Day 5 – Needles to Lake Havasu

western grebe

Left Needles today and only travelled to Lake Havasu which is only about 47 miles and it was a lovely day.

We got off to a later start as in Needles, CA there is a time zone difference of an hour even though it is about a mile away from Arizona.

Our first stop was Havasu National Wildlife Refuge which was just about 10 miles out of Needles. We only accessed the top half of it, but it looks like it continues almost all the way down to Lake Havasu.

At the first pull-out, we stopped at Rob spotted a roadrunner right off the bat and I got a few bad pictures as we were looking right into the sun.

At the next stop, there were docks for people to fish off of. There was a fellow fishing for catfish but didn’t have a bit yet.

There were American coots everywhere and I walked right by a western grebe hidden in the bushes. Rob spotted it and off it went into the sun.

Rob very patiently waited for me while I waited for the bird to come around to the other side of the dock after it took a nap.

Got some great pictures.

western grebe

western grebe

There was also some Clark’s grebe as well but too far out to take a picture of.

After leaving the refuge we stopped at the coolest place.

It was called Topock 66 and check out the website as I can’t do it justice.

Called the party headquarters on the Colorado River and it’s a bit off the main road, but when you drive up to it there is definitely the Route 66 feel.

There is a restaurant/bar all the way around the building and a stage and a swimming pool at one end. If you sit on the bar stools you are looking over the Colorado River, where there are docks below for boaters to tie up to come up and party.

Topock 66

Brilliant marketing.

Heading down to Lake Havasu we spotted a park sign for Lake Havasu State Park.

Having bought a yearly pass for all Arizona State Parks we went in. The yearly pass is $75 and so far just going to 2 parks we would have spent $27. Now… whenever we see a state park. In we go.

On another note, we also have a National Parks pass which is good for forever, so we are covered.

Back to the plot… the park is huge. Lots of camping along the lake and it has a cactus garden and a large day area which is where we went.

The day area is right beside a channel where boats were coming in and out of. We found out later that there was a place that you could rent boats and this was the access to the lake.

lake havasu state park

Bonus for me was that not only were there coots on the water, we also spied a Vermillion flycatcher. They are so beautiful.

vermillion flycatcher

A Say’s Pheobe came and chased it away, but not before I got a photo of it.

say's phoebe

Rob spotted an American Kestrel behind me and I caught sight of it before it flew away.

american kestrel

On the way out of the park, we stopped at the cactus garden and Rob almost tripped over a roadrunner. I was a little ways behind, so I didn’t get a close-up but did a picture of it on the ridge after it crosses the road.


What would I do without Rob to find birds for me?

Back on the road, we didn’t make it very far. I spotted a Golden Corral and as it was after 3 pm and breakfast was a lot earlier, it seems a good time to stop for lunch.

Taking a detour was when we found the London Bridge. And it really is the London Bridge. This is an excerpt from Wikipedia.

London Bridge is a bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. It was built in the 1830s and formerly spanned the River Thames in London, England. It was dismantled in 1967 and relocated to Arizona. The Arizona bridge is a reinforced concrete structure clad in the original masonry of the 1830s bridge, which was purchased by Robert P. McCulloch from the City of London. McCulloch had exterior granite blocks from the original bridge numbered and transported to America to construct the present bridge in Lake Havasu City, a planned community he established in 1964 on the shore of Lake Havasu. The bridge was completed in 1971 (along with a canal), and links an island in the Colorado River with the main part of Lake Havasu City. The song “London Bridge is Falling Down” is a nursery rhyme that predates the bridge’s original 19th-century construction.

picture by Ken Lund

You can walk along the water and there are shops and restaurants and you can also take a boat across the river to… you guess it a Casino. 🙂

Leaving there, we headed to the Golden Corral for dinner and stopped at a couple of hotels along the way and picked one. Nice and clean, friendly people and a view of the lake.

So, we are staying here the night and we had dinner and we took the boat ride at sunset over to the casino (cost $2 per person) and we had a lot of fun and came out even. Only cost us the boat ride.

Just had a swim and hot tub and watched the weather and Arizona is the hottest state in the whole of the USA. Nice place to be at this time of year.



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