Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Super Bowl Roll Out Further North to California....

While better than 115 million potential Super Bowl TV viewers prepare to settle in for the big game, we will be rolling out of Yuma for points north and west. 

A three hour drive will have us arrive near the noon hour at our next stop. We are heading to Desert Hot Springs, California.   In terms of our set up there, it should leave us plenty of time to ready before the Super Bowl telecast.
We lived through several days of clouds and rains here in Yuma country. But we did get to motorcycle around.  It seems it would rain during the night and dry off by day.  

A surge of vegetable harvests and an influx of refrigerated transport trucks keep the traffic humming here.  The trucks roll in, load up and roll out of here for grocery outlets all over the USA and Canada.

Reaping the vegetable crops is a labor intensive process.
Heading north towards the Imperial Dam and Squaw Lake area, we often pass by this Cloud Museum.  Never having stopped by there before, we did slow down to get a few photos of the place. It is clearly a collection of the old stuff from yesteryear. 

Our arrival at Squaw Lake
Several RVers do call this place home during the winter months.  There are no services though but it seems to be OK for those who prefer being close to the water.

The sun would not shine but we still spent some time outdoors.
The cloudy days and wet periods did not deter our events and activities.  We hosted my brother and SIL Rita for a barbecue dinner, last Thursday evening.  The awning would keep us dry - should there be rain.
It was pleasant to sit outdoors but light jackets were a must to ward off the cool air.
While waiting for Jeanette to ready for a Friday motorcycle ride, I was mesmerized by the beautiful roadster our next door neighbor built.  From northwest Idaho, the custom hot rod builder is an 84 year old man who still builds these street rods.  And they are absolutely beautiful.  He also raced cars in his youth and continued to participate in that sport till only a few years ago.  Jeanette and I could not believe that he was 84 years old.  He presents like an young 70 year old.  Impressive! dream!
With some Friday errands to run, we chose two wheels over four.  Our pick up items were small and would easily fit into the saddle bags.  So off we went.  It was a pleasant couple of hours that later found us on the extreme south side of the United States Marine Air depot in Yuma.  Our timing was perfect to watch some new F-35 jet fighters take off.  Most impressive was the short take off ability of these supersonic aircraft.
Yuma Foothills area.
Great views in the Yuma Foothills
Bernie and Rita had mentioned that they would be around their home by mid-afternoon, Friday, and when we rolled in, they were playing a board game.  We joined them for a visit that turned in to an outdoor dinner under their propane heaters.  We took a two mile walk around their park before saying our bye byes and heading back to our site.

If we don't get to see them again this winter, we will certainly see them back home in Alberta some time this spring and summer.
Bernie and Rita's home site at the Country Roads RV Resort, Yuma, AZ.
And with that behind us, we start putting stuff away in preparation for our Super Bowl Sunday departure from the Yuma Foothills.

Thanks for dropping in.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Taken 3 - Pizza Night - Day Ride

It rained here on Monday so our plans changed accordingly.  While I was at a service centre to have our truck's front wheels aligned, Jeanette ran the on board washer and dryer.   By early afternoon, we drove to my brother and sister in law's home and hung out for a short while before driving to the Yuma Palms Harkins Theatres to watch the Movie, 'Taken 3'.
It was a good film.

We followed that with a Da Boyz Pizza in downtown Yuma.  This restaurant includes private party rooms that are themed.  One room is themed on Elvis, and another one is filled with Marilyn memorabilia.  The other two rooms were occupied so I did not venture in.
The Marylin Monroe themed party room
We had been sold on Da Boyz Pizza long before we set foot in the downtown establishment.  So many snow birders rave about the food.  And it was true.  The pizza we shared with Bernie and Rita was really, really good.  
Really good pizza....
Having fun in downtown Yuma
It was a fun afternoon and evening with Bernie and Rita.  After leaving the downtown core, we returned to their home for  an hour or so before heading back to our site in the Yuma Foothills. We will see them again before we leave Yuma for points north and west. 
North from Yuma, AZ
Tuesday started off being breezy, cloudy and cool.  We enjoyed a mid-morning 'Face Time' with our daughter and her kids.  Easton was fun to chat with.  He has such a good command with speech and we heard plenty of fun stories.  Good fun!

We hung around our RV spot till noon before unlocking the motorcycle and riding north of the city.  We did not have a firm destination but we did end up enjoying a mid-afternoon coffee in Martinez Lake.
The clouds had lifted and the sun was out.
Once the clouds dissipated, the temperature rose quickly.  Tuesday afternoon was a return to more normal temperatures.
Martinez Lake
The little village at Martinez Lake was quiet....very quiet.  We saw only one little boat with a single fisherman casting for a bite.  Even the restaurant was quiet.
Nice view looking north.
Martinez Lake is an old village with a mix of old (some would say run down) and new homes, and RV spots - many with services and others without.  It is a destination for motorcyclists and anglers though.   
By 4:30 pm, Jeanette and I were on the return ride back to our site.  We sat outdoors for some time, enjoying our outdoor fire place.  That kept the early evening chills off.

As I ready to post this, our Wednesday is looking great.  There is not one cloud in the Yuma sky, the wind is very light and the sun has risen.  It's looking like a great day here in the extreme south west end of Arizona.

Thanks for dropping in.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Good Times in Yuma.....And a Wet One This Morning.

As I ready to post this blog, it is raining here in Yuma.  The rain started at about 3:00 am...and is slated to end some time later today.  This kind of reminds us of  the weather we leave behind at home in the Pacific Southwest  coast of British Columbia.

The days are quickly flying by.  Meeting with friends and family is all consuming.  We are having a good time.
Car Show in Fortuna de Oro - Saturday
Lovely 1955 Chevrolet step side truck
Many of our friends call Fortuna de Oro RV Park home for one week...or more...and others call it home for the winter months.  When we checked in with them,  we learned of a car show.  We chose to attend.

The show was well attended and there were several vintage vehicles  that appealed to us.
Hmmmm, lime green and pure white interior in this 40's Ford automobile
My favourite car at the show?  This lovely Packard.  Why?......
........It must be the golf bag type trunk that one can access from the passenger side.
There were roadsters, street roads, original antique cars, and the odd and unusual.  In terms of holding this event in an RV park, Fortuna de Oro gets full marks.  
Jeanette liked this street rod.
And this special paint job told the story about the Yuma Sector Border Patrol
My favourite street rod.
We checked out a few RV stores for some minor items we were in search of before swapping out two wheels for four to complete a small grocery run.

Fritz and Bonnie - Iowan friends - joined us for Happy Hour on Saturday afternoon.
Sunday morning was a planned ride with many snow-birders who call Yuma home.   We invited Fritz and Bonnie to join the ride and by 11:00 am Sunday morning, they had met everyone and we're welcomed with open arms. 
Our Sunday morning meet up.
The ride leaders chose a funky little breakfast/lunch spot in the tiny town of Tacna, AZ.   It was a beautiful and mild day for a back country ride.  we were heading east from Yuma. Click on the link below for more information.
A break along Old West Highway 80
Our breakfast/lunch spot in Tacna
Although a busy restaurant, the small establishment was able to seat us all down and most of us enjoyed a really good breakfast.  The coffee kept being poured and our service was first class.
Our ride leader, Roger, checking to see if everyone is ready to roll.
The ride back took us through the Dome Valley.    Dome Valley (in Yuma County, AZ)
Acre after acre of vegetable crops are grown here.
Back in Yuma by 2:00 pm, we said our bye byes to our fellow riders before rolling over to Fritz and Bonnie's site.  It was there that we chose to ride north and west through the Yuma Proving Ground, the Imperial Dam area and to the Imperial Date Farm.  Fritz and Bonnie had not been there before. 
A break along the route.

Near the Imperial Dam
Great date shakes.......

Although not sunny out, it was quite warm and pleasant.
Back in Yuma, we enjoyed the setting sun while  sitting out at Fritz and Bonnie's RV site.

Jeanette and I were back at our RV site by 7:30 pm.  Aware of the forecast rain, I stored our chairs, propane fireplace and barbecue, and our tables under the 5th wheel.  Good thing too.  

And that's about it from here for now.

Thanks for dropping in.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

So Much To Look Forward To In Yuma...

The slug line (title above) lacks the punch I was trying hard to concoct but the ten days we have planned here will zoom by quickly.  We have a full agenda!
Preparing for our Thursday departure from Gold Canyon - Gerry came by to lend support.
The Iowans, Dave and Lavonne came by to lend support too.....and to see how a motorcycle is loaded on to a swivel wheel.

What kind of bye bye greeting is this??????
We shared in 'see you later' type hugs and we were rolling away from Canyon Vista RV Resort by 10:15 am.  It was a cool and blustery morning.
On the 202 Loop (Phoenix Metro area) Westbound
At I-10, we drove southbound for about three miles before turning towards Maricopa and points further south and west.

Is that a sand storm way out there in the desert?
On the final overpass to connect to I-10, we could see a lot of sand blowing in the distance.  Hmmm, it was windy but we did not expect to see a sand storm.
But it was clearly a sandstorm.
Would we be driving through this storm?  Could we possibly head further south to avoid it?  Hmmm...!  The closer we were to Maricopa, the better we felt about driving due west on 238 to Gila Bend.  The long distance view appeared clear. 
Highway 238 west - freshly paved.  Nice road.
We weren't to escape the flying sand and dust though.  About 12 miles west of Maricopa, we drove head on into a dust up that lasted about three (3) seconds.  That's all!  So we can now attest to having driven through a short dust up.  And that was all we faced during the 3.5 hour drive to Yuma.

What happened to the lovely saguaro cacti?
The closer we got to Yuma, the less saguaros we could see.  Clearly, the beauty we enjoyed around the greater Phoenix metro area included millions upon millions of saguaros.
Making quick work of a tire change.
Backed in, leveled, connected to services and having completed greetings with our new neighbours, we took the motorcycle off the swivel wheel and got to work removing the existing tire and rim to be replaced with a new tire and rim.  The previous tire/rim is now a spare.  It was time to change it out.

The temperature in Yuma was about 5 degrees warmer than the high in Gold Canyon.  Perhaps the Yuma locals are right when they state that this area is the warmest and sunniest spot in the southwest US.  I have seen documentation that professes that too.
A fresh tire and rim should see us through the next two/three years of RVing.
We placed a few quick telephone calls to friends and my brother/sister in law.  We also got to speak with other Iowan friends, Bonnie and Fritz; whom we had met a few years back but had not been able to connect with last year.  We knew they would be in Yuma and, as it turned out, they rolled in to the Yuma Foothills area the same afternoon as us.  
Meeting up first thing on Friday morning.
We already lined up a few motorcycle rides - and other outings - with the motorcycle riding group we first met this past December.  Fritz and Bonnie will be riding with us.  We will also be getting together today (Saturday) to attend the car show at Fortuna de Oro (Cal-Am RV Resort in Yuma). The resident motorcyclists - other than Bonnie/Fritz and Jeanette/me - own park models and spend their winter months in the park.
Motorcyclists and great couple:  Donna and Fred
We dropped in on one of the couples we met and rode with last December.  Donna and Fred were home and we were quickly invited in to enjoy some laughter and banter over some fresh coffees. Good fun!

While visiting, Donna was often distracted by a ringing telephone.  We learned that it was her birthday and many friends were calling to wish her the special greetings.  Happy birthday, Donna!

Noticing some slight - but unusual tire wear - on the passenger front side of our F-350, we booked an early Monday morning appointment to have the front wheels realigned.  The service centre manager felt they had the tooling to manage the work. He asked if our truck was a four door and if our box was 6 or 8 ft. long.  We drive a four door with an 8 foot long box.  He then mentioned that since they had installed a new lift in the alignment bay, they had not worked on a 22 ft. long truck.  So...we'll see if that lift can handle our truck.
Typical lovely Yuma Foothills neighbourhood.
We also drove around the Yuma Foothills before returning to our RV site for some lunch and taking care of a bit of business.
Our Yuma Foothills site till month end.
Early afternoon had us head to Bernie and Rita's site in the lovely Country Roads RV Resort.  They own their lot and have a beautiful park model on it.  And the entire lot is free of sand and dirt.  Bernie and Rita have finished it with beautiful blocks, bricks and tiles.
We enjoyed a pleasant afternoon away from the wind....
We caught up on each others' news and views and before we knew it, dinner was served outdoors in their wind and sun protected deck.  We joined them on a long walk around the RV park before we suited up to ride back to our site. was a full day Friday for us....and we do look forward to the activities and rides to come in the days ahead.

Thanks for dropping in.