After our free breakfast at BlueWater Casino our RV neighbors, Don & Vi from Canada, joined us for a ride in the country. Our first stop was to see Parker Dam, the dam that holds back the water that creates Lake Havasu, provides power for Arizona and California, and water for irrigation. Unlike the Hoover Dam and the Davis Dam we are allowed to drive across this one. There are security guards, but they did not stop us.
About 10 miles from Parker, out in the desert hills of Buckskin Mountains, on land that was an old mining camp is the Nellie E Saloon, also known as The Desert Bar. The last 5 miles is a rough gravel road. It was slow going and took us about 30 minutes to drive the distance.
The mining camp is gone now. They opened for business around 1983 in a tiny shack. Five years later the new bar was constructed. It’s not a town, just the bar.
There are several old vehicles and equipment around the area.
The entrance to the bar is through a narrow covered pedestrian bridge. The saloon is powered by solar, stored in batteries and run through inverters.
We got there early so there were not a lot of people, but more arrived as the afternoon progressed.
There are several interesting characteristics to the bar, one of my favorites was this suspended fireplace. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Live music is on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 o’clock. The bar is only open on Saturdays and Sundays and only from noon to 6 o’clock p.m. And is closed from May through September. They are open one night only, New Years Eve, and only if it falls on the weekend.
A couple of people arrived by horseback.
Some arrived by off-road vehicles and Jeeps as well as heavy-duty pickup trucks.
There is a church structure here too, built in 1996. It’s made of solid steel and the walls and ceiling are made of the same stamped tin used inside the saloon. It’s only about ten feet from the front door to the back door. It’s a unique place for weddings, and just a good photo spot. There are no services held here and all religions are welcome. Inside is a plaque with the names inscribed of the people who donated money to help build it.
Here we are with Vi & Don. We spent some time sitting and enjoying the music. They serve what looks like wonderful food here, and generous portions. We did not eat as we were all still full from the free breakfast buffet we had at the casino this morning.
The tall structures are cooling towers. They work similar to an evaporative (swamp) cooler, except they don’t have a fan. When you wet the pads on top, cool air falls and you get a nice airflow.
That was a good time.
- Gasoline: $41 @ $2.84
- Lodging: free