Venturing deeper into the USA (London Bridge, Great Meteor Crater & Two Guns Ghost Town)

Following on from Palm Springs and Joshua Tree NP, we headed off to Lake Havasu City. Less a destination and more of a convenient stop off with an added bonus of visiting London Bridge at the same time. Lake Havasu is on the border of California and Arizona and is a reservoir fed by the Colorado River. Lake Havasu City sits in Arizona on its eastern shore and Havasu Lake in California on its western shore. The lake is well known for its recreational opportunities; boating; fishing; swimming and for London Bridge which was carefully dismantled, every brick numbered and shipped to Lake Havasu in 1967 where the original bricks were rebuilt around a reinforced concrete structure to link an island in the Colorado River to Lake Havasu City. We saved visiting London Bridge until the evening when it was cooler and spent our afternoon at the Lake Havasu State park which had RV campsites, boat launching sites, a beach and the Arroyo-Camino Interpretative Garden which was to be found on the Mohave Sunset Trail, an easy 1 ½ mile trail following the lake shore. We made a beeline after the beach to the Arroyo-Camino garden which showcased natural planting of a low maintenance desert garden using cactus and other shrubs and trees. It was reasonably interesting for us but the girls soon lost interest.

London Bridge was crossed while dark but with a desert sky and new moon in the background it was reasonably exciting for the girls who couldn’t understand why they’d shipped a bridge over brick by brick rather than just building a new one – a fair question, we thought…

From Lake Havasu we headed to Flagstaff which was at a considerably higher elevation and was the first place we had snow. From swimming the day before in the motel pool to a snowstorm the next night – extremes of weather were to become quite normal for us from now on and we had packed for this eventuality anyway. Flagstaff was our base for visiting the Great Meteor Crater which was 45 minutes drive away. Nearly one mile across and over 500ft deep, it resulted from the impact of a meteor travelling at 26,000 miles an hour, 50,000 years ago. With a visitors center and the ubiquitous gift shop (our girls can’t get enough ‘tat’ shopping) we spent a good hour or two here, standing on the meteor rim on the viewing platforms in the extremely strong winds (we decided against the rim walk due to the intense winds) and looking through the static telescopes at features of interest in and around the crater such as the house sized rock. The girls really did find the meteor crater interesting, particularly buying little bits of actual meteorite in the gift shop!

Returning from the meteor crater took us past Two Guns Ghost Town offering Jim and me a chance to indulge in some ‘ghost town’ photography at this derelict camp ground and fuel station while the girls chose to stay in the car on various devices…

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