Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Back in Yuma and On to Needles, California

Monday, January 26th - Sunday, March 15th

Wednesday we moved to Phoenix for a couple weeks, as my brother and his wife were flying down from Ohio for a week.  We had a great family visit and the weather was sunny and 80 all week.  Tuesday before they flew back home we drove up to Wickenberg for a little sightseeing.  My brother and sister-in-law with Mom and my sister-in-law's aunt and uncle standing in front of The Jail Tree.

From 1863 to 1890 outlaws were chained to this tree for lack of a hoosegow.  Escapes were unknown.

A few sights at our campground in Phoenix.  Huge, fancy motor home with huge trailer (probably hauling a race car) and boat and trailer, car and motorcycle all painted to match and the name Blue Thunder on it with Montana license plates.

Fun yard decorations at one of the camp sights.  And you thought rubber duckies were just for bath time.

These folks toured the campground every day.  They said they both used to drive carriages back home in Wisconsin, where they have four horse/bikes they harness to their golf cart and drive it in parades.  It has no steering wheel.  They actually steer it with the reins that are attached to the bikes.  What some people won't do for entertainment, their's and our's!  Mom flew home on the 15th and we headed back to Yuma a couple days later.

John and his new friend watching TV on a warm desert evening.

I went down to Mexico for the day with a couple of John's high school classmates and their spouses.  John refused to go.  He doesn't like the locals always trying to sell you their trinkets.  We had  been there twice already to see the dentist.  I had to replace a filling that fell out and he had a tooth ache. 

There is always a great party atmosphere with live music at the central plaza in Algodones, about 5 miles from Yuma.  The margaritas and chips and salsa just kept coming and we had a very fun day!  We even found a few bargains for medications, booze and a few trinkets.

Another afternoon at our friend's place where happy hour was being enjoyed as usual.

Really John?  The grandkids aren't here and you know you can't hide from me!

Miniature golf course at Emerald Cove.

Out for a walk in the desert before dusk.  Can you see the moon over the mountains?

Back at camp, view of the Colorado River from our bedroom window.

Earp , California is the closest town to our campground, named for Wyatt Earp.  This little store and a tiny post office building across the road are all that is here.

Sign on the post office.

Just a few interesting sights around the campground.

Note the little sign.  That's what we are now.

Amazing saguaro cactus I saw while biking around the Yuma foothills with a friend I met here last year.  We also hiked part way up Telegraph Hill with a few other ladies.  The saguaro cacti don't even start to grow arms until they are 75 years old, so this one must be quite old.  They are very fat this year, since there have been several rains and they soak up the water like a sponge and store it.

Ahh, life is good.  A beer in hand and my wife is gone to the swimming pool for the afternoon.  How could it get any better?

I have told lots of people that you can live pretty cheap in the desert, but this young gal was living about as simple as you can.  There couldn't be room for much more than a bed in her trailer.  She was pulling it with a PT Cruiser.  She had a tiny tent for a dressing room and had her laundry hung out to dry.

I remember singing this song when I was a kid.  It was on the back of one of the motor homes here and a very nice sentiment indeed.

We saw this little burro as we were coming back to camp and about a dozen more across the road on a golf course, which I'm sure they really appreciate.  But I bet that nicely watered, green grass tastes really good to them! 

Right across the road from our campground is desert golfing at it's finest!

Jackass Flats is a nine hole course with artificial turf  for the greens and about 90 yards or less per hole.  There is a bucket of clubs and a bucket of balls at the entrance and you just help yourself.  On Wednesday, after a week at Emerald Cove, we moved north to North Shore campground near Needles (also on the Colorado River).

This is a picture outside the pool and club house overlooking  the river.

This is a closer view of the little bird in the picture above.  His body and neck is made from an old spade, wings and tail feathers from a garden rake and a yard rake, legs from re-bar and a saw blade for his plumage.

We did a little tour of the town on Friday.  Signs at the campgrounds now warn us to beware of rattle snakes when we are out walking, as it is warmer now and they are out and about.

Needles was right on the National Old Trails Highway, later known as Route 66.

Right behind this motel is the remnants of a scene used from the movie, Grapes of Wrath. Where some of the Okies supposedly lived when they came to California looking for work during the depression and weren't allowed into the state, because they didn't wanted there. 

Get your kicks on Route 66.  I loved that show when I was growing up.  There are lots of murals about Route 66 all over town.

Meep!  Meep!  I wonder if that coyote ever caught that roadrunner.  We see both once in a while and hear the coyotes howling at night quite often.

The National Old Trails Highway (Route 66) crossed the Colorado River here, near where Jedediah Smith and his band of Rocky Mountain Men crossed in 1826 and opened the pioneer trail into southern California.

This is the El Garces Hotel and Train Station, considered the "Crown Jewel" of the Fred Harvey chain of hotel/restaurants along the Santa Fe Railroad where the famous Harvey Girls worked.  There is a movie about the Harvey Girls.  It was completed in 1908 and five passenger trains came through daily both ways.  There is an Amtrak station next door now.  It closed as a hotel in 1946 and was used as railway offices until 1988 when it was closed.  They are now renovating it.

View of the back side where there is a nice downtown city park with a WWI cannon and a little museum across the street.

In the museum are a few things about Charles M. Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip.  He lived here for a couple years when he was about 6 or 7.  He was born in Minneapolis and nicknamed Sparky after Barney Google's horse, Sparkplug.  Peanuts debuted in 7 newspapers in 1950 and 40 years later was in 2,300 papers.  His actual brother, Spike, came back here to live as an adult.  There is a Spike Road out to where he used to live and a Schulz Street off that road.

Today, Sunday, I am flying back to Montana again to be with my Mom at her brother's funeral.  I will be gone for a week and will get to see the grandkids again for a few days.  When I get back, we will be heading over to see John's sister and friends again for a few days on Monday, March 23rd.  Then we will start heading north through California and Oregon and over to Montana to spend some more time with the kiddos.

Happy Spring and Easter to all our family and friends!
Hope to see you all this summer!