We left the Mojave desert and headed to Yuma for several reasons: One, because the further south you go, the warmer it gets. Two, because we need to get to Mexico for our annual Doctor/Dental visits, and Yuma is the closest American town. Three, the timing coincided with hometown friends who were also going for Mexican dentist visits. And four, and most important, because we are in need of a refrigerator replacement, and we thought Yuma might be our best bet. (Yes, after much online research, Tom determined we needed a replacement rather than a repair.)
We stayed in the same place we stayed a year ago – in a LTVA (long term visitor area) called Pilot Knob that is across the highway from Felicity, CA – the “Official Center of the Universe”. There is comfort in traveling to a familiar area; we know what to expect. The difference this year was that there were camp hosts there to greet us and take our money this year. We signed up for two weeks, hoping that would be enough time.
We saw incredible sunsets there, as usual, but we also had a morning with dense fog – which is something we’ve never seen in the desert!
While waiting for various RV repair shops to get back to us, we decided to get out and about and do some exploring. We’ve been to Yuma many times before, but never as tourists, so we were determined to check it out.
We took a wonderful ride on a bike trail along the Colorado River. We started out at the famous Yuma Prison (we missed out on the tour) and rode around the famous bridge.
We rode around the old downtown area, checking out the sights.
Then we finished off with a sampling flight of beers at the Prison Hill Brewing Company. Great day!
One day we took a drive to check out some more BLM land in case we had to stay longer than two weeks. We drove around the Imperial Dam LTVA – yes there is lots of water in Arizona!
On the way home we checked out a bridge in the middle of nowhere. We found out it was a small scale replica of the Golden Gate made as a mock up before building the original. But don’t take my word for it – that was all word of mouth and I never investigated. Still, it was interesting, and I was going to walk out until I saw the sign. Unstable doesn’t scare me but the bees did!
Another day we went back that direction to check out an old ghost town near the Army’s Proving Grounds, called Castle Dome City. We had the place to ourselves almost, and it was fun poking around the old buildings and ‘interacting’ with the exhibits.
It felt good to be sightseers again.
We also took care of intended dental visits in Los Algodones, Baja Mexico.
We ended up crossing into Mexico and back three different times. The journey consists of paying $6 to the adjoining Indian Reservation for parking and walking through the border crossing along with many other Americans looking for dental or optometry work. We got our teeth cleaned, some other dental work done, and picked up some meds and vanilla for friends. Same as our routine from last year. The difference this year was the early border closing (2pm as opposed to 10 pm), the mask wearing, and the lack of people (especially the Canadians). We normally wait in a line hours (and hours) long to make the crossing back into the US. This year there was practically no waiting, but there was also no time for leisurely lunches and margaritas. Which may be why there seemed to be more peddlers and panhandlers. The town’s economy has to be suffering (along with so many in the US as well).
So, medical visits – accomplished. Dinner and visits with hometown friends – done. Refrigerator repairs – not so much. We kept getting referred to CJ’s RV Repair, and the owner kept telling us he could help us – until he stopped returning phone calls. Numerous phone calls to other repair shops all over Arizona confirmed the craziness of this year: “We can’t even look at it for two months.” “Parts are taking four months to arrive – if we can even get them.” “We are the busiest we have ever been.”
We have been surviving with no refrigeration by using our broken fridge as an ice box and buying block ice every couple of days – which seemed to be working better than an ice chest. Dry ice is no-where to be found. It’s been a bother, but nothing tragic.
After two weeks of trying and with no hope to be found in Yuma, we debated heading to Tuscon or Phoenix, before deciding to put a pause on worrying about the fridge and head out to the middle of nowhere to be with friends. Actually, we are heading to a very affordable RV park right off I10 between Quartzsite and Phoenix, and less than three hours from Tuscon.
So we will relax a bit. The Christmas rush of fulfilling fairy orders is almost over, and Tom will have plenty of time to try and find repair help while we hold up for the holidays.
Looking forward to being with friends for the next month. Plans further than that – well, that’s too far away to plan at this point of uncertainty!
Peace & Love, Joy