Posted by: martinworster | January 12, 2011

110. LONDON BRIDGE, AZ

London Bridge didn’t fall down..it was shipped across the Atlantic to Havisu City, Arizona…

I’d exhausted most weekend trips within a four hour drive from where we are – so this time opted for Lake Havisu which is basically 280 miles due East. It’s a shame – Mexico is now off limits due to the narco war so Baja is a no no. I’ve done Big Bear countless times. We are lucky though – within four hours drive in all directions we’ve got mountains, forests, deserts and numerous cities.

Havisu is reknowned as a Spring Break destination for college students drinking too much Coors Lite and then hooking up with each other whilst on boats. Which sounds like fun but I think I’ve missed the, ahem, boat on that one. Most people raised their eyebrows when I said we were going to Lake Havisu. This time of year? With kids? Without a boat?

Of course, the biggest tourist destination at Havisu is the London Bridge. Weird. In 1971 they transported the bridge from London after Robert McCulloch (founder of the town) thought it would be a good thing to buy and ship across the Atlantic to the middle of the desert. According to the literature from the tourist office the bridge was sinking in London and the authorities there wanted to sell it before building a new one. As you do. 

There was rumour that McCulloch actually thought he was buying the more iconic Tower Bridge – but I can’t see how that would happen on such a purchase. It’s not like you can send it back. McCulloch must have been an Anglophile as there was a whole English village by the bridge with mock Tudor buildings, red telephone boxes and Heladric City of London lions marking the entrance to the city. Again all very bizarre.

On the first day we did a hike on through the Crack In The Mountain trail – a fun walk through a red rock gully which got to an arms width in places. At one points there was a 7ft tall section you had to actually slide down. The boys loved the adventure of it. 

I’d like to come back to Havisu when it’s a bit warmer and you can swim in crystal clear water. Plus I’d bring a boat…

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