I woke up this morning slightly befuddled from a night of celebrating with a bottle of French wine and a dance party as the sun set over the mountains surrounding Lake Havasu. As I tried to shake off the sleepiness Mike came in from outside, still in his pajamas, and whispered “we’re surrounded by wild burros.”And so starts my next trip around the sun. I don’t mind what the calendar says my age is so long as I’m on an adventure, with my love by my side, and there’s music through the speakers.We covered a bit of ground this week. After saying goodbye to our friends last Friday we drove north until we kissed the Mohave Desert, then turned east toward the Colorado River.
The Colorado River, at the point where Arizona, Nevada and California comes together, is a mix of RV parks and casinos. Not the most inspiring of places, but Bullhead City had a Planet Fitness and we stopped for the night to pick up supplies, take showers, and attend to Hobbes’s needs.Mike heard reports of decent mountain biking in the railroad town of Kingman. We made our way there and camped at the trailhead, allowing Mike easy access to the trails at Coyote Pass. Coyote Pass was unexpectedly lovely, reminding me of parts of southern Idaho. I took a few hikes while Mike rode, then spent the rest of my time catching up with freelance work I had neglected the week before.
We drove into Kingman for a photo gig at a distillery and spent the evening sipping on craft liquor. The distillery recently bought a rail car and are in the process of restoring it – we camped next to it for the night. The next day we explored Kingman, known “heart of Route 66.”My knowledge of Route 66 was previously limited to what the Disney movie “Cars” had covered, so we stopped at the local museum then did a walking tour of Kingman’s Route 66 murals. The historic area of Kingman is quite charming, and it convinced us to hop on the “Mother Road” instead of taking the faster Highway 40.
It was a good decision. We drove west from Kingman through open desert, then Route 66 took a winding journey through the mountains. The road narrowed until it was barely two lanes with cliff on one side and an unguarded drop off on the other. It was just our kind of road. We stopped where we could to take pictures, then finally reached the top of the pass. We saw rusted hunks of cars who hadn’t made it, left in the gullies where they landed.At the bottom of the pass was the tiny backcountry outpost of Oatman, known for its “wild” burro population. Thoug the amount of hay spread throughout town made “wild” a stretch, it was fun to see so many burros roaming the streets, walking down the sidewalks, and sticking their heads in cars.
The youngest burros had stickers attached to their heads that said “Stop, Do Not Feed Me Anything.” I took a picture of one and then the young burro proceeded to inhale my shoelace, which as attached to my shoe, which was attached to me. As I hopped around on one foot, trying to extract my other foot, a group of burros started to run down the alley toward me. Mike was laughing too hard to help me as the stampede headed my way. And here he was a few weeks ago, all worried about a tiny kit fox!Since leaving Oatman we’ve been in Lake Havasu City. Lake Havasu is solidly snowbird territory, with hoards of retirees coming down in their campers for the winter. We found a quiet campsite far from the center of town, where we’ve been hiding out while I work. I don’t mind snowbirds, but we have less in common than you might think. We both live in campers, but the similarities end right about there.Speaking of snowbirds, we’re on our way to Quartzsite. Quartzsite is a tiny town of 1,500 residents, whose population swells to over 100,000 for the winter. I have never been, but from what I understand it’s a town made almost entirely of motorhomes. Not our scene, not in the slightest, but we’re headed to a convergence with 300 other working travelers. I’m excited to hanging out with a few people I’ve only “met” on Instagram, but I’m also concerned it’s not going to be our scene. And if it’s not? That’s ok. Home is where the Hobbes is, and the Hobbes can be anywhere.
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