London Bridge

London Bridge

Although we have previously visited Lake Havasu City, we have never stopped for more than a day. On this Thanksgiving break we spent four days exploring this interesting Arizona city. On our first day we walked the Shoreline Trail along the Bridgewater Channel south of the London Bridge through Rotary Park turning around at the Skate Park. A colorful sunset welcomed us atop the London Bridge. On previous visits we have eaten at Shugrue’s Restaurant. This time we took advantage of Wino Wednesday with half price on a bottle of wine.

On turkey day we hiked the west side of the Bridgewater Channel before tackling the 3.6 mile Island Trail loop. We stayed in Havasu Falls RV Park which is located about five miles north of London Bridge. We joined about sixty other campers for a Thanksgiving feast. The RV Park donated five turkeys and participants brought side dishes. I got to choose from five different cranberry relishes.

Parker Dam

Parker Dam

On Friday we drove south, crossing the Parker Dam and driving another seventeen miles to Parker. This winding California road passes more development, especially campgrounds, along this side of the Colorado River. We stopped to observe a herd of wild burros grazing on a golf course. We also walked around the Bureau of Land Management Rock House with a well designed boat launch. In Parker we had planned to visit the Colorado River Indian Tribes Museum. We discovered that they had moved and that they were closed on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Maybe next time. We ended up at the Blue Water Resort and Casino where the Southern California Speedboat Club’s 70th Annual Thanksgiving Regatta was taking place. After checking out the Rivers Edge Cantina, we opted to eat lunch in the Bluewater Grille. We learned that the Resort’s attractive multi-level swimming pool is indoors because of excessive summer high temperatures. After leaving Parker, we stopped at the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge for a short hike along the river with views of the golden marsh reeds. Back in Lake Havasu City we boarded the Sunset Charter’s Kon Tiki for a sunset tour of Copper Canyon. Captain Pete informed us about chainsaw magnate Robert McCulloch’s purchase of the London Bridge and development of Lake Havasu City. Captain Pete identified the replica lighthouses as we passed by them. The sunset lasted a long time but lacked any defining clouds. Our evening cruise coincided with the first night of the 21st Annual Festival of Lights featuring 500,000 lights along the Bridgewater Channel under the London Bridge. We concluded our day at the Mudshark Brewery where I sampled six of their brews.

Lake Havasu Sunset

Lake Havasu Sunset

On Saturday, while my wife went for a walk, I watched the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game. Ohio State trailed the entire game, but pulled out a win in the second overtime. We then visited the Lake Havasu Museum of History. We learned that the Chemehueva peoples originally inhabited this area. We also learned more about Robert McCulloch and his creation of Lake Havasu City. On August 2, 1963 McCulloch Properties, Inc. purchased 16,250 acres from the State of Arizona at $73 an acre. Later, he purchased the London Bridge and brought it to the desert. Today the bridge is the second most visited attraction in Arizona. We concluded our stay with a ferry ride to Havasu Landing across the lake in California. The small smoke-filled casino was not of interest to us. The return trip, however, gifted us with some great sunset pictures. We enjoyed our Lake Havasu City visit.

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