Thursday, February 4, 2016

'Nellie E Saloon' - aka the Desert Bar - near Parker, Ariz., worth a side trip

The ' Nellie E Saloon' (aka Desert Bar) is five miles down a windy, rocky and dusty dirt road and definitely worth the bumpy effort to get there.

This fine piece of history sits in the Buckskin Mountains, north of Parker, Arizona, on land that was an old mining camp. The bar was first opened in 1983, in a temporary three-sided structure. It lasted for five years until the current saloon was constructed. The name "Nellie E" originates from the old mining claim where prospectors mined copper and then took it to a smelter and hopefully got gold.

These days the 'gold' comes from the hundreds of people that make their way each weekend to this solar-powered oasis.

If you value your RV, do not take it down this road. Besides, there is no room to park it at the Nellie E. When we were there we saw one truck/camper. We drove our 4-wheel drive pickup.

Each Saturday and Sunday, October through April, depending on the weather there is live entertainment from 1-5 p.m. The Cell Phone Cowboys were performing the Saturday we made the five mile adventure on Cienega Springs Road.

Information updated 2016:  

Nellie E Saloon / The Desert Bar
Hours: Open October  through April, Saturdays and Sundays only from high noon - 6 p.m., Arizona time,  and holidays during these months. The bar is closed during the hot summer months.

Refreshments: There is simple food for reasonable prices. We had a passable hamburger for $3. Both hard and soft drinks are available. Full bar.  Families welcome. Bring cash, no credit cards accepted.
Directions: 5 miles north of Parker, Az. on Hwy 95. Take Cienega Springs Rd. east 5 miles, follow the traffic. The road ends at Nellie E's.

Buckskin Mountain Desert Dash -- Each year during the President's Day weekend, the Nellie E Saloon hosts the annual "Desert Dash," a 5-mile walk, run or mountain bike trip out to the solar powered bar.
Registration area -- On Feb. 13, 2016 at Hwy 95 and Cienega Springs Rd., between 8-9:45 a.m.
$25 day of race.
The "Dash" begins at 10 a.m.
For more information telephone (928) 669-2174 or (928) 667-2829. For additional information on the "Dash" and other local fun happenings go to Parker Area Tourism.

-- Julianne G. Crane 
Read about the RV lifestyle at

Photos: Top: View from the terrace of The Desert Bar (solar panels line just about every roof-top space). Middle: 'Cell Phone Cowboys'. Bottom: 1927 Oldsmobile, slightly rusted. (Julianne G. Crane)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lake Havasu City, Arizona, offers RV snowbirds free sun, low cost fun

When you're finished boondocking and shopping at Quartzsite and are looking for the next stop on your Snowbird circuit, check out Lake Havasu City on the Colorado River, 75 miles north on Arizona Hwy. 95.

Long a popular year-round tourist destination for folks from Southern California, this thriving community offers many activities for winter visitors. Here are a few for the RVing snowbird:

2nd Annual Lake Havasu Vintage Trailer Campout
See campers like a 1950s Shasta trailer (Julianne G. Crane)
- Feb. 4-7, 2016, beginning at 11 a.m.

The Campout will be showcasing dozens of vintage trailers for everyone to check out.
"We love to have the public stop by and see us." says event host Cherri Aiken. "When the open signs are out," people are invited to look inside these vintage rigs.

- Lake Havasu State Park (Windsor Beach)
- Costs: No event fee, however visitors must pay Park Entry Fees: Per Vehicle (1-4 Adults): $15 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and State Holidays; $10 other days. Individual/Bicycle: $3. Over-Size Parking: $10
- Hosts: Cherri and Mike Aiken; email:

London Bridge Model Boat Club's Annual Remote Control Boat Race
Remote control boat racing (Jennifer Denevan)
- Feb. 5-7, 2016

Come on out to the Bridgewater Channel next to the famous London Bridge for the 12th Annual Remote Control Boat Racing event.

"2014's event was the largest gas RC boat race in the country, and with speeds from 60 - 90 miles per hour, proving this is an event not to be missed. Various classes will be racing an oval course in the Channel." Drivers from California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona are expected to participate.

"This event is free, so bring your lawn chairs and be ready for two days of a flat-out great time," say event planners. "Best viewing locations will be the island side of the Channel along the walkway and from the London Bridge.
Schedule: Friday: Practice from noon-5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday: Racing 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Admission: Free
- Website:
- Contact: Darryl Hamilton email:; (916) 616-4996; (928) 566-1761

27th Annual Western Winter Blast Pyrotechnics Show
- Feb. 11-14 President's Weekend

"The shimmer and sparkle of the annual winter holiday fireworks show is taking place above scenic SARA Park,” boasts the folks at the Lake Havasu City Convention and Visitors Bureau. "New memories with family and friends will be created as the clear desert sky morphs into a spectacular kaleidoscope of colors in honor of the 27th anniversary of Winter Blast."

- SARA Park, 1799 Sara Parkway, Lake Havasu City
- Price: $5/person/day (12 and under free) + $5/vehicle/day
- Schedule: Fireworks start each evening at 5 p.m. and go until 10:30 p.m. nightly, except Sunday (ending at 10 p.m.). The organized show segments are approximately one hour and begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, with the largest single show being Saturday night. Gates for the show will open at 3 p.m. each day.
- Website:
- Contact: 928-453-3444

31st Annual Lake Havasu Winterfest Street Festival
Winterfest Street Festival (LakeHavasuBlog)
- Feb. 20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Feb. 21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Thousands of visitors and locals will be making their way downtown to the 31st Annual Winterfest on McCulloch Blvd. between Acoma and Smoketree.  Look for easy access to free parking along Swanson and Mesquite Avenues.

Winterfest offers more than 200 vendors from across the United States features products and services. Browse, watch demonstrations and be ready for "two spectacular days of arts, crafts, clothing, jewelry, home decor, tasty street-food, beer garden, and eclectic entertainment."
- Contact Information:
- The Havasu Chamber of Commerce
- Jeni Coke or Lacey Blount at (928) 855-4115; email:

--Julianne G. Crane 
--To read more about the RV Lifestyle by Julianne G. Crane and Jimmy Smith, go to