Every once in a while I’ll receive an email from someone who used to visit Havasu Palms back in its Roads End heyday. I love it when people share their stories with me. Here is an email I received a little over a week ago. I wanted to get his permission before I posted the email. When Mr. Danielson granted his permission, he mentioned he recognized one of the men from the book, and I believe the above photo is the one he was referencing.
I was looking for information on “Roads End Camp” and happened across the website. I read your story. I used to camp there from 1957 through the summer of 1964 with my parents. Have always wanted to go back, but too many wars and interventions got in the way. I’m sure the only things I would recognize now would be the road and Pilot Rock. I once buried “treasure” there, on the sandy shelf in about 4 feet of water . I have ordered your books from Amazon (paperbacks) and looking forward to the old pictures. We used to fish under the bridge and over at Parker Dam. My dad got to know one of the divers that cleaned the underwater gates. He could tell some stories about giant catfish down there. I remember the time we were ‘asked” to leave Squaw Dam because it was on a reservation. We had been going there for years. Vidal Junction was a place at the edge of the world then, the last sign of civilization (well almost). Your sister is right, “…the best of times”.
We never met and I was recovering from my first tour when you first saw Roads End. I get the feeling that the camp (Havasu Palms) became special to you too. I’m sure the family connection played a major role in that; but back then, the way it was, the place could put a spell on you. Reading your story has saddened me, but helped to put a touch of closure too. Knowing what I do now, I wouldn’t want to go back. I’ve never gone back to Pico Rivera since leaving. Too much change, too many memories of how it once was. I once walked across “London Bridge”, before it moved to Arizona!
Joe Danielson, CMS USAF (Ret)