We don't think of ourselves as snowbirds, because we don't have a fixed pattern of returning to the same northern and southern destinations annually, like migrating birds. But we do travel up and down the country with the seasons. So now, after almost four months in Southern California, we are finally on the road again, heading north for a gradual three month trek to our ultimate summer destination in Montana. We are happy to be on the road again.
Our journey began with a one night stand at Cocopah RV and Golf Resort in Yuma, AZ. It's surrounded by the green farmland just east of Yuma, and away from the mass of RV resorts in town.
|Cocopah on the right, farm on the left|
Cocopah advertises itself as a luxury sort of resort, with golf course, landscaping and many amenities, which it certainly does have. Our favorite amenity is a very large grassy dog park with some shade - very rare in this part of the country. Although it is not fenced in, leash requirements seem to be relaxed within that space.
|Golf course and landscaping|
With all its fancy stuff, however, the sites are gravel, no picnic table, and pretty close together. The hookups are behind the rig, with the sewer drain being especially far away. We had to use three sewer hoses for the first time ever.
Next stop, River Island State Park, in Parker, AZ, right on the Colorado River. I was very happy with this place. There are lots of RV parks along the river in Parker, many of them huge and crowded. In contrast to the norm, River Island is small, with about 30 sites, nicely spaced. We were blessed with a little shade from small trees on both sides. The red tree below is the largest and most beautiful bottle brush tree I have ever seen, in full bloom.
|River Island State Park - Site 17|
|Bottle brush tree blossoms|
The park is on a quiet cove in the river, nestled between two sets of cliffs,
has a great little beach, and a nice boat ramp.
|The doggie friendly beach|
|The people beach in a quiet, calm cove|
|View from Wedge Mountain Trail, adjacent to park|
|View the other way from a high point of Wedge Mountain Trail|
|Area surrounding River Island SP - note the other RV parks along the Colorado|
While in Parker we did a little bit of exploring. The Parker Dam Scenic Byway is on the west side of the Colorado, starting from the town of Parker, running north to Parker Dam, and back across the River, where is rejoins 95 and continues up to Lake Havasu City. The high point of that drive was the wild donkeys. There are donkey warning signs lining the roads in this part of the state, but this was the first time we'd actually seen them. There seem to be quite a few donkeys living in some of the RV parks on the west side of the river, enjoying the green grass there, and harvesting what they can from passers-by. We would often hear them from River Island. Kinda cool.
|Wild donkeys along Parker Dam Scenic Byway - Mom and baby|
|South end of Lake Havasu - at Bill Williams Nature Preserve overlook|
|Along Rt. 95 near Bill Williams Nature Preserve|
We mostly just enjoyed the park. It was a perfect place to help Honey get used the the water. We're still expecting her to turn into a water dog any time now. There was also a fenced in dog park there, which Honey loved because it was all dirt, some of it in big, fun piles. We did not love it for the same reason. : )
Now we are at Lake Pleasant Regional Park, in Maricopa County, north of Phoenix, AZ. It is a much larger park, on the shores of Lake Pleasant, which is heavily used on the weekend by campers, picnickers and boaters.
|Site 58, Roadrunner Campground|
On a quieter day, we loaded Honey and the kayaks up in the truck and drove to a place where it was pretty easy to put in without getting in the way of the big boats.
|Lake Pleasant is 93% full! Guess this road is for low water years.|
|Got one of the new Advanced Elements inflatable kayaks on the water!|
Besides, she says, "That water is cold!"
|Honey warming up after a big swim.|
On our last day here I took some alone time and drove to nearby Wickenburg to visit the Desert Caballeros Western Museum.
Right now they are having their annual "Cowgirl Up: Art from the Other Half of the West" exhibit. It was a truly outstanding exhibit, with amazing talent - all contemporary women artists. I was so glad to find it. I really needed a little aesthetic holiday.
|A few works from the Desert Caballeros Western Museum's "Cowgirl Up" exhibit.|
|The theme boot for "Cowgirl Up."|
Wickenburg and the museum really got me in the mood to "Cowgirl Up" for the rest of our Western USA adventure. I'm getting my cowgirl hat out right now. Montana, here we come!