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Emerald Cove near the Parker Dam…

Posted by on March 15, 2014

MARCH 15, 2014

Emerald Cove RV Resort at the Colorado River. 2014.

Emerald Cove RV Resort at the Colorado River. 2014.

EMERALD COVE – EARP, CALIFORNIA.  (Who do you suppose was the idiot who decided to name the town “Earp?” Can you imagine what a good stand-up comic could do with that?) Anyhow, we’ve been camping here along the Colorado River for a few days now. Our friends Stan and Therese are parked nearby and we’ve all been having a good time. The weather is “typical River-weather”…warm and sunny with brisk breezes late in the afternoon. It’s really nice here. If you’re a River Rat, this is for sure the place to be!

THIS IS FUNNY: Last night after dinner we were all  sitting around drinking coffee. Stan (See post dated 02-22-14 ) started telling stories about the old days when he was just breaking into the music business and trying to make a name for himself. He didn’t start his career playing in country clubs and other high-end venues, of course, but I had no idea how a musician gets started. Stan had us laughing so hard I thought I’d pee in my pants! Here’s one of his stories: In the early years, he’d go searching for gigs. Not having much success one day, he was all ears when someone told him he should go down to the new Wal-mart store in town where the Grand Opening had been scheduled. Well, you can see where this story’s headed: Before he knew it and for only $25 and a free hot dog, Stan was blowin’ his horn and playing his harp inside the new Wall-mart store…at “Men’s Accessories.” I can just see it in my mind’s eye: There’s Stan on a little platform, warming up and adjusting his amplifier, with the Jockey shorts display as a backdrop, along with Fruit of the Loom briefs in cellophane three-packs! That would have truly been a Kodak Moment!

WILD BURROS: One of the sights along this stretch of the River I’ve always enjoyed is the wild burros that live in the hills nearby. They’ve become rather domesticated, because lots of drivers like me stop and feed them carrots or apples. In fact, you don’t even need to stop and exit your car any longer…the burros just stroll along the road ready to insert their heads into car windows to “look around” for treats. It’s a scream!


When you see one of these signs, you need to slow down because there’s a good chance you’ll encounter some friendly wild burros…road-side…just around the bend.

These guys pretty much just hang around on the road 'til you feed them an apple or a carrot.

The burros just hang around on the road ’til you feed them an apple or a carrot. On a previous trip, one of them stuck his head in my driver’s side window, looked around,  “licked” a pack of cigarettes out of my shirt pocket and walked off with them. Hilarious!

DAMS ALONG THE COLORADO RIVER: There are lots of dams along the River: Hoover Dam, Davis Dam and the closest one right now to our location the Parker Dam. It diverts water from the Colorado River for irrigation and supplies electricity to towns in Arizona, Nevada and California. Water rights have long been a contentious issue in the Southwest, especially the water within the region’s greatest river, the mighty Colorado.

Parker Dam is just upstream from our camp.

Parker Dam is just 17 miles upstream from our camp. It’s the deepest dam in the world. 73 percent of its structural height of 320 feet is below the original riverbed. Men and machines excavated 235 feet into the Colorado riverbed before concrete was placed for the dam’s foundation. About 85 feet of the dam is visible. However, the dam’s superstructure rises another 62 feet above the roadway across the top of the dam. You can see the road crossing the dam. That’s about as high as I’ll go before turning around and heading for lower ground. There’s always an alternate route and I’m just not going to drive across high bridges spanning a river!

IT’S PRETTY WARM TODAY: Can you imagine? Mid-March, half of the country is shuddering in the snow and ice, and at our spot the temperature is about 80 degrees! By mid-afternoon it was pretty warm and windy outside…a good time to be inside with air conditioning.  Stan is holed-up in his rig being a Computer Geek.  Therese and Florence are watching last night’s American Idol results show on TV and I’m (obviously) working on my Blog. The ladies have invited us to accompany them this evening to the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance in the clubhouse. That sounds about as interesting to me as watching a card game on TV, so I’m going to try to think of an excuse so I won’t have to attend.

Florence and Therese watching American Idol. This show is a must see for us. I don't watch the Idiot Box hardly at all, but I wouldn't miss an episode of Idol.

Florence and Therese watching American Idol. This show is a must see for us. I don’t watch the Idiot Box hardly at all, but I wouldn’t miss an episode of Idol.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER-DANCE? Turns out we all went down to the Clubhouse to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the resort’s Saturday night dinner-dance. Yawn. I decided to tag along, even though I really didn’t have any interest. I lucked out! We had no more than entered the room when we turned around and abandoned our plans. None of us felt comfortable with the crowd inside. I’d guess the average age was mid-70’s, the gals had those tight permanent wave hairdo’s with a blue tint. Some were in hair curlers and K-Mart rubber flip-flops. Everyone in the entire room was dressed in green and wearing those little cardboard Leprechaun hats with the rubber band chin strap.   The conversations were all about health concerns and ailments. It just didn’t “feel right” to us. After all, what would a group of slick, hip guys and gals like us be doing in a place like that?

Bobby D's Diner, located in bustling Parker, Arizona.

Bobby D’s Diner, located in bustling Parker, Arizona.

DINNER AT THE DINER: So, we all packed into the Jeep and I drove to a local eatery called Bobby D’s Diner for a bite to eat.  Florence and I have had lunch there a couple of times in the past when driving from Laughlin to Lake Havasu. The food’s just OK, but the diner itself is real 1950’s retro and kind of fun. and not unexpectedly Steamin’ Stan entertained us with stories about collecting cars as a kid…running or not. He paid less than $20 bucks for one of his trophy cars…that gives you an idea  of the types of cars he assembled in his fleet. His self-deprecating humor absolutely touches my funny bone. I’ve laughed more in the last few days than in the previous five years! Therese is no slouch in the laugh department either. The bus boy told us about a string of auto accidents he’s already had…and he’s only 16 years old. Therese “had a talk with the kid” just as if she was his Probation Officer. All this while we awaited the ice cream we’d ordered for dessert. On the way back home, everyone kidded me about my lack of navigational skills. I’ve got an undeserved reputation as a poor navigator and they were relentless in their friendly criticism of me. What the heck, I may “go the long way” but I always get to the Church on time! All roads lead home!

MY AMERICAN IDOL OBSESSION: I don’t have much use for the idiot box, but I’ve got to admit I’m hooked on TV’s American Idol show. At last night’s results show the field of contestants was whittled down to the top 10. This is a big deal for the kids, because being in the top ten means that each will go on tour this summer after the Season ends. The tension is starting to build.


I won’t miss an episode of this show, no matter what!

It’s about time for me to “pick my horse” and get busy casting some serious votes after the crucial upcoming performances. I’m sure my participation could make it or break it for “my horse” and consequently not voting would be unconscionable.  Viewers get as many as 100 votes per show and if I vote wisely and strategically I can probably work things so my “horse” is the first across the finish line.  You think I’m kidding about this but I assure you I’m not. The show has a cumulative effect on me and as the season progresses each year I become more and more hopelessly involved. Here’s an example: A few years ago, I think it was Season X, Florence and I were vacationing in Oregon. We’d stopped for the night at one of Oregon’s beautiful pull-off-the-road areas and already set up when we realized that we had no TV reception. Idol showtime was only a few hours away! What’s a guy to do? You got it: We pulled in the slide-outs and headed to the nearest spot where we thought we’d be able to get a satellite signal. It was raining cats and dogs!

We spotted a Wall-Mart and pulled into the lot. There were no trees to interfere with our satellite but the lot was pretty full of cars and with our RV and tow vehicle I couldn’t find a place large enough for us to park. Show time was creeping up on us!  “Oh wait, there’s room down that ramp behind the store in front of the loading ramp.” I’m on it… we got a strong signal and enjoyed the show. It was now dark as hell down there, kind of scarey and the rain was absolutely torrential! You guessed it: there wasn’t enough room for me to turn around and get out of the area. Keep in mind that you can’t back up when towing a vehicle. We’d have to unhook the car from the RV in order to depart. I thought of some reason that Florence should be the one to unhook (she’ll never forgive me) and about 10 minutes later, looking like a drowned rat, she came back inside and we were on our way. Whew, we didn’t miss an episode! Can you imagine: A couple of 60 + year-old folks who won’t let extreme weather and huge inconvenience get in the way of their chance to watch a bunch of teenagers singing on TV. True story…I can’t help myself!

For all of my loyal followers, if you’re not Idol fans, please bear with me until the Idol Season is over this year. Just skip over my Idol drivvel until then and understand that the obsession for me to write about this show is something over which I really have no control! I can’t remember: “What does the phrase ‘tongue in cheek’ mean?”

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