Bullhead City, the “Oasis in the desert” is an ideal rural community to visit and or reside. It is home to over 37,000 residents and is steadily growing each year. Arizona’s scenic backdrops of the Colorado River as well as sites of entertainment and rural setting are merely accessories to Bullhead City. The true components of the communities’ success are the individuals that reside and strive for equality and public education for all of the residents. It is not uncommon for communities to classify education as redundant. Bullhead City is making great strives to eliminate such classifications with the implementation of various resources and institutions that cater to purge such norms.
Bullhead City was established in 1984 and is located on the east side of the Colorado River near the Arizona, California and Nevada juncture also know as the Tri- State area. Bullhead City is a rapid growing community consisting of 37,325 residences, many of whom have resided in the area for numerous generations. The Colorado River nourishes the loyal community and provides the essentials for a host of outdoor recreational activities.
The “Aha Macav” also known as the “Mohave/Mojave Indians” resides in the tri-state area. The natives are a tribe of the Yuman linguistic stock, and speak Yuman. Yuman is a language of the Hokan Family, spoken by various tribes from Mexico, Arizona and California. Aha Macav is composed of two Indian words “Aha” meaning water and “Macav” meaning alongside. Historically the Aha Macav people were known for residing alongside the Colorado River, which represented the center of the universe. The people were split into two tribes in 1865 the United States government created the US government Colorado Indian Reservation near Parker (southern range of the Mojave); those that refused to leave resided in the Mojave Valley Fort.
In 1890, the fort was turned into a boarding school to eradicate native culture and language. Although some aspects of Aha Macav culture were lost, eradication of culture and identity failed. Today, the Aha Macav natives have their own schools, community, recreational facilities as well as casinos. They also perform cakewalks, parades and traditional dances as well as create artwork, pottery and jewelry in the community.
To the locals, the Colorado River is more than the primary river of the American southwest. The Colorado is a source of connection with all seven states that it touches as well as a source of entertainment. I grew up on the Colorado River. The river provide a means of recreational activities like boating, jet skiing, fishing, and a place of fellowship to name a few. It is not uncommon to gather at the river for a family reunion, wedding, Bar-B-Que or a reality escape. In the tri-state area, the Colorado River divides three states: Arizona, California and Nevada. The thing that I enjoy the most about the Colorado River is the feeling of escape from geographic territories as well as cultural norms and or limitation.
Bullhead City possesses numerous scenic wonders as well as various entertainment options including the casinos of Laughlin, Nevada located just across the Colorado River. The casinos not only provides a source of entertainment, but an exquisite view of glittering lights and stars can also be seen when the sun falls behind the vivacious Black Mountain ranges in the distance. Such views are prominent in the community that I reside in, Laughlin Ranch.
Laughlin Ranch is a flourishing community in Bullhead City that is set against the magnificent Black Mountains with over 7,000 yards of first class golfing on an 18-hole, par 72 championship course with a 35,000 square foot Clubhouse that is open to the public. Other amenities include full-service day spa, swimming pools, workout facilities and sports bar and grills to name a few.
Despite the entertainment aspect of the “Oasis in the Desert” education is regarded a high priority of the community. Bullhead City faces the challenge of “keeping pace” with accelerated growth, and local educators are responding with impressive results. Every year marks the opening of new schools as the area is populated with new additions to the community. Bullhead City offers quality education for children, as well as adults. Mohave Community College (MCC) and Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) extended campus cater to individuals seeking higher education in the community. MCC has a host of cultural, leisure and entertainment activities in addition to being a learning resource for Mohave County as well as surrounding communities. Facilities such as libraries and computer centers are open to the public on all four campuses. Residents are also encouraged to participate in college activities along with support efforts to create a higher quality of life for everyone by involvement with MCC.
The “Oasis in the Desert” is more than a place of residence. It is a place that I am proud to call home. Bullhead City is like any other community; it possesses elements of history and culture, provides a source of entertainment and implements actions to ensure education and equality to every resident. The key ingredient to the success of Bullhead City is the residents. The community truly understands what it means to grow, but at the same time preserve the backdrop of rural Arizona that has survived countless ages and will continue to do so for generations to come.