This being our third winter in the desert southwest, Patricia and I got a chuckle recently as we noted how all three winters seem to include an unplanned six weeks in Yuma, Arizona! Each time we visit there it’s never planned for more than a week. Somehow we just end up staying much longer!
Our first year, we just had to check out this mecca of the RVing community. It is one of the warmest place to stay in the winter. Many folks come from the colder parts of the country (and Canada) and stay the whole winter here. However, that is not how we want to roll! There is so much to see in the southwest, we were anxious to just get out there and see it! Our intention was to meet up with friends who are long time experienced RV’rs and served as mentors for beginning this nomadic lifestyle – Jean and Lonnie. We figured on a week long stay. As we arrived in the area, I (Mike) was getting concerned about a spot of skin cancer that developed rapidly. We found a good dermatologist (there are MANY in town!) and set up an appointment. Long story short, it took another five weeks to have some minor surgery and recovery before we felt comfortable leaving town. In addition, we decided to have a solar system installed and that was accomplished just a few miles out of town by Eddie Glonek of Mobile Homestead Solar Services.
Although our second year visit wasn’t six weeks, it was a week longer than intended. I don’t recall why we stayed longer other than it being warmer than the places we were heading towards, in New Mexico.
This year the colder temps and foul weather forecasts for our intended destination of New Mexico steered us straight to the warmest place around – yep, Yuma! After a couple of weeks our little Honda tow car developed some brake problems so we found a highly recommended shop (Accurate Automotive Attention) and scheduled the brake repair and a few other services that were due over the next four weeks. The extra expenditures meant that we needed to find free places to camp. So between the free BLM camping on the California side of the river, a casino parking lot and a few paid nights at our friendly and well-known SKP RV park on the outskirts of town, we managed to accomplish the needed automotive work. We weren’t in a big hurry to leave anyway because the nightly temps over in New Mexico were still a tad coolish for our taste. Besides, we had no commitments elsewhere – a luxury of the retired life!
One nice thing about a longer stay in Yuma was in discovering a grocery store (Sprouts) that catered to natural foods. Eating healthy has always been a top priority for us and we can usually find the kinds of food we want at the bigger supermarket chain stores. Sprouts, however just seemed to have better quality in just about every category, organic fresh produce in particular. So we weren’t as anxious to leave this great resource. Thankfully, Sprouts is a chain and we look forward to finding them as we move along. In addition, we recently took this healthier eating commitment “up a notch” with Patricia going full-on whole foods plant-based and me, nearly so. I still consume the occasional meat or dairy related item but Patricia is really good at preparing tasty plant-based meals and we both feel better for it.