Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bullhead City

[From Craig] Sunday we drove from Flagstaff AZ to Bullhead City AZ.  It was quite a weather transition: the low in Flagstaff was 27 F, while the next night in Bullhead City it was 68 F.  A 41 degree change in 180 miles east-west involves either a large body of water or a significant change in elevation.  Coming down from 7000 feet (2130 m) to 560 feet (170 m) also meant we could roll over in bed without having to catch our breath!

"They" promised that if we spent months at altitude, our bodies would adapt and we wouldn't need to huff and puff all the time.  Maybe that only applies to kids under 50?

That evening I went for a walk in the Silver Canyon RV Park, and encountered this toothy totem which was carved from an old palm tree.

It was pleasant to leave the windows open and to not have the furnace run all night.  We originally planned to just stop for the night, but the air was so nice we decided to stay another day and hike near the Colorado River, which separates Bullhead City from Laughlin, NV.

After a nice breakfast we headed for the Heritage Greenway Park and Trails.  Unfortunately Google Maps took us to the Davis Dam, a couple of miles upstream.  Davis is the first dam on the Colorado below the famous Boulder Dam (f.k.a Hoover Dam).

There were hiking trails in the vicinity of the dam, so we started down one on the Nevada side, toward Laughlin.  A short while later we met a knowledgeable-looking couple, and we asked them if we could hike downstream in Nevada and then back upstream on the Arizona side and cross back over the river at the dam. They said "sure", and cited a pedestrian walkway on the first highway bridge over the river.  They were right about the walkway.

The trail on the Nevada side was well-paved in a federal park that had lots of educational storyboards but no grass or trees, just desert scrub.  The Arizona side was a county park that included lots of palm trees, grass, and RV campgrounds.

After about 2 miles we came to the promised brdige, which was the one we had driven across on our way to the dam.  The following view looks downstream toward the Laughlin casinos.  (Nevada allows gambling, Arizona not so much.)

We walked across the bridge, and on the Arizona side we snuck under it, past some sleeping gear that may have been left by homeless folk, who weren't around.  A short way from the bridge we found ourselves among the palms and campsites we had seen from the other side.

Past that campground we found an undeveloped stretch of scrub vegetation that  came right down to the river, but we found gravel roads through it.

Near the end of this wilder stretch we encountered a roadrunner.  I wished I had brought my Nikon and zoom lens that goes up to 300 mm, but we had to rely on our point-and-shoot Sony and a lot of cropping.

Past the scrub area we came to the second campground area, which had electric and water hookups at many sites.  The sites nearest the river even had a beach! 

Past that campground we were again nearing the dam, which is where we had a problem.  A fisherman and a country park maintenance man told us that the only away over the dam (back to our car) required a long walk-around on highways, which our chance-encountered hikers near the start of our day hadn't known about.  That way was much farther than just retracing our steps!  

So we turned around and walked back toward the bridge.  After we had walked about for about half an hour, the fisherman we had met came and found us and drove us back to the Nevada side of the bridge.  This saved us a mile or so, and we thanked him with heartfelt gratitude.

As we walked back, we saw that these folks who we had talked with an hour or so before, were still soaking their feet in the river.  This was something we did last December in the Florida Keys, and looked very familiar and pleasant.

Almost back to our car, I took this shot of the overall campground.  One problem with RVing is that we know of no way to learn about local campgrounds like this one.  Do you know of a resource that lists such places?

In all, we walked about 7 miles when we had expected 4.  But more miles are good for us, right?  

From Merikay: "good for us" yes, but because we had had a filling breakfast and I anticipated being back to the Alfa by noon after an easy four mile walk, I did not pack our usual sandwiches for lunch. Instead we stopped at a Chili's restaurant and had big fat hamburgers, fries and margaritas, then took a long afternoon nap.

Life is good!


  1. We use Allstays Camp and RV app and it lists county and city parks as well as National Forests and also regular RV parks. We love it.

  2. I find a lot of gems on this site http://www.uscampgrounds.info/

  3. You are both very adventuresome. Have you decided to stay another day or two at the found campground?

    1. We were already staying an extra day when we went for this walk. Thereafter we went to a losing park in Desert Hot Springs; didn't even get into any hot water :-(
      Now we have settled at Jojoba SKP park near Temecula, CA. It's one of our favorite parks, and we'll try to get out to external attractions for your sake.

  4. That campground looks so inviting, but your margarita does too!!


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