Sunday, February 21, 2016

Yuma, Arizona

Post by Henry

We've been in Yuma since just before Christmas, which makes us almost Yumans.  The main reason we're here is because it's the warmest, driest spot in America.  It's definitely the driest, seeing how this is desert country.

Yuma Desert

Until this last week or so, El Nino has been keeping it somewhat on the cool side, though.  We've had folks telling us this has been the coldest winter they have seen, and some have been coming here for twenty (20) years or more.  About a week ago, the temperature rose into the 80's and now the forecast isn't any lower than that for at least the next few weeks.

Yuma is located in the bottom southwest corner of Arizona.  We're staying in the Foothills area of Yuma and we're less than twenty (20) miles from both California to the west, and Mexico to the south.  From our campsite, we have a great view of the Gila Mountains to the east and stunning sunsets to the west.

Yuma Sunset

Yuma is also know as Geezerville and RV City.

Well, actually, I made those both up.

Geezerville because, well, there's a seriously large retired population here, at least now during the winter.  And most of these folks are in the upper age bracket, too.  Our first month in Yuma, we stayed in a "55+ Park" and Loretta and I were by far the closest folks to age 55.

Actually a Posted Sign
"Our Neighborhood"

Now don't get me wrong.  We don't have anything against geezers.  No siree.  I consider ourselves Junior Geezers and hope to reach full geezerhood in the not too distant future.

RV City because there's RVs everywhere!  RVs, RV Parks, RV Dealers, RV supply stores, and RV repair shops.

Typical RV Park

Need I Say More?

This is definitely where folks come in their RVs for the winter and it seems the majority of people here are from Canada.  We've never seen so many Canadian license plates in one area before.  I even saw one guy wearing a t-shirt that read "Yuma - Canada's Southernmost Province".  And we're told this is an off year for Canadian visitation due to the poor value of their dollar.

There's lots of agriculture here in Yuma, and they claim they are the winter vegetable capital of the WORLD. They also claim that 90% of all leafy vegetables grown in the U.S. from November through March are grown in and around Yuma.

Crew Hard at Work
Harvesting Cabbage

Closer - Harvesting Cabbage

And we believe it, too, because we've seen acres and acres of lettuce and cabbage, as well as cauliflower. Dates are a big crop here, too, along with groves of various citrus crops.

Greens Growing in Yuma

Cauliflower in the Field

Of course, all these crops demand a dependable water source.  There is an extensive maze of man made canals and irrigation.  Row upon row of water piping is plumbed together with each new crop.

Irrigation on New Crop

Not only do the fields need water, so do the people!  The tap water here in Yuma is not good for drinking.  It leaves salt deposits on the sink and dishes and tastes bad.  So, everywhere you go, there are places to purchase drinking water.  The going rate seems to be five (5) gallons for fifty cents ($.50).

Get Your Water Here!

Four by four (4x4) vehicles are quite popular here. 

Four Wheelin' in the Desert

 Everything from Jeeps and dune buggies to 4-wheelers and even dirt bikes.  There's lots of wide open desert land around to drive on and kick up some dust.  And the Algodones Sand Dunes are just across the California border.

With all that said, we'd have to say that the Yuma area is NOT the most exciting place we've been by a long shot.  Mostly, the biggest appeal for us is the warm winter temps, so these have been kinda quiet times for the Yahoo Ramblers.  Loretta has been working on a few sewing projects and I've been getting in a good bit of walking and bike riding and researching places to go and things to do on our journey through the rest of 2016.

Before you know it, we'll be on the road again as we travel through California, Oregon, and Washington. Definitely, there's exciting times ahead!