Lakes to Trees

I was getting so close to being caught up on these blog posts and then my stupid computer had to blow up with a virus!  Dang computers!!  And then, of course, the Geek Squad was a whole lot slower fixing it then they said they would be, but it’s back now, so I’m on my mission again!! 
After we left Quartzsite, we headed not too far away and met up with our friends, John and Diana, in Lake Havasu City.  The drive was a very pretty one along the way.  IMG_9660
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While we were there, we took advantage of the Lake Havasu Music Brews and BBQ Championship.  Unfortunately, it was a cool and very windy day, but we didn’t let it stop us.  It was pretty cool, you buy tickets so you can pick and choose which places you want to taste bbq from and then you can actually vote for your top picks.  You walk around and look for the vendors that had the big BBQ flags waving and those were the ones competing.  IMG_9672We had fun tasting and picking our faves!  And of course, we tasted the brews too!  The location of the festival wasn’t too shabby either; it was right along the Colorado River! IMG_9676

They even had an antique car show going on at the same time that we walked around and checked out too!  IMG_9670
We also went to check out the famous London Bridge.  Back in 1968, the bridge had begun to sink into the River Thames, so the city of London decided to sell it.  Lake Havasu City founder, Robert McCulloch purchased the bridge in 1968 for $2,460,000.  Each block of the bridge was meticulously numbered before it was disassembled and then shipped overseas through the Panama Canal to Long Beach, CA and then trucked to Arizona.  It was reconstructed and then rededicated in 1971 in Lake Havasu City.  IMG_9679
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Later we drove over the bridge onto the island created in the river and John shared with us some of his killer secret fishing spots!  Beautiful!!  IMG_9692

After we left Havasu, all of our plans got shifted around and changed!  We left with one plan in mind and then within a few hours, things changed and we ended up in Joshua Tree National ParkIMG_9698Joshua Trees are members of the Lily Family and are related to Easter Lilies, onions, and tulips.  It’s upraised branches impressed Mormon Pioneers and reminded them of the upstretched arms of biblical Joshua.  The name they chose stuck with it, which is better than the some of the alternatives that were also suggested; cabbage tree or Spanish bayonet tree.  IMG_9837Joshua Tree National Park is actually where two deserts meet – the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert.  IMG_9908


From the overlook, at the top of Keys View, you can see down into the see the San Andreas Fault down in the valley below.  IMG_9721

The view over to Mount San Jacinto from Keys View is beautiful too.  Not that you can really see it, but Palm Springs is down there as well.IMG_9727We took a hike out to the Wall Street Mill, which is an old gold processing mill site, originally built in 1891.  IMG_9770


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Along the hike out to the mill, we passed by this monument.  Mill operator Bill Keys erected this after shooting Worth Bagley in self-defense over a property dispute.  Keys served 5 years at San Quentin before receiving a full pardon. 






Keys operated the mill sporadically from 1930 – 1966, processing gold ore from his mines and mines of others from the region.
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We also took a walk out to check out Barker Dam, which was built by cowboys to water their cattle in the early 1900s.  This area began as a natural tank, a catch basin for rainfall and runoff.  It was expanded into a dam and then later enlarged.  At its maximum, it encompasses about 20 acres.  IMG_9791




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We were lucky enough to get an amazing site in the Jumbo Rocks Campground along the edge where we had some incredible views!  IMG_9871

And this wonderful site allowed us to have some beautiful scenery to look at come sunset time just outside of our door!  Who could ask for anything more??  IMG_9839
Hope you enjoyed your virtual trip from Lake Havasu City to the desert of Joshua Tree National Park.  Happy Trails!

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