Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cattail Cove State Park, Arizona

November, 2016

On our way to Yuma: Stop Five.

We've camped at Lake Havasu State Park twice before and liked it. It's practically downtown, has sites close to the water, and is just a short kayak paddle from the London Bridge. But the weekend we arrived this time, a big RV/boat show was being held there.

So after Willow Beach Marina, we booked a few days at another Lake Havasu-area state park 20 miles south of town called Cattail Cove. Loved it. That's two stops in a row worth repeating.

Our camping spot was a short walk to the water. Jim did some kayaking, we both did some hiking, and the dogs took advantage of the only dedicated dog beach we've ever seen at a campground. 

The human beach at Cattail Cove.  Jim left his kayak here overnight after a paddle and took off again the next day.
Arlo and Maddie during one of many visits to Cattail Cove's dog beach.  Maddie's not much for playing fetch on land, but she's tenacious if the stick gets thrown in the water.
Jim and Arlo hiking at Cattail Cove.  Three more photos of that hike are below.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Lake Mead RV Village and Willow Beach Marina

November, 2016

On the way to Yuma:  Stops Three and Four

After southern Utah, we wanted to spend a few days at Valley of Fire State Park north of Las Vegas.  But it's first-come-first-served and a phone call to the park revealed it was already full -- so we called Lake Mead RV Village about 50 miles south of Vegas and got reservations for three days.

Turned out it was not our kind of place. Especially for three days. It's a big gravel parking lot far from the water, although it was much closer to H2O when Lake Mead was not so low. It did have full hook ups. But if we stop in the area again, next time we'll try Boulder Beach, a campground without hook ups that's right next door. Boulder Beach is also first-come-first served, but had available spots, trees, pretty campsites, and looked much more inviting.  

After Lake Mead RV Village we drove a mere 25 miles south to Willow Beach. Also part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, it's between Lake Mead and Lake Mohave and was an amazing find: small, clean, and nestled in a valley with a view of the Colorado River. Beautiful. We kayaked, we hiked, and we loved the view and the modern campground. If we can get a spot we'll definitely go back there again when driving south from Salt Lake. Since it's part of a National Recreation Area -- and not run by a contractor -- we camped for half price with our America the Beautiful Senior Pass.
It must have been a mile walk from Lake Mead RV Village to the actual lake.  Here you can see an anchor with a long, long cable that at one time had enough water above it to secure a boat.
We did see some great views of Lake Mead while exploring by car. Lake Mead is the  largest reservoir in the US and was created by the Hoover Dam. Per Wikipedia (and our own eyes), however, drought and water usage has caused the water level to dip. It's now the number two reservoir in the country as far as water in reserve. Number 1 (again per Wiki) is Lake Sakakawea, in North Dakota (which we've also visited.)
Willow Beach:  Click on the photo to get a better view of the Willow Beach Campground at the lower left of the photo. That's Lake Mohave on the Colorado River to the right.
Jim looking at the sheer canyon walls near Willow Beach. There is a national fish hatchery nearby that stocks the river with rainbow trout.
Jim and Arlo on hike between the Willow Beach campground and the marina.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

On our way to Yuma: Fillmore, UT and Sand Hollow State Park

November, 2016

Stop One: Fillmore, Utah

We haves places we like to stop on our way to locations north or south. Our northern stop is Snowville, Utah, a two hour drive north of Salt Lake City.  Our probably-from-now-on stop going south is Fillmore, Utah, 142 miles south of our home.

If I'd been paying attention I would have realized Fillmore's Wagons West RV park honors Passport America, a discount RV club we belong to and we would have paid just $18 for a night's stay with full hook ups. Instead we paid twice that. But Wagons West is a convenient one nighter if we leave home later in the day and don't want to pull in to a park after dark. And arriving after nightfall is never in our plans. 

Fillmore, Utah: You know you are in a small town when Main Street is part of the all-terrain-vehicle route.  The town of about 2,250 people was named for Millard Fillmore and was the capital of the Utah Territory from 1851-1856.
Our camping spot in Fillmore. It's a nice RV park with level sites, plenty of nearby places to walk the dogs, and the manager is super helpful.  The only downside is the run-down restroom. Not to get all TMI on you, but I'm only 5'3" and my knees about hit the stall door.
Stop Two:  162 miles to Sand Hollow State Park, near Hurricane, Utah

Sand Hollow is Utah's newest state park and opened in 2003. It has 100 campsites in two campgrounds, including one where you can drive your off-road vehicle out to the sand dunes right from your rig. Not being off-roading fans, we stayed in the non-ATV campground.

We were more interested in the 1,000 plus acre reservoir. So we kayaked, hiked, and since we stayed there November 8, 9, and 10, tried to recover from election day. Full recovery has not yet taken place.

Beautiful campground, with lots of space between sites and beautiful views of mountains and the desert.

That's not our rig -- but it is a great view of the mountains as seen from the Sand Hollow State Park Campground.

Like lots of southern Utah, the park has beautiful red rocks on land...
...and popping out in the middle and the edges of the Sand Hollow Reservoir. That's Jim enjoying the red rocks from his boat.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

We're home

We're home.  In Salt Lake City.  Or, to be specific, in the lovely suburb of Holladay, Utah, just 13 miles (less as the crow flies) from the center of Utah's capital city. We got here April 20, our son's birthday. HBD, Paul!

Starting last November we took a slow drive to Yuma, then Tucson, then California, then through Nevada to home. It was great trip. Other than one November post, however, I could not get motivated to write.

But if I don't write it down, I can't remember it. So I've done a retrospect of our trip, which I'll post beginning tomorrow.

Meanwhile, we're cleaning our house (how can one-left-at-home cat shed so much hair?), unloading/cleaning the motor home, tending to the lawn and flower beds, reconnecting with friends, and doing the stuff you do at home as opposed to when you're on the road.