We’ve retraced our route a bit and returned to Arizona for the long awaited fireworks festival. We don’t totally understand what it’s all about, but it’s been on our list of things to see and is one of the reason we came west this winter. Fireworks manufacturers come here to demonstrate their wares to interested buyers, try out new products and refine their presentations. We are boondocked in the rodeo grounds nearby and can watch the fireworks from our picture window or lawn chairs. We’ve heard that it will be crowded here this weekend as locals come for the day. They will envy our convenient location and the opportunity we have to enjoy four nights of explosions.
Lake Havasu was created in 1938 when a small dam was built over the Colorado River. Lake Havasu City was begun in 1963 when an industrialist bought a former Army Corps landing strip on a point jutting into the river. He worked with a Disneyland developer to make a planned community and tourist destination out of a rather featureless desert punctuated by a few black mountains.
When we first came to Lake Havasu City in the summer of 1979, it felt like a bit of a joke. We’d heard that they had purchased the London Bridge, had it dismantled numbering each stone, shipped across the Atlantic and reassembled here. The original London Bridge is not the fancy one you see in photographs; that’s the Tower Bridge. London Bridge was sinking into the Thames and the British wanted to replace it and start over. The way we heard the story, the locals were surprised by what they had purchased, but I can’t imagine spending all that money to get it over here without taking a look first. Tourist shops sold all manner of British souvenirs. It just felt so wrong in the middle to the deadly desert heat. The bridge was built to an island in the Colorado River and the island became a recreation center, especially for water based activities. People come here to fish, vacation on house boats, and enjoy then cool river water in all manner of water craft. LHC has a number of activities that bring tourists to this nowhere place; today's town leaders have followed in the founder's footsteps . At Christmas time illuminated boats parade on the lake. Friends were here a few weeks ago for the hot air balloon festival. Their photograph of the night illumination reflected in the water was awesome.
It’s been a long time since I have whined about the weather here in the west this winter. The first two weeks in January we were much colder than we hoped to be, but since then, there has been a gradual warming and here at 400 feet elevation, it’s warm enough for shorts during the day. I love to see the forecast for the next week and see nothing but sunshine predicted day after day after day. But once the sun sets, the desert cools rapidly and we wear jackets and long pants once again to watch the fireworks show.