Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lake Havasu, Laughlin, Oatman

Sun - Feb. 22nd

View of Lake Havasu, Arizona.

London Bridge at Lake Havasu City. It was dismantled in London, shipped over here and put back together to connect the island in the lake to the rest of the city.

We happened on this club of antique auto owners touring in their cars in Lake Havasu. We saw them again at Laughlin and Oatman. They were going on to Kingman on old Route 66.

View of a lighthouse replica on the island of Lake Havasu.

We drove four miles into the desert where we were camped just to see where the road went. When we came upon this, we decided it was a sign to turn back, so I guess we'll never know.

We hiked to the top of this hill at Craggy Wash where we were camped just north of Lake Havasu.

We could see part of the Lake and the airport from here to the west, and our home and fellow desert nomads to the east.

We are camped right in the middle of this photo.

This is one of the casinos at Laughlin, Nevada. Bullhead City is just across the river with in Arizona with about eight times the population of Laughlin.

This is Davis Dam at Laughlin.

Taking Route 66 up to the old mining town of Oatman, we stopped to see if these old duffers needed any assistance. They had just run out of gas and were waiting for a friend to bring them some.

Mama and baby taking a nap right downtown.

The burros were originally used for mining, but were abandoned when the mines were closed. Now they just roam the town freely looking for a handout of carrots, which are sold by the bagful at a local stand. One of them almost ate Hilary's Christmas present that was in a bag dangling from my hand while I was taking pictures.

They have a comedic shootout by a couple of bumbling bank robbers who can't get along and share the loot. Lots of quaint little shops.

To quote one of my two most favorite daughters, "Vegas, Baby!" We will be spending the next two weeks or so here with family and one of my bestest friends, Julie. So I'll probably be too busy to blog much.

Caught this picture just before we arrived at Vegas Feb 25th. Kind of cool.

Signing off for now.

Parker, Arizona

Fri - Feb. 12th

Me with my Mom and my Aunt Ruby. Bet you can't guess which one is my Mom. We were just leaving my aunt's place in Phoenix after five days
visiting friends and family in the Phoenix/Mesa area.

We spent a few days in Quartzsite checking out all the flea markets and camping in the desert north of town.

Then we moved on to Parker where we camped a couple days at the BlueWater Casino. These are a few views of the Colorado River from the casino.

This is Parker Dam, until 2003 the deepest dam in the world at 320 feet high and 235 feet below the
river bed, only to be eclipsed by the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China which is now number two. The deepest now is the Teceze Arch Dam in Ethiopia.

Then we moved a few miles down the road to an RV park.

Views along the way.

Sunset views of the Colorado River at La Paz County Park on Saturday, February 20th.

We spent one night here and moved on to Lake Havasu.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sedona, Arizona

Tue - Feb. 9th
Driving from Phoenix to Sedona. What a beautiful area! The pictures just speak for themselves.

Hiking with our friends near their home in Sedona.

Overlooking their home.

You can see our little red car in front of their home.

Chimney Rock.

Coffee Pot Rock.

Courthouse Butte & Bell Rock.

Chapel of the Holly Cross.

There are lots of religious meditative type things in the area and mind and body health spa places.

Just a little home, waterfall, pond and guest house just below the chapel.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

San Xavier del Bac Mission

Thur - Feb. 4th
Casino del Sol of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of the Tohono O'odham Nation. We stayed here Thursday and Friday night before heading to Phoenix to pick up my mother at the airport and visit my aunt and several friends in the area.

San Xavier Mission was founded in 1692 and has been an active mission ever since. It was completely isolated out in the desert when the current church was built in 1783. It is the oldest intact European structure in Arizona with marvelous original statuary and mural paintings.

There is no admission charge and they have over 200,000 visitors each year. It is considered to be the finest example of Spanish Colonial architecture in this country. It is made of low-fire clay brick, stone and lime mortar made by a large workforce of O'odham Indians. The entire structure is roofed with masonry vaults, a unique
Spanish feature.
An earthquake in 1887 knocked down the mortuary wall and damaged part of the church. In 1939 a lightening strike hit the west tower lantern. Mortar that was replaced with cement allowed moisture to seep into the walls and murals started to deteriorate. New restoration has removed all of the cement repairs and put back the original lime plaster allowing the walls to breath and stay dry. Lots of restoration has been done on the interior murals and is ongoing. This is a small side chapel with a desert garden.

This is a view of the courtyard. Franciscans became permanent residents of the Arizona Sonoran Desert in 1768, after Royal suspicion and intrigue exiled the Jesuits from all Spanish lands.

This is Grotto Hill next to the church. The little shelters in front are for locals who come and sell their crafts. When Spanish rule ended and it became part of the U.S., funding was discontinued and the east tower was never finished.

Infusion of Islamic and Christian architecture is from Moorish times in Spain. This view and the one below are taken from Grotto Hill.

Believe it or not, the clouds in the background are covering Mt. Lemmon Ski Peak and chains have been required the last two days to get up there.

The whole time we have been in Tucson, the largest Gem and Mineral Show in the world has been going on. Of course John said there was no need for us to go since he already has his "gem", and as you all know, he treats her like a goddess. Hmmm. What would be so wrong with finding a gem for his goddess?
The Spaniards came here in search of oro (gold) and totally overlooked the silver, copper and turquoise. There is still lots of mining going on here.

No blogs for a few days as we will be visiting friends and family and catching up with shopping and laundry.