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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Oatman, Arizona & London Bridge

We arrived safely here at Havasu Falls RV Resort in Lake Havasu City Thursday after about a 175 mile trip west of Williams with most of it on I-40. The trip here was mostly downhill with several sections of  6% grade and helping nw wind that resulted in 13.0 mpg on this leg, which is the best mileage we've seen on this trip. We went from the worst to the best in successive legs, go figure!  The park here is a very nice park that is located right on Arizona Route 95 and is convenient to Wally World, shopping malls and plenty of restaurants. The town of Lake Havasu City is on the banks of Lake Havasu, that is supplied by the Colorado River, and is probably best known as the home of the London Bridge which crosses a 930 ft  long man-made canal that leads from Lake Havasu  to Thompson Bay (also on the Colorado River). It was purchased for  $2.5 million from the City of London when the bridge was replaced in 1968. The bridge was disassembled, and the marked stones were shipped to Lake Havasu City and reassembled. It opened on October 5, 1971.

Friday, we headed north for a day rip to the city of Oatman, Az. Oatman is a historic gold mining town that prospered in the early 1900's until the 1920's, when the gold mines closed. Oatman continued to survive as it was located on the well traveled Route 66 and was a popular tourist destination as an old west town. A new road was built in the 1950's that bypassed Oatman and it pretty much became a ghost town. Oatman has undergone a renaissance of sorts in recent years thanks to burgeoning worldwide interest in Route 66 and the explosive growth of the nearby gaming town of Laughlin, Nevada, which promotes visits to the town. Wild burros freely roam the town and can be hand-fed hay cubes otherwise known as "burro chow," readily available in practically every store in town.  The burros were turned loose by early prospectors when the mines failed , and are protected by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Along with the rest of Arizona's US 66 towns, Oatman is fiercely proud of its Route 66 heritage and replicas of 66's black-on-white US highway shield are posted all over the town.

We're pulling out in the morning headed for Gila Bend, Arizona, about 75 miles sw of Phoenix for an overnight stop and then on to the Tucson area for several days.

Entrance to Havasu Falls RV Resort. Pretty nice park.

Beautiful Arizona Sunset.

Activity center here at Havasu Falls.

Pretty Palm tree.

View of our row in the park

Our site, #18. Water is from where we had our dirty rig washed by a commercial company specializing in detailing RV's who did a great job. 

Here it is, London Bridge in Arizona!

Hard to believe these blocks were dis-assembled in London and re-assembled here on Lake Havasu.

I thought the light fixtures looked British!

View over the bridge with Arizona mountains in the background.

Plaque commemorating the opening of the bridge at its' new location. 

Colorful lighthouse on Lake Havasu. 

We've already spotted some Boondockers camping on BLM land.

Highway into Oatman

The welcoming committee checking for illegal snacks.

Checking for unsuspecting tourists.

This is the look you get if you don't feed me!

Crickett found her a buddy!

Aren't the baby burros cute! The paper on his forehead says not to feed him anything because it's easy for them to get choked.

Main Street in Oatman.

We had lunch at this restaurant.

Oldest building in Oatman, the Oatman Hotel.

You can see clearly see the cross across the hithers of this burro.

Sign says not to feed the burros on the sidewalk for obvious reasons. The town actually has a full time employee just to clean up burro poop.

Love being around these docile creatures.

Doing what I love to do!

This guy wasn't going to be denied.
The nice lady  sells the burro feed. It's $1 a bag and the bag contains  alfalfa cut into  ice cube size chunks the burros love. 

Gun fight.

1 comment:

  1. Joe, great picture's and history also.
    Looks like a town I would to visit or maybe live.
    Love reading about the trip and all your stops.
    Have fun and keep them coming and be safe.