We also took a ride out through the fields where they were picking romaine and growing other types of lettuce and cauliflower and broccoli
. Yuma is the winter growing capitol of the country! Amazing! In the midst of this desert to see fields and fields of crops. It is apparently the sunniest state in the USA. We went out to a place called Imperial Date Farm. Unfortunately, they did not have a tour that day, but we went through their shop and bought some dates and a few other things and Nick tried one of their famous date shakes. I had a couple of sips and it was very good. I learned that dates came from a palm tree (this East Coast gal has never seen a date grow from anything)...I thought they grew on regular trees. In fact, as we were coming out I see these stands of tall palms and I'm thinking, this must be where they grow the palms and then sell them to the hotels, or homes...uh, no, apparently not! See, you are never too old to learn something!! They use bucket trucks that have a whole in the middle and when they come up to the tree they bucket separates and goes around the tree and then comes together so that the men picking the dates can surround the tree and be sure to get all the dates. Harvesting is done once a year in late August through the second week of October. These dates are Medjool dates. The tall trees that I was seeing produce up to 200 pounds of dates per tree!! They place bags around the bunches of dates to keep them together and make it easier for harvesting. Very interesting.
After the date farm, we headed back through the proving ground and they have a display of tanks and other army "stuff" so we stopped there to see the tanks and artillery guns.
Day 269 - Today we met Harold and Sue again and we walked the Wetlands Park (not one of the best I have seen, too much noise around and too little water for the birds to settle in). After that walk we went and toured the Yuma Territorial Prison and that was well worth the tour.
Day 268 - Today we met up with a couple from our Alaska Trip and headed to the visitor center to see what there was to see. Finding the center was an exercise in futility. If they want you to visit, they shouldn't hide the Visitor's Center...after much ado, we finally did find it and it is attached to the old Quartermaster's buildings dating back to the Civil War. As luck would have it, they give tours on Wednesday, so we hooked up with a nice young lady who took us through all the buildings and gave us an hour walking tour of the facility and out buildings. Some original to the site and some added on to and used for other purposes after the war. We are going back on Sunday for a Civil War Re-Inactment, complete with Canon Fire!!