Just Full of Hot Air

I know what most of you, the ones that know me well. Are thinking here he goes talking about himself again. But this time that’s not the case. Even though I’m sure many times, behind my back and sometimes to my face, I’m accused of being just full of hot air. This past weekend I took a road trip to go visit my friends that live in Lake Havasu City Arizona. You may remember them from one of my earlier post. When I first got down here they came to visit me on their motorcycles at the park, here they are sitting by the campfire back in November.20161122_161208So Friday midday after finishing my work week, I headed out for a 4 ½ to 5 hour ride to Lake Havasu City. My typical work week is Tuesday through Friday just working the morning shift giving me a 3 ½ day weekend to explore the area or do longer road trips. One of the events that was going on last weekend, in Lake Havasu City was a “Hot Air Balloon Festival”, henceforth the title of this post. When I arrived Friday early evening there were numerous balloons taking flight around the city. It’s always fun to see these bright colored balloons and watch them majestically fly overhead. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures Friday night. The plan to see them fly on Saturday and get photos then. This fell through, because it got very windy and rained so they had to cancel their flights on Saturday. One of the other events going on that weekend was a rally of all the old VW Minibuses, held down by the river in the state park. As you can see in the photo here it was kind of gray gloomy looking.

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Even though it was cold and breezy with threats of showers, Mike, myself and Maxine headed down to the park to check them out. We spent time checking out the minibuses and bugs and all the interesting people, gathered here to celebrate a thing of the past. There were some like this one kind of rusty and in need of restoration.

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And others that were in original or restored condition and quite impressive. Here’s one with a matching trailer and a surfer dude to go with it.

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This one was modified with part of a VW bug added to it, making it quite cool looking.

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This guy had done a unique paint job using textured indoor house paint. He told us he had come from Albuquerque, New Mexico driving through rain and mud. He spent many hours cleaning it up, along with all his shiny balls that he had on display, which he was quite proud of.

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It also had a waterbed inside which he offered to let you test out.

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I like this one with the steer horns and the Cabbage Patch Doll going for a ride on its grill.

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There were quite a few of four-wheel-drive models from the 80s.

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There were several of the “Thing”. A friend of mine had one of these back in the day, they were quite popular for a while.

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All different years and makes were on display. There were also quite a few VW Beetles, (I had a 1967 model back in the late 70s, they were great little cars). Many of these were for sale but like this one $8500 seems a little steep even though this once in pretty good shape.

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There were even some nice toy replicas.

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It was fun wandering around and seeing all the people just hanging out and hanging out ourselves.

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Sunday morning we got up to a cool but mostly sunny day. That’s one nice thing about living here in the desert you may have an off day or so but there’s so many days that are sunny and bright. I took a couple photos of Mike and Sharon’s house with the beautiful views that they have from high on the hill. Here’s one of the front yard with my car parked out front.

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In here’s one from the backyard looking out towards the hills.

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It was relatively calm so the balloons were hitting the air.

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In a made for a pretty scene with them raising into flight, with the Mountains and River in the background.

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We headed downtown for breakfast and caught a glimpse of a few more taking off before sitting down and having breakfast together.

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After breakfast we headed down to the park and the famous London Bridge. This is what put Lake Havasu on the map. Here’s a photo of the water fountain as you just entered the park near the bridge it reminded me so much of London.

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You see back in 1967 the Common Council of the City of London had voted to put this bridge up for sale in order to build its replacement. This was the fourth bridge spanning the same part of The River Thames. Because of its weight, over time it had been sinking slowly for many years and needed to be replaced to handle the modern traffic needs. Here’s a photo of the bridge where it spans the Colorado River, in its new location in sunny Arizona.

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In my recent trip to London, I got to go under and over the new bridge that spans the same part of the river today. When I was there are was told by guides, that the New London Bridge was the fifth bridge that crosses over the Thames River in this part of London. Over the last several hundred years, dating back to ancient Rome times the bridges became in need of repair or replacement for one reason or another. They all started to collapse or sink and that’s where the nursery rhyme “London Bridge is Falling Down” came from. On April 18, 1968, the winning bid went to the entrepreneur and Lake Havasu City founder Robert P. McCulloch for $2,460,000. You see he had a dream and had originally purchased 26 square miles of desert property along the Colorado River. With the dream of developing a desert oasis and thriving community. So a little over 50 years ago Mr. McCulloch and his partner CV Wood master planner of Lake Havasu City, (Wood also had developed the plans for Disneyland). Together they implemented a development plan in the middle of nowhere, to develop a modern thriving city. Before the bridge was dismantled and shipped to the US, some 5,400 miles away in London. Each one of the blocks was numbered so that it could be reassembled exactly the same way after it arrived at its new home in Arizona. The blocks were then shipped overseas through the Panama Canal to California and truck from Long Beach, CA to Arizona. Were then they were re-assembled in the open desert near the river. And after all the reconstruction was done the river channel was then dredged under the bridge forming the island that is connected to the mainland by this famous bridge. The project took till October 10 of 1971 to complete at a total expense of $5.1 million. The London Bridge has become Arizona second biggest tourist attraction, after the Grand Canyon. From its mere beginnings of mostly just open desert, Lake Havasu City has grown to a population of just over 50,000 people, with the population soaring to 60+ thousand during the winter and spring months. It has become a snowbird and spring break destination, offering warm sunshine and beautiful water activities. Here is a photo as we made our way along the river.

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Here’s one of Maxine and me with the bridge, still displaying its Christmas wreaths in the background.

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The river is beautiful and clean and you can see why it attracts people just like it attracted Maxine to go swimming in.

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It’s also winter home to many migrating birds.

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After a wonderful visit we said our goodbyes and headed off around noon, to take a different scenic route through the Mojave Desert and back home. I headed south on Highway 95, this is a very scenic drive along the river and then at Parker got on Highway 62 and headed west through the open desert.

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This stretch of the ride goes through a vast open area that is actually quite picturesque in its own way, it seems to go on forever.

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As you continue on West along Highway 62 you go on the north side of Joshua Tree National Park. I’d been to this area last year and really liked the views of the desert and mountains in the background. From there I headed south a bit too the north side of the Salton Sea and the cities of Indio & Palm Desert where I started traveling up in the mountains on Highway 74. If you look in the center of this photo, see the sign requiring chains at times to travel this highway. But none were needed that day it was beautiful and sunny.

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As you get to the top of the pass there’s a nice pull off and Monument to stop and take in views of the beautiful Valley below.

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City of La Quinta off in the distance.

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From the summit I got on Highway 79 and headed south through the mountains to the city of Julian, CA, where I’ve traveled before continuing towards home arriving about an hour after sunset. Making for another wonderful road trip.

In my last post I talked about plans I had to make, a beaded hatband. I posted a photo of a pattern and the loom to do the work on. Will here are some photos as I did the project. Here I had about one third of the beads strung on the loom.20170106_190255You have to count each bead and make sure you have the right colors as you go along to get the proper pattern. Here I have got them all strung.

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Then you carefully take them off the loom and add leather ends on and ties.

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In here’s a couple on the hat.

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If I say so myself, I think it turned out pretty well for first time trying.

Also I’ve got that laundry room all finished. Here’s a photo of before on the inside.

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And after the washer, dryer and sink are all in.

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The outside before.

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And after all the painting was done.

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Lately everywhere that I go the rain seems to follow. Which out here people are thankful that I bring it with me. Last weekend on Friday when I left it was raining steady here at Potrero and continued all day Saturday. And on Saturday last week it rained off and on most of the day in Lake Havasu. And once again it started raining here on Friday and they are predicting five or six days of off-and-on rain, here in the San Diego area. If this continues it might put an end to the two year drought that’s been going on in this area. So Thursday afternoon with the prediction of a gloomy weekend Maxine and I headed into town and the La Jolla Cove and beaches area. The village of La Jolla is where all the celebrities and the rich and famous, come to live in the San Diego area it’s on the north side of town with beautiful beaches and wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean.

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Here’s a photo some caves carved in the rugged coastline.

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This area is also home to a bunch of sea lions that hang out along the shore.

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Maxine wanted to get up close and personal like these guys, but we couldn’t have any of that.

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But she did get to go down in the surf.

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We watch these guys out there, braving the cold water riding the waves and doing a little surfing.

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That’s it for now thanks for coming along. And I will leave you what one last photo of Maxine’s, not too ladylike pose, she’s been doing a lot of this the last couple days with the rainy weather hanging out in the RV. Just lounging on the couch.

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Safe Travels and Best Wishes from Maxine and Me.

 

 

 

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