Parker, AZ. 3/1 – 3/12/2015

Parker is on the Colorado River right across from California, about 30 miles down river from the Parker Dam which creates Lake Havasu home of the transplanted London Bridge. While Prescott was at 5400 ft elevation Parker sits at about 450 ft. It is hot even in the winter. In the summer it is crazy hot.

We were going to stay at Castle Rock Shores Campground and meet fellow Foretravel owners Brad and Phyllis Metzger there. Brad sent me an email and said they had moved to the La Paz County Campground because the water was really bad at Castle Rock. So we adjusted on the fly.  La Paz County Campground does not take reservations so we were just hoping to get in. They do have about a dozen overflow sites with power and a large dry camp area with no connections for those waiting.  We got to La Paz at about 2 PM. We weren’t even out of the coach yet and there was another Foretravel owner, Barry Witherow, there to greet us.  I didn’t know he was there but he knew who we were. We went into the office and got the last spot available in the campground. It was at the end of a row at an intersection of roads, maybe not ideal but it was probably twice the size of most sites. In the end it turned out to be a very nice site. The guy next to us was from BC, Canada but he was not there. He had gone home because of some family medical emergency and left his trailer there. He was paid up into the future and was coming back. Monthly rates here with water and 50 amp electric are about $10 a day plus actual electric use. For us that would have been another $2 or 3 bucks. On a weekly basis including electric it was $19 a day. You can stay for up to 6 months. There are a couple dozen sites right on the river with no hookups at all for even less. Most of these folks have big solar setups and use generators a bit. Barry was down in this area, pretty nice.

The park is right on the river.  Some sites have cabanas, they call them ramadas here for more $. And beach.
There are lots of boats that go by especially on the weekend. Down river from here there are many very large homes on the river, all with docks and boats.
Fast boats. Pontoon boats. Ski boats. There used to be fish in the river but some sort of invasive species of mussels has depleted most of the food so there are not many fish left.
There is a bar and restaraunt at the boat launch at one end of the park. The Pirates Den. We had lunch there out on the deck a couple times. Food was good.
The water here is not very good. It is very hard, tastes terrible and is salty. Our water treatment plant got a good workout. The softener is good for about 750 gallons before it gets regenerated (2 lbs of table salt in the hole and run water through it for 20-30 minutes). It does a good job af softening the water. We have an 80 micron flushable filter, a pressure regulator, another finer filter, a charcoal filter and the water softener before water goes into the coach or our 105 gallon fresh water tank and then another water filter on the drinking water spigot in the kitchen. So we had clear, soft water but it still had a slight salt taste. They sold salt free drinking water in the park for 25¢/gallon.
The ground is loaded with salt and alkali deposits.  It rained the day we got there and for a while in the morning the next day.  As the ground dried up the salt and alkali leeched up and turned everything

an ugly white and yellow.  You would think water would just disappear in the desert but the ground is so hard the water will sit there for a couple days.  The surface turns to muck and takes several days to dry out.

Brad is a 78 year old mostly retired farmer from Virginia. He is on his fourth Foretravel. He and Phyllis have put on about 250,000 miles on their coaches. Their current coach is a 2010, 45′, 4 slide Phenix with everything imaginable on and in it.  They travel about 6-7 months a year and have put about 75,000 miles on this coach. Brad is a big off-road fan.  He likes to follow any trail anywhere.  He especially likes sand dunes.  Lots of both of those in this area.
He just got a new toy as he calls them before they left in January.  He already has over 1000 miles on it. It is a four seat Can-Am turbo charged Maverick X. It has lots of power, very forgiving suspension, everything a boy needs in his toys.
We did some off-road adventures.  More about them later.
Roger and Susan


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