I wake up at first light and pack my Kayak. The birdsong is incredible and when I look up from my packing, a Coyote comes out of the brush behind where my tent had been and sniffs around curiously. He looks up at me and it seems I don’t bother him much. Then he elegantly disappears again, making me feel as if he had just been an apparition. But I see his tracks all over the ground and have left a big smile on my face that I take downriver with me. The Topock Gorge that I now paddle through is beautiful. I laugh out loud at the beavers playing and splashing right next to my boat at one time. I take my time and make the most of this last beautiful stretch before hitting the resorts of Lake Havasu with all their motorized traffic. I take a long lunch break, do yoga in the shade of a pretty rock formation and take a nap.
The further down I paddle, the louder and more crowded the river gets. All other vessels are motorized and the closer to Lake Havasu City I get, the louder and faster they seem to be. By the early afternoon I am in a bad mood. I am so tired of motorboats and jet skis and the noise, the smog and the people. I realize I am not good at tolerating this type of travel anymore, I am too annoyed by all the environmental ignorance the lifestyle of the people around me radiates. I am feeling very European and as such I feel out of place here. I decide that I will just try to paddle though this as fast as I can.
I camp shortly below Lake Havasu City on BLM Land on the Arizona side of the lake and continue early in the morning. I spend most of my day with headphones in, listening to “Where the water goes” by David Owen and learning more about the construction of Parker Dam that I am paddling up to in the early afternoon.
At 2pm I desperately need to get out of the blazing sun and I actually end up in a bar at the Havasu Spring Resort, one of the local epicenters of the kind of tourism I despise. I spend the better part of the afternoon watching people of all ages get drunk on pink drinks and stumble back onto their motorized monsters. A total of three times I see someone accidentally dropping something into the water. A cellphone and two pairs of sunglasses. Every time they call on a dull muscled dude from the bar who readily takes off his shirt and dives in, cheered by drunken overweight people in swim attire.
I am done for the day. All I want is a quiet place and some solitude. But the next stretch doesn’t promise any change. Past Parker Dam there is what is called “Parker Strip” and tomorrow is Saturday, so it will be even crazier on the water.
Mona is coming down here to help me around the Dam. We strap my Kayak to the roof of her little car and I am still undecided on whether I want to ask her to just drive me past Parker town to camp there and then put in below there early tomorrow…