Saturday, March 05, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011 Yuma, Arizona

Wednesday, the 2nd, we went to  Yuma Palms Mall doing some looking and very little buying.  And then on Thursday we returned to Marketplace, the large flea market in Yuma and, like the mall, looked and bought little.  We stopped at an RV dealer that was having an open house with a chicken barbeque lunch.  We ate lunch with a couple that are now living in Yuma and had some suggestions for places to eat and things to see in the area.

Today, we followed a recommendation from the couple we met up with yesterday.  I packed a picnic lunch and we traveled north from Yuma.  We stopped at Sun Garden Growers and bought some local dates.

Grove of date palms at Sun Garden Growers, Yuma, Az.

Date palm groves were very common in this area.  Continuing on we next drove around the Imperial dam area and stopped at the dam.

Imperial Dam

This dam, in addition to producing electricity, diverts the waters from the Colorado River down to the Yuma area for irrigating the produce fields.  BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands in this area is used by RVer’s that choose to live with no hook-ups at a very nominal or no cost for camping.

BLM camping with solarBLM camping with "toys" and solar

RV’s with solar panels, various “big boy” toys (4 wheel vehicles for traveling over the dunes) and antennas and satellite dishes are very common for this type of camping.   We were driving in the vicinity of Yuma Proving Grounds and we came to a display of tanks and war guns which we stopped and walked about.

Yuma Proving Grounds Display

Spying a sign for the Imperial National Wildlife Reserve we drove to check it out and hoped to find a place for our picnic lunch.  There was a nice pavilion with some picnic tables at the visitor center that served our needs well.   There were cactus blooming  and a gopher tortoise at the reserve had come out of hibernation.

Desert cactus in bloomGopher tortoise

As we were returning to Yuma we stopped at a little tiny church along the roadside that a farmer had built for his wife.

Tiny church north of Yuma, Az.Little pews in the Little Church

The church could seat 16 slim people at the most and is always open for anyone wanting to stop by.  Today has been a nice day with temperature in the 80’s and a very brisk wind.