Friday, February 14, 2014

The City That Outboard Motors Built

The reservoir created by the construction of the Parker Dam on the Colorado River has nearly 450 miles of shoreline and was filled to its capacity of 211 billion gallons in 1940-1942. And there it sat.
Parker Dam
Until 1963 when Robert McCulloch, owner of McCulloch Motors, was flying over Lake Havasu looking for a place to test his outboard engines. He thought that the land surrounding Lake Havasu had great potential for an emerging city. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963. and incorporated in 1978.

McCulloch and developer C.V. Wood joined efforts and founded what would be a thriving community. C.V. Wood had previously designed the Disneyland amusement park in Anaheim, California. After four years, a total of 16,520 acres were acquired and prepared for lease.

McCulloch move the plant building chain saws and outboard motors to Lake Havasu City thus creating an incentive for people to move to his new city and employment for many. But he and Mr Wood realized the city would need more than one industry if it was to grow and develop.

In 1968 a solution was found in the form of a unique tourist attraction. The city of London, Enland was replacing the famed London Bridge. McCulloch purchased the bridge for 2.5 million dollars, had it disassembled, all the pieces marked and numbered as to their location and transported to the US and reassembled in Lake Havasu City for a further 7 million dollars. It officially opened in 1971.

The bridge now crosses a 930 ft (280 m) long man-made canal that leads from Lake Havasu on the Colorado River around an island and back out to the river.

The Canal
Around the island and back to the river
Today Lake Havasu City is an active destination for a wide range of people. During the spring months, the community is joined by university students during spring break. March to September are the prime months on Lake Havasu. The city is also home to the International World Jet Ski Final Races, multiple professional fishing tournaments, custom boat regattas, the Western Winter Blast pyrotechnics convention (which draws many RVers) and many other events.

During the winter months, the community is joined by retirees from colder regions of the US and Canada. During this period, multiple events are held on McCulloch Boulevard.

As you enter the area where the bridge is you pass through the Gates of the city of London:
 And into the city of London:
To walk across the bridge you must walk up many steps:

And enter the bridge:
And cross while heading this warning sign:

After exploring the attractions around the bridge we headed back to Quartzsite via this National Back Country Scenic Byway.
And scenic it was:
Not long into the drive we came upon this sign:
And soon after we saw our first wild burros:
There are a lot of RV parks along the Colorado River and thus the reason for the development of this golf course, I expect.
I think you would call it a desert links course:
Below is the first hole. Check out the tee box in the lower right corner of the picture
A great drive. We arrived back at the Adventure Bus in Quatzsite just in time to watch to watch a very boring Super Bowl Game.

To enlarge the pictures simply left click on them
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