Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Desert at Its Best

If you love the desert, you will love Yuma, Arizona more than any other part of Arizona you have visited. Everything you love about Arizona is in Yuma, Arizona. Near Yuma you will also find many different communities with their own rich history. Plus, you have the extra advantage of being near the border with easy access to Algodones and Golfo, Mexico.

We arrived in late September 2010 and stayed two weeks. Our goal was to explore the area, figure out why so many snowbirds are attracted to the area, and if we were not offered a work camper position in another state, we would snowbird until February 2011. After attending a rally in New Mexico and visiting family in Indiana, we visited Sioux Falls, our home base, and then down through Colorado Springs the earlier part of the month, and we found that the bad weather was just starting in those areas. We decided it was time to snow bird and instead of going to Quartzsite we would visit Yuma, Arizona. To our surprise when we hit Yuma, Arizona the sun was shining brightly with 80 degree and breezy weather. We settled into a nice RV Park and sat outside under our awning, and watched the evening aura progress into darkness with the stars shining brightly in the clear universe above.......and no bugs decided to join our blissful space. We fell in love with Yuma.

During our stay we discovered that Yuma’s points of interest go beyond the run of the mill tourist attractions, in part due to Yuma’s unique climate and prominent place in the history of Western America. Its location near Interstate 8, make it an ideal place to stop over when traveling to other Southern California attractions. Since our grandson was turning 1 year old, we decided to make Yuma our temporary home base and drove our van to West Covina, CA, had a great time celebrating with our grandson, son, and daughter-in-law, drove out of West Covina, CA, found a rest stop, spent the night in our van, and continued our trip back to Yuma and finally back to our Wheel Estate home the next day. The trip was a total of 6 1/2 hours from Yuma, not including the sleepover at the rest stop.

While exploring the area we discovered that Yuma has a treasure trove of attractions such as Yuma River Tours, Jet Boat Tours, Paddle Boat Cruises, Custom Charters & Vessels for Hire on the Lower Colorado River, Adair Park’s Private Shooting Recreation Club, Gringo Pedicab LLC. that provides tours of Yuma's West Wetlands by Pedicab, historic downtown Yuma that not only has great shopping but is also used for street fairs and musical events, Algodones Dunes, Los Algodones, Mexico that is a 10 mile drive from Yuma, McPhaul Swinging Bridge to Nowhere, Tranquil Sensations, hot air balloon rides, Valley of the Names that for over 60 years people have been bringing in rocks in order to spell out their names and other messages in the desert, Yuma River Tubing, and Yuma Flea Market known as the biggest, best and oldest flea market in Yuma, AZ.

We were curious about how many RV Parks and Clubs were located in the Yuma area and 50+ parks were listed on the internet. We visited some to get a general idea of seasonal rates and were surprised at the variety of prices. Of course, as we all know, you get what you pay for. During peak season the price range is between $150 - $600 per month, depending on the amenities and the services provided by the RV Park.

Our exploration also included visiting the Quechan Casino, so we gambled a little and enjoyed their delicious buffet. The Casino also offers an RV Park area for boondockers. Also accessible to boondockers in the Yuma area is Bureau of Land Management Land (BLM) that is available at no charge to boondockers.

Another discovery was the wide interest in Park Model Homes. Most of the RV Parks had spaces with Park Model homes that people purchase and then rent the space to place their home. After viewing some of the models of these homes , we understood why so many retirees or vacationers are living or vacationing in them. They are spacious with beautiful wooden cabinets and all the comforts of a large home. The price range was $35,000 - $50,000.

Our trip to Yuma, Arizona was eventful and eye-opening. The population doubles during it's peak season and those who live here all year, love it. Businesses seem to be booming and jobs don't seem to be a problem as most who live here are retired.

Yuma, Arizona........Chuck and Elva will be back.