Snowbirding 2018 Postcards: Boating to Lunch at Parker

I’ve resumed my travels after nearly two months in southwestern Arizona and Southeastern California. The next 10 days or so will be spent making my way north along the Colorado River, with various stops in campgrounds where I can launch my little boat and get out on the water.

And that’s exactly what I did yesterday. I’ve got a riverfront campsite at Buckskin State Park north of Parker, AZ. I launched my boat yesterday morning and, after changing into shorts and a sleeveless shirt — in February! — Penny and I made the 9+ mile drive downriver to the Bluewater Casino in Parker.

The engine started rough with the usual excess of smoke but soon smoothed out and the smoke went away. I brought it up to nearly full throttle, which got me a whopping 30 miles per hour of speed. The ride down was on nearly glassy water; other than a handful of kayakers, I was the only boater out there.

The Bluewater has a huge marina with dozens of empty slips, but I pulled in at a waterfront restaurant called The Cantina, where I was able to dock right out front.

My boat docked at the Cantina on the Colorado River.

The Cantina was mostly a bar and I had low expectations of the food on the small menu. With relatively low prices, I expected small servings, too. I was wrong on both points. The smoked tri-tip on flatbread with melted mozzarella was big and tasty. I ate outside in the sun, overlooking the river and marina. I wound up taking the chili cheese fries back to camp with me; I later reheated them with dinner.

I headed back at around 1:30 PM. By that time, the restaurant was busy with newly arrived weekenders in town for the big truck race and there were more boats on the stretch of river between Parker and Buckskin. I motored back at around the same speed. Back at Buckskin, I parked at the marina dock, which was technically closed; I thought it would be easier and safer than anchoring it in the water at my campsite, especially with the changes in water levels due to dam releases upstream.

It had been my first boat outing in over a month and it felt good to be out on the water again. I’ll take it out again today and tomorrow and then move it to Lake Havasu, just upriver from Parker Dam, on Monday.

What do you think?