Saturday, February 5, 2011

Yuma, Arizona

After leaving Joshua National Park we headed south towards Yuma, Arizona.  When we hit Palm Springs we hit the "winds".  On I-10 the truck and trailer combination was getting 50 MPG as it got pushed by 40 mph winds and a slight downgrade.  We turned off at Mecca and headed down California 111 towards I-8.

Along the way we passed the Salton Sea Recreation Area managed by the state of California.  There were some nice campgrounds including some beachfront camping along the sea.  We did not stop and camp since we were meeting friends in Yuma, but here is the web site:  Salton Sea.  The web site states that several of the campgrounds have been closed due to budget cuts.  A campsite will cost you $30 a night, which is dirt cheap for a California State Park.

Yuma was a surprise to us.  It is an attractive small town.  The old part of town down by the Colorado River is made for strolling and walking.  We had lunch at Lute's Saloon.  Decent food, great photos on the walls and a fun atmosphere for lunch.  We really enjoyed walking the historical part of Yuma.

Update:  Today we found a great place for lunch in Yuma.  A fast-food vegetarian place called Nature's Express.  It is located at 2905 S. 4th Ave. Yuma, AZ 928-317-8300.  They are open seven days a week until 8:00 pm.  We noticed that it was fairly busy, so decided to stop.  They do NOT serve anything that was breathing in the recent past.  However, still good food.  I had the Bean and Cheese Burrito.  Their vege-burgers with fries looked really good.  Stop by and give them a try.  Fast-food vegetarian.  Now that something different.  Here is their web site:  Stores in Yuma and Berkeley!!  Hey, that Berkeley thing just keeps following me around.

Eat here for lunch and get a rib-eye dinner at Lute's Saloon to balance things out.

Most folks in winter come to Yuma for the weather.  I have heard that it has the warmest weather in the western US during the winter months.  I do not know if this is true.  It has been sunny almost every day.  Once the sun comes out it is really comfortable.  In the afternoon a breeze picks up almost every day. However, a couple of nights ago the low was 23.7F degrees.   Yes, the waterline froze.

Yuma is a very busy place with Marine Corps planes flying low overhead and lots of traffic in town.  The traffic caught us by surprise.  Those people that live in urban areas will find themselves right at home weaving through traffic.  For me, well what's the hurry?

That traffic means also means that you will wait in line at: banks, Wal-Mart, pharmacies, grocery stores and just about anywhere else!  I know Reno is suppose to be the biggest little city in the world, however, Yuma in the winter might have it beat.  So when that traffic and waiting in line gets to you head for the old town portion of Yuma and take a stroll along the river. 

If you want to spend time in an urban campground there are plenty of those in Yuma to meet your needs.  We landed in Southern Mesa RV Park.  It is a rather informal park and for Bugaboo there is a great field next to the park to run.  There is a more upscale park just to the north complete with tennis courts.

We are using Yuma as a place to meet friends and spruce up the 5th wheel after the long drive down from Wenatchee.  Looks like a few things have shook loose.  We also need to finish our supplies for the trailer now that we have identified more "must have items".

However, here at usbackroads we are more interested in camping off the beaten path and we will cover those in the next edition.


Linda said...

The Yuma BLM office is the most helpful one we've visited. Free maps!

If you go to the free 14-day BLM area off Sidewinder Road be careful not to go as far down the road as we did. We went off-roading in our motorhome!

Jonny Rebel said...

Thanks. Great report.

Dugg said...

Welcome to Yuma, my winter home for almost a decade now. Subfreezing temps here don't occur very often---less than once a year on average. And the heavy traffic is just a Jan/Feb thing. Life is much less hectic on the nearby BLM lands.

Vladimir Steblina said...

I did not expect 23.7 F in the morning. It is a nice area. We will probably be back in the future. We might settle in for a month or two.

These are usbackroads sites, just a bit more crowded than the sites in the inland Northwest.