I am finally back online. I hope at least some of you missed me. I do apologize for being off for so long, but I have to tell you that we were having such a wonderful time!!
We came to Yuma because of another blog that Tim has been following since 2012, RV Khronicles of Kevelyn. They have bought a park model at this park and so we decided to check it out. We love it and have already reserved a spot for next January. It is a huge park, 1290 sites, a lot of which are park models.
The park is located in an area called Fortuna Foothills which is about 10 miles east of downtown Yuma just off I-8. It is surrounded by rocky mountains and desert. We stayed in Site #752 which is right by the gate. Where it is located is within 5 miles of everything you could possibly need or want. There is also a mall only about 10 miles away.
The amenities at the park are unbelievable: recreation hall, fitness room, card rooms, 2 laundry rooms, crafts room, massage, 2 pools and hot tubs, billiards room, barber shop, beauty and nail salon, computer lab, game room, quilting room, darts, Fortuna Saloon, Fortuna Grill, 9-hole golf course and Pro Shop, softball field, sports complex: bocce ball, shuffleboard, pickle ball, tennis courts, horse shoes and concession. If you can't find something to do here, you don't want to do anything. Every evening during the winter months there is a Happy Hour in the saloon with live music. There are several different golf tourneys each week. They offer line dance and 2-step lessons. Everyday of the week has numerous activities, most of which are included in the 'price of admission'.
Our second day there Tim was riding around on his motorcycle looking for the golf course to sign up for the Friday tournament. When he came back, he was with another bike rider, Dirk Lawyer. They became fast friends. We had dinner that night at a great little restaurant only a mile away, Foothills Eatery. You do not walk away from that place hungry. All entrees include soup, salad, choice of potato, veggie of the day and dessert. Our meals fed us twice! And we ate there a number of times.
The first Friday Tim signed up for a golf scramble. It is a best ball tourney for men and women. That day we first met Evelyn and Kevin (Khronicles of Kevelyn). They are such nice folks. Thanks to them we were there!
On Monday, 28th, we visited the Yuma Territorial Prison. This is the prison where the prisoner, Ben Wade in 3:10 to Yuma, was being taken. It is definitely not a place you would want to be. Much of it has been torn down and replaced by a train track that is located next to it. We also visited the Imperial Sand Dunes in California. If you like to ride sand buggies, this is the place.
All around the area is desert and it is a most wonderful place to ride. Our Jeep is a 4x4 and will go just about anywhere. We tried it out on many of the desert trails. Tim and Dirk and, at times, a couple of other riders, would wind their way through the desert and then Tim and I would take the Jeep. Our first big ride into the desert took us along a ridge run called Laguna Mountain Ridge. We didn't know anything about it, so we weren't 'afraid'! It literally runs across the top of the ridges, sometimes barely wide enough for our Jeep. It was MAGNIFICENT!!! You can see for miles up there! Over the time we were there, we rode many, many desert roads and trails with spectacular views! This is a fabulous place for off-road vehicles. One of our trips into the desert was with Dirk and his wife, Jane. We drove (bikes and Jeep) out to the Fortuna Mine. The desert is littered with defunct gold, silver and other mines. Most of the desert land around Yuma is BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and you can ride seemingly forever. Tim and his biking buddies checked out as many trails as they could.
Another thing I didn't know about the area is that it's the winter lettuce capital of the world, producing 90% of the nations leafy vegetables between November and March. The fields are absolutely gorgeous!! We watched cabbage, romaine lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower being harvested. We found a local produce stand where we bought much fresh veggies. It is just unbelievable that so much produce is grown 'in the desert'. There are also many date palm farms in the area. I became a huge fan of dates and even enjoyed a date milkshake. I highly recommend it!
About 20 miles from us, in California, is the border crossing into Los Algodones, Mexico. It is only about 2 miles from I-8. One day we drove down there and went into Mexico. You just park in a big lot and walk on in. No one even checks as you walk across the border. The place was hustling. There were so many people, Americans and Canadians. Most of them go to Mexico to get dental work and glasses. In that little town there are 350 dentists. It is something to see. We wandered around for a little while and decided it was time to leave. I don't remember exactly what time it was, but we were in line for nearly and hour trying to get back across the border. While in line we talked to people around us. I would say that 95% were there for dental work, which costs 1/4 or less what it does in the states. Many of them have been going there for years/decades. We also found out that after 11:00 a.m. you can bring alcohol back into the US. That was part of the reason the line was so long. Anyway it was an experience!! I bought a couple of pairs of silver earrings. You can find beautiful jewelry and other items there rather inexpensively. On our way back we stopped at Quechan Casino (out by I-8) and played a few slots. Tim was looking for a poker game, but they were held only on Saturdays. While we were there I saw that KC and The Sunshine Band was giving a concert on February 9th. When we got home, I bought tickets!! It was a great concert! He still has it after all these years!
While Tim had his golf and dirt bike riding, I got involved with water exercises. That was my Monday, Wednesday, Friday morning fun. Some mornings the wind would be pretty brisk and the weather not so warm and that made it a bit chilly getting out of the pool. I really looked forward to it, though.
About 6 miles from the park is a little place called Ligurta Station. It was established as a railroad station about 1880. It is now a restaurant that has a mouth-watering hamburger. It is only open until 2:00 pm so you have to get there early. Many times there are lines of off-road vehicles whose occupants are waiting to be served. It is definitely a place to visit if you are in the area. We ate there a couple of times and Tim ate there with his buddies.
One day I was talking to my oldest/dearest friend, Benita. I told her what fun we were having our here and she decided to come out for a visit. She rented a park model for two weeks and flew out. She arrived on March 21st. By then a lot of people had left, but there were still a lot of activities going on. We spent time at a number of Happy Hours and she got involved in the water exercises. After only a day or two, she fell in love with the place and went about looking for a park model to buy. She found one she liked and bought it!! It is a great little house that is turn key. She will definitely be back in November, but is having a hard time not coming back out sooner!! While she was here we took her desert riding. It was something she had never done before, but she fell in love with it like we have! We were on some very remote and rugged trails (some can't even be called roads) and she is looking forward to coming back for more. On a couple of occasions we took lunch and sat high on a hill looking out over the desert. It was such a wonderful time. I really hated to see her leave. While she was here she met people and made friends. She will know a number of people when she comes back. We tried to show her as much as we could in those two short weeks.
Two other interesting trips we took: Castle Dome Landing, a ghost town in the Castle Dome Mountains which was first settled as a transport depot and mining camp around 1863; Valley of the Names, Winterhaven, CA, a mesa made up of hard-packed white sand. Both of these are so worth a visit.
Some of the people we met will be back next year as we will. Gary and Barb lived across the street from us and will be in the same site. Dennis (one of Tim's bike riding buddies) and his wife, Debbie, will be 3 sites down from us. Dirk and Jane will be back. Another couple we met, Jerry and Lisa Healey (from Ontario, Canada) will not be back next year as they are going to Florida, but we hope they will be back the following year. We will miss them.
When we come back next year, we are for sure going to make more of the Happy Hours and get involved in more of the activities. Yuma in the winter is definitely a paradise! This year the weather was a bit crazy and didn't get warm for the first few weeks we were there. The oldtimers who have been coming there for years said it was the coldest winter in decades. So we hope that the weather will be more cooperative next year. We did get some rain and that wasn't too bad as it allowed all the flowers in the desert to bloom.
To sum it up, this is a most exciting place! We love it and look forward to coming back! Now it is time to move on to new adventures.