Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Good Bye Yuma & Hello El Centro!

A bird house in a saguaro cactus.
Sunday was our last full day in Yuma.  Jeanette and I chose to take one more motorcycle ride to Martinez Lake, ride a new road we had seen on the map, then drop in to say good bye to my brother and his wife.
Martinez Lake
It was an absolutely beautiful and hot day when we left our fiver.  At Martinez Lake, we found the road but it quickly became a gravel road.  Typical cruiser motorcycles are not really keen for gravel roads so we turned around and headed back to Yuma to roam around Cocopah and area.  
North entrance to the Yuma Proving Grounds.
Back in Yuma, on our return from the Cocopah area, we chose to drop in on my brother's winter home to see it they were back from their 10 day cruise to the Mexican Riviera.  We rode in shortly following their return from San Diego.  Suitcases were still at their front entrance.  Good timing!!!

My brother Bernie (L), his wife Rita (C) and a good friend of theirs (R)
We took this photo as my brother presented a special bottle of tequila to a good friend and neighbour. Jeanette and I enjoyed a couple of hours of laughter and fun - when several of their neighbours and friends dropped by for happy hour.  After saying our good byes, we headed back to the foothills to begin preparing to leave on Monday morning.
Our RV friends are hanging out....waiting for us to arrive before moving a 3 rig convoy out of Yuma and on to El Centro.
We said our good byes to Yuma friends.
Lucky and Trena's they followed Hector and Diane's rig....with us driving shot gun.
Parked and enjoying some appetizers @ Rio Bend RV & Golf Resort
It was a short  90 minute drive from Yuma to Rio Bend - south and west from El Centro, CA.  We were able to park next to each other....and have our entry doors opposite the strong winds that were beginning to build on Monday afternoon.
Hector/Diane's rig (L) - Lucky/Trena's rig (R)
A little cheer.
We had plans to play golf on Tuesday but with the winds still in play, we chose to take advantage and get some grocery shopping done.  Lucky needed to get a new TracFone to replace a faulty one.  He and I headed for Best Buy and had that taken care of while Jeanette, Diane, Trena and Hector headed for the grocery outlets.
The golf course here @ Rio Bend that we will be playing today (Wednesday) - Leap Year!!!
It's quite a nice 9 hole golf course here at the resort.  It can play 18 (our choice for today) with different pins and T-box markers.
Although the winds abated yesterday afternoon, we did not see anyone in the pool. 
It seems that near 4:00 pm, most RVers here head for the club house for happy hour.  We chose to hang around our area instead.
One of the many early wagons one can find on site at this resort.
There is a sizable lake here.  The golf course surrounds it.  It's ideal for kayaking but I'm not sure we will have the time to get our kayak out this time around.  We plan to leave this resort tomorrow for the next spot - Borrego Springs - before heading into Palm Springs/Desert Hot Springs. 
Some of the local wildlife.
I took the photo below from my easy chair at the back of our 5th wheel.  Beautiful morning shaping up here.  There is no wind, the sun is out, the sky is blue and, following this morning's walk around the area, well be heading for the 1st T-box around 10:30 am.
That pretty well sums up our activities these past few days.

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Last Day in Yuma...

Jeanette and I will busy ourselves with preparing to move further west starting tomorrow morning.  We're going to begin our slow crawl towards Palm Springs/Desert Hot Springs, CA.

We've had a few busy days till now though.
One of the many shops in Algodones, Mexico.
Trena, Diane and Jeanette had a 'girls day out' to Algodones a couple of days back.  Trena and Jeanette had hair makeovers and cuts while Diane waited and shopped.  The three amigos then  shopped (with great success) for fresh vegetables, shrimp and prawns, in preparation for last evening's shell fish night.
They are clearly having fun in Algodones.
Being a large Catholic country, this is but one of the many churches in the country.
Vehicle line-up to exit Algodones for the US.
Most tourists who visit Algodones usually park on the US side and walk into Mexico.  There are no security guards and gates - nor passport proof required - to enter Mexico.  Passports are required to exit back into the US though.
Bicycling into and out of Algodones makes for a very quick passage.  Standing in line to get back in the US can mean long lines and  1 to 2 hour waits. 
Enjoying a lovely afternoon - sharing a wee dram and banter.
Jeanette and Diane were back in Algodones yesterday morning to pick up a fresh order of prawns and some other goods.
We managed to get another round of golf in at the Foothills Golf Course in the Yuma Foothills.  I didn't have the camera to show proof but this course is in great condition.  It is watered, it's very green and the golf balls tend to stick far better than the Los Barrancas course we played a few times.
Labour intensive work to harvest the numerous vegetable crops in this area.

We chose to take in the Yuma Market on Saturday.
Although everyone else had been to the Yuma Market, I had never been there before.  It's like any other large market.  There is a lot of stuff that I don't need, food fare, music, etc.  It is an interesting place to visit
Barbecued shrimp.
Trena, Jeanette and Diane prepared one scrumptious sea food dinner last evening.  It was another beautiful and hot day.  The evening was equally inviting with warm outdoor temperatures ideally suited for an outdoor dinner.  Two types of shrimp and prawns were prepared for the event.
Trena, Lucky, Diane and Hector were hosting.
We have not been suffering for lack of great dinners, let me tell you!  Every evening turns into a 5 Star dinner!
These prawns were steamed in garlic butter and other fine spices.  Diane's secret recipe!
Last night's dinner was our last as a group in Yuma before we all pack up and start trekking westward  towards Palm Springs.  We will likely take a few days to explore other areas along the route.  El Centro and Borrego Springs could be one or two stops we make along the way.
With our time in Yuma drawing to a close, and with a greater appreciation for what this area has to offer, we will definitely be back here.  The weather has been fantastic.  Our motorcycle rides have taken us to areas we would likely never have gone to.  Our trips to Algodones, Mexico, have been most pleasant.  The numerous golf rounds were fruitful but of greater value were the fun times we spent with our RVing friends, my brother and sister in law, and meeting new folks in this area.

So, we now look forward to the new adventures ahead.

Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Yuma Activities,... these past few days!

And yet another street fair
On Wednesday, we rolled into downtown Yuma to join RVing friends for lunch and the main street was blocked for another fair.  It is a draw for visitors and the locals.
We were meeting our friends here @ Lutes Casino.  It is a restaurant and pub.  It is not - nor has it ever been - a casino.  So why the name?  Well, history has it that it was the home of illegal gambling (in the basement) in the old west.  Neat place.....and the food - prices too - were good. This place was crammed.  Had our friends not arrived by 11:30 am, we would not have gotten in.  When we left, there was a line up, outdoors, to get in.  It's clearly a popular place.
L-R   Lucky, Hector and Wade.
The restaurant/pub not only has a most interesting history, it is a virtual museum of paraphernalia. 
Wall to wall patrons.....and wall to wall decor.
I had the burger and it was really good!
He is a real living honky tonk pianist!
We're not sure about this guy who came through the ceiling above though!
A cheese burger, with all the trimmings, good honky tonk live entertainment and cheap beer, enveloped in an early western motif,  is a pretty darned good way to enjoy lunch for about $6 per person.

Calexico, California.
Following lunch, Jeanette and I rode west to Calexico.  The photo above sees us riding along the US steel fence that was built to prevent Mexicans from illegally entering the US. We're in the downtown core of Calexico.  Mexicali, Mexico, is on the other side.
Old and new combine to create the makeup of this California city.
US border and immigration building on the US/Mexico border
Typical water tower.
Our return ride eastbound on I-8 from El Centro, CA back to Yuma, AZ.
The California canal - diverted from the Colorado River - and the sand dunes that surround it.
This area attracts sand dune lovers.
 We saw many RVers with trailers full of dune buggies and quads.
Selecting fresh vegetables at this open air market.
Thursday night was ours to host dinner at our RV site.  Our morning started with a drive to a local market in search of some fresh veggies.  We were planning an outdoor burger barbecue. 
Our RVing friends arrived.  It was hot in the sun so we sat on the shaded side of our fiver.
Chico, the Portuguese Water Dog, belonging to Hector & Diane, received a new doggie bandana that Jeanette had purchased in Calexico.
Lucky and Trena did not bring their dog, Jake, along so Jeanette placed the new bandana on Lucky.
It was likely the great oldies music and/or the heat that got Hector and Diane on their feet for a wee dance.
The burgers were ready as night fell.
 We lit a fire and enjoyed our food fare around the flames.  Good banter, jokes, laughs, music, a fire, libation and food, is a great combination for a fun night under the stars.

When the fire died down, we called it a night.
The weather has been heating up these past few weeks.  We've had temperatures topping near the mid-80's.  Very nice!  The evening cool off so it is most comfortable to sleep without ever having to run on the 5th wheel air conditioners

Today calls for another nice, sunny and hot day.  Jeanette is off to shop and browse in Algodonnes with friends and I have some RV duties to attend to, wash our truck and prepare for our afternoon round of golf.

Wishing you all a very good day. Thanks for dropping by.