Monday, December 8, 2014

Yuma, AZ; Impromptu Ride; Impromptu Meet With Old School Friends!

Rolling out of Circle RV in El Cajon, CA - Saturday morning.
By 9:30 Saturday morning, our wheels were rolling further east towards our next destination; Yuma, AZ.  The conditions were perfect: no wind, no rain and easy traffic.

Leaving the mountain range and heading into the valley approaching El Centro.
It's a long haul up into the mountains, east from San Deigo, and the return to the valley floors is equally long.  It's not common to see a downhill mountain road that posts 35 mph for trucks.  But it is a fact here.  The grade is steep....and seemingly endless.
The Imperial Valley floor.
Once in the flat lands of the Imperial Valley, the topography changes from brown and gray to green and gold.  The area, from El Centro, CA to east of Yuma, AZ produces many of the vegetable crops that feed consumers in continental North Amrerica.  The Medjool dates, produced in the Yuma area, are shipped all over the world. 
The popular sand dunes, just west of Yuma.
The sand dunes attract outdoor desert enthusiasts.  Riding up and down the dunes is a popular activity and it is quite the sight to see so many RVs with trailers full of motorized desert play toys.  

All set up for seven days in Yuma
Our good experience at Fortuna de Oro RV Resort, in the Yuma Foothills, drew us back this year.  The long pull through sites - on solid pavement - suit us.  We are really close to the north side pool and spa, the outdoor sports activities centre, the on site restaurant and the 9 hole golf course.  It is quiet and clean.
At my brother and sister in law's Yuma home to view the Christmas lighting ceremony...
My brother and sister in law, Bernie and Rita, knew we were arriving in Yuma.  So, it was no surprise when we motorcycled to their home, after setting ourselves up on Saturday afternoon.  Their park is about a 12 minute ride from our site.  As long time winter snow birds, they always dress up their home for Christmas.  We just happened to be there when they chose to turn on the festive lights for the first time this season. We also enjoyed a nice visit and outdoor dinner.  Thanks for hosting, you two!

When setting up in our RV site, earlier in the afternoon, the front jacks were making an uncommon sound.  I discovered a loose bolt that had unthreaded and was missing the lock nut.  The bolt was damaged.  Early Sunday morning, Jeanette and I drove over to a large hardware store where I found the perfect bolt, with thin thread and lock nut.  That fixed the problem.

We were returning from the RV resort office when we walked by a group of motorcyclists who were meeting up for a group ride.  We spotted a couple of Alberta license plates, one BC plate and a few Arizona plates.  We engaged them in chat and, within mere seconds, we were invited to join the ride.  Alright!

We quickly changed out into riding clothes and rolled out of the RV park with the other riders.  Our destination?  Martinez Lake for lunch.
Heading north on Highway 95 - past the Yuma Proving Grounds - to Martinez Lake.
The riders headed for a popular restaurant in Martinez Lake and shortly after sitting down, more formal introductions were made with some of the other riders. The blonde haired woman sitting directly across from Jeanette seemed to know her.  Jeanette had the very same thoughts.  And, they did know each other!  In fact, Lorraine and Jeanette grew up together.  Lorraine's husband Roger and his brother James (also on the motorcycle ride) rode the very same school bus Jeanette rode to school. Talk about old home week!  It is well over 40 years since they last saw each other....and that was as kids in the community they grew up in.

To walk by the motorcycle riders - who winter in the Fortuna de Oro RV Resort - and to quickly be invited to join their ride....and to later discover that three of the riders grew up and went to school with Jeanette is quite unbelievable.  But that is precisely what happened.  Amazing!

Our new motorcycle riding friends.....and a friendly bunch they are!
The view from our lunch spot at Martinez Lake.
I listened as Jeanette, Lorraine and Roger chatted about growing up in their farming community in east/central Alberta.  What a joy they had reconnecting.  And it just goes to show that we never know when we could run into people we so long ago lost touch with.
Post lunch gathering outdoors where the group organized a future ride and invited us along.
This group plan two rides per week.  The Sunday ride is a shorter one.  The mid-week ride is traditionally a longer ride.  Although Wednesday is their second weekly ride, the group chose to ride on Tuesday.  Invited to join them, we quickly said yes.   We will ride up to Quartzite, then west towards Blythe before riding into California and then back to Yuma, AZ.  We are looking forward to that.  I'm sure there will be more chat between Jeanette and her long lost childhood friends. 
A fun bunch of riders.
We did not feel like strangers with these folks.  Their 'bon vivant' spirit made us feel instantly comfortable around them.   Our ride leader, from Fairbanks, Alaska is a seasoned motorcyclist and a jovial guy.
Important photo of Jeanette with Lorraine. They know each others' family, friends, and acquaintances.
By mid-afternoon, we were back at Fortuna de Oro RV Resort.  Back at our site, we settled in for a relaxing time.  Jeanette chose to run the washer and dryer while we enjoyed the outdoors.  The mid-70's temperatures (and no wind) made for a perfect day.  We reminisced on the wonderful riding group and how amazing it was for Jeanette to meet folks from her youth, some 40+ years later.

A lovely full moon lit the desert sky last night.
Bernie and Rita will be visiting with us this Monday afternoon.  Dinner is on us...!  The Weber Q will be put into service.  We look forward to that.

On Sunday evening, we 'Face Timed' Deni/Courtney and grandson Owen (in Edmonton, Alberta) before another 'Face Time' with Ginette/Trevor and grand kids Brie and Easton (in Langley, BC).  We closed the 'Face Time' on our iPad after having a pleasant chat with a good friend from back home.

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. It is a small world sometimes. What a treat to see people from her past.

  2. Looks like a nice park to be at for a bit. Once again enjoyed all your beautiful pic's. Good to see you are enjoying some time with your brother. How awesome Jeanette meeting up with a childhood acquaintance. Have a great Tuesday!

  3. What a small world, really love meeting up with new and old friends.
    We have camped in the Imperial Dunes a few times and meet some rv'ers there and they took us out in the dunes a few times in their desert jeeps, what a thrill that was.
    We are plan to be at Pilot Knob Resort later this afternoon for a couple weeks , maybe catch just off sidewinder road for a couple weeks maybe even get to meet up with you guys again.

  4. Amazing you would run into people you have not seen fo 40 years! Enjoy the biking!