Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Good, The Bad Roads, and The Right and The Wrong Turns

I watched Judy for the past weeks, carrying clothes and stuff to the motorhome. When I spotted my bag of food in her arms, I knew the trip was on. I purred contented we were finally on the road. When we rendezvoused at Home Depot right on time, Judy said. I panicked when I saw mom’s friend Julie pull up in her fifth wheel and her two dogs, Kona and Rocky. I've done trips with mom’s friends before and they all have  dogs who want to be my best friend. Really? Dogs are not cool.

I heard Judy tell her friend she needed a walkie talkie because her cheap, less than a year old, twenty dollar set wasn’t walking or talking. “No problem,” Julie said.  Brand new at RVing, Julie pulled out her brand new eighty dollar set with whistles and bells and we set out on the road, headed out for adventures and good times.

Judy led the way to Buckskin State Park on the outskirts of Parker and located on Arizona side of the river. A few years back she and I enjoyed a Thanksgiving weekend there, watched a boat parade on Thanksgiving Day and I rock climbed at the campsite. A gracious family invited Judy for enchiladas on night. I declined the invitation. Pleasant memories.

Half way to Lake Havasu Judy realized she made a wrong turn that led us on the California side of the river. She and Julie settled for a nice campground with wild burros grazing throughout the campground. Climbing back into the cab Judy said, “The office help seemed nice.”  She said she explained her intention to drive the Arizona side and they reassured her. “Don’t Worry. You are only thirty miles from Havasu.” 

Everything was so nice Judy booked two nights and selected the reasonable priced spaces, away from the water. She marveled at the picturesque red rocks of Copper Canyon that formed a postcard backdrop as we watched the wild burros graze peacefully. Now I wasn’t keen on the huge creatures but they seemed docile enough. I guess I was as thrilled as Judy and Julie with the campground choice.

Judy and Julie didn’t expect it to be as hot this late in the year, me I was fine stretched out on the kitchen counter. I could see the river from my vantage. It supported a variety of bugs. Numerous bugs swarmed in the air. I looked forward to catching a few when the sun set and it became cooler. Judy claimed the “burro pies” left by these constantly eating creatures were a delicacy for the insects, which constantly competed with the flies for the space in front of her face. She pawed at her face at the same pace the burros' tails switched back and forth.
When the burros belted out their screeching, grating hee haws to one another, my heart flip flopped and my hair stood on end. I listened to Kona’s deep, excited barks. What did she think she was doing? At that moment I decided curiosity was not killing this cat. I was exploring no farther than the scents that drifted through the screen door.
No bars. Judy gets agitated with the condition. No cell or Internet service toned down the two friends’ happy, joyous mood like a flat tire alongside the road. The final fly in the burro pie - no cable - forced us all to retire early into our air conditioned rigs with a good book Nap time is always a good thing.

Morning coolness tried to cheer Judy’s red-eyed spirits as she prepared to pull out of the River Lodge Resort on Parker Dam Road. A brief stop at the office confirmed what she expected - the request for a refund of second night would be denied. She shrugged it off and headed north to Havasu, Arizona.
No traffic led Judy to assume no one traveled the California side. The rough and twisted road left no shoulder or pull outs for photos of the red rock canyon scenery. She slowed to five miles of pot-holed-road per hour. I tried to sleep but the rig rattled and rumbled as it stumbled down the poorly maintained asphalt. Civilization disappeared. Five vultures perched on a rocky crag ten feet above our heads. Are there no small animals in this place? We crept by. The big birds seemed to wait for us to run out of gas.
Around the bend emerging out of a dust cloud a man appeared in a golf cart. Like an alien in this forsaken country he bounced past me and Julie flagged him down. Not an alien, the man confirmed Judy’s fears, we were on a road that went nowhere, but he assured her that around the curve was room to turn around. “The only way to Lake Havasu is head back to Parker,” he said. “You can’t image how many people make this mistake.” And off he buzzed vanishing down  a dusty canyon road..
Forty-five minutes later we pulled into the Parker Elks Lodge - the majestic red rock canyon and family of vultures - the good side of a bad, ugly road.

Judy left me to write my blog while she and Julie had hamburgers and chips inside the lodge. Tomorrow we would continue on, leaving the good, the bad routes, the right and wrong turns behind us.

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