High: 86. Low: 51. Site: 113. Foothill Village RV Park
Any time we are in an area, we try to learn more about it if we haven't been there before. Yuma has some interesting facts about it that perhaps you didn't know.
If you like salads, chances are that the lettuce/greens in it were grown in Yuma. More than 91% of North America's leafy greens are grown on Yuma farms. Agriculture is a 4 BILLION dollar industry here.
There are two military installations here, the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Grounds. Can't beat the superb flying weather! The Yuma air show is every March, and is one of the area's most popular. Yuma is the "sunniest place on earth", according to the Guiness Book of World Records. The sun shines 339 days a year! Year long average high is 88.
Sparky is going to try to check out a biking trail/path or two with the few remaining days left. There is a LOT of hiking in the area. Many trails require "high clearance" vehicles to get to the trailhead so that means very rocky, rough backroads to get there. We don't like to take our truck on those roads, even if we could. Just too rough.
If you get the local magazines from the Visitor's Center, or consult the All Trails app, you will find them.
The other beautiful guide with SO much useful information, is the Arizona "Yuma" Magazine.There are three national wildlife refuges in the area: Kofa, Imperial, and Cibola. If you visit these areas, you MIGHT see bighorn sheep, wild burros, desert tortoises, bobcats, and many different bird species. We went to the Kofa Refuge and it was all desert and really rough driving roads as far as we could see. There's Mittry Lake Wildlife Area with three scenic mountain range backdrops. There are three casinos in the area if you are feeling lucky. The Center of the World is here in Felicity, CA, just a few miles away--one of those kitschy road side attractions you won't want to miss. The eccentric owner has built granite slabs etched with the entire history of the planet with unique formations of the stone. There's Martha's Date Farm, where you can get a delicious date shake and a tour. Check out the Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area. It's on the Bravo TV list of "22 Essential Places to Take a Selfie Before You Die". This is one of the most popular off road riding areas in the country and the terrain used in a couple of the Star Wars movies. And of course, the Colorado River is here for boating and fishing activities. Then there's the gustatory scene--many great Mexican restaurants and other delicious offerings! So many things to see and do, and not enough time to do them.
|Hiking to Telegraph Pass
|Bike trail past Yuma Prison State Park
|West Wetlands Park
Some of the park is under construction, but a lot of it is completed. Beautiful duck pond, an awesome children's castle playground and plenty of space to ride around to check out some things at the park, like the Solar Garden--simply an array of solar panels fenced in with metal plates posted on the fencing with awesome Native American signs/designs/motifs all the way around it.
|a Yuma bike trail
We will say that our current park location, which is east outside of Yuma, in the unincorporated Foothill Village area, is a bit of a drive to do so many of these things. You have to hop on I-8 and drive 15-25 miles or more to get to trails and it's about 14 miles to downtown Yuma and the California border, so just keep that in mind. Be sure to check out Slab City, or "The Slabs" near Niland, CA, 1.5 hour drive from Yuma, a VERY kitschy famous American road side attraction.
It's an off-the-grid alternative bohemian lifestyle community consisting of mostly snowbirds in the Salton Trough area of the Sonoran Desert. Supposedly 3500 people winter in "The Slabs". During the rest of the year, about 50-100 people live there year round. The entry section looked like people REALLY down on their luck to us. Dusty full junk yards, a real mishmash of stuff. Maybe a couple of eccentric snowbirds in the bunch, but the living conditions seemed pretty destitute with the RV's we saw. But, for the residents, they are absolutely fine with their lifestyle. No judging meant here, to each his own, whatever you are comfortable with! There were all kinds of yard art laying around, heavily painted and decorated with biblical sayings and thoughts.
There were more RVs appearing to be clustered farther away. There are actually 3 parts to the Slabs--a religious art installation, the East Jesus Sculpture Garden, and the "city" itself. The community started in 1942. If you look deeper, you would find artists, homesteaders, and retirees living off the grid. More power to them, to be able to do that in the desert! There are NO city services, no water, no electricity, no garbage. You live there, you pack it in, you pack it out, or make it on site. Sparky loved all the paint cans left that were used. They were very much apart of the art.
The Salvation Mountain religious art installation was very interesting.
Leonard Knight, the "founder" of the community, loved Jesus and believed in asking for forgiveness. He felt compelled to build a monument out of sand and adobe attesting to his beliefs, hence the Mountain. It is crumbling and decaying a bit and was damaged recently by a storm, (they have storms in sunny, sunny Yuma????) we are not sure if they are trying to maintain that part of the area or not. Leonard died in 2014, but seven volunteers keep the site going. There is a library, too, that takes book donations and has a list of desired items on an Amazon list! What a place! This guy seems to be connected to the world in his own way....
And with that, we head back to Tucson, AZ for another couple of weeks where Sparky will revisit the Loop biking trails and we will enjoy a little bit cooler weather now that we are away from the Mexican border. See you later!