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Get A Sense of Yuma

Haha! Arthur says the desert is such a Sonor-a...

semi-overcast 43 °C

Wednesday, 28th May, 2014: Room 403, Hampton Inn, Yuma, Arizona

A mercifully short Blog today. (Hallelujah I hear you cry) and it just struck us, only a few more days to go. (Hallelujah x 2). Last night we went "native" for a Mexican meal in the Cantina next to the hotel where we had a 15%-off voucher. It was excellent.

John had "Tres Carnes", pork loin "rolls" and Bob "Carne Asada, Tacos"

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We are not going to pre-judge Yuma (where we have just arrived), but Arthur has:- DUMP, he cries. In the remotest corner of Arizona, it makes its living from growing Winter greens. And, in the Winter, the population doubles. Seasonal pickers we guess. And they must all live in trailers, judging from what we saw from the Freeway. From our room in a very nice Hampton Inn, we can see green fields of vegetables which is a bit odd given we are in the middle of the huge Sonoran desert. We also saw wheat, cattle, maize and other crops being grown. We guess the water is taken from the Colorado which runs through the town, before it trickles into Mexico!

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However it does have a whole list of Arthur's favourite restaurants and a "Cracker Barrel" is calling for tonight, after a trip to view the Amtrak Station where there is a thrice-weekly service to New Orleans and to Chicago or Los Angeles, in the other direction.

Today was another fascinating one. Leaving fairly early after a sustaining breakfast at the Doubletree, joined by some Brits and Dutch who, we think, were on a "Titan" coach tour. They seemed to be staying in Tucson for 2 or 3 nights, which seemed a bit odd.

We drove out on a fairly busy road which finally cleared as we reached the huge lands of the native indians the O'Odham Tahona. Many of the vehicles we saw after that were associated with the US Border Patrol which must be a major employer.

Another employer, at least of the O'Odham Tahona, was the construction company rebuilding the "Ajo Road". We got held up twice by these road works. The second time for around 20 minutes whilst some resurfacing took place.

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We then joined the north-south Highway 85, which leads to the Mexican border via the Organ Pipe National Monument. And on this road, virtually all of the vehicles were Border Patrol, the rest being traffic to/from Mexico. We called into the Park headquarters for some interesting information about the Organ Pipe cactus as well as the Saguaro, which are very much in evidence here too. Apparently the Organ Pipes, which grow their "arms" from the base rather than up the main trunk, favour south-facing slopes, which was why we had not spotted many on our way South.

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We took a shortish drive up a gravel scenic route, which eventually leads to the Grand Wurlitzer Cactus, but we, unfortunately did not have time to get to the end. So we then drove to the border and stopped for coffee from a cantina right on the frontier. Quite exciting really. We felt as if we were in Mexico itself! (And we have a Mexican soap on TV as I type!).

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As we drove back North we were stopped at two Border Patrol checkpoints, either side of the surprisingly elegant (in the centre, at least!) town of Ajo.

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The second border guard we spoke to, told us that his checkpoint was one of the busiest for catching "aliens". He had asked us if we had spotted any "aliens" and Arthur, unhelpfully replied no, but he had seen a flying saucer.

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We eventually joined Interstate 8 which made for an easy 115 mile drive to Yuma, our base for tonight.

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Temperature in the desert today? 109F, phew!

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Posted by Johnash 20:52 Archived in USA Tagged arizona mexico usa national_park tucson roadtrip saguaro 2014 yuma organ_pipe

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Comments

This really is cowboy country, seen Wyatt or Geronimo on your travels? It is a bit hotter there. We have had torrential rain on Sunday night, good for the trees, but weather warming up now. Have fun. Margaret

by margaret chambers

I loved the flowers on the cacti do they sell them here in Spain Bob? Are the plates that your meals come on getting larger? Enjoy your last few days. Keep safe xxx

by vivienne

Nice to see trains as well as food. You will be doing Titan tours when you get older!

by Brien

Some lovely pictures again.....some of the desert shots ( minus cacti) are very reminiscent of the surrounding countryside around Bagend. Enjoy the last few days of your American adventure boys...stay safe.

by Cherry and Chris

Prickly pics from a State that should shurely be called Aridzona. Please send some of the hot air to the UK to waft the Costa del Bournemouth's grey clouds away! Take care...

by IanT

Thanks, Bloggers! Arrived safely in San Diego and are stunned by the view we have from Bob's upgrade of a corner room. Wow! Through 4 windows on 2 sides we can view warships, ferries, helicopters, schooners all bustling about on the blue San Diego Bay. Coronado Island glistening on the other side. This was to be a "final treat" of a stay and it more than lives up to expectations.

Hope to do a Blog tomorrow.

PS No Vivienne, can't buy Saguaro. They only live in this quite small area of Arizona.

by Johnash

Wonderful cacti and lovely to see the flowers which I assume are fairly rare. Enjoy San Diego x

by Paul

Had a catch up day today. Great pics of the Wild West, we loved High Chaparral back in the day. Your hotel room in San Diego sounds fantastic, you'll have to drag yourselves away from the view. Can't believe our "US Vacation" is almost over, it's been wonderful as always!

by Sue and Gordy

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