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  • Writer's pictureJ. F. Rowan

Buckskin & Big Bend

We had a memorable visit at Joshua Tree NP, but it was time to move on. We decided to head southeast and try our luck with a Arizona State Park, our first in fact. Buckskin Mountain State Park is located near Parker, Arizona along the Colorado River. There are several Arizona State Parks along the Colorado River up to, and around Lake Mead. There are also several private RV parks, sometimes named “Resorts” interspersed among the parks sharing the shores of the river. It's an interesting relationship to say the least.

This is actually BLM Land. You buy a cabin, pay a monthly fee and hope to god the government doesn't decide one day they are going to end the program. And, you can only stay there for 5 months a year. Though, to be honest, who wants to stay there during the summer when the thermometer hits 117 degrees?

A Google photo showing a different angle of the state park (right) and the BLM land used as private resort (Back, left).

These private “Resorts” offer cabins for sale that are on Bureau Of Land Management (BLM) land. You pay for the cabin, say...$150k for one that’s right on the water. Then you also pay a fee of $400/month which covers the cost of the land. (No, you don’t own the land silly. It’s BLM land, you’re just leasing it. HA!) And don't expect a huge cabin either. Uh, and here’s the rub. You can only stay there for a total of 5 months in any calendar year. How’s that sound?

Back to the park...

Hiking was pretty good. The mountains made for a cool back-drop but for the most part, it was pretty barren. We did see some old mining shafts along the trials. Even with cool temperatures, it was so dry we needed to drink copious amounts of water.

We hiked a few of the well maintained trails. We found several small mines along the way.

Small ore mine.

Buckskin Mountain State Park was okay. I'm not going to sound all giddy about it because it had it's noisy moments. Every morning some dude would come around with his detail truck and pressure wash anyone's rig that wanted his service. So, from about 7 AM until about 3 PM a pressure washer is pretty much all we heard, constantly. And, there were a few parties across the river that went until 3 AM. So, we tried to get on the trail early after breakfast.

The next leg of our journey took us north so that we could meet up with our good friends, Jane and Klaus. We originally met them during a Tiger Rally we attended back in 2017.

We followed the Colorado River North, and met them at the "Big Bend by the Colorado River Recreational Area."

The result of a fire last year, this park is going through a re-planting and over all touch-up.

The park was getting some TLC after a fire ravaged the area last August. Crews were on the scene cutting dead trees and giving the park a bit of a facelift.

A bit windy while we were there.

We always enjoy seeing Jane and Klause and we always learn something new when we visit. The two of them have been Tiger owners for a long time and they have an abundance of knowledge about exploring and being on the road in general. Jane also takes it upon herself to help clean-up parks wherever she visits. This might not seem like a big deal, but trust me when I say that some people can be pretty disrespectful when it comes to garbage. In just 31 days, she has managed to pick up and responsibly dispose of 2050 lbs. of trash. Add that to the trash she picked up last February and March when they visited the same area, the total comes to a whopping 4200 lbs!

And every time I meet Klaus, I learn something new. We discussed his recent purchase of a Spot-X, a two-way satellite messenger and how it might be useful in our endeavors.

What is a SPOT and what is it used for? Well, I’ll let the Spot people explain it:

“SPOT offers peace of mind, using 100% satellite technology. SPOT products keep you connected to the people and things that matter most. SPOT allows you to track assets, send and receive messages, send your GPS position and status, mark waypoints, track your progress on Google Maps™ and notify search and rescue officials in the event of an emergency.”

I was able to get some hands-on training as Klaus explained the ins and outs of the device and even where to get the best deal when we purchase. If that wasn’t enough, they both showed us the advantages of using Casinos as a way to make things a bit easier when wintering in the area.

Walking off our fill from the buffet. Laughlin, NV.

A nice selection of cars were on exhibit at Don Laughlin's Riverside Casino. The buggy in the collection was the original used in the classic film, "The Quiet Man."

Egg Roll anyone?

We visited and took full advantage of one of the local casino buffets and visited a great car museum. We had a great visit for a few days, but it was time to head back into Arizona to arrive at our next house-sit in Cave Creek. We will see them again I’m sure!

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