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  • Writer's pictureKandy Thietten

Sand, Cacti, and Vultures

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

Just yesterday morning, I was wondering if I would be able to come up with anything to write about. What was I thinking? I just needed to give it a day. Typing right now is nice because I'm sitting outside under the awning, and there's a cool breeze blowing through the campsite, and a few birds are singing. It's perfectly pleasant and rather perfect.


I said I was ready for sun and heat, and I got it! Saturday after church we took the RV to Body Beach on Lake Havasu. There were a couple of people around, but not many, and they moved on pretty quickly. We stuck our lawn chairs in the lake and kept the dogs there with us. They like the water...except when it gets up to their stomachs. Then they want to get out. Truffle's always liked to stand in his water bowl when it's hot outside, but neither dog has had much chance to go swimming. I expect they'll like it more when it gets hotter.


Abe did something to his Achille's tendon that's been making it painful for him to walk, but the cold water relieved the pain. I don’t know what he did, but it’s getting better.


By the end of the day, we realized that shoes need to come off before walking through the RV. There was sand EVERYWHERE. Our sandals are now stored on the bottom step. I don't remember the last time I had that much sun, but I loved it. I was also ready for it to cool off at night. 80 degrees isn't normally terribly hot, but it sure is when two weeks earlier most days were only getting up to about 45.

We stayed at the Craggy Bottom dispersed camping site outside of Lake Havasu City Saturday night. It was pretty uneventful, but I did get to listen to some coyotes howling in the middle of the night when I woke up. I keep having bouts of anxiety at night that are driving me nuts, and that night it was particularly bad. Grasping at straws to figure out what's going on, I finally decided to get up and read my Bible for a couple hours or so. A big part of this whole trip is to get healthy spiritually, and I planned on spending a lot of time with God, but even with this slow lifestyle the normal busyness of life has been getting in the way. I don't know if that's what I was supposed to do, but I was able to sleep when I finally went back to bed, and I slept much better the next night. We packed up in the morning and headed back into Lake Havasu City.


Abe saw that the London Bridge was now located in Lake Havasu City, so of course we had to go see it! Someone there told me that they numbered every single brick when they disassembled it in London so that they could rebuild it here. What an undertaking! I am completely baffled as to how people were able to accomplish such a monumental task. They had to build the channel that runs under the bridge. It was originally inside of a peninsula, but they dug out the land connecting the peninsula to the rest of the land, so the peninsula is now an island. We walked around the beach for a while. Abe's the people person, so he's good at striking up conversation with strangers. Of course, having a huge Great Dane helps - people love to come up to pet her. And if they don't come up to her, she's more than happy to go to them because she's positive that everyone is her best friend. I've never known a friendlier dog. But, after a couple of hours, even Marley seemed to be getting tired of all of the attention and started ignoring the passers by.


Sunday night we stayed in yet another casino parking lot. This one was the Blue Water Casino on the Colorado Indian reservation in Arizona, right on the Colorado River. They had a big outdoor concert venue with a nice band shelter, a large park, a restaurant, and some other businesses down by the beach, but everything except the casino itself and the restaurants inside it were closed down. It was sad to see the area that I'm sure is normally booming almost completely vacant. They did have all of the palm trees out front lit up in festive colors, which was pretty and cheerful.


Monday Morning we decided to make our way to Quartzsite, AZ, excited to see the excitement of the tiny town that holds a city of RVs, but first we had to go to California, just to add another state to our map of the US that we have stuck onto the outside of the RV. We drove the short jaunt to Pirate Cove Resort. There were a few people there enjoying the restaurant and playing in the water on their boats, but not much for us to do since we're trying to avoid spending money as much as possible to keep the year under $20,000, so after looking around for about 30 minutes we set off for Quartzsite.


Quartzsite is definitely on my list of places to go back to...in the winter. Everything for RVs is shut down and gone by the 2nd week of April, and by the end of March almost all of the RVs are gone, leaving the the town of under 4,000 residents alone to hunker down and hide out from the summer heat. Maybe they don't all hide out, but I doubt there's much running around when the temps are getting over 110 degrees - it was 90 when we were there. This time of year it's pretty barren, with empty lots and empty RV parks everywhere. I look forward to seeing it when it's full of hundreds of thousands of snowbirds, travelers and vendors.

We had planned on staying a week or so at Quartzsite, but after seeing that we had missed the festivities we decided to start working our way slowly to our first planned destination - Ramah, NM. We've been taking our time getting there because it's still dipping well below freezing at night and they've had some recent snow, but it looks like temperatures in Ramah are heading up for spring. Last night we stopped at the aptly named Vulture Peak Campground. Vultures glide on the wind currents all over here, just like the hawks I'm used to in Idaho. Some fellow campers walked over to say hi, and they came back later for a wonderful evening playing Rummy. They had some extra bread that they brought over to offer us, and I invited them for French Toast in the morning for breakfast. We haven't been around many people, and when we are I'm not good at pushing past my shyness and making myself go talk to them (dogs are a great help for that, because they give you an excuse to walk around and they tend to get attention and break the ice), so I get a little lonely sometimes. It was wonderful when Darlene and Ernie came over to visit. I'm glad we got here before they left to go back to their home in Illinois.

After breakfast, we pulled out the mountain bikes and hit the UTV trails, heading towards the top of Vulture Peak. Having cacti around adds a new level of difficulty. Sometimes the path I wanted to take was right next to a poky cactus, so I had to go on the other side of the road where there might be rocks that I'd rather avoid. But I'd much rather fall on sharp, jagged rocks than on a cactus. A couple minutes into our ride, a man walked by us where we were stopped to take pictures next to a giant Saguaro cactus and warned us to watch out for rattlers because he'd just shot one the day before. We passed him when we started riding again, and he said we were at the spot where he'd shot the snake. I'll catch Garter snakes, and I'm good with bull snakes, but I do NOT mess with rattle snakes. It's good we didn't see one, but I kept my eyes peeled the whole time.

Mountain biking here is awesome. I'm by no means an expert, but for me it was a nice challenge. The terrain was varied with a mixture of sand, rocks, gravel, and bumps, and there were some nice hills. The electronic assist on the bikes is perfect in sand, making it easy to keep your speed up so you're stable. The loose rocks pushed me past my abilities, making me get off and walk a few times. I'm a pretty big chicken when it come to falling, and I was extra chicken today because of the cacti. There was a lady hiking up the hill and we kept taking turns passing each other. There were so many things to take pictures of, I had to keep stopping, and every time we stopped she’d walk by. By the time we got 3 miles in, my arms were Jello making me walk over some pretty easy parts just because I didn't trust myself to control my bike, so we turned around and went back down to camp. Once we got on the final stretch, we were on hard ground going downhill. I love the feeling of flying over the road as fast as I can, dipping in and out of the bumps. The whole ride was SO FUN! It made me realize how out of shape I am, but I'll get that back soon enough.


Now Abe's setting up the kite we bought at a roadside booth on the way out of Quartzsite, so I'm going to join him in taking advantage of the breeze blowing through. We’ll stay here at least one more night before we take off again.




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6 Comments


sj-davis
Apr 02, 2021

Sound like you are having fun.

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Kandy Thietten
Kandy Thietten
Apr 02, 2021
Replying to

It’s an adventure😄

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Ray Thietten
Ray Thietten
Apr 01, 2021

Thanks for the update... look forward to every new posts.

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Kandy Thietten
Kandy Thietten
Apr 01, 2021
Replying to

Thank you!

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Pamela Wilson
Pamela Wilson
Mar 31, 2021

Oops it's Zopelote'

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Pamela Wilson
Pamela Wilson
Mar 31, 2021

Thinking of vultures I love the word vulture in Spanish it's opelote

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