So I did end up asking Mona to take me all the way past Parker and “the strip” last night. She drove me around a bit and we were looking at some of the unique Saguaro cactus that grow in this area.
I have decided to take the day to explore the area without the Kayak. At the RV Park I am staying at I soon meet Todd and his family. They have been coming here every weekend for generations and they own property and several boats here at the RV park. They are a colorful and cheerful bunch.
In the morning I want to explore the area around Parker, visit the Native American Library and interview locals. It turns out that it is almost impossible to hitchhike here and after the first round I find I also don’t want to: the very old guy who turns his pickup around to pick me up (usually a suspicious sign) awkwardly compliments me on my tits, after which I ask him to stop and drop me off and he behaves and does it.
Then I walk. It is hot and as always, the way to the Native American Library is much further than I thought. After one hour on highway like roads in the heat I get there, thirsty and only 15 minutes before it closes. Fortunately the lady there gives me a ride back to my campsite and I decide to stop venturing carless on my own for the day.
And I don’t have to, as Todds daughter Brittany offers to show me around to the local Bluewater Casino, that is run by the Colorado River Indian Tribes (Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo). We don’t gamble there though, we just look at the insane interior.
My days highlight is the interview with Dave, an elder from the Mohave Tribe, who tells me about their traditions and history. Among many other things he tells me that the Topock Gorge, that I have just come through, was a traditional birthing area and is thus a sacred place. Women used to give birth in the river there up until the 1880s.
Todds crew invites me to spend the evening with them. We have a fun time as they try to hook me up with the “single firefighter and very handsome and outdoorsy” son of Todd’s sister in law. I also get to witness the announcement of Stars engagement.
When I am back in my tent I giggle at the multitude of layers this day has provided me with.