Sunday, February 26, 2006

Laughlin, NV to Lake Havasu City, AZ

Since the weekend was coming up, the cheap hotel rates in Laughlin were no more. They quadruple during that period. So we decided to vacate and look for cheaper lodgings, down south in Lake Havasu City, a town we already visited briefly on our first weekend here. After much searching and grumbling, we finally found a place close to the lake which was reasonably priced.

As always, the first thing we did after getting settled in is going to the tourist info for information on walks and such. They gave us a nice, 4 page leaflet describing walks on all sorts, lake shores walks, mountain walks etc. We chose the lakeshore walk first, because it seemed rather idyllic.

The first 500 metres were. Unfortunately, after that, we ended up on a rocky, slimy shore and the only way around it was through unknown thickets, through which over time a path had been created by living things unknown.

Now, I realize I had never heard of the presence of alligators and crocks in this part of the US, but hey, there's water, sort of swampy in some places, brush, and warmth and I can put 2 and 2 together about as well as anybody. Seems like the right combination to me, so the only gallant thing to do was to let Anne lead, since, if one of those guys were to grab her by the leg, somebody would have to save the damsel in distress by running for help. Anyway, except for a roadrunner and a rabbit, no dangerous wildlife was spotted.

Lake Havasu was formed when Parker Dam, downriver about 30 km was formed I believe in 1938. The city itself got its start in 1962 and has grown to about 55,000 inhabitants according to the 2001 census. However, around 20,000 or so snowbirds move in in the wintertime.

Now, Lake Havasu City is not without problems. One of the main problems is an imbalance. An imbalance between the amount of money people have and the braincells required to do something intelligent with that money. We were appalled by the number of monster speed boats on the lake, and I mean monstrous, 30, 40, 50 feet. These emit a low grumble when idling which is audible all day long when you are anywhere on the lake shore, especially when it is multiplied by a factor of 100.

Of course along with the boat goes a trailer and an equally monstrous pickup truck, some of which seemed to be custom built, as I ain't never seen that kind of truck before. Everything is gleaming to boot. So you're likely looking at a million dollars just to get you're boat in the water. You'd probably need a fuel tanker to follow you around to keep your tank somewhat filled up.

The next morning, Saturday, we decided to get away from the lake and go on a mountain walk, which again we chose from the leaflet given to us by the tourist info. Heading away from the city, we reached the end of a paved road and followed the dirt portion up another 2 km or so till we parked at the spot indicated on the leaflet.

We got out and started to walk towards the mountains following the dirt road, but it really wasn't all that interesting, it looked like a huge gravel pit. And what do yahoos like to do in gravel pits? Right, shoot target practice that is. And so it was here. No sooner had we gone up this little hill to get a better view of the city below or this convoy of jeeps pulls up below us, guys jump out carrying rifle cases, from which they (surprisingly) take their rifles and start to load up.

That was enough for us. We headed straight back out. While making our way back to the car, the gun fire started in earnest and it felt like Iraq (or Detroit) for a while. When we got to our car, some other yahoos were firing upon an abandoned car wreck not too far away with a semi-automatic. While driving out along the dirt road we saw a father training his 8 or so year old son in the use of a gun. I sure was hoping the kid wouldn't swing his gun around in our direction and accidentally fire.

So much for that walk.

We finally found a State Park, that had a decent walk. Half way we stopped for a Corona, had a boat ride, then walked back. That was a lot better.

Dinner was had at a noisy Mexican Restaurant, Casa Serrano, though the food was delicious and the prices were reasonable.

Tomorrow we're off the Laughlin again, where I've been able to snag a hotel room at the River Palms for $ 20. And that's Canadian.

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