The Parker Dam
The ride to Lake Havasu City was interesting in itself. Staying on the California side, up to the Parker Dam, we encountered numerous RV parks. Starting with ours, which is the first one on BLM land, they are all privately owned, but must follow BLM regulations. This makes them clean and orderly. They all have clear signage with the BLM designated logos. The Indian run RV parks are not as well maintained further south.
A few miles upstream, we arrived at the Parker Dam. Numerous signs on the way up indicated that large trucks and RV’s are not allowed over the dam. I was thinking it was for security reasons, but soon realized it was because the dam road is extremely narrow and in a curved formation. I started across only to meet two pickups going in the opposite direction. A note here is that our truck camper is off the truck! The first truck was of little concern, but the second service truck had extended mirrors. We both slowed to a crawl and squeaked by each other. Once we were on the other side of the dam, I stopped for a few photos. A mile or two after the dam we jumped on Arizona 95 North.
Lake Havasu City
We have visited both Parker Dam and Lake Havasu City a few years ago, but we were moteling it back then. Lake Havasu City’s best icon is the famous bridge that originally went over the Themes River in London, England. It was dismantled back in 1981 and shipped over to Havasu City and reassembled. The rebuild project lasted four years. In any event, it is a diamond in the heart of the city!
We drove over the bridge and parked on the West side, walked the bridge, descended the stairs, admired the bridge and watched many different boats going up and down under the bridge. With a 5 mph speed limit on the water, it was a pleasant atmosphere strolling on the dock/sidewalk watching every type of boat going and coming. The shops were open and although not super crowded, it was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.
The Painted Rocks Search
On the way home, we noticed an area, that we were told of a hiking trail into the desert to view some painted rocks. It was getting too late for a hike in this late afternoon, but we returned to this starting point the next morning. Our hiking buddy, Pat, had given us the starting point, but failed to explain that at the ATV/Access point one could go in a dozen different directions. We were hiking on foot hence, I marked our starting point at the truck location on my Garmin 60Cx. Our hike started in a northerly direction. I was looking at the terrain and figured it might be a good location for painted rock mosaics.
A half mile later, it looked very mountainous with no possible way to the painted rocks! We were ready to about-face, but in the corner of my eye, I noticed some sort of tunnel to our left. Closer examination revealed a large arch! It was big enough for the ATVs which have driven through. We walked to it, cool looking arch! Mother nature along with a torrent of rain created this arch. Looking towards the West, the canyon funneled to a tighter narrow wash. I walked a little further and discovered more unusual tunnels and arches. We didn’t find the painted rocks, but the arches and tunnels were a conciliation bonus!
The Geocache ~ Conciliation
Back at the truck, with my Garmin 60Cx handheld GPS, we both wondered if there were any geocaches close by. I opened the app on my iPhone, hit the geocache icon. Bingo, a cache was about a mile up the ATV trail. The description said that we could drive to the cache. “Lets go”, I told Helen! Off up the ATV road we went. Helen, gets nervous when I go off-roading! I said to her that I would stop and turn around when the road gets tough or impassable. We went in about a half mile and I could tell she was getting a little tense! “Ok”, I said, “I’ll turn around and we’ll walk-in the rest of the way.” The road was hard packed and easy walking. The terrain was now getting more volcanic with red, black mounds sort of bubbling out of the ragged mountains. A cool place to explore! I was using my GPS and not my iPhone as the iPhone takes data but more importantly uses a large amount of battery when tracking. Save the iPhone for emergencies, I was thinking!
We were within 100 feet of the cache. It looked promising to right, but the GPS was increasing to 115 feet. I backed off and reversed direction across the road. Ah, good possibilities here, a lot of loose volcanic rocks. I reminded Helen that rattlesnakes hide in the rocks and it was definitely hot enough for them to be actively out! I hunted for a stick to do my poking around in these rocks. GPS now reading 17 feet and an accuracy reading of 9 feet, we must be very close. I climbed high up the cliff to check the back side. Wow, dozens and dozens of loose rocks, I poked here and there with no results! Back around to the front side towards the road I went. Helen was a little lower watching and poking around also.
I spotted something not quite right. “Helen,” I hollered. “Look up here. See that hole. There is rock inside that is laid horizontally and doesn’t appear normal.” There, in front of me, was the lock and lock box! I opened it, took out the log book, signed the log with our geocaching handle of “TravelduoNH” along with the date. I took none of the trinkets and replaced the box as found behind the loss rocks. (I later went on-line and recorded the “Copper Basin Cache” as found. This gives us a total 872 caches found between the two of us.)
We both felt good that we hadn’t lost our touch for finding a geocache. This cache brought us to a very volcanic geological area that we would not have gone to without a geocache! A short time later, we were back at the truck. We didn’t find the painted rock mosaics, but that’s another exploration for another day!
That’s what we saw and did!