Spring Break 2017 

We are spending a month in Lake Havasu City. Sarah’s parents Norm and Patti bought a house here 6 years ago. They spend the summers in the northwest, mostly at Sarah’s sister Lisa’s house, and the rest of the time they live in Arizona. Lake Havasu is a town of about 60,000 located around 150 miles south of Las Vegas. The lake is a reservoir created by a dam on the  Colorado river that was completed in 1938. The city was founded in the 1960s. Being a child of the 80s and 90s, when I think of Lake Havasu I picture this : 

And there is a little of that left, not Cisco obviously, I don’t know what he is doing these days, hell maybe he does live here now, but a more accurate representation today would be this:

They just wrote an onion about you

Jokes aside, it’s a nice town. It has a large retired/ snowbird population. It’s beautiful in a rugged sort of way and, although it is fairly small,  there is always some event going on. For example this:

Our Jack Russel/Siamese hybrid Riley was happy to be home with Sarah’s mother Patti. I believe she has always considered Patti to be her real mother and her 10 years with us a long forced absence from her real home. While Sarah was in school, Riley spent a large portion of her first few years of life with Sarah’s parents. Riley was ready for retired life. Upon arriving she immediately gained five pounds, forgot who we were, and shadowed Patti day and night. On the rare occasion she makes eye contact with me the eyes seem to say: “oh you’re still here, don’t you have somewhere to be?” She is really going to be disappointed when she finds out in isn’t permenant.

“What are you looking at Beardsley?”

Patti and Norm lived in the Pacific Northwest for approximately 65 years. Patti adapted to desert life quickly. When she visits Oregon in the summers, she bemoans the presence of so many trees and puts on a coat any time it drops below 75. She also shed a long standing porcelain rooster phase in favor of a new porcelain frog collection. There are frogs all over the property now. 

Here is my second favorite frog display:

“That’s it, soap it up real good human”

These are the frogs that watch as you shower. The one on the left is super pervy, the one in the middle is shocked by what he sees and the one on the right is judgy a.f. I don’t know what is going on with the one on the mushroom, maybe he is on the spectrum, but he is definitely into it. At least these two aren’t staring at your naked body:

Staring at the approaching blast wave

Jesus, this one is disturbing. Look at them with their faces frozen in terror. One is desperately trying to comfort the other and she is clasping at her breast like she can’t believe what is happening. It reminds me of something you would see at Pompeii. But here is the really odd thing.

The same frozen in time death frogs in the backyard. Why? Some kind of two for one special? It’s hard to understand.

While here,  we took our last raft trip until the Grand Canyon on the Salt River near Phoenix.(see Sarah’s post). Here are a few pictures I took:

Retired life is nice. It has been an endless series of giant breakfasts and happy hours interrupted by the occasional steak dinner. Havasu had an off year for college spring break (due to an advertising mishap by the new organizers) and attendance was way down. We decided to fill the gap by having our own spring break on the channel. We tried to dress like college kids and say “bruh ” a lot. It ended after two rounds when a 65 year old woman began vomiting all over her beach chair. As Patti later described, it “really killed our buzz”. 

Snoop trying desperately to be cool

We also worked in some training hikes in the Sonoran desert surrounding Lake Havasu. Hiking in Havasu is a lot different than in the Seattle area. If you looked up hiking around Seattle,  you would probably find twenty 100 page books you could buy along with 1000 websites. Each trail would be painstaking detailed, complete with pictures and comments about current trail conditions. Lake Havasu has one online resource with dubiously helpful written directions and what appears to be handwritten buried treasure maps that are not to scale. It is full of phrases like : “Walk behind the gate and take the dirt road to the electrical substation.”or “follow that jeep road toward the mesa…carefully step over the barbed wire fence”. Most hikes are a confusing matrix of bike trails, jeep roads, and game trails. The instructions should say something like. “Wander around in a southerly to northerly direction. Eventually end up in one of a hundred washes and trudge along until you get pricked by a cactus and your shoes are full of rocks. Climb a ridge filled with scorpion weed then argue for 15 minutes or so about which barely visible lizard trail will get you less lost. End up climbing an unnamed 1000 ft rock scramble to a dead end ridge surrounded by sheer cliffs. Back track until you find an almost impassible steep descent filled with boulders and loose rocks. Almost fall to your death for awhile. Follow what will turn out to be a donkey path to a dried up water source. Give up, and head in the general direction of your vehicle until you run out of water. Drive home to treat your various rashes and burns.” I managed to get some pictures despite Sarah’s strict “miles not smiles” policy. Some of my favorite are with nominally Patti’s but in reality Norm’s dog June Bug. She is a hyperactive tiny jack russel with a debilitating case of F.O.M.O. Each of these treks followed the same itinerary. She would lose her mind with excitement when she saw we were dressed in hiking clothes, whine bark for the entirety of the drive to the trail head, spend the first three miles frantically chasing every moving creature in sight, drink half my water, have a brief well behaved phase, then give up two miles from wherever the end was. ​​

The lack of intelligeble maps helped us out a lot. We were allowed the opportunity to hone our trail finding skills and tack on some much needed surprise mountaineering:

There’s gold in them hills!
Jack o Lantern Rock
Smoking Caterpillar Mesa
The approach to Sarah’s Shortcut
The ascent to Oh Shit Where Are We Ridge
Looking down over WTF now Valley

Looking back up Lesser of Two Evils Rockface
Slope of Out of Options Descent

6 thoughts on “Spring Break 2017 

  1. Now I am creeped out by the frogs. Glad to see Pink was included in your post. Spring Break is also famous for those great Girls Gone Wild videos. Don’t forget Lake Havasu’s claim to fame the London Bridge. Great blog I enjoy reading it. I hope you can keep posting somewhat regularly after the 10.


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