Friday, June 12, 2009

London Bridge & Lake Havasu

On this Roadtripping Blog I am jumping back and forth between Roadtrips and Time. The Roadtrip that took me to London Bridge on Lake Havasu has us going way back in the time machine to the longest Roadtrip I've ever driven.

Over 10,000 miles, running through Utah, then to Colorado to drive through Rocky Mountain National Park, then on to the top of Pikes Peak, then across Royal Gorge's incredibly high suspension bridge, then south to Carlsbad Caverns, then on to Texas, before starting to head west, eventually reaching the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for a hike down to the Colorado River on the Bright Angel Trail, then continuing west to where I'm sitting in a cowboy hat in the picture, looking at the London Bridge on Lake Havasu.

London Bridge is in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. London Bridge was originally in London, hence the name. It was built there in 1831. In London the bridge deteriorated to the point that, by 1962, it was no longer sound enough to support traffic. So, London sold it to Robert McCulloch, the founder of Lake Havasu City. He figured the bridge would make a good tourist attraction for the retirement town he was planning to build. The plan worked.

The bridge was deconstructed, carefully, in London, each piece numbered, then carefully reassembled in Arizona, beginning in 1968. The reconstruction was completed in 1971. When I visited London Bridge there was a shopping zone done in quaint Old England fashion. It seemed way wrong for the Arizona desert. Over the years the English Village gradually was replaced with new tourist development. London Bridge and Lake Havasu remain a big tourist attraction, though some of the locals do not like the changes.

Swimming and boating on Lake Havasu is very popular. When I was there it was late September. I wanted to go swimming. Paying the fee to enter the swimming beach area the money taker advised that swimming season was over, that the water was cold. She did not know I am a Pacific Northwest Polar Bear who likes to swim in cold water. I remember it as a refreshing swim.

After Lake Havasu it was on to Las Vegas for a short stop and a buffet, then on to Los Angeles and Disneyland, then a trek north with stops in Kings Canyon, Sequoia & Yosemite National Parks, followed by a logging road from Redding, leading to the Pacific Coast and Eureka. Scariest mountain logging road I've ever driven on.

I'll be coming back to this Roadtrip on subsequent Roadtrippings.

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