Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yuma, Arizona 2013

2-27-13
I left the recreation area at 5:00 AM and went about 800 feet. I had forgotten about the gate on the highway. When it gets dark the ranger closes the gate. I knew the four digit combination on the padlock.
Turning the numbers several times did not help. The lock would not open. A van from another camping area appeared. The man came out and said: “ Trying to sneak out early”?
I told him that I wanted to get through the Phoenix area early to avoid the traffic. He had the same idea. Now it was his turn to play with the padlock. He got angry and pulled hard and he was successful.
In Dateland I stopped for date shake. It tasted different and I developed a problem. I was lucky to have a toilet in the motorhome.
I arrived at the VFW in Yumaat about 11:30 AM. Freddy the Fiddler is here. He arrived this morning. He had to stay at the repair facility several weeks. He broke the drive shaft on the motorhome and a new one had to be fabricated. There was also some damage on the motorhome. He is lucky to have Good Sam Extended Warranty.
Rudy from British Columbia is also here, so is Charles who had another stent implanted at the hospital in Parker.
It was windy today, but a lot warmer.

2-28-13
We had summer weather today.
In the morning I visited Donna Huffer and Bob Parker. They have a site now at the Escapee Park in Yuma. While Donna was working hard, Bob and I enjoyed the beautiful weather. Donna was doing laundry.



On the way home I stopped at the library and did some computer work and some reading.

3-1-13
Yesterday Bob Parker told me about their visit to the museum at the US Army Yuma Proving Ground. Today I checked it out myself. The Heritage Center, at the Proving Ground, is a museum with displays and videos of weapons which were tested at this facility. There is also a video of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the liberation of some concentration camps in Germany.
A large sign greets visitors when making the turn on highway 95.



On each side of the entrance to the Proving Ground is a large M66 Atomic Cannon.



A super large truck is located near the museum. It was used like a locomotive pulling several big trailers.



At the outside display area are a number of tanks and cannons which were tested in Yuma.








This Sherman Tank has seen a lot of action. There are holes, not completely gone through the armor, on both sides of the vehicle.



In the afternoon I went to the Market Place to check out a signal booster for cell phones. Wilson makes several of them. We have shorts and T shirt weather. The temperature went up to 85 degrees F. today.
Nelda arrived this afternoon. She will stay here a week and then go to the Yuma Lakes RV Resort for two weeks.

3-2-13
I tried to visit Vicki Daley’s father who spends the winter in Winterhaven, California, across the Colorado River from Yuma. When I arrived there I was informed that Vicki and her husband Jim, and her father had gone fishing. I called Vicki and left a message on her phone.
Then I went to the library and Walmart. It was too hot in the sun to do anything else.

3-3-13
It was cloudy today and the temperature was just right.
In the morning I went to the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Park. The depot was used by the US Army to store and distribute supplies for all the military posts in Arizona, New Mexico, and some of Nevada and Texas.
Now it is a museum.



Then I drove to Winterhaven to visit Vicki, Jim, and Ed, Vicki’s father. They were not there but the neighbors told me that I should wait because Vicki and Jim had to go back to Escondido at noon. Very soon the three came back and I had a few minutes to talk to them. New visitors arrived and I left.
In the afternoon I visited the Castle Dom Silver Mines Museum and Ghost Town.








They had a church.




In the shop I liked this old drill press.



The sheriff had an office there.



The single men lived in bunk houses.




The town had a brothel.



This should be called a bucket cactus.



On the way home I stopped at the McPhauls Bridge. It was built before the Golden Gate Bridge and has the same design. The bridge spans the Gila River, which does not exist anymore because of all the dams. It is a bridge to nowhere.



Not very far from the bridge is this tiny church. It was built in 1995 by Loren Pratt as a memorial to his late wife. It is the “ Pause Rest Worship” church and it has room for ten people.




3-4-13
Early in the morning I walked up the hill with the idea of taking a picture of a train going by, with the motorhomes in the back. All day long trains zip by, but when I wanted one, none came. I waited for 30 minutes and then gave up.




Then I went into town. On the way I stopped and watched iceberg lettuce being harvested. At the first place the machine with the workers on top, and the trucks on the side, was slowly going away from me.
The whole process is like a factory. The lettuce heads are cut, put in boxes, and the boxes are loaded on trucks and hauled away.




At the second place the Dole Company was also harvesting iceberg lettuce. The process was a bit different. Some heads of lettuce came up on a conveyor belt and dropped in big boxes. The hard inner part of the heads was left on the field. I think the product was used for shredded lettuce. I was next to the machine but could only sneak in some pictures. The supervisor screamed at me, they do not allow pictures being taken. At the side of the machine was a sign indicating that no video can be taken. I screamed back and told him that I do not take videos. He did not care. Since I was outnumbered I stopped taking pictures.





Farming is Yuma’s number one business. 175 different crops are grown here. Ninety percent of the nations green leafy vegetables, between November and March, come from this region.
My next stop was Main Street in Yuma. It is still alive but there are many closed stores. The city tries very hard to improve the place.
I walked through Lutes Casino. It is not a casino, only a big restaurant. I was told they have very good hamburgers. I was only there for looking at the place.




Late afternoon I visited Nelda. She is leaving tomorrow to have her levelers fixed. She cannot take the slides out because the motorhome is not level.

3-5-13
I finally got a picture of a train going by. It was one with regular box cars. I wanted one with colorful containers.



Today I treated myself. I went to a German restaurant and had beef rouladen with red cabbage and spaetzle, which are tiny Bavarian noodles. The rouladen were made the same way I am used to and were very good. The owner of the restaurant is from Bavaria.
On the way home I watched how cauliflower is harvested. I was lucky, the machine had just been turned around and I was able to take pictures from my car. About ten men cut the cauliflower heads and put them on a conveyor. People on top of the machine inspect the product and throw the bad and undersize heads back on the ground. On one side a truck with empty boxes follows the machine. On the other side follows a truck were the full boxes go on. The process goes on without stopping to the end of the field, and the fields are very long.




Fiddler Freddy is gone. He had a fight with the camp host. I think the camp host accused him of not picking up after his dog. Dan left this afternoon for Alberta where a job is waiting for him. Nelda came back and has her slide out now, but not her jacks down. I went to her motorhome and tried to talk to her. The door was open but she did not answer me when I called her.

3-7-13
In the morning I went one more time to the Arizona Market Place to get more information about the Wilson Cell Phone Booster.
There is a sign, at the entrance, greeting the German snow birds.



The little band at the food court was actually good.



The Market Place is a miniature Quartzsite. They sell almost everything what people need or not need.






My fourteen days at the camping area are almost up. The Bureau of Land Management does not want people to find a home here. There is a constant coming and going. I had good neighbors so far.
Most couples are happy and I make the rounds and talk to them. One couple came from Southern Illinois. I told them that I have friends, David and Sharon Lemos, in Hoyleton. My neighbors have been there to eat crab legs in a restaurant. I told them about the Chop House in St. Rose. David and Sharon took us there and I had the best restaurant pork chops.

3-9-13
This morning I went to The Official Center Of The World. It is based on a children book, The Good Dragon Of The Center Of The World. The place is located in Felicity, California, eight miles west of Yuma.
In the pyramid is supposed to be the center of the world. At the other end, on a man made hill, is the church. In between are sixteen granite monuments, they depict early aviation, the U.S. Marine Corps Korean War Memorial, the Foreign Legion, the History of Arizona, the History of California, and part one of the History of Humanity.













There is also one section of the steps from the Eiffel Tower. They had been replaced.



At noon I went to “Yuma Lettuce Days” at the Quartermasters Depot. Dole had a display there and they were handing out pineapple juice and other goodies. I was able to get answers to some questions I had about farming in the desert.




There were also some equipment displays. I was surprised at the cost of this giant tractor. It comes with air condition and costs $ 267,000.




All kind of stuff was sold in booths, but mainly farm produce, and there was a lot education about eating right.





This picture shows the refueling of the City of Yuma airplane being refueled during the 1,124 continuous hours in the air record breaking flight, to promote Yuma as an ideal place to have military base.



3-10-13
This was my last day in Yuma. Rudi left today. Ted is the only WIN left now.



I will miss the little hummingbird on the nest.




In the morning I will miss the colorful hot air balloon flying over the camping area. And I will miss the wonderful neighbors I had.



At noon I went to Winterhaven for the 33rd Annual Pow- Wow of the Quechan Indian Nation. There were booths selling all kinds of Indian Jewelry, Kachinas, Baskets, and pottery. Fry Bread was sold in six booths.





The Elders of different tribes were dancing to the drums.



Then came the Grand Entry. Tribes from different states and Canada were present.












Those two little girls had a lot of fun.



There were different groups hitting the drums.



Little Miss Colorado River was not only cute; she was smart too. She gave a good speech.



The lady on the right received her Indian name today. She had her family and friends with her. She will be Cedar Woman at gatherings from now on. Recently she attended her first Pow- Wow and decided to get closer to her Indian heritage.



This was a perfect day for outdoor activities. The temperature was 77 degrees F. and the sky was blue. At the VFW patio people dance every afternoon to music by a life band. I did not go once since there are only couples around here now.