It’s time to wrap-up our time here in Yuma so we can make it to the big show in Quartzsite. This is our second trip to this area and I have to admit it’s grown on us. Yuma is, in many ways, an odd kinda town…it’s a rather featureless valley that’s a huge snowbird destination, mostly for its costs and southern location. When you drive through town you see packs & packs of RV parks (many 55-and over) with RVers mashed together surrounded by flat desert, a spattering of flat farmland and somewhat nondescript strip-malls. At least that was the impression I had first time I came through here.
Who’d want to winter in Yuma….really?
But if you take a bit of time to look around, you realize there’s more to it than meets the eye, and believe it or not it starts with nature. Once you get down to it Yuma has tons of open space around town for exploration. In the west there are the impressive Imperial Sand Dunes and the rich gold history by the Muchacho Mountains. In the north you have large wildlife refuges (the Imperial Wildlife Refuge and the enormous and rarely visited KOFA Wildlife Refuge), and in the east the landscape opens to pretty foothills and some excellent hiking (for more trails check out this PDF download too). Add onto that some pretty decent golf courses and a bike path along the Colorado River and you’ve got quite the diversity of outdoor choices.
Hmmm…this place ain’t looking so bad after all.
And then there’s the boondocking….ahhhh….the boondocking. This is really what clinches it for me. I don’t think I would enjoy staying in one of the big RV parks in town, but once you get out into the wilderness it’s a whole other story. The area around here doesn’t have nearly the scenic beauty of some of our other favorite spots, but there’s so much space that you can easily find a secluded spot to spend those perfect winter days all by your nature lonesome. And when the winter weather does what it’s supposed to (which means a nice sunny mid-70′s during the daytime) and the wind isn’t being crazy (which it does get out here) it’s simply the most relaxing place. Walk the hills in your flip flops, bike around and explore the dirt roads in your shorts and then knock back in a chair with an appropriately adult beverage to watch an eternal horizon of fiery sunset.
Oh yeeees….I can see the draw now.
And finally there are the quirky little things that make Yuma…well Yuma. Things you didn’t even remotely expect and that might even save you some dough:
- Inexpensive dentistry just around the corner in Los Algodones. What a deal!
- The cheapest place (in the US?) to get your rig washed and hand-waxed. Can you say ~$40 for a wash and ~$130 for wash/wax of a 40-footer!!
- The salad Capitol of the US (~90% of all leafy veggies in winter for the entire country are grown here) with no less than 3 weekly farmer’s markets (here, here and here).Who would’ve thunk?
Ok…you had me at hello.
When we first came here we never thought we’d come back. Then we came back anyway, then friends came to join us (The Lowes, Alex&Ellen, OhThePlacesTheyGo, Watson’s Wonder all came by to visit…plus RV Sue, Ivan&His Kitty, & Metamorphosis Road have blown thro’ this joint in the past week!) and then we were hooked. Yuma has grown on us and we’ve decided we’re probably going to come back every year. I mean with so much going on, who wouldn’t want to winter here…really?
Update On My Los Algondones Dentist Appt 1/21: I got my new crown installed yesterday morning and I am over the moon. This crown is 100% better fit than my old one (which always felt too big & awkward in my mouth), feels perfect and looks great. Dr. Urena did an outstanding job making sure the fit and look was just right. She even sent out the crown for some re-work in the AM to re-file the inner side and improve the fit. No-one can tell which tooth is the crown unless I point it out. We’ll see how this holds up, but for the moment I am very, very happy with the results!