Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Good Time at Lake Havasu

One of the most exciting things that happened to us since leaving Quartzsite happened the morning we were leaving Cattail Cove State Park. First, though, let me say that Cattail Cove, which is located on Lake Havasu about 15 miles south of Lake Havasu City, was singularly the nicest state park to which I've been thus far. The sites were spacious and staggered in such a way that you didn't feel you were walking into your neighbor's space just by stepping out your door. They had electric and water, but no sewer hook-ups; however, they do have a dump station conveniently situated as you enter or exit the grounds. The restrooms were very clean, the showers generously sized and with plenty of hot water. Cattail Cove also has wonderful walking trails that overlook the lake and a boat launch, which is a must-have for any campground along the lake.

The second night we were in Quartzsite, Rob and I went to a mexican restaurant. When I slipped into the booth I noticed a newspaper on the seat, which turned out to be the local classifieds. I thought it would be good to bring it back to the Beast with us to use as fire starter for our charcoal chimney. That evening I decided to take a look at what people around Quartzsite were trying to sell and I found an ad for the 3rd Annual Havasu Balloon Festival, which was due to begin the day after we intended to leave Cattail Cove and Lake Havasu. The festival coordinators set up RV parking/camping on a lot at an adjacent marina that is normally used for summer boaters to park their boat trailers. We chose to cut short our stay at the next destination, Lake Mead, by a few days and reserved a space at the festival. We are so glad we did, too!

The morning we left Cattail Cove, I found I had an email from folks who posted a comment on one of my blogs the night before. It explained that they had been at Cattail and, as they were leaving, took a photo of my blog address, which is on the side of the Beast. They said they were going on to the balloon festival. I responded and let them know that we, too, were leaving just that morning to go to the festival. I suggested that they make contact since they knew how to identify our motorhome. That night at about 9:00pm, there was a knock on our door. Rob answered, was handed a note and the fellow said they were parked right behind us just across the 'roadway'. We went and knocked on their door the next morning, met Judith and David. We intended to stay just a few minutes but it turned into a couple of hours. In that time we found we have some preternatural things in common. To our delight, they agreed to join us that evening for a campfire. We thoroughly enjoyed their company, their sense of humor and outlook on life, and we look forward to seeing them again in the future.

Also there were our friends from the sand dunes. Mark and Jeannine live in Lake Havasu City and drove their motorhome down to the festival, parked next to us and we shared as much time as we could with them. They are raising their granddaughter, who is 14 months old, and as any parent knows, the kid's schedule tends to rule. With them was a friend, Eric, who came down from Washington to look for a house to buy. Eric makes his living as an Alaskan fisherman. It was interesting to hear him talk about that kind of life. And around the campfire, we learned that both Mark and David also had something in common: They both hailed from Washington and both had worked for Boeing—at the same time! But, David spent 34 years with Boeing, and Mark about 15, if I remember correctly. We all experienced a few woo-woo moments over those few days.

The festival was set up at the golf course, so there was an abundance of space for the multitude of food vendors as well as the typical clothes, jewelry, art and souvenir vendors. In the center was the balloon field, of which the vendors and other activities surrounded. They had shows where you could watch dogs display their prowess at frisbee catching, a radio-controlled aircraft area, a carnival area with a ferris wheel and an assortment of other rides, as well as boat and travel trailer brokers and a few old cars to view. 

Of course, the most fun was seeing all the grand and colorful balloons. We suffered with some wind during the festival, so the balloons flew mostly in the early morning. Most flew over the RV area and over the channel that flows under the London Bridge and they often landed wherever they could. One morning, Rob helped one land right in our roadway in the RV area. How fun is that? In the evening with weather permitting, they had what they called 'Night Glow,' where the balloonists filled their balloons so they were illuminated against the night sky. It was quite a sight.

In our travels, Rob and I want to note the cities or towns that interest us as possible places to settle once we are finished with RVing. Lake Havasu City has made it on the list so far.

A view of the beach and boat ramp at Cattail Cove State Park.
Our motorhome is center right with the silver CR-V parked in front.
Feeding the locals at Cattail Cove.
A view of Lake Havasu from the hiking trail. That's California over on the other side.
Rob pretending to be Edith Ann in Mark's oversized camp chair.
Here come the balloons.
A look inside.
Deflating the balloon.
Rob after helping land the balloon.
Volunteers helping to bag the balloon.  
A close up of the beautiful stitching on the bottom of the balloon basket.
Aerial entertainment. 
Night Glow.
Filling the balloon.

An inside look at Night Glow.

The view toward the RV park from the Ferris Wheel.
This balloon proved to be very photogenic.
Above the London Bridge

Just a bridge reflection.
An American balloon and my favorite photo.
Getting its feet wet.

Through our windshield.

The same balloon that Rob helped land.
The goldfish was my favorite balloon.
Judith and David


  1. I was standing there watching the balloon descend and the pilot called out, When I touch down, weight on!" Way cool experience.


  2. Fantastic photos, Mom!!! I love how much fun you both are having and how new, unplanned experiences are presenting themselves for you to enjoy. Can't wait to see you next week! Love you!

  3. Great trip, great pics, looks like you two are having the time of your life!