We fell in love with our little spot in Lake Havasu, it turned out to be a great place for us to stay for "a minute" (if you know what I mean), but at some point, all great spots have that day where you pack up, turn the key and leave it behind. We hope to be back to our "little perch" again, but for now, it's time to scratch these itchy feet!
We planned a small trek North to get into some cooler temperatures; seeing some old sights, experiencing some new sights and everything else that happens in between when you're rolling rubber.
"The Plan" was to head out of Lake Havasu, drive North and camp somewhere between Laughlin & Kingman... well we all know how plans go and what they're made out of.....chocolate pudding!
We drove about 60 miles to Avi Resort & Casino, it's a desert oasis...really! The RV parking was not what we had in mind, from previously staying at other casinos, as well as just coming from pure privacy. It's pretty much just an open gravel lot, a dirty one too (not good for walking the dogs due to trash, broken glass & other debris) with a bunch of RV's, trailers, and other vehicles packed on-top of each other it and it's a pretty far walk just to get into the actual building of the Casino. It's all in opinion and perception but coming from where we just camped, this was not a destination point for us. We got back in and drove over to the Casino lot and parked for about a half hour to walk around and so glad we did! The Resort & Casino are where it's at, you'd never know it from the parking lot but this place has got it goin' on! The Casino isn't smoky at all, it smelled delicious in there from the food and the bathrooms were super clean and running hot water is always a special thing on the road! We walked out of the back doors and it opens up into a beautiful scene of palm trees, lush plants and flowers, a swimming pool and a beach area...it was absolutely beautiful!
We walked to the boardwalk, that sets alongside the Colorado River, sat down and plunked our feet in the cool refreshing water. It was so nice to be in a new space, gorgeous weather, awesome surroundings and feel the rush of the water over our tootsies...something that doesn't happen very often and re-energizing indeed!!
[caption id="attachment_5397" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Fresh tootsie pops![/caption]
We got our fill at the river and mosied back to the van. We were sad the parking situation wasn't better but Laughlin was only about 15 miles up the road so we mushed on to better (casino) parking! When we arrived at The Colorado Belle, there was still enough light outside, so we figured we would take a stroll down the Riverwalk...that's always a nice walk. We started at the Golden Nugget and walked down towards the River Palms, then turned back toward the Colorado Belle. In the past year they have done a couple of 'renovations' and now have music playing through rock speakers, flowers have been planted and the walkway has been cleaned up, so it looks a lot nicer than the last time we were there in 2012.
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By the time we got back to the van, we were still feeling a little restless. We have been here, we have already done this, we've stayed in these parking lots and while all of that is fine, at that moment we needed to move, to roll, to just goooooo.
So, that's what we did!
Since it was now about 8:30 p.m. and dark and we really didn't know where the night was going to take us, we stopped at a Circle K that had a glacier water kiosk and filled up our water tanks. We usually stop at another water place but it was out of order so we had to do the Glacier stand that charged us .05 cents more a gallon! Oh well. We then stopped off at Wal-mart and got a couple of things along with the most disgusting Rotisserie Chicken anyone could ever eat! No joke. We should have known better than to buy a "fresh" Rotisserie chicken at 9 p.m. at night but we were starving. We ended up eating some of it, giving some to the dogs and tossing the rest...you win some and you gag on some, I guess!
As we drove into the night, we headed down a dirt road toward Oatman... now that was an interesting road! The moon was soooo big & bright, that we thought we might be approaching a small town, but then it rose over the last mountain top and BAM! Thee most amazing moon rise we'd ever seen. We drove this road in the blasting wind, for about 5 miles and decided to pick a spot for the night...heck, we might even like it so much we might stay for a couple of days.
When we woke up and walked the dogs the next morning, we saw piles and piles of trash everywhere; broken glass, shot gun shells, among other things we couldn't identify and also had some traffic using the road right across from us as a shooting place, so we rolled up the bed and mushed on.
The road, that we were driving, heads straight into Oatman. It's about 11 miles of pretty rough, washboard road, but it was different and that's what we were looking for. While it was nice to see everything during the day, we probably won't be taking this road back out to anywhere.
We drove straight into the cute little town of Oatman, the town known for wild Burros roaming the streets. The dogs were going nuts out of the window due to all of the 'wonderful' smells in the air! We drove through and the very first thing we saw...? No, not a burro but a very tame and stout coyote walking through someones side yard...yikes!! We'll have to remember that!
We drove slowly through the streets, it was only about 8:30 a.m. so there was hardly anyone even out, including the burros. As we came to the edge of town, we saw 4 burros entering town & eating some kind of vegetation in someones yard...photo op!!! As soon as we stopped the van, they immediately stopped what they were doing and came over to the window. I wish I had some carrots to give them, they definitely wanted something and all I could give them was a scratch on the nose!! And yes, the dogs were going nutso!
We drove on toward Kingman and the burros went into Oatman...they've got a schedule to keep! haha We saw some great roads right outside of Oatman and decided to drive down a few of them to see if we could just camp out there for a week or so and keep moving North. We tried, what felt like a hundred spots, but really was only like 5...it's the roads that we drive down that make it feel like a hundred. The roads are definitely 4x4, off-road vehicle roads but we've got Joon van Spirit so we drive them, it may take us all day but we drive them! We found a couple of totally amazing, secluded spots where we probably wouldn't even be found if we died...I guess that can be kind of scary but we like it. The roads were pretty rough due to absolutely no traffic being on them for some time and tons of packs of donkeys/burros but the one reason why we couldn't stay...?
Even though we were (pretty much) right 'on-top" of the wifi towers, we couldn't get one single bar of wifi; not 1X, 3g or 4g...nothing. Believe me, we tried and tried and tried...nothing. Which was so weird because when we woke up (on that weird dirt road) we had all bars blazing fast 4g signal....hmmmm?
With every single effort exhausted, we turned back toward Oatman. On our way out of the mountains I found out we were being watched....
...and I laughed my 'ass' off! I don't think you can tell in the picture but he/she was in between 2 mountains, in exactly the middle, and the mountain top was pretty high. Oh my gosh, I laughed all day due to that...so glad I took that picture!
The town that was barely awake a couple of hours ago, was now buzzing with tourists, burros and vendors. We had to drive super slow, not to hit the people standing in the middle of the road feeding the burros. It was fun to see this little town come alive with so much activity and since we had to drive so slow, I think we became just as much of a spectacle as the burros, but we didn't get fed! People were actually taking pictures of the van as we drove by...is it really that 'bad'!? haha
[caption id="attachment_5414" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Petting zoo or road?[/caption]
So, we headed toward Kingman.
We were both at starvation level at this point, driving down Route 66 and I'll tell you The Roadkill Cafe that we passed was starting to sound ah-mazing!! Jamie sees a little park and pulls over. What a great find! The park had picnic tables under shelter with the greenest grass we've seen in a while, a playground, a very small amphitheater and a dog park! We were able to spread out a bit, due to having to pull the fridge out of the van to be cleaned (meat juice....ewwwwww) I was lazy and didn't bag the meat while frozen, so that's what I get! We cooked ourselves up some lunch and took the dogs over to the park, where I thought Chili would run around like a mad woman but ended up just standing between my legs. Oh well, can't say I didn't try!
"The plan" was to stay in Kingman, but we just couldn't make ourselves camp there. Probably those itchy feet still!
So....we just started down Route 66 again.
Where are we going?
Well, now we think it's time to pick a place we kind of know and the weather shouldn't really be hot at all, so we drove 115 miles to Williams! haha I know, we crack ourselves up too! (This is when our daughter would say, that's the A.D.D. family for ya, haha) But, we were able to drive a lot of those miles on Historic Route 66, which was very cool all by itself!
[caption id="attachment_5421" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Get your coffee!![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5422" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Belgadillos Burger Joint[/caption]
Route 66 put us in the middle of Williams right around sunset. It was a great sight to see, we've always liked this town. We drove through 'downtown', in 'rush hour' traffic... that's like 10 cars, but a lot of stop signs! We drove to our spot tucked up in the woods, set a few things outside so we could sleep and took the dogs for a small walk before it got too dark. It feels good to be back here, but it's a little colder than we thought so we'll have to see how it goes.
For tonight, we are getting ourselves, the fort and the dogs all snuggly. We are definitely ready to stop driving & settle into a good, solid place... for the moment.
We shall see how we feel in the morning!