July 10, 2021 We need to get away for a bit, but summer is in full swing and lordy me it is HOT. We could do a night somewhere, but there has to be shade. And water would be nice. We live close to the Colorado River, so that’s where the search begins.
An internet search of nearby places comes up with Crossroads BLM Campground along the Colorado River just a few miles from Parker. This will be a scouting run. When the boys see me loading up the car with the ice cooler they start tussling and the ‘excitement’ fight is on. When I grab their harnesses they explode with bouts of play biting, running back and forth from one end of the Arizona room to the other, and barking. Lots of happy barking. Come on guys I say, wrestling them into their harnesses and snapping on their leashes. Let’s go for a ride.
Trotting along talking to each other with something like this that I imagine they are saying … ‘we’re going OUT! Maybe to the dog park! Mom’s taking the cooler so it must be dog park then groceries. Yeah!!! Dog Park!!’ Not the dog park, Boys, but something ALMOST as fun. And we head out into the already intense sunlight.
Traffic is light this time of year. No miles and miles of trailers, motor homes, and everything in between so we make it to Parker in about 35 minutes. Crossing the river we take a right putting us on the north side of the Colorado River which is the state line between Arizona and California.
We are in Earp, California. A mural painted on the side of this building says Earp, but how far Earp extends east and west is unknown since there really isn’t anything but mobile parks from point A, the turnoff, to point B our destination. For the sake of simplicity let’s say it’s all Earp.
Once we got home my curiosity got the best of me and this is what I found out about Earp:
Earp, California is an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County in the Sonoran Desert close to the California/Arizona state line at the Colorado River in Parker Valley. The town, originally named Drennan in 1910, was renamed Earp in 1929. It was named for famed Old West lawman Wyatt Earp who with his common-law wife, Josephine Sarah Marcus, lived part-time in the area beginning in 1906. Earp staked more than 100 copper and gold mining claims near the base of the Whipple Mountains. They bought a small cottage in nearby Vidal and lived there during the fall, winter and spring months of 1925 – 1928, while he worked his “Happy Days” mines in the Whipple Mountains a few miles north. It was the only permanent residence they owned the entire time they were married. They spent the winters of his last years working the claims but lived in Los Angeles during the summers, where Wyatt died on January 13, 1929. Though the town was never incorporated, the post office near Earp’s mining claims at the eastern terminus of Highway 62 near Parker, AZ was renamed “Wyatt Earp, California” after Earp’s death in 1930 with a ZIP code of 92242. For amusement only there is a tiny cemetery showing the fake grave of Wyatt Earp (his actual grave is in the Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, just south of San Francisco). The post office is more than 220 miles (350 km) from the county seat in San Bernardino, California; further than any other in the county. The entire region on the California side falls under area code 760. Unofficial alternate names of the area are listed as Big River, Drenna and Drennan. Since Earp is an unincorporated community of San Bernardino County, County CEO Leonard X. Hernandez would be considered the Chief Administrator of Earp.
But back to present. After a pleasant, meandering drive on the two-lane road we arrive at the campground. This little section of land along the Colorado (which means colored red in Spanish), Crossroads Campground, is BLM. It appears there is a camp host here during the usual camping season of mid-September to Mid-April, but wisely they are long gone. Even along the river, although a bit cooler, this is desert and if you are in the sun you fry. You still have to pay the fee to camp — this is a government agency after all — but the fee is minimal. $5.
At the very end of the campground is a fully shaded spot, occupied by several people who do not look like they would take kindly to being photographed. We turn around.
I think the next time we need to stock up at Walmart we will make it a two day run and spend the night here. Close to home, shade, and a cell signal. This place ticks all the boxes of what we require in a spot to camp this summer.
Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna