Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Motorcycle Desert Day.

10:00 am  -  getting ready to roll.
What a perfect desert day to ride.  The air was warm, there was no wind, there was not a cloud in the sky, and the desert was calling.
Leaving the Foothills area of Yuma.
Larry, on the Harley Davidson Road King ahead, was our guide this day.  A grain farmer from the Swift Current, Saskatchewan area, he has been snowbirding in this area for five years.  He's a true motorcycle desert rat.  He knows the roads well. 
Heading north in I-95.
Our first stop was at the Yuma Proving Grounds.  This is a military testing facility.  It's a most interesting place to visit.
A large gun stands out in the desert.

Impressive power, no doubt!

Each tank, missile and gun is identified.
We spent about 30 minutes walking around and learning about the history of these fighting machines.
This image conjures immense fire power.

The truck carrying this armament is huge.  I wonder if the driver ducks or runs away when this thing fired.
This, I believe, is an Apache attack helicopter.  It sits at the entrance to the Yuma Proving Ground.

Big, big gun at the turn off to the YPG (Yuma Proving Ground)

A military exercise....!  This bird was actually flying.
Most of the military hardware we saw were present in the 2nd WW, the Korean War and in the Vietnam War.  This military training facility is one of the sites that trains troops for desert warfare, such as the current action in Afghanistan.

Larry and Jeanette.
So we saddled up and headed further north and then west towards Lake Martinez.

Lake Martinez,AZ.
It's kind of different for us to ride in a dry desert environment and then suddenly arrive at an oasis like Lake Martinez.  It's a tributary of the Colorado River.
Local wildlife with an impressive home in the background.  Word has it that this home belongs to a realtor from the San Diego area.  Nice home.

Our photos do not show Lake Martinez as it truly is.  Other than a few really nice homes, the area is quite run down.  Although it's a great motorcycling destination, it falls far short of a desirable RV'ing destination, in our view.

The docks are in a sorry state of repair.

From here we headed east and south towards the farming area north of Yuma.  It's like finding a diamond in the rough.
Lettuce fields.

Irrigation canals. 
The lowlands near Yuma are prime for growing numerous human and animal feed crops.  They include vegetables, various grains, rice and hay crops.  There are several large cattle feed lots in the area too.

Entering the town of Wellton, AZ.
Continuing our ride east and north from Yuma, we came into this town of about 1,000 people and to enjoy some sodas.  We met this lady from Taber, Alberta (formerly from Abbotsford, BC) who was heading back to her winter Yuma home following a ride with a larger group.
This is her ride - a Yamaha sport touring bike.  She's a veteran rider....and really well travelled.

She invited us to join their riding group.  I would consider this but we're leaving for Palm Springs today so we'll store that in our 'to do' list for our return to this area next winter.  Sounds like a nice group of riders.
After several hours in the saddle, we took I-8 westward from Wellton back towards our temporary home in the Foothills area of Yuma, AZ.
Heading west over the mountain pass into Yuma.

Beautiful mountain road.

Nearing the summit
So, that was our day -  Monday - as we toured a good swat of territory that surrounds the Yuma area.  Special thanks to Larry, our RV neighbour and motorcyclist from Saskatchewan, for being a great guide.

Larry's ride - a Harley Davidson Road King  /  Our ride - a Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1500

Got back to our temporary home site and loaded the bike back onto the swivel wheel in preparation for our departure to Palm Springs today.

Sharing a few laughs with our wonderful hosts - Wade and Ulli (with their big dog, Dixie) - last evening.  They were so kind to let us park our rigs in their serviced lot for these past 6 days.  We also said our 'see you later' to our good RV friends, Diane, Hector and their grand dog, Chico.

A final evening sunset from the Yuma, Foothills area.
Next post from the Palm Springs area of California.  Thanks for stopping by.


  1. What a great tour and lots of spectacular pics to boot! It looked to be a perfect day for bike ride in the desert!

  2. a perfectly fun day for a motorcycle ride!!!..safe travels as you head to Palm Springs!