There are more RV parks listed for the Parker, AZ, area than there are gas stations, churches and restaurants combined. Surely our biggest problem will be deciding on which one to choose for a week.
Or.....many of them listed on two separate phone apps don't actually exist. And.....the rest are all "resorts" along the river banks that are just as tightly crammed in, with the same zero internet coverage, as the spot we're currently in. Hours of driving and checking a dozen options and we have narrowed it down to checking online for a spot at the beautiful and natural Buckskin Mountain State Park on the "Arizona side" of the river. This is a lovely place with several full hookups, lots of trees, and including spaces where we're picking up a couple bars of LTE. The location is nice, between Parker and Havasu City, on the water, among the amazing red rocks. Sites are $30-$38/night.
|Red rock cliffs surround Buckskin Mountain State Park|
Without a new place we aren't ready to tell our hosts we're leaving. Instead, Tuesday morning I leave another voice message for the mobile home park, and we decide to drive back to Lake Tamarisk.
I realized on Sunday night that I left my good jacket, with my glasses in the pocket, at Coy's house. Since we want to retrace much of our trip with the Jeep so we can take side trips anyway, the 80 miles back to retrieve the items isn't a big deal.
In 1961 my dad went to work for the Metropolitan Water District and moved the three of us to a small company village at Iron Mountain. Mom couldn't handle the isolation and in 1966 she and I returned to the city. They remained good friends all their lives, and I spent time with both of them. For the four years of high school I moved back to live with Dad and have wonderful, crazy memories of those years in the desert. I've been back many times since he retired in 1987, but it's been about nine years since the last visit.
|Spent many Friday evenings at this intersection, watching all the "river" traffic going by and enjoying a camp fire|
|Sometimes you really can't go home again :-(|
The house is gone, nothing but the concrete pad remains. Unlike the pumping plant, access to this small gate is unblocked.
|Water leaves the open canals here, entering miles of rock tunnel through the Coxcomb Mountains|
|The original blast site, the water runs underground here|
|8x8 beams covered in concrete above the tunnel underneath|
|Beautiful rock walls|
|and expansive desert views|
Back at Lake Tamarisk, Tessa and Molly run themselves to exhaustion while we visit with Coy for a bit before we turn around and head back to Parker.
There is much less traffic on Monday and we take our time enjoying this section of desert that makes up a large part of my personal history. I share stories and points of interest with Bill all the way back, and he even stays awake :-)
|20 miles north of Iron Mountain was the tiny town of Rice, CA|
|For years travelers to the Colorado River left shoes on a large Tamarisk tree here. It burned down in 2003, and this fence was built to continue the tradition - thousands of shoes ......|
|....and a few other items hang here.|
|20 miles north of Rice, Vidal no longer exists. But it was our "address" for decades because it had the closest post office!|
|Vidal Junction is at the intersection of Hwy 95 and Hwy 62, 20 miles south of Parker, AZ. It continues to draw customers to the small store and gas station with vivid colors and cold drinks|
Our good luck continues when we're refunded the unused part of our deposit from Rio del Sol upon check out! After a rocky start trying to find another site, we are feeling really great about how it all worked out :-)
|Big River Mobile Home Park, Earp, CA. View out our front window|