of that. The hike was called Sara’s Crack which is a pretty funny name for a hike. It was a little above my skill level but still worth every second.

On the way out of the slot canyon, we met a gentleman who had been hiking this area for years. He was probably in his 80,s and told us about this 60 foot lizard that he has recently found. He had heard about it but could never find it. He showed us pictures on his phone. A huge rock sculpture. He then explained how very hard it is to find. He told us as we start heading down the mountain to look for a brown rock next to a bush with a stake next to it that says “Lizard.” The funny thing is, there are MILLIONS of brown rocks next to bushes on this trail. We started heading down the mountain and kept our eyes peeled but nothing. As we crossed over to the other side of the wash which was at the bottom of the mountain. I looked across and what did I see? Yup, you guessed it, a brown rock next to a bush with a stake next to that that said Lizard.

We hurried across the wash and started on the trail. It was under 5 minutes before we saw the giant Lizard.

We have been going back and forth into town pretty much every day as there’s so much to do and see here. On the super windy day we usually go fake shopping. Browsing around store after store.

Burgers for lunch in the van

We went on a short hike one windless day to Castle Rock. This would have been a good place to finally pump up and use our Kayak but we voted against it. I think next year we might leave the kayak home in Raquette because we never feel like using it. Maybe as we head north there will be more opportunities for Kayaking.

The next windless day we took the 2 dollar ferry ride over to The casino on the California side of the Lake. And I FINALLY WON!!!! Or as my friend Liz would say, I won some of my money back. It was pretty exciting.

They have so many walking and biking paths in this town so we decided to do one of the bike paths. It’s a big loop around the Island. A nice 4 mile bike ride overlooking the blue water of the lake.

Havasu is starting to get very busy now. They have 2 big events going on at the same time. The Rockabilly Festival which is tons of bands and classic cars and pin up girl contests and then on the other side of town is the Pyrotechnics Convention where they show off their new fireworks. Hundreds of firework vendors showing off their new stuff. The town is pretty packed out which means it’s time for us to move on. So we headed out to the nearest KOA which happened to be back on the California side of the river. Losing another hour in the time zone once again. We decided to stop and get the Van weighed. We had been meaning to do that ever since we built it out. So we stopped at the truck stop and got on the scale. The van weighs 7500 pounds . We have an entire 1000 pounds to spare as our Gross weight according to our registration is 8500.

From there we headed to the KOA. Took showers and then headed out to the wagon wheel for a bite to eat.

The KOA we stayed at was on historic Route 66 so we traveled that for a bit heading to our next destination.

Headed back out of California back into Arizona to a town called Oatman where the donkeys roam the town. These donkeys were left behind by the gold miners many years ago. The town sells small bags of compressed hay to feed them. We bought a bag of carrots which we learned later that the sugar in the carrots are not good for the donkeys. Meanwhile, these donkeys over the years have learned that inside the bags that people are holding are usually a sweet treat and when you least suspect it, they will grab that bag right out of your hands and eat whatever is inside. We watched the donkeys do this to several unsuspecting tourists. A bag of saltwater taffy, wrapping and all were consumed by the donkeys. Saw an entire bag of peanut brittle eaten by them as well. So I’m pretty sure they will survive the carrots we fed them.

Oatman is a cute mining town but small and a pretty quick trip through for us.

There’s lots of BLM land to stay at between Oatman and Vegas so we found several nice spots. The wind, however has once again been brutal and we hear that there’s a cold front coming through.

There’s just so many days in a row that we can be trapped in the van watching Netflix, that is what the wind forces you to do here. It’s so brutal. So we decided to head to Laughlin, Nevada to get a room for the night and do some indoor activities. Laughlin is a fun town right on the Colorado River. It’s a much smaller version of Vegas but the Casinos are fairly large. We wound up getting a room at the Tropicana for Thirty dollars. A nice room. Found out the next day about Resort fees. So you think the room is thirty then they hit you with another amount anywhere between 13 and 35. I think we wound up spending 50 for the room there and not to mention the amount we donated to the slot machines.

Next day we decided to stay a second night at The Aquarius. This casino/ hotel was a bigger and more updated. And it was only $22, but let’s not forget those Resort Fees. I think it came to under $50 which is a great price for a room like this. We had a great view of the river, and lots of amenities. Huge pool, fitness room. We didn’t use either one but maybe you might.

Our experience with casinos are that we can’t handle more than 2 days of gambling. The slot machines all start looking exactly the same and we start getting bored. So off we went back into the desert. Drove about 40 minutes towards Vegas and found some nice BLM land to spend the night.

The wind almost blew me away just to step outside to take this photo.
It’s fun to see from above just how secluded our spot is on this BLM land

Left that spot and headed an hour closer to Vegas. Wanted to stop at this roadside attraction called Seven Magic Mountains. I’m glad we did cause I really LOVED the giganticness of those Rock Cairns. It was one of the coolest things I’ve seen.

A little bit down the road was some BLM land on a dry lake bed. Wide open area. Found a nice spot. So peaceful and quiet until the dirt bikes and side by sides arrived. The good news is they didn’t stay overnight so the temporary loudness was bearable. The wind is a little better here than up high in the mountains but we woke up to 14° outside. Thank God for the Deisel heater and our zero degree sleeping bags and the sun that came up over the mountains.

Dry Lake bed in Nevada

They have a festival here every year and apparently they burn tons of pallets. The problem with that is that the rain, I guess fills up this lake bed and then the nails from the pallets flow out of the fire pits and they are all over the place. We have been picking up nails nonstop since we arrived. Keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t get a flat on the way out.

The perfect location to play with the drone

Woop woop No flat tires! All is well!! Headed to Vegas to first run some errands and then we will head to the strip.We needed a propane refill and we also needed to send one of our batteries back to renogy. Thankfully we were still under warranty so they are sending out a new one. The bad news is we will be without it for the rest of the trip because the new one is being shipped to Raquette Lake. It’s OK though cause we have a Jackery which is the Big Daddy version of the Renogy that died on us.

We thought we were about to set a new record for Least amount of money spent at campgrounds because we had stayed on free Public Land all month but then came Laughlin and all bets were off when we stayed at the hotels. It’s all good though. We are way ahead of the game and will have enough money to make it back to Raquette.

Out totals for the month of February are…….

$138 for lodging

$184 for Diesel

Short but great month

See you again in March.

2 comments

  1. As usual, I love reading the blog. That hike through the rocks looked quite challenging!!
    I loved the donkeys and those rock cairns are amazing.
    So glad you avoided getting nails in your tires!!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s