Hi ~ we are now in Bullhead City Arizona, across the Colorado River from Laughlin, in Nevada. To back up a bit, we had a good few days at Roper Lake and the birding was pretty good ~ saw a huge flock of yellow-headed blackbirds whose heads and chests looked lovely in the light from the setting sun. Hit some more golf balls but unfortunately still seem to be getting ones that are untrained!
From there we drove through a canyon of reddish rock columns between Globe and Superior. There were lots of purple, yellow and orange wildflowers in bloom and also trees with blossoms ~ nice to see the colour in the desert.
We stayed in Mesa for 10 days ~ it is just outside Phoenix and it was quite different to be in a big city but we were very close to the hills so it was easy to enjoy the resort and also the outdoors. Lining the roads in the resort were grapefruit trees, some of which were in bloom and gave off a beautiful scent, others were still bearing fruit so we had fresh-squeezed juice every morning ~ yummy. This resort had all the usual activities and facilities I have told you about at other places but also some new things to do- like silversmithing, lapidary, ceramics, scrapbooking, watercolour painting, jewellery making, card games, tap-dancing, golf driving cage ,putting green, tennis courts and "write your life story". Impossible to do it all but I did get in a card-making class and of course we had some "laze by the pool" time. There was also a big dog run and another agility course so it was nice for the puppy. Luckily had beautiful weather the whole time! One nice surprise was a "welcome gift bag" ~ bottle of wine, 2 glasses, nuts, dip mix, letter-opener and a fan!! Never had anything like that before.
Nearby a Renaissance Festival was held and it was fun! Everyone was dressed up, even a lot of the attendees. There were about 10 stages with things like storytelling, a hypnotist, ropewalker, comedians and singers, lots of little booths selling stuff, musicians playing a harp, a harpsichord and an Elizabethan quartet. You could put a friend in the stocks, throw an axe or stars and have your fortune told. We went to see the jousting which was fun ~ our knight was confident and heroic but unfortunately became unhorsed!
We met up with some friends from Tapadera who have a place in Mesa and they took us on a really nice hike to a big lake!! Yes, in the middle of the desert - manmade but still. The cacti are just starting to bloom and we had great views of the Superstition Mountains ~a good day. We also went to Usery Mountain Park and did a hike there ~ again, nice scenery and a lot of different kinds of cacti. The RV resort puts on shows and we went to a tribute show ~ Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison and Reba McEntire ~ the Kenny guy looked the part but was a terrible singer but the others were pretty good.
On the way from Mesa, through yet more desert, to Kingman we saw real cowboys roping a calf!
Bullhead City is on the hills along the Colorado River and services Laughlin which, being in Nevada, has 11 casinos. The desert here isn't very nice ~ dusty and rocky without any nice vegetation. Where it is irrigated there are lots of orange and yellow wildflowers. It is hot here (mid-high 80s) so we are using the air-conditioning for the first time. We spent a little time in the casinos (basically betting with the $ they give you free for joining their Players Clubs) and last night had a delicious seafood buffet ~ (love those crab claws!!) and tried Oysters Rockerfellow. Today we drove up into the hills to Oatman, an old gold-mining town, active until the 1930s. It is famous for the wild burros which roam the street (they were used in the mines then released when the mines closed) ~ they are very insistent about wanting their carrots! We watched a "gunfight" on the main street between some bank -robbers and bank-robber robbers ~ it was cute. A nice thing about it is that the guys don't get paid but they pass the hat with all donations going to the Shriners' Children's Hospitals (for those of you who don't know, these hospitals provide free care for any child with burn injuries or orthopaedic disabilities~ a huge help in the States where so many people haven't got health insurance) and so far they have donated over $63,000!!
We leave here tomorrow and start the long drive home~ will let you know how that goes. In the meantime, take care and please write and let us know your news.
Malcolm and Elinor