Thursday, December 1, 2016

A TON OF FUN IN YUMA

As of this writing, we are two days away from leaving Yuma for points west.  Our normal routine is to head further east and into Gold Canyon but some changes are necessitated by recent (positive) events, these past couple of weeks.  I'll write more about that in the weeks ahead.
Our temporary RV Park in Yuma - Fortuna de Oro
Since our arrival here - these past 12 days - other than two days of idleness (laundry and shopping), we have not stopped riding, golfing, walking, visiting, being entertained or entertaining. Oh...and we celebrated Jeanette's birthday with vigor.  It has been sheer pleasure.
We love the look of those chocolate mountains in the background, from our RV chairs.  They change colour with every passing minute the sun moves.
Our good friends, Lorraine and Roger have led us on some great motorcycle rides.  We've ridden over 1050 miles (1,790 KM) since our arrival here. They enjoy riding as much as we do.  And they are not shy to take tough, long trips.  That's right up our ally too!  And we've pounded the pavement every which way; north south, east and west.

Yesterday was the longest day on two wheels, but only by a few miles over last Saturday's long ride.  We chose to head east to Gila Bend, south to Ajo (for lunch) and further south into Organ Pipe Cactus, before landing in the tiny US border town of Lukeville.  It is the point of return for travelers wishing to explore the northern Mexican Sea of Cortez town of Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point, as it is known to Americans)
Arriving in Ajo
We left the RV park at 9:00AM sharp, yesterday (Wednesday) for our 606 KM (377 miles) return trip.  It was cool but we all have great riding clothes so cold is never a determining factor.  We left via I-8 east but soon worked our way on a north parallel road from Welton, AZ to a few miles east from Dateland before returning to I-8 and further east into Gila Bend, AZ.  Once fueled up, we rode south Arizona 85 towards Ajo. 
The countryside as we rode into Organ Pipe Cactus.
Riding in from the north side of Ajo leaves one with the impression of a ghost town but once in the town centre, it changes one's perspective.  It is beautiful.  Although still a depressed area after the giant copper mine closed, there are signs of pride that the residents seem to exude.
Beautiful church across the street from the beautiful town centre.
Early sign of cacti
It is only shortly past the town of Ajo that we got to spot some beautiful and varied cacti.  The desert here is full of life.  It includes 28 cactus species, including saguaro and organ pipe.  The organ pipe cactus is large and rarely found in the US other than here. And it's here in 1976 that the United Nations designated the Organ Pipe National Monument as an International Biosphere Reserve.  And what a place.  It's simply gorgeous!
After ordering one of their burgers, I concur.  I have enjoyed many excellent burgers in the past and this burger, at Estrella's, here in Ajo rated very, very high.  Juicy, 100% Angus beef was cooked to perfection by a wonderful and engaging Latvian woman who has called Ajo home these past nine years.
Organ Pipe National Monument tourist centre located 8 miles north from the Mexican border.
We rode further south, making our way to the tourist information centre in Organ Pipe.  Although limited by time constraints, we took in all that we could to learn about this area of the Sonoran Desert.
This is an Organ Pipe Cactus.
There is a rich history of pioneers who came through this area in search of water.  That is a rare commodity here. Spanish explorers, missionaries, and others - sometimes entered this unforgiving environment unprepared.  In the early 1900's ranchers and miners found and developed water sources.  Mining  drew workers and a couple of towns, including Ajo, Why and Lukeville were born.
Me with Roger and Lorraine. Jeanette manned the camera.
Having traveled as far as Ajo, we made the decision to continue south to the Mexican border town of Lukeville; a facility with one gas station, post office and little more.
Stunning beauty
Lorraine and Roger having a quick look at the Lukeville border crossing into Mexico.
It was getting to be late in the day when we pointed our rides north on Arizona 85 and back to Gila Bend.  We had calculated that the last part of our trip would be with the fading afternoon sun and some darkness.  But hey, we're hardy and determined riders.
The very first sign one sees when entering the US from Mexico in Lukeville.
Our take on the Organ Pipe Cactus is that it is a beautiful and attractive desert area.  It is worthy of a visit and to spend more time touring its geographic areas.

Northbound on Arizona 85 back to Gila Bend.
Once in Gila Bend, we were in need of fuel and following a short break, we pulled speeds of 75 + miles per hour (120 + KM/Hours - the speed limit on these Arizona highways) as we headed westbound on our return to Yuma.
Great roads.
Ajo town square
Ajo town square
Ajo town square
A rest break.
More desert views....
Taking a break after taking on fuel in Gila Bend before
We rolled into our Yuma RV park shortly after 6:00 PM local time.  Jeanette and I invited Lorraine and Roger to drop by for a dust settling happy hour.  After some chat they headed back for their home and we settled in to some WEB stuff before calling it a night.  Sleep came quickly.

And again, a special shout out to Lorraine and Roger for a great ride.

Our time here is fast winding down.  We have another motorcycle ride planned for tomorrow - weather permitting - before we load the motorcycle on the swivel wheel, button up our RV and head west to the Palm Springs country.

Visiting with my brother and sister in law in Country Roads RV Resort,  our good friends here in Fortuna de Oro (Lorraine/ Roger, Elaine/James, Richard/Myra, Donna/Fred and more) and all the other friends and acquaintances we've met over the years, we say thanks for the adventures and the lasting memories.  We will return.

Thanks for dropping by.

4 comments:

  1. Well maybe we'll get to this area sooner next year and be able to touch base with you then.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the pics of Ajo. Now we have another spot to visit!

    ReplyDelete