January 10 – 16, 2011 Yuma

Another great week filled with….

Shopping – The Arizona Marketplace, the Yuma Swap Meet, the Yuma Indoor Marketplace, and the usual Wal-Mart, etc.

Eating out – oh my!

A visit to Los Algodones for medicine and alcohol – not necessarily taken together – :-).

Andy and Bill  -  4 Wheeling in the Desert.

Playing Mexican Train – I really like that game.

Visiting Betty’s Kitchen, Mittrey Lake, and McPhaul’s Bridge (even getting to walk over the bridge, although I am not sure we were supposed to – :-)).

So do I have pictures – why, yes I do – :-)))

Thanks, Judie, for this picture – our Boomer group at Ron and Sharon’s place in the Foothills.  And also thanks to Sharon and Ron for hosting.

01-10-12 Boomer HH Yuma

Goofing off at the Moose:

 01-13-12 Yuma 003

01-13-12 Yuma 001

Birds at Betty’s Kitchen:

  01-15-12 A Betty's Kitchen Yuma 005

01-15-12 A Betty's Kitchen Yuma 006

01-15-12 A Betty's Kitchen Yuma 011

01-15-12 A Betty's Kitchen Yuma 016a

When we drove to Betty’s Kitchen, we were shocked to see very little vegetation.  Most of the area was devastated by a fire last spring and is now closed – so sad.  According to the internet, they suspect the fire was manmade.   What a change!

Our next stop was the McPhaul Bridge – sometimes called the Bridge to Nowhere.  It is an 800’ Suspension bridge which spanned the Gila River when it was built in 1929 and it was used on the main route from Yuma to Quartzsite.

This link has some great background on the bridge:



 01-15-12 C McPhaul's Bridge Yuma 002  

01-15-12 C McPhaul's Bridge Yuma 011

01-15-12 C McPhaul's Bridge Yuma 013 

The bridge has been closed for nearly 80 years and is in disrepair – notice the hole – scary:

01-15-12 C McPhaul's Bridge Yuma 022

01-15-12 C McPhaul's Bridge Yuma 020 

Our happy group:

01-15-12 C McPhaul's Bridge Yuma 028

The Gila River – or what is left of it now that dams and irrigation canals are in place:

01-15-12 C McPhaul's Bridge Yuma 025 

 01-15-12 C McPhaul's Bridge Yuma 019

And I cannot leave Yuma without talking about the farming.  The valleys are so green and surrounded by the desert – what contrasts:

01-15-12 C McPhaul's Bridge Yuma 006

01-15-12 A Betty's Kitchen Yuma 002

And just when you need to go – LOL!!!:

01-15-12 C McPhaul's Bridge Yuma 005

So that brings us to today – Monday.  We left Yuma Lakes and are parked at Specialty Sewing Senter.  They were running a great special for sun shades so we got four windows done – the windshield, both sides on the front, and the large window by the couch plus the windshield wipers.  It looks nice and will have a picture on the next post.   Bill and Shelly also had the same done as well as tire covers.   The special included the windshield, plus three windows, wipers and a cover.   So if you are in the area check them out.   If you bring in your RV, they will get it done in a day – costs more if they have to come to you.

So because it was late when we were both finished, we are staying in their parking lot.  Tomorrow we are off to Quartzsite and Boomerville, so stay tuned.


January 9 – 10, 2012 Travel to Yuma

After saying goodbye to Lynne and Fred, we left our little spot in Casa Grande and headed west.  We stopped for gas and then at a parking area where we changed drivers.  Yep, I drove all the way to Yuma Lakes, where we are staying with Bill and Shelly until next Monday.   I am slowly getting more comfortable behind the wheel and hopefully will get better in different situations.

What is really different is seeing the scenery from the driver’s seat vs. the passenger seat.  We have been this way many times in the past few years but it almost seems new to me.   (I guess I am paying much more attention to the details – LOL.)  But the downside is that there is no pictures - Crying   Bummer.

Anyway, we are parked in the Redondo Area of Yuma Lakes and sat out until well after dark.  The weather is beautiful and it was just great being outside.

This morning, Shelly and I did some shopping at Wal-Mart and then this afternoon, we went to Boomer Happy Hour in the Foothills, hosted by Sharon and Ron.  It was great to see some old friends and meet some new ones.  We hope to see many of them in Quartzsite next week.

Back at Yuma Lakes, I was able to get touch base with other Boomer friends, Wendy, Vince, Glenda, and Don before they headed out to Quartzsite.

Over the next few days, we expect to go to Mexico, the various marketplaces and flea markets, and some sightseeing so stay tuned.

Stats for today:

Miles Traveled: 168 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Arizona: Montgomery Road E;  I-8 East; Fortuna Road; AZ-95 South; South Laguna Dam Road; County 6th Street; Yuma Lakes Resort


January 1 – 8, 2012 Saguaros and Friends

Happy New Year to all.
Our big trip this week was to Saguaro National Park near Tucson.  First some info from the internet:
Saguaro Cactus
The life of the saguaro is a struggle from the beginning. The saguaro begins its life as a shiny black seed no bigger that a pinhead. What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in numbers. One saguaro produces tens of thousands of seeds in a year, and as many as 40 million in a life time of 175 - 200 years. From the start, the odds against survival are great. Out of all the seeds that saguaro produces in its new life, few will survive to adulthood.
Seeds and young saguaros have the best chance for survival if they are cared for by nurse trees such as palo verde and mesquite. Saguaro seedlings that grow under these sheltering plants are shaded from the desert's intense sunlight, blanketed from winter cold, hidden from rodents, birds and other animals that eat them. Rocks provide similar protection for the young saguaros. Saguaros do best on bajadas, gently sloping outwash plains at the foot of desert mountains.
A saguaro's growth is extremely slow. Growth occurs in spurts, with most of it taking place in the summer rainy season each year. By the end of a year, the saguaro seedling may measure only 1/4 inch. After 15 years, the saguaro may be barely a foot tall. At about 30 years saguaro can begin to flower and produce fruits. By 50 years, the saguaro may be as tall as 7 feet. After about 75 years, it may sprout its first branches or "arms." The branches begin as prickly balls, then extend out and upward.
By 100 years the saguaro may have reached 25 feet. Saguaros that live 150 years or more attain the grandest size, towering as much as 50 feet and weighing 8 tons, sometimes more, dwarfing every other living thing in the desert. These are the largest cacti in the United States. Their huge bulk is supported by a strong but flexible cylinder-shaped framework of long woody ribs.
Saguaros may die of old age, but they also die of other causes. Animals eat the seeds and seedlings, lightning and winds kill large saguaro, and severe droughts weaken and kill all ages. The saguaro is vulnerable during every stage of its life.
Where there is a balance of life and death, saguaro forests thrive. Until recent years, in some forests in the park deaths have greatly outnumbered the growth of new young saguaro. Biologists believe freezes are the park's major cause of saguaro deaths. The saguaros here are at their extreme northern and eastern range, where the coldest winter temperatures most often occur. Humans, too have played a part in the decline. Livestock grazing, which continued from the 1880's until 1979, devastated some cactus forests. Seedlings were killed outright by trampling or were tramping or were unable to find suitable places to grow because the ground had been compacted and nurse plants killed.
Today, with grazing eliminated, recovery of the saguaro is underway in several areas. Thousands of young saguaros have taken hold, and they are thriving. Still natural forces, vandalism, and cactus rustling, the theft of saguaros for use in landscaping, continue to take a toll on the park's saguaro forests.
Information provided by the National Park Service
Other links for more info:
And of course I have pictures:
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 006
Sure looks like it might hurt to stand on the cactus:
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 005a
A Saguaro Forest:
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 009
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 014
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 015
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 055
Spines from a dead Saguaro.  Native Americans still use these spines as building materials:
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 027 
An abandoned nest in the Saguaro (sometimes known as a “Boot”):
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 028
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 034
What a view:
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 041 
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 048
Almost looks like a snake:
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 052

Saguaro dying:
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 057
Yikees – Check out those hooks on a barrel cactus:
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 060 
 01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 070
“Howdy partner!”
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 076 
We saw this building on the hillside as we were eating lunch so we just had to check it out.   Turns out it was the original bathrooms built by the CCC – now closed:
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 080
The picnic shelters (originally built by the CCC) where we had lunch:
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 067a
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 064a
A jet in the sky – I am always amazed at how clear the skies are here:
01-02-12 Saguaro National Park - West 077
Since the Saguaro does not get arms until they are over 60 years old, I was always confused on how to tell a young Saguaro from a Barrel Cactus.   And here is the difference.  A young Saguaro will look like a baseball bat – it will have a smaller circumference near the ground.   A barrel cactus will have the same circumference from the ground up.   So now I know - Open-mouthed
I just love National Parks!!

Some of our highlights for this week:
We saw the International Space Station cross over – WOW and more WOW!  The skies are so clear here.
Shelly, Lynne, and I did a girls day in Old Towne Casa Grande.  We visited a number of the shops and had a great lunch at the local diner.   A WONDERFUL day.
One of the murals downtown:
01-04-12 Casa Grande 005
We celebrated Fred’s Birthday and Lynne and Fred’s Anniversary at the Moose in Arizona City. (Can I say great time again.)
I had a soup and bread dinner on New Year’s Day.  I made raisin bread for the first time – Yummy! (Tina, you would be proud of me  -  :-)).
We had a potluck on Thursday at Bill and Shelly’s – Yum!
And filling our days with visiting, socializing, line dancing – just generally having a grand time.
Our group on New Year’s Eve – Bill, Shelly, Andy, Lynne, and Fred.   Lee and Brenda also joined us but I didn’t get a picture.
12-31-11 001
Our time here has come to an end and we will be heading out to Yuma on Monday morning for a week and then to Boomerville in Quartzsite for a while.  So stay tuned.

Enjoy today.