March 31, 2020

February 2020 - Yuma, LTVA, Proving Grounds, Kofa, Ajo, Organ Pipe

We escaped the cold and snow of Idaho!  Valley of Fire was a great place to get back in the groove of being in Gracie Lou again...but we had a destination in mind, Yuma!  Mark & Kelly and Marion had been hanging out at the LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area) outside of Yuma and we were looking forward to seeing them!  So we drove south, through Quartzsite and into the stark and crazy landscape of Yuma...the land of RV's!  

Honestly, for us, at least for this time in our lives, the LTVA in Yuma is a bit too...permanent/bleak?!  It's pretty stark, except for the reservoir there which we paddled in once.  But we loved being around family and it really proved the point that no matter where we are we have a great time with friends and family!  Family meals, movie nights in Marion's trailer and lots of excursions!  And thankfully Mark had purchased a used 4-wheeler, Quazimoto, and it was the perfect vehicle to wander around in!


One of our excursions was to the historic Territorial Prison in Yuma which ran from was interesting to tour, even more so, to imagine life there...yikes!  Nearby was a park that was home to the Yuma Territorial Live Steamers, a narrow gauge railroad, 7 1/2 gauge ride-on train!  

Our last weekend at the LTVA the Proving Grounds, which is a military training facility, had an open house that was pretty cool...Marion, in particular, really enjoyed the event and the opportunity to check out some equipment! 

We also checked out Kofa National Wildlife area...took the hike up to Palm Canyon...and added to the huge labyrinth there.

We caravanned a bit east towards Ajo, then south of Why, Arizona we found a great boondocking spot alongside a dry wash.  It was still desert, for sure, but the ecology was more diverse (lots of cholla cactus and some saguaros too!) and it was fun to explore!  To say that there was more to do there would be a bit of a stretch as we spent plenty of time studying ant colonies, collecting white rocks for a labyrinth and doing nothing at all!

I loved the little town of Ajo...formally a bustling mining town, now becoming a little bit more vibrant with an artsy vibe, particularly with its murals all over town.

We also drove through part of Organ Pipe National Monument to witness even more diversity in the Sonoran Desert.  (We also discovered how ridiculously reliant we are to Google as we drove around for hours posing unanswerable questions, about the landscape and ecology, because without cell service we knew nothing!)

Back at home, we amused ourselves at our riverfront property.

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