One of my favorite people in the world, the beautiful, vivacious Linda, lives in Lake Havasu City. When she first moved away from our San Mateo neighborhood I was crushed and disappointed that she was moving to Arizona. As our busy lives went in different directions, we lost touch. We reconnected at a Trans International Airline reunion and we took up where we left off hardly noticing the many years that had passed.
I can still hear her cheery voice saying in her elegant British accent, “London Bridge is there, you know. I’ll feel right at home.”
I didn’t question her at the time, although I was somewhat puzzled thinking she was joking about some restaurant named London Bridge. Years later, when I came to visit, I learned that, yes, the actual bridge was purchased by city founder Robert McCulloch, moved to the city and reassembled brick by brick using a numbering system in 1968. Visitors from all parts of the world flock to see it.
On my most recent visit, Linda had packed the days with fun, exciting events including the Lake Havasu Boat Show. We perused the spectacular power boats, some looking more like gorgeous sculptures rather than water-craft. Linda’s dynamic friend, Elaine, was the perfect tour guide. Having worked for the Better Business Bureau and the Visitor’s Convention Bureau, she was well versed in the goings-on about town. As we wended our way through the boat crowd, Elaine got a twinkle in her eye and said, “Let’s grab a cold beer and go to the beach.”
“Beach?” I said cocking my head. Beach conjures up a white-sand beach in the Caribbean, not the shores of a man-made lake.
As we approached the shore, there was, indeed, a white-sand beach, perfectly groomed. Nestled in a bed of rocks overlooking the lake was an adorable lighthouse looking like a perfect painting in a fantasyland. Elaine smiled at my surprised face and volunteered, “Yes, we had white sand trucked in. And the lighthouse is an exact replica of the actual West Quoddy lighthouse in Lubec, Maine. There are lighthouses all around the lake representing famous lighthouses from all over the U.S.
“OOOhhh,” I cooed. “Do you have the Pigeon Point Lighthouse? It’s near where I live in California. I went to a writing retreat there last year.”
“Oh, yes, we do. It’s on the west side of the lake with all the other west coast lighthouses. We’re on the east side now. And, you know, they all have lights that flash as well—red beacons on the east side, green ones on the west.”
“The lake gets pretty dark at night and boaters count on the lighthouses to guide them.”
Captain Gary seconded that, “Oh, yeah, you get stuck on the north side of the lake at night and you’re screwed!” he said with a grin. If he’s speaking from experience, he lived to tell about it.
“Yeah, this is a huge lake, too. I never knew it was man-made until now. Now that I know about the Parker Dam on the Colorado River and how the lake straddles the border between California and Arizona, I feel like a docent. Maybe I’ll round up a few tourists from the boat show, give them a tour and see if I get any tips. I can always use some extra cash! You know, beer money.”
Meanwhile, I can’t wait to go on the lake cruise Linda arranged so I can see the other lighthouses, especially Pigeon Point!