Our plans back in July when we first hit the road full-time were general but we knew Yuma, AZ was a fairly certain destination for a portion of our winter travels. The famed Quartzsite winter gem/RV show and a popular meetup of geocachers in Yuma were two of our main reasons for coming south – besides the obvious….sunshine and almost no rain! Personally, I thought we would arrive earlier than this but extended stops along our southward path delayed our arrival here. Maybe “delayed” isn’t the right word to use when describing the travel schedule of wandering nomads? Regardless, we are finally here and have been enjoying the sights and sounds of both the city and the desert.
We spent the first week parked in a BLM dry camping area a little NE of Yuma. Our friends, Lonnie and Jean, were also staying here as Lonnie was transitioning into a new (to him) motorhome. I told him we would come help where we could with the move. They have been an invaluable source of information to us as we prepared for moving into this nomadic life, answering our many, many questions with great patience I might add! Over the course of the week we managed to help with the swapping out of solar panels, batteries and general storage bay contents. It wasn’t all work and no play however as we went out one night for dinner and a casino visit.
Once the heavy lifting was pretty much complete, we got an invite from a photographer friend of Patricia’s to meetup with their little group just across the state line near Winterhaven, CA in another BLM dispersed dry camping area on Ogilby Road. Patricia and Anne have corresponded for a few years on Google+ and other photography venues but never met in person. This would be a great chance to meet! Anne’s husband Ray has two websites for RVers that have great content. Love Your RV and RV Happy Hour. Check them out!
We needed to dump tanks, take on fresh water and get some laundry done so we spent two nights on the SE outskirts of Yuma in an SKP (Escapees RV club of which we are members) park. All they had available was a few dry camping slots open but that was fine with us.
Finally, we made it out to the Ogilby Road dispersed camping area and joined a small group of three fifth-wheels on the wide-open playa! Patricia and Anne broke away a couple of times to shoot sunset on the nearby Algodones Dunes. I got quite a bit of geocaching accomplished while here. We had some fun happy hour chats several evenings getting to know these new friends. Solar panels was a hot topic as one of the group was in the solar installation business (Mobile Homestead Solar Services) and right in the middle of an install right there in camp! We had Eddie assess our rig and it’s potential for going solar. We are excited about the idea of getting setup with solar so we can stay out longer in remote areas without using the generator. Running the generator just takes away from the peace and quiet of the desert for ourselves and anyone camping around us.
We spent the week hanging out with this group until they up and left one day heading for Quartzsite! We needed to stay in the area several more days as I was scheduled for minor surgery to remove a recently developing skin cancer “blob” on my elbow.
We spent two more nights in the old hangout all alone but enjoyed the peaceful desert surroundings. Explored one day around an old townsite called Tumco. In it’s heyday, Tumco (originally Hedges) was a bustling gold mining community. We walked a 1.5 mile interpretive trail exploring what was left of the original operation. Patricia recognized other fellow RV nomads we’ve been following on Instagram along the trail and we chatted a bit. It’s a small world in the desert! There also just happened to be a couple of geocaches located there I wanted to find! Found them both.
The day before my surgery, we moved from the desert back to the SKP park in order to be closer to the doctor’s office, get a day or two rest then refresh all systems before heading up to Quartzsite.
We did some touristy things as well:
Felicity, CA The Official Center of the World – tourist trap?, yes……interesting?, yes…..worth visiting once?, yes.
Arizona Market Place – that’s one HUGE flea market! Worth a visit….once!