A Clean Sweep – Divers Clean Up Copper Canyon

SCUBA Lake Havasu City
Here’s a quiz: what do a waterlogged iPhone, a rubber mat and a shopping cart have in common? As far as Lake Havasu is concerned, they represent a clean sweep.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Lake Havasu Divers Association and Scuba Training & Technology, is hosting the Copper Canyon Underwater Clean-up, an effort to clear manmade debris from Copper Canyon. The date is Tuesday, May 31, 2016, from 6:15 a.m. to noon, departing from Lake Havasu Marina. At least three dozen divers and other volunteers, accompanied by pontoon boats, will scour the bottom of the canyon for whatever doesn’t belong there.

Last year’s clean-up netted nine 55-gal. trash bags worth of bottles, cans and assorted flotsam and jetsam, including left and right shoes, but rarely a complete pair.

Joel Silverstein, the association’s vice president, tells us, “If more people respected the environment, we wouldn’t have to host these underwater clean-ups, but that’s the reality.”
He continues, “On the positive side, our clean-up under the London Bridge and in Bridgewater Channel yields less and less garbage each year. I think the message is getting out there – plus peer pressure comes into play that it’s not cool anymore to toss beer cans overboard.” (Editor’s note: Coors Light beat out Bud Light during a recent clean-up).

The group leaves May 31 from Lake Havasu Marina, and celebrates their booty afterwards with a BBQ. Copper Canyon will be closed to other boaters and divers at that time.

Divers and non-divers alike are welcome to volunteer by contacting Capt. Kathy Weydig
at kathy@trimixdiver.com, or 928-855-9400.

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Boat-In Dining Includes Skateboard Pizza Deliveries

Pizza delivery to Bridgewater Channel In Lake Havasu City, AZ.
There are drive-in pharmacies, drive-in movie theaters, and even drive-through supermarkets. When it comes to dining, why should Lake Havasu be any different?

Want to spend as much time on the water as you can? Consider what we so cleverly call a “boat-in” restaurant. Whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a great gourmet coffee, there’s a boat-in restaurant to fulfill your craving.

But if you’re feeling extra indulgent, Papa Leone’s, family owned for 25 years and overlooking the London Bridge at 304 English Village, will deliver your order by skateboard.

Cody Hull, an employee at the store, says there’s no minimum order and deliveries will be fast – and horizontal – not slung vertically over some skater dude’s shoulder turning your pepperonis and tomatoes into mush.

“We hire kids who know how to ride a skateboard,” Cody tells us. “Boaters absolutely get a kick out of it. It also helps with tips when a boater sees their pizza rolling up. It’s a lot faster than walking.”

No hoverboard deliveries are planned for the future, although considering how many have burst into flames, maybe that’s one way to order your pizza piping hot.

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Boat Registration in Lake Havasu City Coming Soon

Boating near the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, AZ.
For decades, if boaters purchased a boat in or near Lake Havasu City, they were required to travel an hour each way to Kingman (Ariz.) to register. The alternative was to wait weeks to apply by mail. Those days are coming to an end, thanks to efforts by the Lake Havasu Marine Association and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Ty Gray, the department’s deputy director, announced recently the department would work with the Lake Havasu Marine Association to offer boating permits in Lake Havasu City. The proposed pilot project would bring Game and Fish agents to Lake Havasu several times per month to accommodate the city’s boaters, according to Today’s News-Herald, the local paper.

To Lake Havasu Marine Association President Jim Salscheider, it’s the culmination of eight years of input from the Lake Havasu community.

“This is a big deal,” Salscheider said. “In my eight years with the Marine Association, I’ve been hearing relentlessly about people having to travel 60 miles to landlocked Kingman for new registrations. Seeing Game and Fish reaching out and trying to accommodate us is not how bureaucracies usually work. But in this case, they listened and boaters certainly have something to cheer about now that the registration process is going to become more convenient,” adds Salscheider.

The timing and location for local registrations are not yet confirmed, so stay tuned.

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Hiking Near Lake Havasu City? Please Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace while hiking near Lake Havasu City, AZ.
Want to help ensure our trails are there for many generations to come? Leave No Trace is a universal philosophy that could and should be part of any outdoor experience.
There are Seven Principles to remember.

The idea is simple – leave the places you enjoy as good or better than you found them. The Leave No Trace organization believes that if people do something, even something simple, to help take care of the recreational resources they cherish, we will all benefit. Cleaner water, fewer wildfires, fewer negative encounters with wildlife, less damage/loss of cultural and historic artifacts are just a few of the benefits of adhering to Leave No Trace.

It’s impossible to leave absolutely no trace of your visit to the outdoors. However, the primary goal of Leave No Trace is to prevent the avoidable impacts and minimize the unavoidable impacts. By doing so we can protect and preserve both natural resources and the quality of recreational experiences. This can also minimize the need for restrictive management activities by land managers.

“Areas like Lake Havasu City attract many visitors that the economy relies on. With that, comes increased lake activities such as water sports, camping, and trail usage, to name a few,” says Tucson-based Cindy de Leon Reilly, Arizona Leave No Trace Advocate and Master Educator.

“These increases create negative impacts such as trash, erosion, wildlife (in the water and on land), and vegetation impacts. Educating both visitors and residents in Leave No Trace ethics is a start to caring for the region and its resources.

“As a hiker, gear up with your essential gear and pack out your trash. Packing out others’ trash would also help. Additionally, know where you are going and respect the wildlife at a distance. Leash your pet, as to not disturb others. Enjoy the beauty of nature and leave only your footprints. And know the rules and regulations in the area, as it will be beneficial to the region,” Cindy advises.

“Ultimately, the bird species, insects, fish, and other wildlife will increase in numbers. Visitors will become more considerate, and residents would be more appreciative of the results.”

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Learn more at: www.lnt.org
For more information on hiking trails in the Lake Havasu City region, visit the hiking section of GoLakeHavasu.com.

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Scout’s Honor

Jona Silverstein leads trail improvement project at SARA Park, Lake Havasu City, AZ
SARA Park just got a lot easier to navigate … and a bit safer.

A local 14 year-old, Jona Silverstein, has recently earned his Eagle Scout rank, an honor also held by the late astronaut Neil Armstrong, former President Gerald R. Ford, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Jona’s road to the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America was actually a series of trails in SARA (Special Activities and Recreation Area) Park. Last month, the Lake Havasu High School ninth grader, with the help of 15 volunteers, completed his Eagle Project by installing location markers in the park.

Jona’s project was to put in signage to assist rescue personnel in locating hurt or lost hikers. The signs have been numbered which will correspond with a trail map of the park. Additionally, new signs have been installed to assist hikers to get to the picnic table on Lizard Peek Trail. Volunteers included ASU Outdoor Pursuit Club, Sea Scout Ship 450, Boy Scout Troop 55, one member of the Lake Havasu City Fire Department, Amanda Deeds of the BLM, and Tim O’Connor, head of the Leaping Lizards hiking group.

Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than two million young men. The rank of “Eagle Scout,” which must be earned by age 18, is held for life, thus giving rise to the phrase “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.”

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Flower Power


Image courtesy of Joshua Tree National Park

Hikers in the Lake Havasu region love wildflowers. Let’s face it, who doesn’t? The desert, at first glance, can seem like a barren, sandy wasteland of cacti and rocks. However, with a little rain and a little sunshine, Arizona’s desert flowers come to life. Desert wildflowers, tiny little miracles of nature that remain hidden much of the year, will come alive and burst with color and aroma in the springtime (and sometimes after the monsoon season in the summer). But beware: there’s one pretty flower you’ll never want to pick.

This spring is likely to be a very good blooming season, following an El Nino weather pattern that delivered fall and winter rains to much of the region. Some are calling it a “super bloom,” especially in Death Valley, perhaps the best wildflower year since 2005, a banner season deemed the best in 50 years.

This is the year to plan a series of outings during the next few months in search of wildflowers as they progress from low to high elevations. It might also be a good time to invest in a field guide to western wildflowers so you will know what you are viewing.

That’s especially important when it comes to the scorpion weed. More on that in a moment.

Margo Bartlett Pesek of the Las Vegas Review-Journal advises, “Look for early wildflowers along the highways toward the Colorado River, such as the scenic roads from U.S. Highway 95 through Nelson and Eldorado Canyon, through Searchlight to Cottonwood Cove and through the mountains down to Laughlin. Roadside flowers on highways paralleling the river south of Laughlin and Bullhead City, and the highway to Lake Havasu City, should also get an early start.”

She adds, “Desert wildflowers should keep blooming until the onset of hot days.”

That brings us to the scorpion weed, also known as Blue Phacelia or Wild Heliotrope. It’s a pretty purple flower that grows in abundance in the Lake Havasu area and has a vivid purple color. But don’t be tempted to pick this desert blossom, not that you should pick any wildflower. Coming in contact with scorpion weed can have a similar reaction as touching poison ivy or oak.

Scorpion weed flowers, stems and seed pods are covered in dozens, or even hundreds of “hairs,” each containing an oil that can cause rashes and itching comparable to the effects of poison oak or poison ivy. Scratching the itch does little more than to spread the oil on a person’s skin and making the problem worse.

Scorpion weed oil can also be transferred indirectly from clothing, furniture, rugs and family pets that have been exposed to the weed.

It’s best to look, but don’t touch.

The Desert Botanical Garden’s Wildflower Info Site, based in Phoenix, provides up-to-date reports on desert wildflower blooms. The site, a collaborative effort by 21 parks and gardens, is live during the months of March and April.

In western Arizona, participating parks and gardens include: Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and BLM – Colorado River District (Lake Havasu).

For a list of wildflowers commonly found in the Lake Havasu region, visit the Lake Havasu City CVB website at GoLakeHavasu.com.

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Become a Hiking Insider: Follow the SARA Park Trails Association

Lizard Peek Trail, SARA Park Lake Havasu City

Lizard Peek is just one of the hiking trails in SARA Park.

Want to become a hiking insider when you visit? One way is to visit the Convention and Visitor Bureau’s website for a list of trails. In addition, to learn about upcoming group hikes, and see some truly amazing trail photos, including lots of animal images, head over to Facebook.

The mission of the SARA Park Trails Association (SPTA) is to promote, maintain and improve the SARA Park Trail System (which stands for Special Activity Recreation Area).

Founded 2009, the group is passionate about visiting 50+ miles of trails that are available for hiking, mountain biking, equestrian, dog walking, trekking, exploring, bird watching, orienteering, running, navigation and climbing.

SPTA coordinates volunteer trail maintenance crews, hosts trail workshop days, and applies for state and federal grants to improve trailheads.

“Lake Havasu City is a wonderful hiking destination because the trails are literally in your backyard. Most of the five- or six-mile return trip hikes are a 10-minute car ride to the trailhead,” said SPTA’s website administrator Kim Goodwin.

“I am an avid photographer and I am continually amazed at how unique and beautiful each hike is from the other.”

Kim helpfully adds, “The weather conditions are so good that you can hike for seven months, October to April, without worry about heat or snakes.”

There is no membership fee. Just “like” them on Facebook to view scenic photos, including a visit by an enthusiastic group of 44 people to Rovey’s Needle. You’ll even see an image of a gas station with a giant rooster on the roof.

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Brooklyn’s Loss is Lake Havasu City’s Gain – Hiking Lake Havasu City with Steve Eskenazi

Steve Eskenazi hiking in Lake Havasu City, Arizona area
What Ansel Adams is to Yosemite National Park, and John Muir is to the Sierra Nevada of California, Steve Eskenazi is to Lake Havasu City. It’s not a bad legacy for a Brooklynite.

Steve Eskenazi, 67, has an enviable nomadic life. A lifelong bachelor, he lives out of a 24-ft. motorhome and has been hiking in the western national parks for the past 30 years. In the summer he moves his RV to Oregon. That way, as he put it over some breakfast bagels recently, he can “get my ocean fix.” Hiking? Not so much in the summer. “There are too many trees hiding the bears in Oregon.”

Originally from Brooklyn, he couldn’t be any more of a New Yorker. He grew up two blocks from the Coney Island Cyclone in famous Luna Park, right near Nathan’s Famous hot dogs stand. He started working at a Carvel ice cream store at age 16.

“I never had to pay for ice cream as a kid,” he boasts.

Steve first discovered Lake Havasu City in November 2000 when he came to visit a friend. He has been coming back to Crazy Horse Campgrounds on the Island to enjoy the mild winters from November to March ever since

Quick to admit his lifestyle is “not for everybody,” the retired Florida high school physics teacher with a degree in chemical engineering started off leading hikes for groups of his friends at the campground.

One day while visiting the Lake Havasu City Visitor Information Center, he met Visitor Services Director Jan Kassies. Jan immediately recruited him to update an old hiking brochure. The rest is hiking history. He turned it into a 32-page book with text and photos.

He also volunteered his time and energy to develop the vast majority of the editorial content and maps and provided many photographs contained in the Hiking section of www.golakehavasu.com. Much of the information is periodically updated to account for changing environmental conditions, such as natural erosion.

Today he leads hikes around the region. Dead Burro Canyon is his favorite. It travels through a deep scenic canyon in Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, a wilderness setting where very few trails exist. Wild burro and bighorn sheep are often sighted. Steve calls it a real adventure with drop-offs and two-foot ledges.

“It’s not a walk in the park,” he says, adding, “Hiking in the Lake Havasu area is growing. People are using the trails more and more and there’s a wealth of hiking information on the CVB’s website and at the Visitor Information Center.”

Steve also has a list of “secret” hikes he doesn’t like to publicize because of limited trailhead parking. You’ll just have to get to know him better to pry those locations out of him.

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The Country’s Best Performance Boats “Storm” Lake Havasu

Desert Storm Shootout on Lake Havasu

Race boat at Desert Storm.

There’s a storm a-brewin’ in Lake Havasu this April and you’re invited. But it’s not the kind that requires Gore-Tex parkas and waterproof boots. This Desert Storm features the best performance boats across the nation, combined with five days of spectator-friendly special events.

This year, Desert Storm, named “One of the Top Five Poker Runs in the Nation” by Performance Boats magazine, is chock full of activities for spectators.

“Desert Storm 2016 is again bringing great teams with their newest boats and tow vehicles to show and play on our lake,” said Jim Nichols of Phoenix, a Desert Storm organizer. “We have added the CARQUEST Havasu 100 Car Show and Big O Burn-out Contest, the Romer Beverage Outlaw Grand National Boat Race with three heats, the Tavern 95 Motorcycle Freestyle Jump and IJSBA PWC Freestyle exhibition multiple times each day. Plus a live music stage with acts provided by KJJJ Radio Station and Flying X Saloon.”

Check out the daily schedule below:

  • Tuesday kicks off with a meet and greet luncheon at Pirate Cove Resort in Park Moab.
  • Wednesday is the third annual “Krusin’ for Kids” – underprivileged and special needs children and adults will be coming from throughout Arizona to have their dreams come true one “kruse” at a time, thanks to volunteer captains who will take guests out on the lake.
  • Thursday will continue the excitement with the downtown Street Party, opening this year at noon. Participants and sponsors will display boats on McCulloch Boulevard which will be closed off for the event.
  • Friday morning at the Nautical Resort, the Poker Run takes off with registration, drivers meeting and then a parade through the London Bridge Channel beginning the run. With five card stations open from 10:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and a helicopter photo station from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., you’ll witness lots of fun boating action. One great vantage point will be Rotary Park which will feature a variety of boats on display starting at 10 a.m.
  • Friday afternoon will be the Power in the Park concert and beach party which is open to the public. “It’s grown immensely over prior years,” Nichols tells us. The Poker Card Turn-in starts at 6 p.m. complete with food vendors, hosted Budweiser, sponsor tents, and wild card prizes.
  • Saturday morning, the Shootout course begins near the Site Six Launch Ramp and runs two miles south on the California side. Set to run through early afternoon, spectators will learn who has the fastest boats in the west.
  • Saturday’s Power in the Park opens at 10 a.m. and will be where results of the Shootout are announced. The awards show kicks off at 8 p.m. with honors going to best in show, the top speeds in each shootout class, and crowning of the new King and Queen of the Desert. The night concludes with awards going to the winners of the Poker Run.

This was just the tip of the iceberg. For more details and a complete schedule, visit the event calendar at GoLakeHavasu.com.

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AZ and NV’S Largest Boat Show Arrives for 25th Year

Lake Havasu Boat Show
It’s one thing to come and drool over the latest in powerboats and enjoy some of the best chili in the Southwest, but if you’re any good, you can return home with part of a $500 prize for playing a popular and beloved backyard game.

The Lake Havasu Marine Association Boat Show, Arizona and Nevada’s largest and celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, opens on Friday, April 8 and runs through Sunday, April 10 at Lake Havasu State Park Windsor 4 on London Bridge Road. More than 300 boats and several acres of marine accessories await boaters of all types. There are family sportboats, pontoons, exotic high performance powerboats, fishing boats, personal watercraft, jet boats, wakesport boats, kayaks and paddleboards, all in time for summer. Every facet of the sport is represented with aggressive pre-season boat show pricing specials, according to organizers.

The boat show is again hosting the 4th Annual ICS Lake Havasu Chili Cook-off competition sponsored by Lake Havasu Regional Medical Center on Saturday. The chili and salsa contest, with proceeds going to benefit the Lake Havasu High School Athletic Booster Club, has guaranteed over $5,000 in cash prize money to the various winners in each category (Red chili, Chili Verde and People’s Choice). More than 50 chili and salsa teams are expected to compete. Best of all, attendees have the opportunity to sample all the recipes by purchasing a $5 tasting pass.

Then on Sunday, get ready for Family Fun Day highlighted by a People’s Choice chili cook-off, a host of carnival games and activities for the entire family, plus tasty fair-food favorites like hot dogs, cotton candy, and kettle corn. Kids 10 and under accompanied by a paid admission adult will be admitted free on Sunday.

Also returning is a boat show favorite: the IJSBA Jettribe Gary Hart Memorial PWC Watercross Races featuring over 150 of the fastest personal watercraft racers in the country hitting speeds up to 70 miles an hour around a challenging motocross style race course.

Have any special backyard gaming skills? For those who fancy themselves expert cornhole players, get ready to toss at the 2nd Annual Lake Havasu Cornhole Championships sponsored by Black Bear Diners with classes for all ages, both singles and doubles/teams, plus cash awards up to $500 for the winners. What’s cornhole? It’s kind of like horsehoes but feels better if you drop it on your foot: you throw bags of corn at a raised platform with a hole in the far end.

Once you’ve purchased your dream yacht, learn where to enjoy it on Lake Havasu by checking out the boating section of our website at GoLakeHavasu.com.

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