We left Quartzsite, Az, on Super Bowl Sunday Feb.. 5th and drove the couple of hours to “beautiful” Yuma, Az. shopped for a few hours then headed to the Escapees Club campground to do some reorganizing of the motor home storage compartments. Spent many an hour Sunday and Monday reorganizing. It seems when you first move into a place (especially one this small) you put things where you think it’s best. As time goes on and you see/hear how others figure out space allocation, it is time to re-organize. Stopped working long enough for Jerry to swim laps in the Escapees Club pool and soak in the Jacuzzi. Will not stay here again though. They say they have WiFi…it doesn’t work, our cell phones here…no signal, our MiFi…no connection. The only saving grace of staying here is the low $5 cost for dry camping (off the grid), nice pool and the aerial picks up PBS .
Arrived in Imperial Dam area along the Colorado River in California Monday evening. Driving through this agricultural area from Yuma is quite interesting. The road twists around large swaths of planted land. Broccoli, heads of cauliflower, lettus (red and green), carrots, alfalfa, etc. can be seen in the fields being harvested. There are very also large tracts of citrus and date trees. We only see large numbers of Latinos working these fields for, we are told, close to minimum wage. If there are other groups represented in this work force, they were not seen this trip.
We are staying on BLM land near Squaw Lake and are parked next to the Senator Wash Reservoir. As reservoirs are wont to do, the water level is quite low for now but that can change rapidly as they let some Colorado River water flow in. So we’re careful not to park in the “wet zone” no mater how enticing it is to be close to the water. Excellent fishing, boating and bird watching are major attractions as well as rock collecting, fossil hunting, and traveling the dirt back roads in off highway vehicles. During this time of year this is another “land of RVs”. There’s every type, value, age and size of RV here from close to million dollar RVs to sad-looking oldies but, of course, the views, sunsets and night sky are the same for all to enjoy. These mostly annual, temporary (sometimes for 6-7 months/year) residents are frequently here to escape the cold weather of home and have developed quite an active community. Many Canadians come here for the “season” since most Canadians and many others still don’t feel safe traveling in Mexico where the weather is also warm. Various types of entertainment, classes, religious observances, book exchanges, organized hikes, etc. are available. Folks generally do their own “thing” but neighbors do watch out for each other. It is interesting that all of these folks, and there are MANY, stay out here completely off the grid, conserve water, keep the area clean and always recycle resulting in close to the smallest footprint possible.
Even though we were here for only two weeks last year we’ve already run into a number of folks we met then. The retired engineers staying near us at the reservoir again this year are from British Columbia. They’re very friendly and clearly enjoying the warm climate instead of the snow they used to have to shovel. Here with their wives and kayaks they’ve been plying the waterways most days and are looking tanned and fit.
We noticed a tear in the bag holding our inflatable boat so when it held air we were relieved. The boat is like a Zodiac and is fun to use but a lot more work to set up than we were led to belive. Oh, the video the boat came with shows two people setting it up in 20 min. We spent four hours setting it up the first time and that did not include attaching the engine to the back! So now we have an electric compressor rather than a foot pump…much faster/easier. Also, even though the instructions for set-up are unfathomable we are now experienced in reading these obfuscated directions. In addition, the video about the boat set-up shows a guy picking up the boat in the carrying bag, slipping the bag strap over his shoulder and walking a far distance down to the water with it. Ha! Our neighbor says the guy in the video carrying the boat over his shoulder was a Champion Weight Lifter! Now, if the electric engines’ battery will take a charge and work, we can putter around on the water and quietly get close enough to the birds to take some quick pictures and not frighten them away. The battery gets charged with solar energy and the electric engine doesn’t pollute so, if everything works, it’s an all around good thing.
Here is something you wouldn’t expect. There are numerous wild Burros wandering this area. Apparently wild burros have been here for hundreds of years and are thriving. Though it is common to hear coyotes yipping near by, it is still startling to hear braying outside your window at two in the morning!
The weather is balmy here most of the late fall, winter, early spring though today was overcast. Well there was a full moon tonight anyway so the sky was too bright to see the stars clearly even if the clouds weren’t in the way.