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  • Writer's pictureHelen Avaient

Scenery and Fun on the Colorado River with Rubba Duck Safari

Gerrie and Kim had been visiting Lake Havasu in Arizona USA for over fifty years. They were big fans of lakeside activities, so much so that they moved there and are now the proud owners of a fantastic business - Rubba Duck Safari.

I had the absolute joy of doing one of their motorized lake safaris and also meeting Gerrie on site. Gerrie likes getting to know visitors and seeing the joy people get from the new sights they experience on the tours.

five motorised rubber duck water vessels line up next to the wharf beside the london bridge. sitting on the water, they are ready to be drive out. four seats, two in the front and two in the back.

After a short tutorial by our experienced guide, guests are able to drive the boats themselves. The boats are very easy to navigate. Each boat has a top speed of 43 to 48kph (27 to 30mph).

There were five boats in our group that day, as we followed our guide out from under London Bridge. That's right, the bridge that used to be in England.

London Bridge in Arizona spans across the Colorado River. It is a stone and brick bridge with three semi circle spans. Boats can sail under the bridge.

Our guide not only showed us where to go on the lake, but he was informative about the history of the area. I got to see many areas of the lake that are only accessible by boat. He was excellent, pausing whenever necessary for stragglers to catch up, then letting us know when it was safe to go full throttle on the water. That was fun. Skimming across the surface with the wind in my face. I had such a wonderful time. This was the first adventure of this type I had ever experienced, and it won't be the last.

At various times we stopped and were told information about different areas, such as geology and history. We even had a few dad jokes and trivia questions thrown in along the way.

I loved the colours of the natural rock formations as we sailed around the lake. Colours change from green to rusts, brown to tans and blacks depending on the time of day. Vegetation clings to the sides, looking for moisture in the desert. The holes in the rocks are formed from volcanic rock explosions.

three rubber duck motorized boats sail on the water. 2 people are in each wearing life jackets. they speed past tall arizona rocks, around thirty feet high around them. sparse vegetation clings to the side of the rocks

Over 5,000 visitors do a tour with Rubba Duck Safari each year, and there are several tours a day. I visited in winter, when an afternoon tour runs. There are different length tours. They have a one-hour tour, the two-and-a-half-hour trip I did and the most popular one - their five-and-a-half-hour 50-mile round trip.

Lake Havasu is a natural freshwater lake that was expanded when the river was dammed. Back in the 1800s, there was a working trading post and copper mine here. The river flowed right past both. That area is referred to today as Copper Canyon and is a popular spot for boats to congregate and hang out, party etc. On the wall of The Chair restaurant just near London Bridge, is a photo of what Copper Canyon looked like one May summer's day! Our guide told us that people swim to the rock, shown near the middle in the bottom of the picture, climb up and jump off into the lake.

a photograph on the wall of The Chair restaurant shows Copper Canyon filled to capacity with party boats. People are dancing on the open decks, and swimming in the cool blue lake water. A rock in the middle of the canyon serves as a jumping off point.

On the winter day I visited, as the only boats on the canyon at that time, we could motor all the way around it.

the looming rocks of copper canyon are browns and blacks, pinks and reds. holes appear in the rocks, the cause of volcanic explosions. the rocks are both sharp edges and smooth, eroded by the wind and waters. still blue green water of the lake sits still on the canyon floor.

A lot of the natural rock formations have been formed from erosion and wind. They are truly interesting to see from the angle of being on the water. Balance Rock is well named.

standing out of the desert landscape is one large browny green rock. Atop it is a dark green rock, balancing delicately on top of the bottom rock. It does not look like the same structure, being different colours.

Hmm, the rock in the picture below is referred to as Crack Rock. There are no prizes for guessing how they came up with this moniker.

standing out of the desert landscape, right near the shoreline is a large brown and cream rock. it is split down the middle and looks like the bottom of a person from behind. hence the name crack rock

On our trip, we got to see an unusual sight. Usually, the pirate ship can be hired by groups and is an event with pirate waiters and a show. A few days before our visit, it was blown onto the shore and was waiting for high tide so it could be recovered. The beached vessel certainly made for an interesting photo.

a replica pirate ship had beached itself on the shore of the lake. settled in amongst the reeds, this black ship waits for rescue. the skull and cross bones sign is on the rear of this pirate galleon, as well as the flags up the two masts. the large rock walls next to the lake look like the ship is stranded and abandoned.

On the town side of the lake, there are walking paths that lead down to picnic tables and bathrooms near the shore. These are also pet friendly areas. Alternatively, people can bring boats right up to the shore and enjoy the facilities.

in the rocky hill near the shorelinke stands a covered table and chairs for people to come and picnic on. a well worn path traverses over the hill down to the picnic table

After a thoroughly enjoyable two-and-a-half-hour tour, it was time to head back to London Bridge. The shoreline of the lake near town is lined with hotels and palm trees. The colors of the setting sun over the desert are a joy to behold.

along the lakeside is a three story hotel. its whitewashed walls a brilliant contrast the yellow, blue and pinks in the sky behind the buildings as the sun sets. tall palm trees appear black against the sunset. the blue of the lake waters in front of the hotel are pale and slightly choppy

Being able to experience the lake from the water with an experienced guide is definitely the way to go.

Happy Travels!

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