It was about a 3 1/2 hour drive on March 1 from Yuma to El Mirage. El Mirage is about 25 miles west of downtown Phoenix. Phoenix is so spread out. There are so many cities surrounding it. They are all joined together by various loops - 101, 202, and 303 (which is not quite completed yet). These, along with I-10 (east/west) and I-17 (north/south), makes travel around Phoenix pretty smooth even with the long distances. It took over an hour to get from El Mirage to Gold Canyon (east of Phoenix) to investigate another RV park.
El Mirage RV and Golf Resort has 1225 sites. Each are quite wide with a good sized cement patio. When we first arrived we were greeted by our neighbours, Wayne and Irene, from Puget Sound. They had spare tickets to the pool party that evening - hot dog, chips and a beer, with really good live music. There were a number of friends we had intended to meet up with while we were here but only managed to connect with Jim and Marie from Surrey.
Located in Phoenix is Sky Harbor airport which we have flown out of several times. It is the 9th largest airport in the US, 15th in the world. It has 120 gates in three terminals, handling 1,266 arrivals and departures daily. While we were driving by it, you could see in the distance several planes with a flight path to land on two different runways at a time.
The RV resort itself is right on the flight path of 70 year old Luke Air Force Base. There are more than 200 F-16 fighter Jets stationed at Luke, with 400 pilots, 470 crew chiefs and 700 maintenance techs graduated annually from this training facility. It is the largest and only active F-16 Fighting Falcon training base in the world. There are approximately 125 sorties a day, with 400 overflights. We didn't count that many but there certainly were a lot. Very loud! The F-35 will be replacing the F-16 soon and it is hoped to have that training here too. Many people who live in the area ask why the base can't be further out in the desert - the answer is that the base used to be far out in the desert - the city has come out to meet it.
We golfed 9 holes on Tuesday. We had been given free passes by the "Welcome Wagon" for the park so we took advantage. It was a very windy day. A farmer southwest of town had done a controlled burn of his field and it got out of control. We could see a huge cloud of smoke to the south. It was south of I-10 so no where near us although in the evening we could smell the smoke.
Wednesday night we met Jim and Marie at Black Angus in Glendale. Cactus League Baseball had begun a couple of days after we arrived but we never seemed to have time to check it out! We had a fairly relaxed week, leaving March 8 for Lake Havasu City.
We arrived about 2 pm. It was, as usual, very windy here. We came up Hwy 93 to Kingman which was a bit different route. We stayed at Campbell Cove RV Resort for two nights. We parked head-in to the site facing the Lake. Beautiful day, sunset and full moon! On the 9th we took a drive down as far as Parker on Hwy 95 then across to Parker Dam Road in California and up that side of the river to the dam. We checked out some RV parks we had seen previously. We had thought that the ones on the California side looked pretty good but really the best one we found was Buckskin State Park on the Arizona side. The sites are wide with full hookups, right on the river. We may look at that for our way down next year. Another windy day but a beautiful evening.
On the 10th we drove to Needles, CA (about 40 miles) a very small town on the California side of the Colorado River. Not a very long trip but we are stopping here to visit our friends Harry and Pam. They are actually our son Kelly's Godparents and we've been friends with them for over 35 years. Harry and Pam have been coming down to Needles every year for 12 years. We are staying at Desert View RV Park.
On the first afternoon we went to Arizona to Spirit Mountain Casino for cheap beer (75 cents a glass). Diesel fuel in Needles CA was $5.49 per gallon and 5 miles away in Arizona, diesel was $4.39 per gallon. Needles is on I-40 and straddles the CA, NV and AZ borders and people driving on I-40 do not see the lower fuel prices in Arizona.
On the 11th we drove to Laughlin, NV for brunch at the Colorado Belle Casino. The Colorado River is very high right now and the heat has arrived.
On to Indio next!