Good times at the Colorado River, circa 1978 Posted by jfleck on 22 May 2023, 6:57 am Lake Mead’s elevation in June 1978 was 1,183 feet above sea level. Good times.
Only down 133 feet from that level. Where you gonna find the missing acre-feet? “Sure could stand a little rain”! NGDB from way back in the 90’s
From an old Dirt Band fan!
As the resident ‘river rat’ here I’ll give you a first hand account of how Summer holiday weekends on the river went.
1973 was the very first time I spent Memorial Day weekend on the Parker Strip. And yes, it was very much like the video clip indicated. Chaos everywhere. More power boats than you can count. Traffic choking both sides of the river. The hordes of Californians swilling down beer like there was no tomorrow. The never ending beach party. Of course, I was another face in the crowd.
Back in those days, the river bank on the California side was overgrown with Arrow-weed and Tamarisk. The bank was also filled with illegal squatters with weekend hideaways of thrown together shacks. Such was life on the Parker Strip.
Fast forward to 1992. I found myself back on the river after many years of living elsewhere. This time around I was a full timer. Living the life in Lake Havasu. Working full time on the river. Still close to the action on the Parker Strip. Only this time around I was a local fully attuned to the local river culture on the Strip and elsewhere. The Strip has its own culture. It draws people that drop out from society to a simpler lifestyle. One of which was Reginald Denny. The locals on the Strip stay home or retreat up to the Pines in Williams on holiday weekends. The Strip is inundated with boats and people. The noise from the powerboats being overwhelming bouncing off the canyon walls for most of the day. The Strip was ‘party central’ back in the 70’s and still is today.
What do we see after the party? The part about the garbage tossed into the river is true. You see plastic bags flowing in the river like ghosts from the party. Beer cans too. Everywhere. What else shows up? The missing Jet Ski that ends up at the intake trash rack at Parker or Headgate Dams. Or worse yet, the swimmer who went missing several days ago.That is the things you get to see when the party’s over. Oh yes, you see new graffiti and vandalism at the river gages. I often mused to myself that these people were on vacation. They should be on probation.
It happens every holiday weekend. Welcome to the river.