Warning, lots of pictures in this one!
For most of March I stayed north of Lake Havasu City near Topock, AZ off Needles Mountain Road exit with my dad and step-mom. The boondocking area we were at had two major camping areas, up top overlooking the interstate and down below in the wash. We choose to stay up top, not being sure about the road down below and just having recently spent a ‘fun’ time getting me down a bad road without causing further RV damage. Turned out to be a good decision as this is an area heavily trafficked by off-roaders. For the most part they didn’t spend a lot of time near us, but occasionally drove by. Some were polite and slowed down, others kicked up dust or rode by our RVs at midnight. There is a good bit of highway noise here but nothing too overwhelming.
For hiking and off-roading, this area is pretty neat. There are tons of OHV roads going all into the washes and towards the mountains. I took my dad’s 4-wheeler for a ride, first time I’ve ever really ridden one of these, and was able to explore pretty deeply into some neat washes in the area. While we were there we also saw humming birds and a pack of burros.
Topock is a really small town on historic route 66 consisting of a family dollar and a few other local stores, so I mostly went to Lake Havasu City for any shopping. Lake Havasu City is a REALLY long city and can take up to 35 minutes to travel from top to bottom. Luckily the Wal-Mart is near the north side. Towards the south side I found a hike on the REI Hiking Project app called the Crack in the Wall a.k.a Sarah’s crack (click link for REI trail details). This was my first slot canyon hiking and it was amazing. I hiked the wash/canyon on the way in and took the ridge on the way back. Along the way I met Shana and J who encouraged me to join them to hike up to the top of Lizard’s peak or Picnic Table Mountain (I keep finding different names for this) and visit the picnic table. At the top there sits a large metal picnic table provided by the The Leaping Lizard Tribe. This was one of my favorite hikes so far. I can’t wait to hike more slot canyons!
Lake Havasu City is also home to the famous London Bridge. I took a walking tour of this and the island on the other side. There is a pretty neat park and beach area with a nice walking sidewalk that goes by several lighthouses. The city has the most lighthouses of any city with 25 replica lighthouses built throughout the island. They are not full size, about 1/3 the actual size, but are pretty neat and serve as reference points for emergency dispatchers for boats in trouble. I would recommend driving or biking to them as they are pretty spread out and there is little shade on a hot day.
I didn’t do a great job with my meditation practice lately, only taking a few days during this period to sit and practice a formal meditation, but I have found that mindfulness comes up throughout my day as I am learning to focus on one thing at a time. If you have any suggestions for ways to maintain your practice, I would welcome them in the comments! I did start reading a book I picked up in Montana over a year ago called ‘The Buddha Walks Into the Office’ by Lodro Rinzler. So far it is a great read talking about incorporating mindfulness into our livelihood. If you have read this book, I’d love to know your thoughts.
Next I head to Willow Beach, AZ to join the BHC Adventures Meetup group to paddle Hoover Dam and Black Canyon. Till next time!
EDIT – 3/20/2017 – Boondock Site Important Details
I realized I failed to list the key information about this boondocking spot.
Water: We found no nearby free water officially listed, but my dad did get permission of the hardware store owner in Topock to fill our water bags for free.
Trash: We took small trash to the gas stations about 7 miles down the road at the Hwy 95 exit when we visited them. For larger trash there is Site 6 in Lake Havasu (a boat launch) that has dumpsters for boat clean up you could use.
Propane: I ran out of propane while here, super lucky I have a small extra tank for my grill I was able to use to keep my fridge going. I went to Pilot at the Hwy 95 exit and paid 3.00 a gallon for the propane. Not the cheapest but would have spent the money in gas searching Lake Havasu.
Dumps: I didn’t dump tanks while here as I was heading to Willow Beach FHU for camping with the kayak group so not sure of the options. Although lesson learned, I left the spot with my black tank 100++% full and the road bumps made for a messy toilet bowl. Next time I will at least dump some into my blue boy before travelling if I’m that full!
Internet: I used my AT&T unlimited hotspot I rent from E-bay here and had great internet. Verizon was okay too.
Future Trip Note:
One day at camp a group of kayakers drove up to camp for the night. They were planning on spending a weekend kayaking and camping down the Topock Gorge. I researched and got excited about doing this paddle as a day trip, but the winds picked up too strong for me to do the paddle on Sunday and with no exits and high canyon walls I didn’t want to paddle this on a weekday when no people were likely to be around, so I am putting this on my next time list!!!