Wednesday, June 10th, started out just like any other: going to work and looking at the clock throughout the day. But this Wednesday was different, the clock seemed to run backwards. When work was over my wife, Holly and I were heading out to Laughlin to meet up with California’s largest watercraft club, West Coast Watercraft Club (WCWCC) for the first annual Laughlin trip.
After work, I did my usual and stopped by Temecula Motorsports and picked up some necessary supplies, goggles, and clothes. I got home, hooked up the trailer and headed out to meet up with 33 other members for four fabulous fun filled days. We arrived at the hotel and checked in late that night and found several other members in the casino. We had some fun in the casino then headed to bed.
Day 1, June 11: We planned a small ride as some members drove in Thursday morning and others were still on their way. We met at the Riverside dock at 2pm and launched our skis for a trip down river to the Avi Hotel beach. We had 15 skis slalom downstream and pull up on the beach. We floated around in the water trying to cool off as it was already getting hot.
We watched as club President Lewis Lipstone did his usual business chatter on his cellphone before departing. We had to get back and meet up with the rest of the club members for a dinner at Outback Steakhouse. We all sat around talking, laughing, and telling whale tales over the breaking of bread. After dinner we all grouped up and hung out creating new friendships.
Day 2, June 12: We met at the Riverside parking lot at 8:00 am to have a group meeting about safety and what the day would hold for us. Around 8:30am we caravanned down to Jack Smith Park and we were all in the water by 10am after a few group pictures, of course. The water level was high enough downstream so there wasn’t need to dodge shallow areas. The weather was nice especially after taking a dip in the cool water. We hung out at the sandbar for a while, which was a nice break and awesome hang out spot for Frisbee and football.
We rode on through to Lake Havasu down to London Bridge to have our picture taken by air from a drone. The footage turned out great! A few stopped for fuel at the Chevron station before heading on to our lunch spot in Havasu Springs. After our lunch break we had a long trek back so we set out our way.
This time only a few skis had to break off to get fuel, the rest continued on around the other side of the island that we didn’t get to see before. There was another short stop at the sand bar, but we had to hurry on our way since the sun was starting to set and we wanted to make it back with light to spare. 120 big miles and 115 degrees that day. Very successful with such a big group!
Day 3, June 13: Only a half of the riders chose to head out since the ride the day before really pushed everyone with lots of sun and well over 130 miles of riding. We did a ride from Catherine’s Landing to Hoover Dam. We had 25 riders attend to see some of the most beautiful scenery God had to offer. We found caves, bridges, and a huge dam. We found a really nice spot to stop and eat lunch. We chatted about the nice weekend rides so far and where else we could all go. Florida or Mexico? On the way home some of us were treated to a summer shower with a side of lightning.
Day 4, June 14: Most of our group was heading out today but we didn’t want to go without one last ride. Around 11:30am we headed out again from the Riverside launch and made our way down the river and ended up at the Avi. We stopped and had some lunch and just relaxed and hung out in the shade soaking in our last few hours we had at the river.
By about 2:30, we decided that we should probably head back since the drive home for most of us would be at least 4 hours. Since it was Sunday, there were quite a few people on the river which made the ride home interesting. We saw several close calls which reminded us, safety first. West Coast watercraft club is all about family fun but being safe while doing so.
After these incidents, we continued our way back to the riverside launch but had to be careful since the water level was low and feared the possibility of running aground. But with great leadership we made it back all in one piece safely. Being satisfied getting one last ride in we pulled our skis out and got them all cleaned up and strapped down for our trek home.
Such a great trip. We were so glad that so many members of WCWCC were able to be a part of the 1st annual Laughlin trip, can’t wait to do it again next year! Special thanks to Lewis, Shirley, Jay, and Ryan for this great trip. Thanks to those WCWCC members who attended.
Story courtesy of WCWCC member Ryan Ellefson