Monday, February 20, 2012

Yuma travels, Mardi Gras & Date Farms....

Setting off to check out more scenery around Yuma.
Following Friday's round of golf with Lucky, Hector, Wade and I, Jeanette and I had planned a Saturday ride that would take us further east of Yuma, past the town of Welton, and into some new territory.   It was a perfect day for a ride; no wind, warm temperatures, and clear, blue skies.
Always nice to see the fields of green.
We rode along I-8 east, then rolled off and on to the lesser used I-80, a two lane road that often parallels I-8. Typically, Arizona highways and secondary roads are fantastic when compared to California highways.
 It's always interesting to ride through what appears to be wasteland then emerge out of a curve or a slight downhill into a lush, green valley.  There are plenty of vegetable and alfalfa farms in this region.
Between green producing fields and wasteland was this belt of sand. 
For lunch, we returned to Welton and stopped here.  Good food!
Heading further west, we bypassed Yuma by riding north towards the 'Dome' hiking area, past the Yuma Proving Grounds, and along the Laguna Canal into California.  As soon as we hit California, the highway was rough and bumpy.  It did improve the further west we rode....but only marginally.
Interesting historical marker. (Click on the photo to increase the size for reading)
Further from here - west and north of Yuma - we found the date farm pictured below.  A few days earlier, we had taken at tour at Martha's Gardens Date Farm in Yuma.  It was interesting and informative.

 These date farms are labour intensive.  Pollination, trimming, maintenance and harvesting of dates requires hundreds and hundreds of labourers.  Every date is pollinated by hand and hand picked when ripe.
The tourists were enjoying date shakes.
Jeanette and I had a date shake, a few days earlier, during our date farm tour.  Although people rave about the "famous date shakes" (and they are really good), I have had blackberry shakes that top these.
Beautiful date palm farm field.
Mardi Gras in downtown Yuma.
Rolling back into Yuma, we decided to check out the tourism information building.  Along the way, we heard some music and, within minutes, we saw all of the activities happening in the downtown core.
Movie theatres.
We found a parking spot and walked into the heart of the street fair.
Typical fair type food smells wafted in the air.  Always love that!
The town centre was busy with folks - young and old - enjoying the fun and festivities.  Many were attracted to a really good country band playing on the main stage.  We sat nearby and listened in for about 30 minutes or so. Really good entertainment and a really nice Mardi Gras.
Another of Jeanette's favourite evening activities.
We spent yesterday doing RV maintenance and cleaning, sitting in the sun catching up on our reading, and generally enjoying a quiet day.  We chose to light a fire on a calm, warm night.
Hard to beat!
We continue to enjoy the Yuma area and all that it has to offer.

That sums up our activities of late.  Thanks for dropping by.


  1. That must be some job pollinating those date's and some nice looking farm land.

  2. We went to Shield's Date Garden In Indio in December. Had date shakes, but don't think I will have another. Just too sweet and thick for me. Loved the dates tho!

  3. love dates..especially that really old recipe called matrimonial bars! for date shakes?..that would be interesting!..sure sounds like the two of you are enjoying your stay in Yuma!

  4. Didn't realize that date growing involved so much work. Sure looked like a beautiful ride. Nice ending to the day sitting out with a good fire.

  5. Nice summary of your past few days. It was great to see your pictures of the agricultural areas around Yuma. One often only thinks of just desert being around there.

    Hand pollinated dates? Never knew that. What a time consuming job. I'm a big fan of date shakes.

    Nice looking campfire too!