February 11, 2013 – Travel to “The Steps”

We left the lush farmlands of Yuma:

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Into the rain:

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For years we have seen this balloon/blimp as we headed to and from Yuma:

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I knew it had something to do with Border Patrol but not sure exactly what they did.   Well, I came across an article about them.

“The helium and air filled radar blimp (or Aerostat) is known as Yuma's border-watching “eye in the sky” It is tethered at Yuma Proving Ground and hovers about two miles above ground as it scans the desert for low-flying aircraft that could be bringing illegal drugs into the United States. The Yuma aerostat is one of eight along the southern border of the U.S., with additional crafts in Texas, New Mexico, the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico and, closest by, Fort Huachuca. The system of blimps is known as the Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) program and is owned by the U.S. Air Force.

An aerostat has operated at YPG since 1989. About two dozen people work around the clock at the Yuma site.

The aerostat can detect activity up to about 230 miles away. All radar data is transmitted to a ground station and to the Air-Marine Interdiction Center at March Air Reserve Base in Southern California. A cable keeps the 208-foot-long aerostat tethered to the ground.”

Read more: http://www.yumasun.com/articles/program-84953-aerostat-tars.html#ixzz2Jtfgomig

So now we know what they are – although there is now talk about grounding them because of budget cuts – :-(((.

I see clear skies ahead:

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Whenever it rains, the desert starts to turn green – notice the grass – cool:


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As we approached Parker, the topography changes.  From this point north, we followed the Colorado River:

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Awesome, isn’t it!

This is part of Lake Havasu and the Bill Williams Refuge.  In the distance notice the golden color – I call it the wheat river – :-).

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We arrived at “The Steps” where we will be for the next week seeing old friends, meeting new ones, going to a birthday party, and seeing the fireworks at the Winter Blast.

We were here last year so I won’t be posting any history.  Here is the link:


Stay tuned for our adventures this week – :-)


Miles Traveled: 136 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Arizona: Avenue 8 1/2 E; E County 6th Street; South Laguna Dam Road (Ave 7E); US-95; Stopped at MM 165 - “The Steps”


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