We all have them. Different types for different folks. Our favorite routes suit each of us for whatever reasons. For us, the routes that top the list are the ones that wind through an expanse of scenery with few companions on the road. There’s one of those that starts on Ogilby Road, north of I-8 about 10 miles west of the Arizona/California line. Several times during our six years of wondering the byways we’ve enjoyed following Ogilby Rd. northwest to SR78 and then winding our way to Blythe, California. Today we did that one more time.
These roads begin in the Imperial Sand Dunes, twist through the Picacho Recreation Area’s desert mountain views, the Chocolate Mountains keeping us company to the west and the Colorado River to the east. About 50-60 miles up the road we begin into the Palo Verde valley where the green agricultural fields cozy right up to the mountains in the distance. The old favorite was as good as we remembered. The ocotillo bushes were in full bloom, the brilliant orange fingers pointing every which way. Much of the road was lined with bright yellow spring bushes. (Are those Brittle bushes? I can’t remember right now. Oh well.) Our timing was great in the valley as there were fresh hay fields and we drove right by a farmer cutting. Oh that aroma.
Still enjoying our scenery, we were ready to make additions to the old favorite. From Blythe we went north on SR95 toward Needles, CA. The countryside works back into the sandy, hilly desert views. And the Colorado River resorts frequent the highway as it creeps right along with the river. Approaching the town of Needles, where we all know they experience some of the most extreme temps of the Mojave, it is quite beautiful seeing the steamy valley all stretched out. From there we headed up Needles Highway toward Laughlin. Even this road was pretty lonely. That’s a good lonely, I mean. After about 220 miles, we decided to find a spot in Laughlin to stop for the night. So we took Casino Drive from the south into the city. Harrah’s casino lot at the top of the hill popped up as we drove into town, with several rvers already situated in obvious parking spots. So we thought we’d see what was up. $5.00 for the night with a mountain view sounded agreeable. So we perched Ferd, bought a cold one at the convenience store and watched the changing golds, oranges and greens shift across our scenery as the sun settled for another night. We had a new spot to pause after meandering an old favorite route. See you down the road.