Near the Mexican border...

Trip Start May 09, 2009
Trip End May 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
Westwind RV & Golf Resort

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Friday, January 22, 2010

(Once again, I have to apologize for the delay in blogging.  Like bears in a Michigan winter, we have been hibernating -- in the warm southwest part of AZ and loving it!  Pam 3/4/10)

Several times during our trip, we ran into fellow travelers who had wintered in Yuma, AZ.  It appeared to be the winter mecca for full-time RVers.  It became a joke that we would head to Yuma on the 3:12 train (OK movie fans, I know you got that!) but we finally decided that we would do it for real, if only because it is the warmest place in AZ this time of year.

We stayed over a week at a great resort with all the amenities you expect of a resort catering to winter snowbirds.  The resort felt like a neighborhood, with our RV site in the middle of a street with park models (small manufactured homes that serve as full or part-time homes for retirees).  It was fun to ride our bikes around and see how the residents had landscaped their small lots with desert plants and pottery.  Most of the pottery appeared to come directly from the tourist shops in nearby Mexico (we were 1/2 hour away but there was purportedly a two hour wait to get through customs, so no thanks).  Anyway, we used the time to relax, hang out by the resort's heated pool and the large horse-shoe shaped hot tub.

And we have to admit that we went to our first seniors dance!  Our next door neighbors couldn't go and wanted to give us their tickets.  We tried to politely refuse, but they insisted.  We thought we still might not go, but then someone else came by and said he heard that we would be at their table and looked forward to seeing us!  So, of course, we went.  It turned out we were the only Americans at this table -- everyone else was from Alberta CA.  But the country band/duo they had wasn't bad and I got Jim - the ever reluctant dancer - out on the dance floor a few times.  Since we had just gotten to Yuma that day, we had not planned on a late evening and, embarrassingly, we left our fellow partyers (who were all at least 10 - 30 years older) just as they were hitting their stride.  But we can now check this off our life lists (kidding - did you really think that would be on our lists??!!)

As for Yuma itself, there isn't much to recommend it in our opinion, other than the weather in winter.  It could be Anywhere City USA with chain restaurant and stores.  It had a military training base nearby, so we did get to see (and sometimes only hear) some fighter jets in flight.  On our way to the refuge, we saw paratroopers being dropped in a nearby field on a training exercise.

But we had to go outside the city to the Imperial National Wild life Refuge to see anything of natural beauty.  Imperial NWR protects wildlife habitat along 30 miles of the Colorado River and the river, backwater lakes and wetlands are a green oasis in the surrounding desert terrain.  The photos with this blog are all from the Refuge.

Next stop...Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
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