Yesterday I drove over London Bridge, the honest-to-goodness bridge that served the city of London, England. Here’s what some of Lake Havasu’s tourist information says about it.
"For more than 140 years, London Bridge served as a crossing over the River Thames in London, England. It survived both world wars and a terrorist attack in 1884. So why did London want to remove such a significant landmark? And how did the London Bridge end up in Lake Havasu City, Arizona?
The London Bridge had survived many historic events, but not nature's sinking forces. The Bridge began to sink into the River Thames and in 1968, the city of London decided to sell it for 2.5 million dollars to Robert P. McCulloch, founder of Lake Havasu City.
It took 3 years and another 7 million dollars to dismantle, ship and rebuild the bridge. Today, the London Bridge connects Lake Havasu City with an island in the lake. Its massive body of stone brings the essence of England to Arizona."
Lake Havesu is tourist town. I went to the swap meet downtown yesterday and there were three or four out-of-state license plates for every Arizona plate. When I go for groceries or on a shopping expedition most of the people are older than I am – something I don’t experience very often. I always thought of snowbirds as being Canadian but I’ve discovered on this trip that those of us who flock to the south in the winter also come from Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and other snowy, cold winter states. I can’t help but be a bit envious that these folks don’t have to leave their own country to find a warm spot to nest for the winter. No exchange rate on their money, no extra health insurance – and not as far to go.
Yesterday I went to the Winter Blast 2009, an annual gathering of pyrotechs who get together for a convention as put on spectacular fireworks displays (usually choreographed to music). The manufacturers are there and put on displays but there are lots of amateurs who are there to learn how to build various types of fireworks. I hadn’t realized how much chemistry is involved to get the proper elevation, the right colours, etc.
I was warned that people start arriving at Sara State Park at 3:30 pm for a show that doesn’t begin until 8:00 pm. So I figured I’d go early. I splurged (calories, that is) on some butterfly chips and sat down at a picnic table. The woman next to me was also eating some. We got talking and it turned out that she had her husband, both retired school teachers, were from Calgary! Mavis and her husband Don were visiting a friend of theirs (a pyrotechnic expert) who was at the event to give a lecture and catch up on what was new. So we all sat together and got a running commentary on what was behind the spectacular display. What a nice bonus for me.
I’m checking out campgrounds here and checked into my second one last night. Prospectors RV Park is a much nicer than the first place, Campbell Cove RV Park. Campbell Cover had very small sites and nondescript, smallish shower facilities, small clubhouse, etc. They charged extra for internet coverage. On the other hand, Prospectors has large sites covered with a lovely gravel mix that keeps the sand from tracking into the vehicle, cement paved roadways, a new large clubhouse complete with a well equipped fitness room. Their TV room is large and comfortable. Yesterday in the huge clubhouse part, people gathered together to watch the Daytona 500. People brought finger foods and the park supplied beer!
WiFi and cable TV are free and the laundry facilities are clean and large. All this for $30.00 per night including taxes. (Campbell Cove was $38.00 plus taxes.) This would be a nice place to spend the winter – if I could get used to the desert. My soul craves lushness and I haven’t found it here yet. There is a lovely spot on the water just south of Lake Havasu that looks like it has lots of trees and I will try that next.
I plan to stay in this area for a week or so then head into California.