November 2018 – Our Winter Home (maybe)

The drive from Fort McDowell to our Winter spot in Yuma was quite flat and agricultural. We did come across this field of solar power, apparently one of the largest in the world and also drove past Date City, yes, a date lovers paradise

Huge solar power plant on our way to Yuma.

It turns out that Yuma is a town that shuts down for six months of the year, stores and restaurants are boarded up and it’s deserted. October comes around and people start to arrive, by end of December there are traffic jams, lines at restaurants and license plates from everywhere northwest.

 

Wer’e about 8 miles from the center of town in one of the dozens of holiday homes and RV parks. The majority of the people we’ve met own property here and spend their winters here. About 80% of our park consists of permanent park model homes, and many of the homeowners know each other and its a bit clique-ish.

Yuma is the largest producing of lettuce in the country growing 30 varieties, didn’t realize there were so many varieties. Traveling along route 8 through Yuma, the landscape is filled with acre upon acre of farms growing kale, broccoli, beans, peanuts, not to mention all the lemon and grapefruit trees, which bear enormous fruit.

Our initial spot

Our initial spot was a nice spot as far as the layout (patio etc..), but we were facing the wrong direction and the sun was shinning on our patio the whole day and no help from the awning. It also had a a bad sewer smell most of the morning and at night. we contacted the office and one person said she lived near our spot and when she walked by the smell was very obvious, so we moved to a better situated site with no smells 🙂

Our new spot as that last one stunk, literally the smell of sewer was over powering

This is the sunniest place in the US and in November the temperature was still in the mid 80’s

Chris jumps right into Pickle Ball the next morning after we arrive

We headed to prison for some history. this place was built in 1876 about the time when Yuma was experiencing a boom due to the people heading west to seek their fortunes in gold in California. The prison housed many criminals but for only 30 years, when it was deemed too small and the inmates were moved to Florence AZ, and the Yuma prison was turned into a school

Right on the Colorado River

The prison is located on the banks of the Colorado River and the part of Yuma on the other side of the bank is in California

This cell would hold 10 – 15 prisoners at once.

The prison also housed women, who were separated in these cells

About 7 miles west of Yuma is the Mexican border. And the town directly on the other side is Algondones,  This is a town of about 1 square mile, where 90% of the trade is medical. Dentists and eye doctors are in abundance and also popular are the pharmacies, where drugs are cheap and prescriptions not required. Extremely popular with anyone on Medicare or limited dental and vision insurance. Chris desperately needed a crown, was quoted $1500-$1700 in Atlanta, so decided to get get it done in Algondones. She paid $550 for the exact same crown

The Mexicans here are extremely nice but ready to cash in on the millions of people who cross over every day anxious to sell you jewelry, t-shirts, blankets etc.. on the way to your appointments

Every shop was either dental, vision or pharmacy

Went to EL Paraiso Restaurant and Bar for coffee as we were early for Chris’ dental appointment.

A cantina we had coffee and Steve had a breakfast burrito before dentist time

  One of the larger pharmacies, who also sell liquor, cigarettes and groceries

Rubio’s Dental Group came highly recommended by other RV bloggers

 

Hair cut time. A little aroma therapy before washing/cutting

 

Our second trip into Mexico for dental.

Back for dental part deux

Brunchish at a colorful restaurant 2 doors down from the dentist

 

We went to a donkey rescue in Benson AZ, and now a camel farm in Yuma AZ

These were Arabian camels bought over 30 years ago. Why?  We don’t know

They love dates

Many orphaned goats and zebras are housed here also

We headed to a real golf course about 10 miles from our park. Some nice views. We have a golf course on our park property but it’s a tiny 9-hole course.

We headed out to look at the Imperial Dam and found we had to cross the US Army Yuma Proving Ground.

They had a display of all the equipment they used during the wars, and there were maneuvers going on here constantly. The ones we saw were fighter jet maneuvers, when you’re in an area like this with very little air traffic and in a huge valley between mountains, all the service departments are here testing equipment

Thia is a Self Propelled Howitzer. I guess it took off by itself before we got there

Looks like a helicopter coming in for a landing

Nope, on a poll

Mexico dental part III and a parade celebrating Independence Day

 

Thanksgiving dinner at the resort. Served buffet style.

Went for a little hike near the RV resort called Telegraph Pass Trail

Did another hike the next day near the prison at East Wetlands Interpretive Trail

Lunch after the hike at El Senor Taco and it was yummy

New day new hike. we went to Betty’s Kitchen National Recreation Trail A small trail on Mittry Lake  This is BLM land and free boon-docking sites

Continuing our taco fest at Taco Monster

Went to another par 3 course to hone our short game. Some interesting skies and F-16’s buzzing in the distance

Then we finally ate at a infamous IN-N-OUT Burger It was very tasty.

They had a Pickleball tournament at our park, of course Chris signed up. There were other parks involved also.

They also had a 50/50 drawing that everyone chipped in $5 and low and behold we won! So we made $235 ($5 dollar investment and got $240).

The line on a Friday 4:45 pm to get back into the USA from Mexico. The rest of the line is on the other side of the fence to the right and just as long.

Flying go cart

A theme seems to be emerging (FOOD)

A parade of lights in our RV park. Must have been 30 vehicles all decked out

Great moon rise

We we took a drive to see the Imperial Sand Dunes and wound up at the “Center of the World” in a town called Felicity, California

This is an outdoor museum in progress called History of the World in Granite. It covers wars, astronomy, space, humanity etc.. very interesting

 

Just a part of the the Imperial Sand Dunes. This area attracts so many ATV/UTV’s which covers 118.000 acres of trails

Now it’s time to leave Yuma and move north a little. it’s been hard staying in one place for 2 months, and we’ve missed being on the road. Weather has turned a bit chilly, but the sun is always shining, Yuma experiencing about 3″ of rainfall a year and humidity is very low. So we’ll stick around the southwest for the rest of the winter, but move around more. There’s so much more to see in the southwest, so next is Blythe where we’ll have access to to so much more

 

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